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What's the difference between Oracle cards and tarot cards

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 01 May 2003, and now archived in the Forum Library.



Yami Yugi  01 May 2003 
Could someone please tell me? 


Rusty Neon  01 May 2003 
Hi .... Here's a brief response. A tarot deck typically has 22 major arcana cards and 56 minor arcana in 4 suits, including court cards. Strictly speaking, a tarot deck is a type of oracle (or divination) deck. However, the expression 'oracle deck' is often used to describe divination decks that are not tarot decks.

For examples of 'oracle decks', see:

http://www.tarotpassages.com/cardrev.htm 


blue_fusion  02 May 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by Rusty Neon
Hi .... Here's a brief response. A tarot deck typically has 22 major arcana cards and 56 minor arcana in 4 suits, including court cards. Strictly speaking, a tarot deck is a type of oracle (or divination) deck. However, the expression 'oracle deck' is often used to describe divination decks that are not tarot decks.

For examples of 'oracle decks', see:

http://www.tarotpassages.com/cardrev.htm


but in THAT general sense, isn't a tarot deck also an Oracle deck since it is, well, a method of divination? :) LOLz. don't mind me. 


Rusty Neon  02 May 2003 
As I mentioned in my original post to this thread, a tarot deck _is_ an oracle deck. However, as you can see from the examples in the link I gave in my original post, there are other kinds of oracle decks as well which are not tarot decks but instead based on different concepts. All those examples in that link are non-tarot oracle decks. Often, among tarotists, they recognize that a tarot deck is an oracle deck but use the expression 'oracle decks' to describe non-tarot oracle decks. 


Umbrae  02 May 2003 
Tarot is standardized. 56+22, and specific meanings assigned to cards.

In a larger scale, Tarot is an oracular device.

Soul Cards I & II are excellent examples of Oracle cards. There is a deck of 60 cards, and there are no meanings assigned to the cards.

The Celtic Book of the Dead set of Oracle cards is also another excellent example. 42 cards, with specific meanings and no correlation to any other system.

Then there are toothpicks.

Tarot is Tarot.

Taro is a tuber. 


Diana  03 May 2003 
Umbrae explained well what a Tarot deck is.

An oracle deck can be any deck with any amount of cards, any pictures, and with it's own peculiar structure. Oracles can be extremely powerful and are easier to use than Tarot which normally takes quite a bit of study to understand it.

Tarot has a specific structure and was designed hundreds of years ago. The actual purpose for designing these cards is pretty murky and has got lost in the meanders of history, but some of the magic has remained (I said magic, not magick).

There are more and more Tarot decks being designed which are no longer really Tarot decks, except in name. They should be called "Oracle decks with 22 Major cards and 56 Minor cards".

Tarot has a structure to it. The Majors tell a story. The Minors are related to elements and numerology.

Many Tarot designers forget this (or couldn't care and just make a copy of another deck with different pictures on it) and so they end up so far away from Tarot that it would be laughable if it weren't tragic.

But there's big money to be made in Tarot today. It's become so fashionable, and the Tarot industry needs to churn out a lot of new decks to satisfy their customers. So anything goes.

I wish they wouldn't call them Tarot decks though. Soon no-one will know what Tarot is anymore and will believe that any deck of cards that has 22 Majors, and 56 Minors divided into four sections, is a Tarot deck. They will be mistaken.

The whole thing really makes me sad and pretty angry. 


skytwig  29 Nov 2003 
I am bumping this for members who may not have had a chance to read this thread..... :D 


The What's the difference between Oracle cards and tarot cards thread was originally posted on 01 May 2003 in the Talking Tarot board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the threads in Talking Tarot, or read more archived threads.

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