Oracle cards v Tarot - what's the difference?

Tarot Card Structure

A tarot deck contains 78 cards and is divided into two parts: the major and minor arcana.

The 22 major arcana cards represent major life events, turning points or upcoming challenges.

The 56 remaining minor arcana cards are further divided into four suits -- swords, cups, wands and pentacles.

Swords - intellectual self | Cups - emotional self | Wands - spiritual self | Pentacles - physical self

Each of the suits contains cards numbered from Ace to 10, followed by court cards. The court cards (king, queen, page), from all four suits are known as the court arcana.

The suits in the minor arcana refer to the lesser events of every day life and are also linked with different elements.

Every card in the tarot deck except the court arcana is associated with a number, with Ace counted as one. These numbers are based on the principles of

numerology and represent a material and spiritual evolutionary process that begins with one and ends with nine; one signifying the beginning of a new cycle.

What are oracle cards?

Oracle cards are essentially a modern version of tarot cards, both of which are great divination tools. They help you gain insight from deep within and provide clarity to assist on your path.

The cards are also an excellent channel to receive spiritual guidance from heaven, loved ones who have passed and your spirit guides.

They differ from tarot cards, as they don’t necessarily follow the same traditional suits, spreads, numerological, symbology and elemental associations as the tarot. This makes oracle cards in a lot of ways less intimidating than the tarot as you don’t need to learn specific ‘rules’ about each suit and their relevant meanings.

Most makers of oracle cards are intuitively guided to create each card in their deck. Generally a card will have a title, which represents its theme or key message, for example ‘trust yourself’, ‘receiving’, or ‘patience’, and an accompanying image that expresses and helps to deliver the card’s key message.

The beautiful paintings, illustrations and graphic design work are creative masterpieces and form a large part of the intrigue.

The majority of oracle cards come with a small guidebook that provides a more detailed meaning about each card. This is also another plus of this modern divination tool; if you’re still fine tuning your intuitive faculties, you can always refer to the guide book and you don’t have to memorise each card’s meaning.

When you use the cards regularly however, you will rely less on your guidebook and more on your own intuition. Messages and insight will be obtained from subtle smells and sound, flashes of imagery that come through your mind’s eye, and eventually your own knowing.

In summary, it’s an easy way to get started on your journey to self-discovery.

Learn more at our Oracle Cards 101 Workshop.

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