Tarot decks are recognized as seventy-eight cards full of wise advice and a multitude of uses. They are so elegant in design, cloaked in the aura of history, and filled with promises for the future. So why would a tarot user consider an oracle deck?
As a former tarot snob (for years I would never consider using an oracle) who has discovered the joy of oracles, I think I can answer this. An oracle deck is simply a deck created for a specific purpose that does not necessarily have seventy-eight cards and does not necessarily have a tarot deck structure. Most oracles have fewer cards and might have no structure among those cards. They are usually used with smaller spreads or single-card draws. They are unique creations and as such usually have unique personalities. They are easy to learn and can be fun and light-hearted—although that does not diminish their power or usefulness. For many people, oracles are much more approachable precisely because they are more focused and easier to get to know.
For example, if you are looking for inspiration, check out The Goddess Inspiration Oracle by Kris Waldherr. If you want to release your inner tart and receive cheeky, fun advice, try The Eros Oracle by Laura Tuan. If you want a guide for your journey on the Wiccan path, definitely spend time with The Well-Worn Path and The Hidden Path by Raven Grimassi, Stephanie Taylor, and Mickie Mueller. For spot-on fortune telling, make friends with one of the Lenormand decks offered by Lo Scarabeo.
If you want to find your inner power and fill your life with magic, you'll want the Enchanted Oracle by Jessica Galbreth. (I can tell you about this deck with confidence because it was my good fortune to write the book that goes with it.) The Enchanted Oracle is a gateway to magical goodness in a box. It comes with thirty-six cards featuring the sumptuous artwork of the talented Ms. Galbreth—some familiar favorites and some newly created for this deck. There is a charmingly designed book full of insight, advice, divinatory meanings, spreads, spells, and journaling hints.
And don't think that you have to choose between a tarot deck and an oracle deck. They can work really well when used together. Each tarot card, as we know, can have a myriad of meanings. Because the Enchanted Oracle cards focus on our personal power, actions, and responsibilities, I love to use these cards for a position in a spread that is about "advice" or an "action to take." For example, if you are doing a three-card reading about a situation with your tarot cards and use the positions Past-Present-Future, you can add a card or two. I would add two cards pulled from the Enchanted Oracle and place them above the Present and the Future cards. The tarot cards describe the energies at play in the situation. The cards above them, pulled from the Enchanted Oracle, can tell you precisely how to apply those energies to best effect.
There are many ways to pair oracle cards and tarot decks. Experiment, matching decks based on complimentary art styles, themes, or overall personality. You may be surprised at the change in your readings.
Barbara Moore (Saint Paul, MN) has studied and read tarot since the early 1990s. She wrote the bestselling Tarot for Beginners and more than a dozen other books, and she has contributed to many bestselling tarot kits, ...