Tarot vs Oracle Cards: Choosing What's Right For You
Understanding Your Card Reading Style
Knowing what type of cards are right for you, can be pretty overwhelming. When folx ask me for deck suggestions and specific names I (reluctantly) give the general response, "choose what deck feels right for you."
But how can we find out what feels right? Is this a gut kind of feeling or a goosebumps on the back of your neck kind of feeling?
In summary, whatever feels right will fit effortlessly into your reading style. Pause for a moment and answer these questions honestly:
Am I a self-motivated learner or do I learn better with guidance?
Do I read instructions first or do I like to dive in and figure things out as I go?
Do I learn better with organization and order or do I like to be left to my own flow?
Are you generally impatient or patient? How about when it comes to getting results?
Answering these questions myself: I am a self motivated learner. I like to read instructions first but I learn better with my own flow. I have an impatient side that comes out when I'm really excited to experience something.
With this self-reflection it makes sense that I was first attracted to Tarot cards. The structure and tradition of Tarot cards helped me latch onto some kind of reading system while doing independent-study. Using an illustrated deck that I connected to - with images and symbols that I found attractive - helped leave room for play and interpretation. Because I had a bit of an impatient fire to get started, this motivation helped me learn tarot spreads, history, techniques, and symbolism quite quickly.
ACTION STEP: Reflect on your answers from the questions listed above. What do they tell you to go towards? The free-form Oracle Cards or intensive Tarot Cards? Oracle cards that might have words to help inspire you? Or Tarot cards that are filled with ancient symbolism? Notice your first gut reaction and listen to that.
Know Your Deck Options
Once you've got a general idea of what you'd be interested in, then you can narrow down your search by looking over the specific options.
Traditional Tarot Decks
Follow the old-school symbols and systems of Tarot decks. These decks have 78 cards which are divided into two sections called: the Major and Minor Arcana. The OG Tarot deck is the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck and most traditional decks will look very similar to the Rider-Waite
Non-Traditional/ Illustrated Tarot Decks
With these decks you'll get the same 78 cards divided into Major and MinorArcana. The difference here is that decks can have a bit more abstract and funky images. Some super modern decks can look very different from traditional decks.
Oracle card decks
The Oracle world is vast, my friend. "Oracle" is like a general umbrella term for even more types of decks that tend to fall under the "other" category. (Basically anything that's not Tarot).
Common types of decks that you might stumble upon are:
Affirmation Cards - These have one or a few words of inspiration. Sometimes cards (like the Sacred Rebels card shown to the left) can have poetic phrases written on them to inspire deeper messages.
Fairy/ Faerie Cards - These may or may not have the card's messages printed on it. Most folx who are drawn to Fairy cards feel more attracted to whimsical and playful themes.
Animal Cards - For the animal lovers out there! If you feel a deep connection to animals and nature symbolism, then you might feel connected to animal-themed oracle decks.
Angel Cards - If you connect to angel figures there is a whole assortment of Angel or Archangel card decks that you can choose from.
Goddess Cards - These have risen in popularity over the past few years. They often have an assortment of Goddesses from different cultures and religions.
The world of card reading can be big and overwhelming at first. Don't hesitate to google pictures or search the web for reviews. The internet is a great resource for the modern witch *mini cackle*
If you find any decks that you're interested in, list their names and why you're drawn to them in the comments below!
Until next time,
P.S. Remember, there's no right or wrong with picking decks. Do what works for you and build your own style. You. Do. YOU. 👏👏👏