What is the difference between Tarot Cards and Oracle Cards?

Question by Phoenix: What is the difference between Tarot Cards and Oracle Cards?
As in, are they used in the same way? For example, could I use the Celtic Cross spread with my Goddess Oracle set? Also, someone told me that you cannot read yourself with the Tarot, but you can with the Oracle set. Is this correct? Thanks for the advice, please no negative comments.

Best answer:

Answer by Geezah
Yes, they’re both used in essentially the same way: divination, personal evaluation, etc.

Tarot decks though are always decks made of 78 specific cards: 14 cards of 4 different suits each (the “minor arcana”), then 22 unique cards (the “major arcana”). You’ll see some slight variations to these. For example, some decks call the “stones” suit what others call the “pentacles” suit, the Thoth deck calls the Justice card “Adjustment”, etc. But essentially, all Tarot decks follow this 78 card Tarot format.

There are other divination decks though that don’t use this format, and thus aren’t “Tarot cards”. These include “Oracle Cards”, the “Sacred Geometry” deck, and hundreds of others. I suppose nothing is really stopping you from using a Celtic Cross spread with these, but you may want to read the included LWB (“little white book”) with the deck and see.

As for the notion that “you cannot read yourself with the Tarot”, that’s not really true. You can read yourself. The worst that can happen is that you might not get an accurate reading because it’s very easy to be biased with yourself, and rationalize away problems you might be having. It’s good to get an on-lookers perspective sometimes.

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2 Responses to What is the difference between Tarot Cards and Oracle Cards?

  1. LabGrrl August 22, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    There are ‘rules’ about what make up a tarot deck, whereas a company can call anything an ‘oracle deck.’

    Introspection is a major use of tarot, not sure why your source says otherwise.

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  2. thecityoftownsville_2000 August 22, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    Modern Oracle cards are designed only for divination and not for game playing.While the Tarot is commonly used for divination, it is actually a variant of playing cards. The Tarot was initially created in northern Italy for playing a type of trick taking card game. The so called “Major Arcana” was intended to be a trump suit. Although not well known in countries like the US, Tarot games are popular in European countries such as France. Cartomancy or divination with the standard 52 card deck is also practiced and was practiced before the Tarot was appropriated for this purpose. The Tarot and the standard deck of playing cards have more in common then most of us have been led to believe. Unlike the Tarot or the standard playing card deck, modern oracles are not divided into suits and do not feature court cards.

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