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Malflick
17 Nov 2013, 17:17
Okay, so I know what Tarot cards are. But what are Oracle cards? Is there a difference? I've primarily seen Oracle cards with Archangels on them, so I used to think they were just a Christian Offbrand version of Tarot Cards.... So what are they?

Yorin
17 Nov 2013, 17:38
oh oh! I can answer this one as it's actually a part of the book on tarot spreads that I'm writing!!The best way to answer is to give a comparison, to which I'm gunna go over just a little bit of what you probably already know for those that might not.

Tarot cards typically come in a standard 78 card deck. You've got 22 Major arcana cards (0-21), and 56 Minor arcana broken down into four suits (typically seen as wands, cups, swords, and either coins or pentacles depending on the deck) with each containing Ace through 10 and then 4 court cards (Page, Knight, Queen, King).

Now, with 98% of tarot decks-this set up doesn't change. The Rider-Waite deck you pick up is going to have the exact same cards and set up as (for example) my Celtic Dragon tarot deck. The only difference between them will be the artwork. The cards will all still generally have the exact same meanings behind each one consistently between almost any deck you pick up.

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Now, with ORACLE cards on the other hand.....throw all that out. Unless you go and you buy another copy of the same deck, no two decks are going to be the same. None of the cards will be the same. None of the meanings will match between different decks. They might not even have the same amount of card numbers between the decks. My Heart of Faerie Oracle deck has 65 cards while my Oracle of the DragonFae deck only has 43 cards in it.

Now, like you said some have Archangels on them, others are faerie themed, or like my dragonfae deck......but each one is going to be individual to the person who developed the deck and the artist(s) who did all the artwork for it. So learning one deck and the meanings behind the cards wont translate over to another deck the same way as tarot decks do.


They're both tools for divination or even just for general advice-but that's the biggest difference between the two.

MaskedOne
17 Nov 2013, 17:43
Tarot tends to have a unifying structure. 78 cards divided into greater and lesser arcana. Precise meanings change in shading across decks but you can also expect a decent amount of similarity in card purpose if not in detail. Oracle cards may serve the same functions but they don't follow the same structure as a Tarot deck.

i.e.
square vs rectangle vs rhombus

least that's what a 2 minute google search tells me.

EDIT: Or just take Yorin's explanation:). I really should consistently check for updates before submitting.

Yorin
17 Nov 2013, 17:49
You condensed it for me :grin:

Malflick
17 Nov 2013, 17:51
Yorin... That about answered everything! Thank you ^_^

Yorin
17 Nov 2013, 18:00
Lol, you're welcome? It's no problem. The fact that I managed to do so in a way that you got it means I'm on the right track for my book ^_^

Malflick
17 Nov 2013, 18:06
Lol, you're welcome? It's no problem. The fact that I managed to do so in a way that you got it means I'm on the right track for my book ^_^

huzzah! I hope your book goes well.

Yorin
17 Nov 2013, 18:12
huzzah! I hope your book goes well.

Me too, gotta finish all the artwork for it first though lol

Tarn
18 Nov 2013, 04:14
... Celtic Dragon tarot deck...

How do you like that deck? I've had a few people tell me that I should get that deck. And only one of them knew that I follow a Celtic tradition and that my guardian Spirit seems to be a dragon (I think, not sure about that).

Keep in mind that it appears that I'm really not supposed to touch a tarot deck (odd things happen, and the card make no sense). Actually, I get the impression that I'm not supposed to even sit down for a reading (the readings are convoluted at best and nothing comes to pass). I have a R-W deck, just to get familiar with tarot. I'm pretty certain that divination is not what I'm supposed to be doing; and least of all tarot readings. But I would like to become acquainted with it enough that I'm not totally lost when someone is talking about it. Kind of like how I am familiar with a piano; but it is obvious that I should not touch one of them, either. :)

I know that every person will get different results with a given deck. And I know that each deck is different; like it has it's own personality, for lack of better explanation. With that said, do you feel a better connection with the Celtic Dragon deck than the R-W? Or maybe I should say do you seem to be able to connect or communicate easier with it?

Does the deck, or maybe the artwork, have any bearing on how the deck works... in general, or for an individual? As you say, most of the decks are the same except for the artwork. I guess what I'm trying to ask is: Is one deck better for a given type of reading than another? Or is it more because a person likes the deck and therefore, puts more of their energy into that deck?

monsno_leedra
18 Nov 2013, 07:16
How do you like that deck? I've had a few people tell me that I should get that deck. And only one of them knew that I follow a Celtic tradition and that my guardian Spirit seems to be a dragon (I think, not sure about that). ..

Off topic reply but what I always found interesting is a Celtic Dragon deck when dragons are not a great part of Celtic lore. Off the top of my head I can't think of a single Celtic based dragon story. Plenty of Nordic or Teutonic, lots of later Germanic or Slavic and cross overs into Hellenic / Roman from the middle east but none originating with a Celtic influence. Many of the western ones actually tied to Christian motifs of the Knight against Satan type imagery, especially St. George and the Dragon.

I love dragons dearly but i'd not waste my money on a Celtic dragon deck as it all has to be more than just fantasy but fantasy upon fantasy at best in my opinion.

Rowanwood
18 Nov 2013, 08:04
Off topic reply but what I always found interesting is a Celtic Dragon deck when dragons are not a great part of Celtic lore. Off the top of my head I can't think of a single Celtic based dragon story. Plenty of Nordic or Teutonic, lots of later Germanic or Slavic and cross overs into Hellenic / Roman from the middle east but none originating with a Celtic influence. Many of the western ones actually tied to Christian motifs of the Knight against Satan type imagery, especially St. George and the Dragon.

I love dragons dearly but i'd not waste my money on a Celtic dragon deck as it all has to be more than just fantasy but fantasy upon fantasy at best in my opinion.

I guess that depends on what you think tarot cards and oracle cards do. To me, its all fantasy images to help interact with my own subconscious. Whether there's any historical context to the symbols is irrelevant for my needs.

I've often considered creating my own deck, but pagans are a tough audience. ;)

monsno_leedra
18 Nov 2013, 08:42
I guess that depends on what you think tarot cards and oracle cards do. To me, its all fantasy images to help interact with my own subconscious. Whether there's any historical context to the symbols is irrelevant for my needs.

I've often considered creating my own deck, but pagans are a tough audience. ;)

But was does a fantasy do? It serves to connect us to the energy and psychological element the imagery instills in us to connect to the mystical. So the Raider Wiate cards has visuals that touched upon many of our lower psychic vibrations and we read into those vibrations for they aligned with the subliminal in nature. The major Arcana all things visible to us and nearly anyone could relate to to a degree. Yet the hidden visuals on each card touched our psychic even though the visual seldom registered upon our mental state though we still saw them. But by card reading a good reader can get the same results using a regular deck of 52 playing cards and many still do just to prove it can be done and match what the tarot deck results are.

So a dragon set that claims to tie into the Celts would suggest what our cultural and subliminal understanding of them would be. As such Celtic is not used to sell the cards or even suggest Celtic things its all the dragon imagery that is being utilized to separate the fool from their money. Heck if truth be told the Celtic Dragon Oracle looks more like a cheap rip off of Arthurian legends based upon the art work and the various dragon motifs that are very much the St. George and the Dragon stylized dragon imagery. The same probably could be said of the angel cards, the Native American cards, the shamanic cards, the list just goes on and on.

That some connect to them is to be expected for it mostly plays into a subliminal fantasy connection anyway, They try to incorporate some of the base tarot functionality into them but the cards themselves are simply designed to be purchased because you like the art work. Yet the hidden symbology is almost always missing or distorted but people feel good and a warm fuzzy is always better on the sellers market than having a product that might be factually functional.

- - - Updated - - -

I would add for me the first warning sign of the Celtic Dragon Tarot is the fact D. J. Conway created it and that is a major strike right off the bat.

Yorin
18 Nov 2013, 09:29
How do you like that deck? I've had a few people tell me that I should get that deck. And only one of them knew that I follow a Celtic tradition and that my guardian Spirit seems to be a dragon (I think, not sure about that).

Personally, I adore it and it's worked quite well for me. I more got it because of the art style over my first dragon deck . As others pointed out, Dragons weren't really apart of celtic lore so my initial thought when looking to buy a deck was to pass over it with a "are you kidding me -____-" kind of mentality-but a friend of mine a few years later happened to have a copy of it, and looking through it I ended up loving the artwork 100 times more than the deck I previously had. However, if you've got issues going around you with not being able to touch decks, I seriously wouldn't push it until you find out WHY.

I learned off of a deck that had much better symbolism than this one but the artwork was just so jarring for me that I had issues picking it up and using it on a regular basis. Lisa Hunt's an amazing artist, so that was more the deciding factor over Conway having any input in how the cards were set up

Willow
19 Nov 2013, 09:17
I personally prefer working with my oracle deck now rather than with Tarot. It just seems to resonate better and seems to get closer to the heart of the problem with one or two cards, rather than having to sometimes pull a dozen to get a big picture idea of a situation when all you really need is "what do I need to do/be aware of."

But that's just me. ^^

The one I'm particularly drawn to right now is the Oracle of Shadows and Light. I have two others though that I use almost as often. :)