Using tarot cards has picked up tremendously recently as spiritual practices themselves are becoming more popular. But what you might notice is that not only are different versions of the 78-card tarot deck often used but other cards known as oracle cards. So, what’s the difference between them?
Structure VS Anything Goes
The first main difference between tarot and oracle cards is that tarot cards are usually more structured. Most tarot decks are at least close to the original Rider Waite deck, with about 78 cards, and all the original major and minor arcana. Some might be slightly different with different names, like coins instead of pentacles, but the meanings are there.
With oracle cards, anything goes. They can be any design, color, size, shape, and meaning. Each oracle deck is different not just in how they look and the imagery, but in the meaning of each oracle card.
Size and Shape of the Cards
This can be another big difference between tarot and oracle cards. While some are slightly larger or smaller, most tarot cards are rectangular and roughly the same size. With oracle cards, there is a lot more variety. You can often find different shapes, like square, round, or heart-shaped cards. They are often more varied in size and imagery as well.
This is why people often use both tarot and oracle cards. The tarot is good for reading the spread, and oracles can be used to get more information or to clarify the tarot cards.
Reading the Cards Intuitively
A similarity between tarot and oracle cards is that you can go based on the original meaning in the book or guide you receive with the cards or read them more intuitively. More often than not, you will do a combination of both. This might also differ based on the type of spread you are doing. If you are doing a love reading and get a King of Pentacles, you might read it as meeting a new love that is good with their money and stability, or someone that is an earth sign as it is related to the pentacle cards.
When to Use Them
Lastly, a difference between oracle and tarot cards can be in how and when you choose to use them. People who do large spreads of tarot often use multiple decks of oracle cards along with their tarot cards. The more you use, the more you can start painting a picture and putting a story together. Tarot alone is enough for reading, but those oracle cards often give unique insight and help you intuitively read for someone or yourself.
There is nothing wrong with using just tarot or oracle cards, or both like many people do. Experiment and see what you like using the most in your own spiritual practice.