Tarot versus Oracle Cards

For years, we have longed to understand how the universe works. We have an innate curiosity for where we have been, where we are now, and where we are going. We want to get to know our past lives and our future selves at the same time.


Having a sense of where one is at karmically through the use of cards is a time honored tradition and continues to be very popular. One way we have tried to discern our past and future is through the use of sacred cards. These cards usually come in 3 different forms: tarot, angel, and oracle. But what are the differences between the decks of cards that are used to give us a better understanding of these past experiences?


Angel Cards


Have you ever experienced a sense of a higher being? Perhaps you have had something go extremely well in a business venture or in your love life and thought that it may have been sent from another plane? If you have ever thought these thoughts, then you are more than likely a perfect candidate for angel card readings.

If you have acknowledged that you aren’t alone in this world, then trying angel cards may be the perfect thing to enhance your understanding of where you are to go in life. Angel cards are meant to help you find the answers you are looking for through positive messages while helping you become more aware of your own spirituality. They can give insight into relationships, careers and finances while creating a sense of peace of mind and confidence.


You will find many different angel card decks, there are many different types and all provide you with detailed meanings and messages from your angels. I would say that Angel Cards are very gentle messages and can provide a comforting feeling in a distressing situation. Angel readings are not intended to provide you with timings or specific details of people or places, like Tarot cards do.

Angel decks are thought of as “beginner” cards, so if you are getting an oracle card reading and you have never taken part in the experience, then this will be an excellent way to get your feet wet.


Oracle Cards

Oracle cards are used for divination, life story-telling, astrology and spiritual guidance. These cards are modern versions of tarot cards, with a slight variation that gives users more control over the process. Angel Decks are considered an oracle deck by nature. Oracle cards are not bound by any rules.

Oracle decks “make their own rules”, which means that the readings registered through them tend to be more fluid and unrestricted as other card reading techniques. There are no guidelines to follow with oracle decks, as opposed to tarot cards which have several rules attached to them.
Oracle card readings are conducted to try and decipher what changes – good or bad – may occur in your life. These readings are meant to give comfort, clarity and guidance.

An Oracle deck can have any number of cards in it. Most of them tend to be less cards than a Tarot deck, but some can have more. Some Oracle cards will have phrases on it – something that is rare for a Tarot deck – but some decks might only have images and no words.

Most Oracle decks have Tarot-inspired cards in them. So if you get to know your Tarot cards really well, you will spot some similarities in your Oracle decks.

Angel cards are a popular form of Oracle cards – these are basically Oracle cards with an angelic theme. Most Angel cards have uplifting phrases written on them, making them easy to use for beginners and gentle enough to use on those days when everything seems to be working against you.


Tarot Cards

Tarot cards are the most common form of card reading, and have been around for many years. The standard tarot card deck is designed to resemble a Harlequin romance novel – they are well drawn and tell a very compelling story. These cards follow a structure, and the formula is never altered. There’s a formula and structure to it. Certain things have to be present.

The basics of wisdom, have resulted particularly in the Western World, of mystery and traditions having roots in ancient times. Much of our own wisdom in the west originates from ancient Egypt and ancient Greece, particularly from religious buildings and temples. Hermes Trismegistus (Thoth) who was an early initiate of this wisdom, which is hence therefore known as Hermetic Gnosis.

The Tarot invites us to explore the world’s mysteries. The Tarot is not only a product of the past, but a foundation of the future and can be placed constructively, and understood, in universal evolutionary rhythm. Thoth was master of the divine words emanating from Ptah, god of breath. The Tarot shows us the path leading through from initiation to mastery, inviting us to participate in its wisdom. Let us therefore enter into its magical and mystical Arcana and participate in its wisdom.

A Tarot deck follows a particular formula. An Oracle deck is more free-form.

Like a steamy Harlequin, A Tarot deck must follow a particular structure. There is always five suits – the four minor arcana suits and the major arcana.

The minor arcana consists of cups, swords, wands and pentacles. This can vary depending on the deck as some decks get crafty with renaming the minors. There might be coins instead of pentacles or bows instead of wands. But essentially, the gist of each suit is the same.


A Tarot deck has 22 major arcana cards numbered 0 through 21. For a complete list of all the major arcana cards, go here. Some decks will have an extra card that is unique to that deck.

Just as some decks will rename the four minor arcana suits, the major arcana cards can also be renamed. But the general meaning of the card stays the same.

With 5 suits in each deck (the suits can vary between decks) each tarot card reading will be different depending on whatever you are going through at the time, the tarot cards will reflect and guide you to the answers you seek. While rigid in structure, the cards rarely miss their mark.


So which is better? Tarot or Oracle cards?

This totally depends on you! Some people find Tarot cards intimidating and “scary” with their dramatic images of crumbling towers and scythe wielding skeletons. In that case, its best to start with a gentle Oracle or Angel card deck.

All cards have their own energy and speak their own language. I love them all and use them intuitively. They speak to me and I feel which cards to work with. However when I do readings and someone wants to use a certain deck, this wish is granted.

I am trained and certified to work with Angel Cards by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine. I have been trained to work with Oracle Cards by Colette Baron Reid and I am a certified traditional and hermetic Tarot Card Reader.

I would love to do a reading for you. Please see here for more information about ordering a reading: http://www.joyincreation.com/oracle-card-readings/