What is the Difference Between Tarot Cards, Angel Cards, and Oracle Cards?

tarot spread 1

Chances are you’ve heard of tarot cards before, but you might not be so familiar with the terms oracle or angel cards. 

Most people who aren’t familiar with these spiritual tools instantly conjure up images of a robed figure shrouded in mystery, staring into a crystal ball with a pack of what looks to be playing cards spread out on the table, waiting to tell you your future.

What is the Difference Between Tarot Cards, Angel Cards, and Oracle Cards?

Now, I don’t believe in fortune-telling, predicting the winning lotto numbers (wouldn’t that be nice!?) or anything like that. So, while this is far from my take on tarot cards, I believe it’s true that you can use them as a source of inspiration or guidance on your spiritual journey.

The Origin of Tarot Cards

Tarot cards are believed to have originated in Europe in the mid-15th century. They were playing cards containing four suits plus an additional set of cards called carte de trionfi or triumphs. 

It wasn’t until the 18th century that a tarot deck was first recorded as being used for divination. The deck structure developed then is still used to this day. 

The Biggest Differences Between Tarot, Angel, and Oracle Cards

Oracle cards, of which angel cards are a type, are a more modern version of tarot if you will. They come in a massive variety of themes – angels, animals, crystals, you name it. The authors of oracle decks use beautiful imagery and assign meaning to the cards based on their pictures. There are no set amount of cards an oracle deck contains – I have some with 36, 39, 44, or any number of cards.

On the other hand, tarot decks follow a more uniform structure of archetypal-based characters, and the meanings associated with them come from the plethora of symbology each card contains. Typically, a tarot deck has 78 cards; 22 Major Arcana (the triumphs mentioned previously) and 56 Minor Arcana cards (the four suits).

You can use Oracle cards to help you better understand yourself and the decisions you make.

Tarot cards do the same, but some use them primarily as a divinatory tool.

How Do I Use Tarot and Oracle Cards?

In my opinion and experience, both are useful for many things. I use them as more of a psychological tool than a divinatory one. They’re a fun way of helping me to find inspiration, different ways to look at a situation, or simply as a journal prompt!

I believe they allow us to tap into our intuition – our inner self, higher self, a higher power – whatever you want to call it.

Even if you’re sceptical of their “mystical powers”, I think it’s well worth trying them out – you never know what you will learn about yourself.

If you want to learn more about using these cards, check out these general oracle card spreads I’ve written about.

What is the Difference Between Tarot Cards, Angel Cards, and Oracle Cards?
A simple three-card spread.

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