What’s the difference between tarot and oracle cards?

Reading cards for guidance and prophecy is called cartomancy.  It covers all forms of divination using any kind of cards.  However, there are several types of cards you can read.

The most familiar card deck for divination is the tarot.  The tarot is often referred to as a fixed system, meaning that there’s a general consensus about what each card means, and those definitions tend to not change a whole lot from deck to deck.  There are exceptions, since people are constantly creating new decks, but the most popular deck, called the Rider Waite Tarot, has the most clones, and they mostly retain similar symbolism and meanings.  Tarot decks usually have 78 cards and are split into the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana.  The Major Arcana has 22 cards based on archetypes like The Fool, Death, The Devil, The Lovers, etc.  The Minor Arcana is based on suits like regular playing cards, except there are four court cards for each suit instead of three.  The suits are classically divided into cups, pentacles (or coins), swords, and wands.

Oracle cards are a freeform system, because they don’t have a set number of cards, and their symbolism and meanings vary.  Each oracle deck has its own theme and method for reading the cards.  Popular themes for oracle cards are angels and spirit animals.  Often you will see the meanings of oracle cards printed right on them.  They will frequently include keywords and sometimes entire explanations about what the cards mean.  Usually, they aren’t split into suits or groups.

Which deck is the best to use for readings?

This is totally a matter of preference.

Tarot readers tend to favor the detailed symbolism and standard meanings.  It’s an established system that is steeped in mystery and many years of study.  At the same time, it’s a more difficult system to learn.  The deck can have more than twice the number of cards that an oracle deck has, and it takes longer to become proficient at reading them.

Most oracle decks can be read right out of the box due to the meanings being so readily available and even printed directly on the cards.  While it’s convenient, having the interpretations so obvious doesn’t encourage deeper study.  Some readers feel this system is more shallow than the tarot.

The truth is that the cards are simply a tool to help you access your intuition.  You give the reading, not the cards.  If you are reading from a book or reading meanings printed on the cards, you are missing a lot of nuances that can give you deeper insight.  Knowing the basic interpretations is a great place to start, but it’s just a foundation on which to build your understanding.  You have the real power in your connection to your intuitive source.

Why the Midnight Oracle?

I have been reading tarot cards for over 25 years, and I’ve gotten many accurate readings for myself and others.  But over the last several years, I had a falling out with my tarot deck.  I started getting a lot of negative readings, and while there are many ways to interpret the cards, I just felt uneasy with them.  I also started noticing how many violent and negative images were on the cards.  For example, the Ten of Swords is literally a man lying on the ground with 10 swords in his back!

I also have several oracle decks, but I never really used them for full readings.  Often, I will pull an angel card to give an overview for a spread.  And I will pull an oracle card for guidance or inspiration to start the day.  Most oracle decks are geared toward offering affirmation and inspiration, rather than prediction.

It occurred to me that there should be something that combines the power of the tarot with the positive nature of the oracle decks.  So, I created the Midnight Oracle.

The Midnight Oracle combines elements from the tarot and a fortune-telling deck called the Lenormand.  The Lenormand is a deck of 36 cards of common symbols that can be combined to give practical readings.  The downside to the Lenormand is that you have to learn every card in combination with another card and memorize all of these meanings in order to give a thorough reading.

I wanted to create a deck that was intended to be read intuitively without a set list of definitions for each card.  The reader taps into their own spiritual connection and divines the meanings based on the question asked.

Like the Lenormand, the Midnight Oracle has 36 cards of common but powerful symbols that embody archetypes.  Archetypes are symbolic of experiences that we all have in life, such as beginnings and endings, life and death, journeys, growth, changes, waiting, grief, love, and transformation.  Because we have all experienced these things, we recognize them in the cards instinctively.

Intuition is your birthright.  You are psychic if you allow yourself to be.  The magic is in connecting to your Higher Source and trusting the answers you receive.  The process is both simple and profound.  The only hard part is giving up doubt.

It’s time to trust yourself and get the answers you’ve been looking for.  You can use the cards for guidance, prediction, manifestation, and empowerment.

Download the free Midnight Oracle cards and guide now to get started doing readings in under an hour.  Then, join me in my Midnight Oracle Facebook group to practice and learn more.  See you in the group!