What is the difference between tarot and oracle?

For starters, a standard tarot deck has an average of 78 cards where as oracle has an average of 45.  Tarot’s 78 cards are divided into the Major Arcana which are archetype cards and the Minor Arcana.  The Minor Arcana are similar to a deck of regular playing cards.  There are four suits with number and face cards.  Each suit represents a different area of life.

Usually a booklet is included with the tarot deck that gives you a general idea of what the card means; however, many full length books have been written on tarot card meanings.

You must learn the meanings of the cards and what all the cards mean if they appear upside down in a reading!  With 78 cards, that is a lot of memorizing to do.  I have immense respect for those who learn the tarot.  It is truly an art.

Oracle is much easier to learn.  Oracles traditionally have a word or a phrase on each card that gives you the general feel for the meaning.  Like the tarot, there is a booklet included that expands on the card meaning, but many times that word or phrase will kick off your own intuition.  Most find it unnecessary to look up the meanings after the first few readings.

Also, if a card appears upside down in an oracle reading, it usually means the opposite of what is printed on the card and is an area that requires your attention.  You have a block or a weakness in this area that needs to be addressed.

For instance, if you draw a card that says ‘Intuition’ and it is upside down, this means you are not using your intuition.  It is blocked.

Although both types are used for essentially the same thing, tarot has a negative connotation for many people.  It is a sad fact that many people are afraid of tarot.  It is much easier to swallow getting ‘advice’ from an angel or an animal deck then from tarot.

Is one better than the other?  I don’t think so.  I own and use both types.  They are both wonderful tools.  It comes down to personal preference.

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