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Oracle Cards vs Tarot Cards

Updated: Jan 13, 2021

Repeat after me: Oracle and Tarot decks are not used to predict the future.

Repeat after me again: There is a different between oracle decks and the Tarot deck.

In order to understand how these two types of decks can be spiritual tools, let's investigate these questions:​

  1. What are oracle decks?

  2. What is the Tarot deck?

  3. How are these two decks different?

  4. How can I use these decks as spiritual tools?


What are oracle decks?​

Oracle decks consist of forty to sixty cards that feature beautiful images with a key word or phrase of wisdom. The purpose of these decks is to provide uplifting and encouraging messages, whether it be for an event, a single day, or for the direction of your life. ​There is usually a companion book that accompanies the cards to explore the meaning of each one through a guided message or an explanation of the symbolism within. ​Most Oracle decks have an overall theme which all the cards of the deck encompass.

What is the Tarot deck?​

The Tarot is a deck of 78 cards that tells "The Hero's Journey." In its entirety, this deck depicts all of the stages everyone experiences in their lifetime (birth, personal struggles, growth and success, death, and rebirth). The cards are separated into two categories: The Major Arcana (22 cards that represent all of life's lessons - karmic and spiritual) and The Minor Arcana (56 cards grouped into four suits - wands, swords, cups, and pentacles - that represent day to day struggles and successes, as well as certain characteristics we may identify with during a certain period of time or event in our lives).

Each card of the Tarot is full of symbols. Just like dream work, interpreting what a specific Tarot card means requires that you use your own intuition to analyze what each of the symbols (mainly the symbols that seem to jump out at you) means to you.

There are many resources dedicated to teaching and explaining the Tarot and how you can use it for personal and spiritual growth. Biddy Tarot is a fantastic resource to begin learning the Tarot and what the symbolism illustrated in each card could mean in regards to the present energies of your life through the use of the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck, although there are many modern adaptations to choose from.

How are these two decks different?​

Both Oracle and Tarot decks are spiritual tools used for personal and spiritual growth, but it's important to keep their differences in mind.​Oracle cards always provide a positive and encouraging message meant to inspire and guide. Simply pull a card, consider how the theme and/or illustration of the card might pertain to you in the present moment, and read the guiding message in the companion book to further connect it to your life.

Tarot cards are a structured symbolism of the journey of life. Because there is so much symbolism displayed in each card, interpreting how it relates to your life takes time to analyze and study. The messages within these cards are often deep and require you to remove the layers found within the symbolism to discover its meaning to you. The more you work with and study the Tarot, the deeper you will be able to connect with the subtle message and guidance contained in each symbol within the overall message the card represents.

How can I use these decks as spiritual tools?

Using oracle and Tarot decks allow you to be in tune with your Higher Self (the unconscious mind) as well as the subtle guidance your spirit guides and angels are providing. By analyzing the messages and symbols found within each card, you allow yourself an opportunity to not only grow personally and spiritually, but to strengthen your own intuition, examine the events of your life on a deeper level, discover who you truly are and what you are capable of, receive guidance on the paths you need to follow, heal yourself and relationships with others, address karmic issues, and gain a greater understanding of your specific purpose for this lifetime.

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