Home Discussion Forum Whats the difference between Tarot and Oracle cards?

Whats the difference between Tarot and Oracle cards?

I just would like a very informative differentiation of the two.


  1. Tarot cards consist of two parts: a standard pack of Latin suited playing cards (which have the suit signs of cups, coins, swords, and batons) with the addition of the queens (Latin suits have all male courts), together with a fifth suit of picture cards. The extra cards were added in the mid 15th century and originally took as their theme a triumph procession, hence their early name of trionfi, meaning triumphs and from which we get the word trump. And this is what they were, a suit of fixed trump cards for a family of card games that is still played throughout much of continental Europe today. The first recorded use for divination was not until the end of the 18th century, where the practice was limited to just France for about 100 years. During the 20th century occultists began to dramatically redesign the cards to better reflect the beliefs they wanted them to represent and it is these designs that most English speakers will be familiar with and are used for divination today.
    So, tarot is a modified pack of playing cards later appropriated for occult and divinatory use and that has undergone further modification for that purpose.
    Oracle cards on the other hand, can take two forms. One form, not always called Oracles, are essentially playing cards (adopted for divination long before tarot) with additional images and titles to indicate divinatory meaning. Those cards more usually called Oracles are packs that have been designed from the outset for divination, not following the pattern of playing cards at all (although it is worth noting that many of them still use 32 cards, the number of cards in a Piquet pack that was once popular for divination).


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