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Quelle est la différence entre un oracle et un tarot ?

What is the difference between an oracle and a tarot?

At first glance, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a tarot deck and an oracle . However, both in terms of structure and freedom of interpretation, the differences are numerous. So, what cards are tarot cards and oracles made of? How to interpret them? Should you choose a tarot deck or an oracle when you start cartomancy ? We tell you everything!
Stéphanie Abellan
Stéphanie Abellan
Therapist, specialized in cell release and cleansing
summary of the article

What is an oracle and what is its structure?

An oracle is a message interpreted from an event, a situation, or an object. There are many oracular tools : runes, tea leaves, coffee grounds, cards

Not all oracles aim to predict the future : they allow you to deliver messages , advice , answer questions , improve your self-knowledge , guide you towards your personal journey , towards your spirituality .

Where, as we will see later, the tarot has a fixed structure, a precise functioning, a determined order of the cards, the compositions of the oracles are, for their part, at the will of the author. Indeed, there can be as many cards as the author wishes, on the theme he or she wants.

Here are some examples :

  • The Oracle of the Messengers of Egypt has 42 cards , and is based on Egyptian deities ;
  • The Oracle Gé , for its part, is a game of 61 clairvoyance and guidance cards , created by Gérard Barbier.
  • The Triad Oracle is a divinatory game with 57 cards , created by Dominike Duplaa.
  • The Belline Oracle is made up of 53 cards, which are inspired by esoteric heritage by relying on the symbolism of the planets , with reference to astrology . It is also based on the divinatory tarot and makes numerous references to the Marseille tarot .

Oracle of the Angels, Oracle Lenormand, Oracle of Love, Blue Oracle, Oracle of the Mirror Hours, Oracle of the Healing Animals , or even, Oracle of the Medeora : you will have understood, the oracles are as varied as their creators!

The structure of the tarot

The tarot is made up of a base of 78 cards , including 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana . Variations then occur, depending on the games, but it is a fixed base. These minor arcana are divided into 4 groups of 14 cards, which are called suits. They go, like classic card games, from ace to ten. Then we find the jack, the knight, the lady or the queen and the king.

In the field of divinatory arts , there are some differences depending on the type of tarot :

  • The Tarot de Marseille is certainly the best-known divinatory game for drawing cards . It has 78 cards which are decorated with symbols delivering messages. The cards are inspired by Judeo-Christian symbolism and retrace key episodes in the believer's life. The clairvoyant establishes a drawing of the major arcana before refining his predictions with the minor tarot cards ;
  • The Rider Waite Smith Tarot : in this tarot, the last cards are replaced by pentacles, and all the cards are illustrated. The names of the major arcana change: the Mate becomes the Fool, the Juggernaut becomes the Magician, the High Priestess becomes the High Priestess, the Pope becomes the Hierophant, the Nameless Card becomes Death...
  • The Egyptian Tarot : it is a game of divination cards which draws its inspiration from ancient Egypt ;
  • The Tarot of Thoth : it is a tarot rich in symbols, which embraces several esoteric traditions, such as the Kabbalah and Astrology . The names of certain major cards are changed here. In the interpretation, you can let yourself be guided by the colors, the aesthetics and the universe of the cards, particularly worked.

In tarology, the 22 major arcana are named:

  • The Juggler (or the Magician)
  • The Popess (or High Priestess)
  • The Empress
  • The emperor
  • The Pope (or Hierophant)
  • L'Amoureux (or Les Amoureux in the English-speaking versions)
  • Carriage
  • Justice
  • The Hermit
  • The Wheel of Fortune
  • Strength
  • The hanged man
  • The Nameless Arcana/“Death”
  • Temperance
  • The devil
  • The God House (or the Tower)
  • The star
  • The moon
  • The sun
  • The jugement
  • The world
  • Le Mat

The “ minor arcana ” are the most concrete and clear cards: they address themes of daily life and provide additional information to the major arcana , which raise broader themes. With tarot , the interpretation will be the same regardless of the deck used. With oracles, during card drawing , the freedom of interpretation is greater…

Freedom of interpretation of divinatory oracles

Unlike tarot , where each card has a precise meaning, oracle cards give you more freedom in structure and interpretation . Indeed, divinatory oracles can contain all types of content and can be composed, depending on the author's choice, from 12 to 100 cards!

To interpret an Oracle , you must let your intuition , your instinct, your emotions , your feelings speak. Oracle cards contain powerful energies: they can shed light on a broader situation, whereas tarot cards will provide more detailed interpretations.

The artistic side of oracle cards

If we are interested in the illustrations , the artistic side is more worked in the oracle cards . These bring you into the author's world. Their beauty, the attention to detail, the colors, the themes of the cards are unique, and make you travel with them.

Oracle or tarot: which to choose?

Learning the Marseille tarot has a universal character: you can use different decks, without having to relearn everything from scratch . However, reading the cards requires a greater investment, because each of them provides precise answers and has a particular meaning.

The oracle draw , for its part, plunges you into the heart of the author's world. It is generally simpler to approach, appeals more to your intuition, and instantly gives you the keys to reading the cards in order to help you easily understand the message delivered, whether it is about your life path, your life in love, or even future events...

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What is the difference between an oracle and a tarot?