Oracle Cards in a Tarot Reading

Oracle Decks and Tarot

Like many Tarot Readers I also have an abundance of Oracle decks that I use in my spiritual practice. I use these decks on their own and also with the Tarot.

I am going to discuss a few ways in which you can use Oracle decks with the Tarot in readings. This is from my personal experience and I encourage you to take what you feel inspired by and incorporate it into your practice and leave the rest.

Video Transcription

The Difference

Yes there is a difference between Tarot and Oracle decks. They often get labelled as the same thing when they are different systems.

Where they are the same, is that they full under the umbrella of Cartomancy. Which is using cards to divine or tell the future and more modernly used as tools for self development and reflection.

I talk about this subject in Tarot Essentials but basically a Tarot deck is very structured. There are usually 78 cards (some decks have more or less but the majority have 78 cards) and they are divided into the Major Arcana, Minor Arcana and the Court Cards.

Oracle decks are all individual. You can pick up five different Oracle decks and have five completely different structures and card count. Where as you can see that the structure of a Tarot deck is exact or only altered slightly deck to deck.

There are a bunch of other ways that they differ but look at the title and the number of cards and that will tell you if you are working with a Tarot deck or an Oracle deck.

Tarot and Oracle Decks in ReadingsOracle and Tarot Together

Here are my offerings in how to use Oracle decks and the Tarot together and what I have experience in. I would love to hear from you as to how you use Oracle decks and if you even do with your Tarot readings.

Before a Reading

It can be a really nice practice to have your Client pick a card from an Oracle deck to start the reading session.

I find that it can get the Client and you in the zone. We all have busy lives and your Client could have just come from a stressful day at work or be feeling low energy. A nice way to get everyone in a nice space is to pick a deck and just ask them to hold it, breathe deeply and pick a card when they feel ready.


I love pulling a Vanessa Ives from Penny Dreadful and fanning them out on the table (minus being so DAM graceful, honestly she is a total goddess) and ask my Clients to close their eyes, breathe deeply and hoover their hands over the cards until they pick the one.

It is also a way to find out what the theme of the reading may be or where your Client is really focused on.

Within a Tarot Reading

This would involve laying out Oracle cards alongside Tarot cards in a reading or spread. I love doing this and I usually lay out my Tarot Cards first using the Tarot Spread I have picked out for the Client and then place Oracle cards afterwards.

It’s all about layers.

Because Tarot cards are deep and multifaceted having an Oracle card which are usually more direct can assist in focusing the reading and the meaning of the Tarot cards. Oracle cards can also help connect the Tarot cards, as a sort of bridge.

Is there something dominating in the Tarot reading or missing? Often an Oracle card can help shed some light or bring some balance to the reading.

Another helpful aspect of using Oracle cards alongside a Tarot reading is seeing how they relate to each other. Is there compatibility or opposing forces? What does that mean for your Client and the situation?

If you find this to be too confusing don’t force anything. Trial a few things out and pick what works for you.

Tarot and ORacle Card ReadingClosing Out

This is something I have done for years after seeing my Tarot mentor do this in her readings when I learnt from her.

This is a beautiful way to close out a reading and seal the circle.  

By allowing your Client to pick a single Oracle card is gives the overall theme for the reading and a final message for the session.

It may be one of the main things they remember.

I have found that 90% of the time when I do this the Oracle card is ALWAYS spot on with giving a wonderful positive message with the theme of the reading to my Clients.
This is some of my practices and as I mentioned before I would love to hear from you about your relationship with Oracle cards. Did you start with them or the Tarot? Do you use Oracle decks with your readings?

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14 Comments
  • Rachel
    Posted at 08:42h, 05 April Reply

    Excelent post, Ethony, thank you very much. I love oracle cards and I use them alone and in the end of a tarot reading. However I have been thinking about to incorporate oracle cards in tarot readings and I am going to do that, this post inspired me even more. I started using oracle cards, when I was teenagers and I started using tarot cards last year.
    Love,
    Rachel

    • Ethony
      Posted at 10:02h, 05 April Reply

      That is so great that you are looking to have these both work together. How exciting! Thank you for the lovely comment and I am glad you enjoyed the post.

  • Nathalie
    Posted at 09:19h, 05 April Reply

    I’d love to learn more? How do you decide where to add your oracle cards? Do you have a spread layout for that?
    How many oracle cards do you add to your tarot reading? More then one oracle deck?
    Thanks, this is fascinating! It helps the client focus on the advice to help with the outcome rather then have them obsess on negative cards if they show up. 🙂 love, love, love!

    • Ethony
      Posted at 10:01h, 05 April Reply

      Thank you for all of these amazing questions. I will ad them to my list for videos. Thank you for the comment too 🙂

  • Elyssa
    Posted at 17:41h, 05 April Reply

    I am glad to see a post about that, as I love to use Oracle cards so much, they even sometimes have a special spot in my spreads. I use them mainly two ways:
    – first (and I think I do the opposite of the majority of people there) as the center of a reading. The Oracle card is the main message/the advice, and I use tarot cards as helpers, as the how to make the advice happen, what to work on to make it happen
    – as a final advice (like your closure), one more direct message for you to start acting or to help
    Thank you again Ethony

    • Ethony
      Posted at 14:09h, 08 April Reply

      I do too and my Oracle deck collection is getting just as big as my Tarot deck collection

  • Jordan
    Posted at 10:24h, 11 April Reply

    Thank you so much for this overview! A lot of people don’t realize the difference and significance between Oracle cards and Tarot cards. It’s important that people know what that difference is and how they are used.

    • Ethony
      Posted at 13:16h, 11 April Reply

      Thank you for the lovely comment. Lots of people don’t know the difference for sure.

  • Lorena Navarro
    Posted at 05:35h, 16 April Reply

    I use both, and Oracle decks as a complement. It is good and useful to meditate with Oracle decks as they have a friendly way of communication. Oracle decks give a fresh message maybe due to the colors of the art work. They are very inspiring!

    • Ethony
      Posted at 01:06h, 18 April Reply

      I agree, Oracle cards are a great complement to the Tarot.

  • Angel
    Posted at 08:19h, 23 July Reply

    At the moment, I just use Tarot cards. Currently I am in the early stages of learning Tarot, but I am intrigued by the idea of integrating oracle cards, probably at the end of readings as you suggest above. Thank you for the advice.

    Paz y amor.

    • Ethony
      Posted at 21:18h, 23 July Reply

      I am really glad that you liked the post and video. I hope you find exploring Oracle decks in your Tarot Readings fun too!

  • hechizos de amor
    Posted at 14:11h, 03 November Reply

    excelent post, thanks for this information, it is really important to me.

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