Tarot | Oracle | Lenormand | Marseilles: What’s the difference?

Tarot | Oracle | Lenormand | Marseilles: What’s the difference?

Have you ever wondered what the difference was between tarot and oracle? Perhaps you have heard of these different modalities but have never looked further into what they each stand alone and mean.

Today, we’re going to take a deeper look into what each of these spiritual forms mean and how they’re different.

Tarot | Oracle | Lenormand | Marseilles

tarot cards ptv australia

This is possibly the one that most people have heard of, regardless if you’re someone that is psychic.

Tarot has been a term long used over the years. Its origin being used as a spiritual modality is conflicted, at least as far as timeline goes. Although, it’s true that Tarot, also known as  trionfi and later as tarocchi or tarock, was originally used as a playing card game in the mid 15th century.

Tarot is a 78 systemised card deck that contains its own imagery, story and symbolic meanings.

There are 22 major arcana cards that make up life’s karmic and spiritual lessons. The 56 minor arcana cards reflect the trials and tribulations we may experience on a daily basis.

Then there are the 16 court-style cards, and these make up personality characteristics.

Much like traditional playing cards, there are four suits: Pentacles, Swords, Wands, Cups. These four suits each then go on to represent even further, different situations we may encounter in our everyday lives.

Although Tarot clearly has structured elements, there are many who connect with and work with Tarot intuitively. Meaning, the images and symbolism depicted within the art work trigger different thoughts, feelings, emotions, for the reader to then translate spiritualised guidance or messages.

Tarot | Oracle | Lenormand | Marseilles

oracle tarot lenormand marseilles

Tarot is a more traditional and historical tool for divination. Oracle cards tend to be less pre-determined and structured in their use.

Oracle cards can consist of as many or few cards as desired, often determined by the deck creator for their individual intentions for the deck. And while oracle cards can centralise around a particular theme or topic, they leave a lot of flexibility for the reader to determine their best way of connection and use with them.

You may find oracle cards themed with focus topics such as love, self care, spirit guides, ancestors, unicorns, angels, energy, chakras. The themes for Oracle cards are open-ended to many different energies and interests.

Tarot is a structured system that can be maintained and used as such, or the structure can be put to the wayside.

Oracle cards can be read as intended by the creator or with the flexibility and desire of their reader.

Tarot | Oracle | Lenormand | Marseilles

tarot oracle lenormand marseilles

When looking at Lenormand cards, while they do have a lot of traditional symbolism to that of playing cards. It may come down to their intended reading style that differentiates them from these other mentioned modalities.

Tarot cards also allow the reader to decide and accept fallen cards in a reversed position. Lenormand is not intended to be read this way.  All cards are to be facing the upright position when reading.

There are similarities with Tarot, that come from Lenormand perhaps originating from days when it was used in parlour games. Although, similarities between the two are not structured in the same way, nor read similarly.

Seen as more spiritual and psychological is that of the Tarot. Lenormand then, by comparison, bears a more practical reading style.

Originating around the 18th century, the Lenormand has not adapted much over its years. Unlike that of its counterparts, there are no new-age astrological correspondences being linked with Lenormand, no Thoth adaptions [that’s another tool for another day]. It has remained as it has since inception.

As it was mentioned earlier, there is flexibility enough with Tarot to read more intuitively if desired or not wanting to rest solely with the traditional structure and meaning of each card within the deck. Lenormand has a much more syntactical reading style.

There are only a handful of symbols, often only one per card, and each only containing a few keywords. When lined up together and connected with one another in a spread, the Lenormand can paint vivid and drastically pointed storylines that compare with that of the Tarot. Perhaps even more sharp than that of tarot.

You should think of each card of the Lenormand are forming a word in a sentence. With each card comes another word and then another layer to the sentence forming the story.

Tarot | Oracle | Lenormand | Marseilles

marseilles tarot oracle lenormand ptv australia

The Tarot de Marseilles deck is believed to be the oldest divination card deck of its kind. Predating that of Tarot, with some arguing between which came first.

While there is similarities in cards, the Marseilles containing similar suit, major and minor arcana to that of the Tarot. There is a lot more left to the imagination here.

Marseilles is more so a pip-deck, meaning that the imagery and design on the cards is far less animated than that of Tarot. Some of the cards in this deck showing no human characters at all [pip]. The 6 of cups in the Tarot, for example, shows two children with one of them passing a cup to the other, and there are 5 other cups strewn around the scene.

A Marseilles six of cups shows six cups.

It is this style that makes this deck a struggle for some to connect and work with. However, is a great marvel for expanding upon your intuition and trusting all psychic nudges and guidance’s that come forward when using a deck like Marseilles.

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