High level difference between Tarot and Oracle cards.
To begin with, they are structured quite differently. The tarot follows its own set of rules, which were laid out around the fifteenth century. Oracle decks came into popularity in Europe during the early 1900s and the artists of these cards are free to play with their creativity.
Tarot cards come as a traditionally structured deck with a few more rules, whereas Oracle cards have fewer to no rules, at least not the same for every deck.
One big difference between Tarot and Oracle Cards is that the latter are considered easier to learn. The Tarot requires a certain level of study and knowledge prior to the practice of reading.
There’s a historic difference between Tarot and Oracle cards.
As mentioned before, the Tarot has ancient roots whereas Oracle Decks are relatively recent. In fact, Tarot is ancient if compared with modern Oracle cards, as it dates back to 15th century Italy.
Oracle cards, on the other hand, can be traced back to 19th century France, with the first deck believed to have been developed by Madame Lenormand. Besides, Oracle decks as we see / use them today gained popularity in Europe during the early 1900s.
An Overview of the differences between Tarot and Oracle cards.
The main difference between Tarot and Oracle cards is that the former have a traditional structure to the deck and common meanings. There are usually around 78 cards and most decks are Rider-Waite derivatives. Anyway, they share common themes across those different decks.
The images and the pictures might be completely different, but often the messaging behind that card is very similar. So with Tarot cards, there is a common theme that runs through most cards, whereas Oracle cards have no common theme.
Oracle decks do not have a set number of cards: they can be anywhere between 12 and 100.
There are hundreds of oracle decks now available, each with its own theme and focus. Which is a very distinct difference between Tarot and Oracle cards. They can feature almost any kind of content: they are structured independently and each follows its own set of rules. Some have the meaning of the card printed on them.
Their users – beginners or experienced alike – can refer to the guidebook that comes with each deck for information on the interpretation of the cards. Buyers are encouraged to use your intuition to choose the deck they feel particularly drawn to.
Collecting decks over time also pays off, as you’ll pick a specific deck depending upon your current mood and circumstances or those of the person you are reading for.
Is one better than the other?
The plain answer is ‘no’. The difference between Tarot and Oracle cards regards specific aspects – the ones covered so far – but it doesn’t make one better than the other.
It boils down to which type works best for you and which brings out the best of your reading skills. Some like to use just the Tarot or the Oracle whereas other readers like to use both within the same reading.
Anyway, both types are used for insight, perspective, clarity, personal growth, inspiration, coaching, and divination.
As explained above, readers have much more freedom to tap into intuition when reading from an Oracle deck. Which leaves room for many layers of interpretation. The Tarot and its strict rules, on the other hand, offers a depth of detail that cannot be usually reached with the Oracle.
Conversely, it is common practice to add an Oracle spread to validate or amplify the messages received at first with a Tarot reading.
To sum up
Yes, there is a difference between Tarot and Oracle cards and it pertains to structure, history, type of reading each allows to obtain.
However, either one is valid if it resonates with the values, skills, and intuition of a reader.
If you are just starting out, Oracle cards may be the best choice as they require little to no study and knowledge. However, with the Tarot you will be able to dive deeper and provide a different level of detail.