Oracle Cards vs. Tarot Cards January 08 2018
What is the difference between Tarot Cards and Oracle Cards?
Tarot cards have been recognized since the 14th Century, but have actually been around much longer. In fact they were originally called Trionfi which is translated to trump. Trionfi was initially the playing card decks we've all known and loved since children.
It can be a case of the chicken or the egg? Did trionfi give birth to tarot or visa versa?
While they may have been used as playing cards then as well, seers would use them as a way to divine their and their client's futures. Through this methodology tarot was born. The original tarot, just like the current everyday deck, had four suits with 14 cards in each suit. Each suite numbered 1-10 with additional face cards (king, queen, jack and knight). However, over time the tarot deck morphed into a deck of over 78 cards with 22 cards per suit. As a sideline, there are stories and myths that tarot became a tool for messages to be relayed to another during times of religious persecution. Not only were they used to tell of the enemy's plan and/or location, but to deliver military instructions. In other words, there is still great mystery that surrounds the tarot and it may take only a few lessons to 'get', but a lifetime to master if one truly wishes to understand the messages they reveal and their energy. It is one worth following if you are called.
I am not a tarot expert and most likely will not be in this life. Through research and interviewing colleagues this is what I found. The major arcana represents major life change. Think of it as getting a bit of a wing slap - time to listen wisely. The minor arcana offers insights into the more detail of life. It's paying attention to the minor details that can add up to big changes.
It is believed that oracle cards debuted long after tarot existed. As mentioned above, tarot is thought to have been born in the 14th Century while oracle cards are given a nod in the 19th century. The term oracle stems from Greek mythology as one would speak to an oracle to divine guidance for any situation. This of course can get confusing. If the early Greeks used oracle cards, did they perhaps precede tarot? We may never know.
By sticking to the greek usage of the word, cards began to be used as oracles. Then morphing into special decks known as oracle cards. What is the reasoning behind the birth of oracle cards? Who knows why initially, but now one could make a case for ease. If you are a user of oracle cards, like me, you may have been drawn to them initially because of their ease of understanding. The message is written clearly on the card; no need to know suits, arcanas, etc.
Oracle cards gained momentum and popularity in France thanks to a fortuneteller named Madame Marie Lenormand. She designed her own deck and was of service to many of noble stature such as Tsar Alexander I and Napolean Bonaparte. Her gift empowered many and instilled expansion for more decks to be born. Upon Madame Marie's death in 1843, a birth of new oracle decks began. The most popular of that time is known as Petite Lenormand:
As you can perhaps see here, it's not a far jump from a tarot and playing card deck; the various suits, etc. Fast forward a little over 100 years and look how many versions of oracle decks that are now published! The many subjects include; angels, faeries, mermaids, unicorns and more. Oracle cards do not follow a strict guideline or look remotely similar from deck to deck; even the number of cards within each deck can vary. While a tarot deck includes 78 cards; with 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana all divided up into four suits.
Another difference between tarot and oracle decks is the connotation of each card. Tarot has multiple meanings per card while oracle cards are much looser in all interpretations. Some oracle cards will offer 'upside down' definition, others will not. Unfortunately some folks, perhaps many, will think that oracle cards are fluff and for those that can't be bothered with learning tarot cards.
Balderdash. Oracle cards can be as powerful as tarot. It all depends on the deck. True, oracle cards tend to be lighter in energy, but do not mistake lightness for lightweight! There can and is great power within oracle decks. It all depends, like anything, the integrity and intention the author is putting into the project.
Which is best for you? Only you can answer that. Tarot, as many of you know, make my hair hurt. I appreciate their value and insights and have many friends/colleagues who use them and I don't hesitate to ask them for their intuitive guidance via their tarot deck. I just know tarot isn't for me.
I'm curious, what is your divination tool of choice?
I was nudged, wing slapped into submission if you will, to write the Angel Chatter Oracle Deck. It's because there are so many other decks that are out there that I balked and said 'we don't need another deck'. The Gang laughed. With their urging and insistence I finally sat down and took dictation (for that is what it felt like) for a solid two weeks. The end result was a deck of 44 cards, a guidebook with alternative interpretation for each card as well as information that is not typically found on each of the 14 angels that offer a combined balanced energy to empower and inspire the user.
This was my first out of the closet project. Stepping out in a larger way. Stepping out certainly in a more visible way; no more hiding at home! Why? It was time, just as it is now time for all of us to step out from behind whatever veil we've allowed to shield us. It is time to stand tall and proclamate who you are and what you are here to do. If you are not sure, it may be time to do some consulting of a treasured oracle deck!
I look forward to reading your comments below and feel free to share the blog!