Oracle Readings vs Tarot
By Keen Editorial Staff

Both oracle and tarot cards are used as tools of divination, but they can be interpreted differently. The specific guidance you are seeking will determine which deck you should use. Each deck has a different number of cards, symbols, meanings and methods of interpretation. 

You must first get clear as to what you will be asking and the goal of the reading before choosing the right set of cards for you. By the end of this article, you will be able to recognize what you are truly looking to get out of your personal readings, how much time you want to commit to your cards, and which deck provides you with the best outcome for your unique needs.

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Tarot Cards vs. Oracle Cards: What’s the Difference?

Tarot cards are a 78-card deck used for divination, specifically for answering questions, seeking guidance, and providing insight into the past, present, and future. The readings are done by choosing a selection of cards, laying them out in a predetermined spread, and interpreting the cards within the layout. 

Each card has its own symbol, image, name, and number. When read all the way through in chronological order, all 78 cards tell a story from start to finish. The traditional meanings of tarot cards stay the same and the various spreads are consistent and structured, too.

An oracle deck  is different and  does not follow the same rules. In fact, they don’t follow any rules at all! Oracle decks vary in theme, meaning, and number. There is no structure to an oracle deck because the intent is to allow the reader to create their own meaning and sharpen their intuition. Many oracle cards have quotes on them to encourage a practice of self-love, personal analysis, hidden truths, mental blocks, behavior patterns, and a better understanding of self.

Would an Oracle Deck Be Best for Me?

An oracle deck is best if you are more interested in using the cards as a general guidance system. This deck is great for people who have limited time and only want to pull a card or two a day instead of a full tarot spread, which can get lengthy. 

Oracle cards tend to be great tools to incorporate into daily meditation, journaling, or prayer practices. This deck is perfect for someone who is more interested in personal development as opposed to a clear-cut question and answer read. 

If you consider yourself a big picture person, the oracle is the way to go. Oracle cards hold intense energy and will allow for a more personal translation. They can be based on your own personal exploration and can more easily cater to your unique needs. Also, oracle decks have a tendency to be more positive than tarot cards, so choosing which deck based on your current mood and what you need is totally ok. 

Is One Type of Deck Better Than Another?

No, one type of deck is not better than the other. They are both effective in providing you with spiritual guidance and insight. Tarot decks are more structured and specific and use a definitive symbol and number system. If you want a detailed and clear answer to a question, then tarot will prove most helpful. 

Oracle decks are very broad and open to interpretation by mainly using imagery and inspirational quotes. They are both equally popular and yield different, but effective results. Many people use them interchangeably. 

It all comes down to who you are as an individual and your personal preferences. Practice with both types of decks for a while to get a feel for which one is speaking to you most clearly and powerfully.

Which Deck Should I Use?

It depends on what you want to know. If you are seeking a very specific answer, such as a yes or no, or a clear direction into a future endeavor, go with the tarot. Tarot cards are meant as a tool that produces more concise, pointed messages. They are the better choice if you’re faced with a decision. 

If you are in a “free-flowing” kind of mood and are looking for more of an energetic read to the day or broad questions, the oracle deck is the best choice! Oracle cards are most useful during prayer or meditation when you want an overall feel of a situation, not a black or white answer.

 Unlike a full tarot spread, an oracle reading can consist of only one card. So, time can help you make a decision as well. If you have a few minutes, pull one oracle card and ponder the message. If you’re on a long lunch break, bust out your tarot deck and get deep into your inquiries. 

It’s a day-to-day decision that can only be made by you and your current circumstances.

Can I Use Tarot and Oracle Cards Together?

Absolutely! In fact, it’s highly recommended! The more cards you have at your disposal to assist you in gaining the insight you’re looking for, the better. 

You can do a complete tarot reading for yourself and pull a couple oracle cards as clarification. Or you can pull an oracle card to meditate on a general message of the day and follow it up with a tarot card if you have a yes or no question about the oracle read.

It’s fun, easy and you can personalize your readings accordingly. Combining the power of both tarot and oracle cards will provide you with a truly powerful and unique story.

As you can see, there is no right or wrong way to use the cards. It’s a matter of personal preference and your unique purpose for using them in the first place. Only you can decide how you want to use these timeless tools of divination. And why choose between decks when you can mix and match both to your satisfaction? You can also enhance your own readings by using magical tools such as runes, crystals, sage, pendulums, and candles, too! We hope this article provided you with enough information to make your choice an easy one. If you are still looking for some professional guidance, we are here for you.

Curious about card readings? Book a reading with a trusted Keen psychic.

Keen Editorial Staff
Keen's Editorial Staff is made up of world-class writers, astrologers, psychics, and advisors with diverse experience and spiritual sensitivity. 

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