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Tarot & Oracle Card Readings

What is the Difference between Tarot & Oracle Cards?

At a really high level, Tarot cards come as a traditionally structured deck, they are a fixed system. That means it has a strong tradition and is meant to have a specific reliable structure. There are a few more rules when it comes to Tarot than there are with Oracle cards.

Oracle cards are really free-flowing – and they can feature almost any kind of content. Tarot has 78 cards, that will always be split into 22 major arcana cards, and 56 minor cards. With Oracle cards, on the other hand, there is no set number of cards. You can have a deck with 12 cards, 100 cards, or anything in between.

Tarot cards have a traditional structure to the deck and common meanings. Most decks are Rider-Waite derivatives, and 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.

Energetically, Oracle cards hold a lot of ‘big’ energy. They give insight into the greater sense of what is going on, but Tarot cards can provide more detailed interpretations.

I like to think of Tarot cards as the pages inside a book. When you’re doing a reading with Tarot cards, it’s like a storybook, and each of those cards is like a page in that storybook. With the Oracle cards, on the other hand, it’s more like the whole book or a chapter of the book.

Here’s the Comparison Between Tarot and Oracle Cards:


  • Tarot= Always has 78 cards (except Osho Zen – he added himself).
  • Major Arcana = 22 cards that relate to Major Events and Life-Pivoting events.
  • Minor Arcana = 56 cards composed of the Page, Knight, Queen, and King. These are known as the Court Cards. Then, there are the Ace through 10 cards, also known as the Pip Cards.
  • The Tarot is divided into suits: Wands, Swords, Cups, and Pentacles.

Oracle Cards

  • Oracle decks are structured independently and each follows it’s own set of rules.
  • They may have any number of cards usually between 36 and 100.
  • Rarely have suits, although they are often numbered for guidebook reference.
  • Some have a bit of a tarot theme while others do not.
  • Some have the meaning of the card printed on them.
  • Novices refer to guidebooks for information and in many cases; it is acceptable for professional readers as well.
So which ones should you choose?

Tarot Cards: Best for those who feel like they need all the details, that want to really delve into divination and be able to fully connect with their subconscious and inner selves.

Oracle Cards: Best for absolute spiritual beginners who just want a simple and easy way to give themselves goals or affirmations for the day, week, month or year.

Is One Better than the Other?

No – ultimately it’s up to the reader to choose what feels right. I personally like to combine both types of cards in my personal and professional readings.

How To Use Tarot & Oracle Cards Together

I love using Tarot and Oracle cards together. Here are two of my favorite ways to use them together:

  1. At the start of a reading, draw an Oracle card to understand the general theme or feeling that is influencing the situation. What’s the surrounding energy? Then, do the Tarot reading with multiple cards to get the full picture. Also, look for the Oracle card’s theme in the Tarot reading – you’ll often find the Tarot cards explain in more detail what’s going on.
  2. At the end of a Tarot reading, draw an Oracle card to understand the underlying theme, or to give advice and recommendations, a parting message, to the client. It adds closure to the Tarot reading, which will have multiple messages in it.

With Love and Light,


Interested in getting a Card Reading with Claudia? Book today: https://innerinsights.shop/en/card-reading-sessions/



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