What’s the Difference Between Tarot & Oracle Cards?

So you’ve heard of Tarot cards (obviously!) and you’ve probably also heard of Oracle cards. Are they the same thing? Or are they totally different? And which is better?

This is a question I get asked all the time. And it’s not always easy to explain. But let me do my best…

Oracle cards and Tarot cards are similar in that they are both used for the same purpose – doing readings, exploring oneself and divining the future.

The two differ in their structure

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

harlequin-novelA Tarot deck is similar to a Harlequin Romance novel. There’s a formula and structure to it. Certain things have to be present.

For example, the traditional Harlequin novel always features a virginal heroine. The hero she falls in love with is always rich and oh so manly – he is usually either a cowboy, billionaire or tycoon. Never a school teacher, chef or janitor. Can you imagine the novel on the left being called Between the Gas Station Attendant’s Sheets? Didn’t think so! But I digress…

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.

A Tarot deck has 5 suits…

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. For example, the Crystal Visions Tarot has an extra card called “The Unknown Card”, making it a 79-card deck, instead of the standard 78 cards.

Just as some decks will rename the four minor arcana suits, the major arcana cards can also be renamed. In my Druidcraft Tarot, the Wheel of Fortune is called The Wheel and The Devil is called Cernunnos. But the general meaning of the card stays the same.

Don’t let alternate card names get your panties in a twist…

I know this concept is really confusing, but think back to the Harlequin novels. Underneath all the details of a steamy bodice-ripper – like character names, job titles and location – lies a storyline that is pretty much identical from novel to novel.

One romance novel’s heroine may be called Chastity Dewstorm, while a different novel’s heroine is named Vanessa Lovejoy. But they both fall in love with a high status male by the novel’s end, despite their breathy protests and desperate mews.

Another element that all Tarot decks share is that there are four court cards –Β King, Queen, Knight and Page – for each minor arcana suit. So there are 16 court cards in total. Again, some decks get creative with the names and might have prince and princess instead of Knight and Page, but the meanings of the cards do not change.

Now onto Oracle cards!

Oracle cards can be anything – there are no rules that must be followed. If a Tarot deck is like a Harlequin, then an Oracle deck is like a novel that just happens to have romantic elements in it. Perhaps there are even some Harlequin-type aspects to it, but it does not follow any set formula to a tee. Maybe that’s not the best analogy….

Okay, think of Tarot cards and Oracle cards as being non-identical twins (like me and my slutty other-half Veronica!). The Tarot deck is prim, proper and follows the rules. She wants to marry, have children and pay her taxes.

The Oracle deck is the rebel who makes her own rules, traveling wherever the wind takes her, spending time in communes and ashrams, embarking on sexual escapades and making pottery while high.

This is NOT to say that Oracle cards are more interesting than Tarot cards, only that they are not bound by any rules.

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.

Life Purpose Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue

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’s total shit.

So which is better? Tarot or Oracle cards?

This totally depends on you! Learning Tarot requires more time and energy, while Oracle cards are easy to read right off the bat for most people since the meanings are usually written on the cards.

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.

So why bother learning Tarot at all?

Tarot has a depth to it that Oracle cards often lack. Reading Tarot is more challenging, forcing you to flex your intuitive muscles.

Think learning Tarot requires tons of boring memorization? Think again! And check out my 7 Tips for Learning Tarot Card Meanings.

Going back to the romance novel analogy, Tarot cards are like a leather bound copy of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, while Oracle/Angel decks are like a Harlequin paperback with a glistening cowboy on the cover. Yes, it’s comforting and it’s boatloads of fun, but don’t neglect the classics!

Now that I have thoroughly confused you by saying Tarot is like a Harlequin, I mean no, its like a romantic classic, I would love to hear your thoughts…

Which do you prefer? Tarot or Oracle cards? Or do you like both? Share your opinions in the comments below!

84 thoughts on “What’s the Difference Between Tarot & Oracle Cards?”

  1. Hi, ive come across your website as in looking at delving into oracle and/or tarot cards. Im unsure of which ones would suit my needs. im not drawn to the angel themed cards at all. The others that are out there do interest me. Any help would be great. Also i have been an empath for as long as i can remember, would this have an effect on the outcome of the cards at all. I have had people that can not read me when i have had readings done. Thank you.

  2. I have a question, is the 9 paths an oracle deck? it follows the rules of the tarot but contains 9 extra Major arcana. Is the Minoan deck an Oracle deck? It follows the rules of tarot, but it has 8 extra Minor Arcana’s

  3. Valerie mcquillan

    Hi my name is Valerie, I’ve just begun to delve into Tarot or Oracle .
    Now Angel cards ..are they different again ?
    My other half(OH) has always been horrified about Tarot so I’ve simply never gone there… Till now.
    I do have a sort of runes that I made myself, I love them.
    Thankyou for your blogs about the differences, that made a whole lot of sense.

    1. Welcome Valerie πŸ™‚ So glad you’re learning about Tarot! Angel cards are the same as oracle cards – they’re basically just an angel themed oracle deck. Unless they’re called “Angel Tarot”, then they’re angel themed tarot cards.

  4. Good day,
    I am somewhat new to everything “spiritual,” I’ve always longed for crystals and had a strong attraction to the fantasy world (except it’s obviously not fantasy to those who are open to it). Lately I went to a shaman who told me I have the gift of sight and the gift of hearing, but they are still coming in and getting stronger, as I’m only 17. I sometimes get ringing in my ears, the shaman called it tuning, and after I started working with my mother’s Oracle cards a few days ago the tuning happens multiple times a day. I want to get a deck of tarot cards to try and strengthen my intuition and possible gifts, any suggestions on a deck or advice about what’s to come?

  5. Hi I am new to this, my daughter has got me interested in oracle cards. I want to purchase a deck I just don’t no which one to buy as a beginners deck. If you can help me I would love it.

  6. Thank you so much for this interesting article. I have just come from a reading which has left me so overcome. He suggested tarot oracle reading to me as a future or start a dating agency. I wasn’t sure what oracle was – I have heard of Angel cards though.

    He only used the tarot at the end. He has many wonderful skills and is a genuine Direct channellor clairvoyant and much more. He was so helpful in my current turmoil.

  7. Actually, there is an even bigger difference and there *is* a set of rules for Oracle reading, although they are much more open than Tarot.
    Biggest difference: if you have a true oracle deck you will find this first rule- do NOT and I repeat, do NOT ask it to tell you anything about the future. Any deck, Tarot or Oracle can NOT tell you the future, as the future has endless possibilities to it. The most probable outcome to a situation based on continuing the same path and set of choices is only semi-predictable due to free will.
    Secondly, an Oracle deck is meant to give advice. Unlike a Tarot deck, the reason they are easier to read is that the one using them is supposed to view each and every card and define them on their own. No one else can define the meaning of a card for every single person. Decks are supposed too call to the reader- a sort of communion and not a master-slave style basis of ‘read how someone else felt when they defined these cards’. So while you will find the designers thoughts on the meanings, it is advised for you to know and define your deck on your own. In fact the deck I had suggested doing this 3 to 4 times a year as our emotional links to the cards, and therefore their meaning changes as we do.
    It takes A LOT of work to read either kind. Neither easier than the other- though me personally? I have a severe aversion to Tarot because so many people abused the Tarot over the years asking for information on the future when it cannot be told. Only possibilities, not full and final absolutes.
    Once Oracles started getting popular though, the mis-informed carried that practice to Oracle decks. I still refuse to “read futures” for anyone. I tell them the best results are ‘yes’, ‘no’, and ‘maybe’ questions of advice, that more than that can often get confusing for those who do not understand the cards. Often they are good to learn about current events, past events, and advice for how to react to those events that are most likely to get the best resolutions. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Iason,

      I am in agreement with you. Especially, the following statement; β€œIt takes A LOT of work to read either kind. Neither easier than the other- though me personally? I have a severe aversion to Tarot because so many people abused the Tarot over the years asking for information in the future when it cannot be told. Only possibilities, not full and final absolutes.” Unfortunately, I feel most of us, meaning human beings have become lazy about taking responsibility for our lives and well-being. We want someone to give us the easy answers. It’s why I use ONLY oracle cards and specifically “angel oracle cards” because my readings are more guidance and messages rather than prediction of future life events.
      Thank you for explaining what I have always known. As one who gives spiritual guidance and messages to others, explaining to folks that, the magic, they are seeking is their hands is a hard sell. There are numerous β€œreaders” just wanting to be popular, so they are focused on being predictive rather than authentically wishing to coach and guide people.

    2. Iason, I totally agree! Some great points here. I have never found Tarot to be great at predicting the future and I almost feel as though we are insulting our cards just a little when we ask too many future-based questions. The Tarot is wonderful for helping us discover things about ourselves and in my opinion this is much more valuable than knowing the future, although most people might disagree with me on that one!
      thank you so much for your comment πŸ™‚

    3. The angel Oracle cards I just bought actually came with a booklet that gave explanations for every card. It also said NOT to ask yes or no questions. I am getting alot out of them and love this deck. Is it possible that amongst angel Oracle cards there are different directions for different types?

  8. Uncle Squinty

    One of the best I’ve used is called “Gong Hee Fot Choy,” and it uses a common deck of playing cards. Results from readings are often uncanny. I think it comes down to what cards/system you are most comfortable with. I read Tarot before I lost my eyesight and am now seeking a way to continue with the cards. I have had terribly confused outcomes with LeNormand decks, but other oracle decks have yieleded satisfactory readings. I really think it comes down to personal preference.

  9. Hello my mother has been doing tarot longer than I can remember and she showed me how to read the cards and I’ve been doing tarot off and on for a few years now. Recently I have obtained a new deck that I don’t care for, (not to mention it’s missing a few cards) when I do a reading for my self it usually makes sense but when I do one for someone else it’s all jumbled. Probably because of the missing cards. Anyways I was looking on eBay for cards and came across Oracle cards. Now I had never heard of Oracle cards before but I found this vampire Oracle deck that I absolutely desire http://m.ebay.com/itm/Les-Vampires-Oracle-Deck-/172106462836?nav=SEARCH what do you think about this deck? Or do you know of a tarot deck with similar theam or art?

    1. Hey Ricky,
      I know this deck and I think this artist has done at least a couple other decks that are similar. Lucy Cavendish has a couple decks like this one. If you do a search for her name you’ll see them. Anyhow, I say go with a deck you resonate with! Don’t use a deck that’s missing cards though. Get yourself a deck that has all the cards intact. Good luck!

    2. Hi, Ricky.
      I recently read that you should have two separate decks if you read for others. Your own deck needs to be reserved for only you, not the energy of others. Cleanse the cards first with salt or a sage smudging, or leave them out in the moonlight for a few hours (bring them in before morning so they don’t get wet with dew). Hope this helps!

  10. hey, so i really like your article and my friend has tarot cards but whenever she uses them on me she has some wierd outcomes becuse her cards are or guidence and alost every card ive ever gotten was about not going further. i believe it has something to do with the fat that im naturally clairvoyant. So i was wondering if it would be better if i got oracle or tarot cards for my clairvoant side but i also get preminisions so any insight on what type of cards i should get would e great.
    Thank you,

  11. Hi! so I’ve been interested in tarot cards for a while and have been wanting to learn. however, I just found a set of oracle cards that were pretty cheap and am wondering if I should get them for practice. is this a good idea or should I jump right into tarot? I kind of feel like oracle cards are a little bit of a cheat (even though I am sure this isn’t the case at all). would starting with oracle cards help me learn tarot quicker?

    1. Hi jamie,
      I love both Tarot and oracle cards. I started by learning tarot and then got oracle cards much later. I don’t really think oracle cards would help you learn tarot at all. They would help you learn to tap into your intuition, which would help you in Tarot, but that’s about it. However, some oracle decks are kind of similar in themes and imagery to tarot decks, so I guess it would depend on what deck you got. If you really want to learn tarot, then get a tarot deck. Getting an oracle deck certainly won’t hurt, and in some ways its easier to use oracle cards than Tarot so they’re very beginner friendly in that way. But if your heart is saying “Tarot” then go for it!

  12. Hello! I found your article very insightful, but I have a couple questions. For one, when you do oracle cards, is it the same layout as tarot? And my second question is, I used to do tarot, my mother did tarot and my aunt does tarot. My mother passed away in 2004 and I inherited her cards, slept with them under my pillow and made them my own. Unfortunately, my mother had many negative readings, even when trying to make positive light of them and it foretold her unfortunate outcome. I ended up burning her cards due to the negativity I felt still within them. With that being said, I am ready to get back into it. My intuition, holistic and spiritual abilities have grown dramatically. I really enjoy the depth of tarot cards and have never used oracle cards but the negative pictures really tend to have a negative energy on me (even though we know that the meanings aren’t necessarily negative). Is there a cross between? Is there a set of tarot cards that don’t have such negative imagery or are there oracle cards that go more in depth? Thank you in advance and God Bless!

    1. Hi Carrie,
      Yes, there is a cross between oracle and Tarot cards – I find Doreen Virtue’s Tarot decks are very similar to oracle cards but with some traditional tarot symbols. I would recommend you check out her Angel Tarot: https://daily-tarot-girl.com/tarot-deck-reviews/angel-tarot-cards-review/
      The Angel Tarot is very positive and their aren’t any “negative” cards really, so they may be a good place for you to start. And the layouts are the same regardless if you’re using Tarot or Oracle cards. That’s wonderful that you’re feeling called to get back to the cards again, Carrie – good luck on your journey πŸ™‚


  13. Christian Mitchell

    Hi Kate
    After six months of watching and your weekly Oracle and Tarot readings, I finally dived in and took the plunge. I purchased the Dolphins and Mermaids deck which you used in your reading the last week.
    After consecrating the cards, and doing my very first reading, the first card that came up was the one that jumped out at me from your last forecast.. amazing!

  14. Great article Kate! πŸ™‚
    I love cards! I’ve already made 11 different sets (oracle and positive messages).
    I just finished 22 new pictures and you’ve inspired me; I’m going to try making them a tarot set!
    Thanks πŸ™‚

    1. That’s fantastic, Jenny!!! Have you published them? Or do you make the sets just for your own personal use?
      I’m thrilled that I’ve inspired you πŸ™‚

  15. Brenna Ètìan

    Love the article . Looking for way to explain to my daughter who is just starting her training in Tarot. This was great.

    1. Thank you so much! I’m so glad this helped you explain this concept to your daughter πŸ™‚ I wish her the best of luck with her Tarot studies.

  16. Hello Kate,
    I am a Beginner and willing to learn either tarots or oracle cards. was thinking to buy tarot cards but then someone told it requires attunment for reading. and Some say oracle cards are easy to understand and read. COnfused about what to do !!

    1. Hi Nikesh,
      You don’t have to be “attuned” to read Tarot. Maybe whoever told you that got Tarot confused with Reiki? Reiki is an energetic healing art that requires you to be attuned by a Reiki Master. Anyhow, you can learn Tarot reading on your own or in a class and you don’t need to be psychic or anything like that. Oracle cards can be easier to learn in some ways – typically there are less cards and the meanings are written right on the cards. If Tarot intimidates you, you can try an oracle deck first to get your feet wet.
      Good luck πŸ™‚

  17. Hiee Kate,

    I am just a beginner and understanding the difference was quiet confusing for me, but what you have explained above and the way you have explained it is really a big help. They are seriously very simple and meaningful. Just Love you for this.
    I am very much impressed and would love to read more about your insights and thoughts. Please do write more, i will be waiting…..

  18. Hey Kate!!! You don’t know me lol but about a few months back or so I came across one of your blogs and have been extremely, uncontrollably, fanatically, OBSESSED… *(O.o)* ewww hahaha ok so maybe not THAT obsessed lol I understand there’s boundaries hahaha πŸ˜‰ BUT… I am VERY happy with all of the things you have wrote so far, everything has been VERY insightful and VERY good at offering different activities or solutions to everything involving the TAROT… Whether someone is *new* like me or sees TAROT as a long time *friend*… (don’t get me wrong lolz tarot is my friend haha just a little *new* that’s all…) Your blog posts are GREAT~!!!

    Also!!! Quick question!!! Im looking into a Tarot Learning Activity book to help me learn better… Would love to know your thoughts or recommendations if any! lol I like mixing different ways to learn hahaha… And while I may currently struggle with the tarot I actually excel at the oracle… Do you know of any tips if I am looking to help others by offering a simple reading or something and was thinking to only charge $5…? Have you ever done this before?

    I’m pretty masculine… so I am an intimidating man to others sometimes when they look at me hahaha… but I’m also gay and grew up in a Mormon religious household and went on a mission. It was in losing all of my connections and all of my friends within the mormon church after coming out as gay that I then felt like I had no foundation… That I was lost… And it was during that time when I felt hurt and angry at god and at the mormon religion that I found myself finally able to open myself up through the cards…

    I used the readings towards myself as a jump start back into reality and did everything in my power to put my life back in order. I lost everything… the mormon church voided my acceptance to BYU Hawaii and voided my scholarship leaving me with nothing to do but return home to my parents empty… But I picked up the pieces and made my path another way… My current path might not be the most glamorous or appealing as the other, lol, but it is one filled with hard work and self made opportunities…

    Nothing was handed to me this time… This time I made all the choices and I made sure I didnt put myself in a situation in which I had to depend on others for my success. It was my own style forging my own way… And self reflection and advice through card reading really gave me that opportunity I needed to give myself that final nudge… So there really is so much I would like to do for other people when it comes to wanting to offer others a chance for a reading…

    Who knows, maybe it will allow them to be given a little nudge in a direction that they choose… And maybe that choice will have a ripple effect on the lives of others like how my choice and my experiences have slowly found myself to you… πŸ˜‰ I can’t wait to show others the power they can create within themselves and the opportunities that are always waiting for them!!!~

    Love Evan

    1. Evan!
      Thank you so much for sending me this heartfelt letter πŸ™‚ Wow!
      First of all, I am so pleased that my site has been an inspiration for you – that is so nice for me to hear and keeps me motivated about writing more articles and making videos. So thank you!!!

      Your experience of coming out in the Mormon church sounds very harrowing – I’m glad you were able to get through it and to a much better place in your life. I bet you could write a fascinating book about all of it. Forging your own way isn’t easy…at all! And while I haven’t had an experience as intense as yours, I know that standing on your own two feet and making your own decisions can feel terrifying – even within a supportive family/environment, let alone a non-supportive one!
      I think it’s wonderful that you want to help others via your Tarot cards. I highly recommend Tarot for Your Self by Mary K Greer: http://amzn.to/1LpFhQ5 – that’s a fantastic workbook with lots of Tarot exercises and it’s probably the most helpful book in terms of deepening your understanding and experience of Tarot.
      As for tips on giving helpful readings to others, I am thinking of doing a free webinar on that topic very soon…so stay tuned!
      Best of luck on your Tarot journey – keep me posted πŸ™‚

    2. Hi Evan,
      I was just on this site and, read your post. I just loved it. I love your enthusiasm. Did you ever get into readings for others? I too am interested in doing that.
      OBTY.. I got out of the Mormon church also… not because I am gay. But, I just do not believe it. It was very difficult too.. Perhaps different than your experience.. But, I too was mad at God.. Had to find my own way.. Good luck and, God Bless you.. Thank you for sharing it warmed my heart. In Love, Rita

      1. Hi Rita, just saw your comment here after reading Evan’s…just happened upon this website as I am interested in Oracle cards and then saw that we have something in common as I too, left the LDS church and am always drawn towards stories of others who have left. Just wanted to say Hi!! And say thank you for being you!

    3. Evan, thank you for sharing your experience. I too left the Mormon Church(and am a returned missionary) and just want you to know that you are loved and seen. There are so many of us that have left, whether Gay or not… .Its a really difficult path, spiritually and culturally, leaving it behind.. but so rewarding as we really have the opportunity to ask ourselves, what do I really believe? what do I really feel? And although the uncertainty can be really scary and overwhelming at times, whatever you create will be yours…and no one else’s story or belief. Take care of you

  19. Hay I but shape shifting oracle cards all the answers the give me was spot on and the ones I read for my friends also I think our gides gide us when reading cards that’s why we get the answers we need not want blessing pagan of the moon

  20. Hi
    I am very eager to learn card reading.please guide me for which should I go for Tarot card or oracle cards?
    Thank u

  21. So the way I’m seeing it is that the Tarot is more like catholic religion. Strict rules, all our ducks in a row and if you miss a Sunday your doomed. Oracle cards are non denominational but still with a higher power in mind. I prefer oracle cards. they seem more relaxing and less intimidating. :>

    1. That’s a great analogy, Julia! I find that the longer I work with Tarot, the more I bend the rules – and I’m sure there’s plenty of Catholics who do the same πŸ˜‰ So I don’t actually find it to be as rigid as I make it out to be in this article. But yes, Oracle cards do feel more free sometimes.

  22. I personally prefer oracle cards. Maybe it’s because I’ve never had anyone to sit down and teach me how to use tarot, but I’ve never been able to wrap my head around them. Oracle cards are also more in line with how I think since they’re so vague. But of the few readings I’ve done, I always completely get what my cards are telling me. I feel like I might get a bit confined if I were to try Tarot.

    1. I completely understand what you’re saying here, Odile – the beauty of Oracle cards is that they aren’t too specific, so they leave a lot open to interpretation, letting your intuition do the work πŸ™‚

  23. I much, much prefer tarot to oracle cards. They’re more organized – and I find that makes me more creative and intuitive when reading. Like how a good creative writing or improv prompt will have limitations on it – learning how to create within and around limits is often easier than being handed a blank canvas. Structure makes it easier to fill in the gaps, instead of having to imagine a story out of nothing

  24. Ur contrasting between the two types of dexks was genius. I fit them both i loveeed the line about oracles cards are like the sister making pottery while high!!! I hardly ever comment on blogs but that was just so worth it haha. Im both a tarot n oracle personality but for spiritual reasons…so far i go with oracle. But i used to be a hard core taroter in the day.

  25. Hello Kate, I recently had a reading done and was told that I had a strong intuition and that I have always followed it and was recommended about oracle cards, this is all new to me. I am highly considering it, but I don’t know what kind of deck is perfect to start with? Please help, thanks.

    1. Hi Alexandra,
      That’s so exciting that you are about to get your first oracle deck πŸ™‚ What deck you will enjoy depends on your personality – you can have a look at my deck reviews page: https://daily-tarot-girl.com/tarot-deck-reviews/ – If you scroll partway down the page I have reviewed a few oracle decks and you can get a feel for these decks to see if they are for you. I like Doreen Virtues oracle decks – they are beautiful, easy to use and perfect for beginners. Lucy Cavendish also makes fantastic oracle decks – just google her and you’ll see what I mean.
      Good luck and let me know what deck you decide on!

  26. nice article thanks-i like my oracle cards and am just now ready to graduate to tarot,now where do i find veronica

  27. This article really helped!
    I bought Oracle cards thinking they were Tarot cards and I was very disappointed when I opened them, not knowing the difference.
    Now that I know the difference I have found reading Oracle easier then Tarot, though I prefer Tarot I find that if I started with Oracle, Tarot would of been easier all along!
    Thank you for the wonderful article!!!

  28. Hello,
    I use Oracle cards as I find them to be more gentle in their messages. That’s not saying the readings are all softness and goodness, but I receive information in a way (pictures/words/thoughts) that’s easier for the client to accept. I don’t usually use the books either (or very seldom), as I’m more of an intuitive reader. I will also pick from more than one deck if I feel drawn to do so.
    I have 11 decks that I use for clients (and myslef if drawn to do so) and 2 decks that I only use for myself.

  29. I am new at useing cards but I like oracle cards more because they feel and look more comfy and easyer to use and it feels like you bound with them but tarot cards are good to my uncle used them I have the Dream oracle cards and I love them

  30. Hi!
    I am trying to educate myself on tarot and oracle reading, and am interested in learning how to do both. Does one need to be clairvoyant in any way in order to do this? I have always been very open, but certainly not psychic in any way (even though I wish I was!) sorry if this is a silly question. I just don’t know if this reading skill is something the “average” person can do. Thank you!

    1. Hi Greta,
      You will be happy to know that you don’t need to be psychic in order to read Tarot or Oracle cards. I found that when I started reading Tarot, that I became interested in developing my psychic skills, so it really opened some doors for me, but you don’t need to be psychic to be a good reader. However, we are all psychic to some degree and so I think you will find that once you start reading the cards that you will surprise yourself with how much intuitive ability you do have. This is a really good question, though. But yes, even the “average” person can learn Tarot and be good at it!

      Happy Tarot reading,

  31. Hey there,
    I understand from reading these posts that tarot is the most preferred way… I just bought The Daemon Tarot (which are actually oracle cards) before I did too much research. When I went to the store I held all of the tarot/oracle books etc and THIS ONE was the one that pulled all of my vibes and energy. I needed that one… why do you think that is if tarot is more of the preferred choice? My first reading to myself & my boyfriend was enlightening and confirming for me… For him it was dead on about his fear. I feel these cards are very powerful & have hardly used them yet.
    Couldn’t it be possible to see & feel to the extent of tarot thru my deck? (Is any of my ramblings even making sense?)
    D. Close

    1. Hi Deana,
      That’s great that you have such a strong feeling with this deck. I don’t think it matters if your deck is a Tarot or Oracle – if you feel connected to it, that is what counts. I don’t know if I answered your question or not, but if your readings feel good with this deck, then I wouldn’t worry that its an oracle deck and not Tarot.

  32. Highland Hedgewitch

    Hi Kate, I was just wondering, I read somewhere that you were not suppose to give oracle card readings for others? Not even sure why….I can’t see the problem with that myself….
    Wondered what your take on it was.

    1. That’s weird! I haven’t heard that one before. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with giving Oracle readings to others. Maybe whoever said that meant that Oracle cards were meant more for self reflection rather than reading other people?

  33. I use both. I have several tarot decks and only one oracle deck at the moment (Gateway Oracle Deck by Denise Linn). I do a weekly oracle card reading and it sets my week up in a positive way. I like oracle/angel cards because of their uplifting and positive messages. I use tarot for daily draws and specific questions. I find that oracle cards are like warm and fuzzy friends who try to encourage you, while tarot cards are the friends who keep it real and can offer the hard, cold truth even when you don’t want to hear it!

    1. Absolutely! That’s a great way of looking at it – Tarot and Oracle decks do have distinct personalities and it just depends what you feel like – do you want honest (but possibly hurtful) advice? Or do you want to be comforted?

  34. I liked your analogies for both types of cards. My answer for the favorites question would be like your analogies. ‘The classics are always nice because thats where the creators of the spin-offs get their own ideas from.’ Meaning they both have ups and downs. But classics are worth ‘reading.’ Hope that made sense. Nice article.

  35. Hi Kate,
    haven’t worked a lot with Oracle cards as I love the Tarot so much!

    Thinking about it, your analogies to books and characters is so spot on and maybe telling me to lighten up a bit and play with the oracle cards instead of being so intense—
    Thanks as always. love your posts.

  36. Hi!

    This post is amazing. I’m just inspired, interested, engaged both as a taro-ist and as a writer to see how you differentiate. I especially love (LOVEEEEEEE!) the analogies to different kinds of books and types of people. Fantastic.

    You are a rock star!

  37. Hey Kate, love your all articles. They are like nuts and snacks – small, light, simple and addictive! Love getting your newsletter everyday πŸ˜€

    I do not think I CAN read Tarot right now. If anyone asks for a reading, I first try to make them change their mind.
    In any case I do lots of readings when I’m on my own with imaginative people or stars or about stars and thing on the papers. It’s called “learn while comparing”. So I love Tarot but it’s “difficult”. You’re right about the “intuitive muscles”.

    I just have some oracle cards and I think oracle can be good to sometimes sum up a Tarot reading or get a divine advice from an ascended master. Oracles are easier and, I think, better when use less often than Tarot. One phrase can be worth working on for a month or more!

    So I like both but Tarot the most!

    1. Thanks for weighing in here, Aina – I also sometimes feel that Oracle cards, especially angel cards seem like messages from the divine. I am curious why you don’t feel like reading Tarot lately? I get that way sometimes too, if it feels like whoever I am reading for has really heavy questions and they see the Tarot reading as “the answer” to their problems.
      Thanks for the compliment – I am very delighted that my posts are addictive!! πŸ™‚

  38. I like both. If I want to have more depth, more clarification on an issue, or on a special situation, I use Tarot. But for example for daily advice I think, Oracle decks are excellent.

  39. I like both type of decks. For me oracle decks are like sweet candy. They taste yummy; I can’t get enough of them, but in the end they donΒ΄t sustain me long enough. Tarot decks are more like whole wheat bread. Sometimes hard to chew on but o so nourishing. You never grow tired of bread. Lately I tend to stick more with tarot, because you can always learn more about the decks you already have. I have noticed that with oracle decks I am like a sugar addict: I want more of them; I like de pictures of almost every new deck that is published, but in the end they wind up on the shelf while I am playing with my tarot cards.

    1. Ellen–

      I’m in complete agreement with you on every point! I’ve finally had to make myself stop buying oracle decks (but not tarot decks!) for just that reason.


    2. Ellen – wow, you summed it up well – I feel very similar to you in that I feel like I absolutely have to have every new oracle deck that comes out, but often the cards really don’t have the depth that Tarot has. So many oracle decks feel like just a pretty picture and a positive message. Fun and happy, but like cotton candy, doesn’t keep you satisfied very long. By the way, I love your food analogies!!!!

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