While they are both divination cards used for insight, personal growth, clarity and perspective, there is actually a difference between the two types of cards.
They are both structured differently: Tarot cards traditionally have their own set of rules, while oracle cards are free-form and don’t follow any traditional structure.
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The Tarot Card Structure
A standard tarot deck has 78 cards. (Although there are some tarot decks that have 44 or 80 cards.)
The standard tarot deck is made up of 22 Major Arcana cards that range from 0 being The Fool card to 21 being The World card.
This is followed by the Minor Arcana cards. The minor arcana is made up of 56 cards with four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, Pentacles.
Each suit in numbered 1(often referred to as the ace) to 10, followed by four court cards: The Page, The Knight, The Queen and The King.
Some tarot decks make their own names for the suits, or change the name of some of the court cards. These cards follow the traditional structure of tarot, and have the same meanings.
The Oracle Card Structure
An oracle deck doesn’t have a set amount of cards. Some decks may have 14 cards , 60 cards or more.
The oracle deck follows it’s own structure and each card has it’s own set of rules.
Some may have a bit of the tarot them in the imagery, but most do not.
You don’t usually see oracle cards having suits, but many are numbered (as a reference to the guidance book for the deck).
Most oracle decks have the meanings written on each card.
Which type of card deck is the best?
There is no, ‘one is better than the other’ when it comes to choosing an oracle deck, or a tarot deck. Just choose the deck that resonates with you.
Tarot cards can take a while to learn as the information they contain is very in-depth.
Oracle cards are easier to learn than tarot cards as most decks have the meaning written on each card. For this reason the oracle decks are popular for those that are new to card reading.