The Difference Between Tarot Cards and Oracle Cards

On the last tarot post, I talked about the different suites that are in the tarot deck, which there are five! If you missed that or need a refresher, you can find it here.


A few months back, I had a friend message me and ask me what the difference between tarot cards and oracle cards were. Having no previous experience with oracle cards, I bought some for myself and played with them for months before writing this post. And I’ve got to tell you, I absolutely love them!


So, the first noticeable difference between the tarot and the oracle is that the oracle cards are non-traditional, while obviously the tarot cards are traditional. The tarot deck has 78 cards, but the oracle deck can have as many cards as the artist wishes. With tarot, there are five very clear decks: 0-21 is the major arcana, Ace-10 (in all four suites being wands, swords, cups, and pentacles), and a page, knight, queen, and king in each of those four decks.

There’s no set of rules that oracles generally follow. They’re intuitively created, but straightforward when reading them and you’ll find out why shortly!

Tarot left. Oracle right.

With traditional tarot, there will always be a number on the card, aside from the court cards, which is the page, knight, queen, and king. With oracle, it is simply symbols or archetypes.

The artist creates an oracle deck based on on something they believe the reader will easily be able to translate or the person being read can identify with without asking many questions. This may not always be the case, but there are many, many ranges of oracle cards; from animals to abstract art to highly spiritual symbols to complex sacred geometry. You name it!

Tarot left. Oracle right.

Many people use the oracle cards, including myself, as tools to reiterate the message of the cards pulled in the spread. For example, if the person got the fool as their current state of being card, it means they are at a new point in life. They are not afraid to take a few risks, but they certainly won’t be held back either. They’ve just went through a transformation or about to go through a transformation and are happy to be alive, right?

Well, let’s say as their oracle card, they got a baby. Would that now have a very similar message? The difference, however, is that the oracle are much more straightforward. How much more straightforward could it be if that person was actually having a baby?!

Sometimes, oracle cards will even have a full message for the person to read. Life the really bright oracle cards above, they will have an explanation of their meaning for the interpreter to understand. Every now and then, they’ll be warnings, but usually, they are very motivating and kind words that help to push you along! And THAT is why I LOVE oracle cards!

Love and Light.


From Within the Labyrinth,

With Love,

-Lakin <3

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