Tarot vs. Oracle

Angel Oracle Cards vs Tarot Cards

“Show me love, show me life. Baby show me what it’s all about.”


<<Preface: My Virgo Rising got the best of me while writing this article and I dove into a short history of card reading. If this strikes you as TLDR and you just want the juicy differences between oracle & tarot, I get it: scroll down to the ✩ stars & go from there!>>

☞ A Brief History of Card Reading ☜

Pendulums, runes, tea leaves, bones, water, fire… one of these is not like the other. Which is it?

Prank! These are all tools that can be used for divination. But perhaps the most common divinatory tool in our modern society is missing from that list: cards.

When someone says “I’m a card reader,” the first thing that pops in to many minds is, “Oh! Tarot.” While that’s not wrong, let’s chat about some other forms of card reading, shall we? #themoreyouknow

First off, there is cartomancy. Simply put, this is using a deck of playing cards to give someone a reading. We don’t actually know the definitive “beginning” of card reading, however it is believed to have stemmed from a card game called “Malmuk” in the Middle East and then popularized in 14th century Europe. Some scholars hypothesize that this method of divination actually evolved from cards created in 10th century China, while others believe the source to be ancient Egypt. Regardless of origin, cartomancy uses the deck of 52 playing cards, broken into 4 suits (and tie-ins to numerology) to generate a reading for a person.

(( I find it worth noting that some readers, myself included, use the word “cartomancy” as an umbrella term referring to all forms of card reading. ))

So when does tarot come into the picture? Tarot is believed to be an evolution of cartomancy. It spread and developed across Europe, and by the 1500’s the Italian aristocracy were well-versed in a popular divination “game” called “Tarocchi Appropriati.” The Italians are credited with commissioning illustrations of these original tarot decks and eventually embellishing them to include the Major Arcana cards and one additional card per suit (the Page).

Artwork and imagery continued to evolve, leading us to the 19th century where we see the first instances of oracle decks pop up, most notably Madame Lenormand’s traditional 36-card variation. Unlike tarot, oracle decks did not originate as a game; they were always meant to be divinatory tools. By the late 20th century, a variety of oracle decks filled the shelves of local metaphysical stores. Now you can find an oracle deck (or a tarot deck for that matter) on just about any interest, theme, topic, or pop culture trend!

Differences Between Tarot & Oracle Decks

Okay so now let’s break it down: In order for a deck to be considered tarot, it will consist of 78 cards: 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana cards follow the Fool’s Journey from 0 to 21 (The World). The Minor Arcana is home to the 4 suits (Swords, Wands, Pentacles, and Cups). Within these suits, you have your Pip Cards (Ace through 10) and your Court Cards (Page, Knight, Queen & King). Some tarot decks change the names of these, but the structure should still remain intact for it to be considered tarot. Ex: changing the names of the suits to the elements they represent or donning more gender-neutral descriptors for the court cards while still retaining structure keeps them in the tarot category. So considering that tarot is a system of cards, you must consider how each card relates to another within the hierarchy when you pull a spread. A tarot card is part of a bigger picture and less so a stand-alone messenger.

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of decks containing additional non-Arcana cards (especially in indie decks). Having additional cards in a deck does not mean the deck isn’t a tarot deck. You can simply set them aside if you don’t wanna use ‘em in your pulls. I’ve most commonly seen 2 extra cards in decks and my un-researched theory on this is that printing companies don’t offer packages based on exactly 78 cards, but they’ll print 80 (in groupings of 10). So this means that the creator needs to come up with 2 more cards or just have some blanks in the deck… which is less fun. Not to say there aren’t creators out there who really feel it important to add in cards of their own creation. I just am of the mindset that the tarot is tried, true and tested; it doesn’t need any add-ons or extras to deliver accurate and complete messages. But to each their own! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

If you come across a deck that seemingly has no suits, no numerical structure or hierarchy, you’re probably holding an oracle deck. No need to throw it back on the shelf and deem it an imposter of tarot! Oracle decks are very magical in their own super unique ways. Unlike tarot, oracle decks have no required structure or order. However, some decks may include a hierarchy or grouping system, with cards relating to each other in certain ways. For instance, The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Deck features various animals as card messengers. These animals are grouped into four categories based on the elements they represent according to the author. There is also a spiritual hierarchy within each element grouping that sort of “orders” the animals/cards. Then there are other oracle decks, such as The Universe Has Your Back or Affirmators, where each card is a totally self-contained message and is not part of a grouping.

The last big difference between tarot and oracle is card meanings. Tarot has been around for such a long time that the meanings associated with the cards have come to be generally accepted and agreed upon, no matter the deck you’re using. By that I mean, the 4 of Swords in one deck can still be interpreted the same way as the 4 of Swords in another deck. You learn to read tarot once and you can apply this knowledge across any deck that you connect with. However, you learn to read it in your own way that speaks to you. You may find that a certain card takes on its own meaning to you, it comes to represent something specific in your life, and maybe this personal meaning is not in line with the “traditional” one. That’s okay! Tarot is a tool for self-reflection and if you feel connected to a card in a specific way, go with it! To this point, some tarot deck creators have adjusted or altered meanings of the cards based on their experiences and unique perspectives. That’s fine because you can still choose the meaning you associate with the card, whether it’s the author’s interpretation, the more universally accepted/traditional meaning, or your own personal definition for that card.

Now oracle card meanings are usually exclusive to that deck and that author’s definition. They often will have words or sentences explaining their meaning written on the card itself. So in some ways, you rely on the author’s guidebook more heavily when it comes to oracle. ((Again, this does not mean you can’t have your own definition or interpret cards intuitively!))

Tiger Moon Mystic Reading Angel Oracle Cards

Reading oracle is often a great way to begin your spiritual exploration and dip your toes into divination. It’s less overwhelming to familiarize yourself with a smaller deck (oh yeah, oracle decks usually consist of less than 78 cards). Plus they often have descriptors written right on them, making it easy to begin reading. Finally, they come in a huge variety (as do tarot decks), but you can focus on something very specific or meaningful to you that perhaps you already know a good deal about. Love crystals and working with them for healing? Check out Crystal Reading Cards. Really tuned in to angels? Try Messages from Your Angels. What about moon phases and astrology? Then Moonology could be a great place to start for you!

Wherever you decide to jump in with card reading, I promise there is a deck out there that is meant for you! Have questions or thoughts? Hit me up on Instagram @Tiger.Moon.Mystic or come see me for an Angel Card reading at Future Perfect!


Kaylie aka Tiger Moon

Does LED Light Therapy Really Work?

does LED light therapy work

“Shine bright like a diamond.”


Is light therapy or phototherapy just another skin care gimmick?

Up until fairly recently, I had only heard of the wonders of light therapy, but had never experienced it. The results I've seen on my acne and rosacea clients, however, have made me the ultimate groupie. I can make cystic acne clear up in less than half the time it would normally take. I can make dilated capillaries strengthen and thus diminish in appearance. I have seen sun damage break up and skin tone gain clarity. It isn't magic, it's science!

Light therapy uses different wavelengths, or colors, of light. LED stands for light-emitting diode and was first developed in the 1960s. When this beneficial light is applied directly to the skin it helps to increase collagen and elastin production, reduce inflammation, speed healing, increase circulation, and destroy acne bacteria. Light therapy delivers light energy in a similar way plants absorb light energy from the sun. I use LightStim LED, which emits UV-free, beneficial light rays that energize cells and stimulate the body's natural process to build new proteins and regenerate cells.

NYC derm Dennis Gross, MD, weighed in for a September 2017 article in Elle magazine saying "When a light is stimulating collagen, it's doing the exact same thing as any ingredient that's been proven to stimulate collagen--it works on the fibroblast cell in the dermis. Red LED wavelengths, specifically, activate a unique receptor on the fibroblast surface, leading to collagen production. They also reduce the amount of enzymes that break down collagen and work on mitochondria to increase ATP levels. There's no trauma to the skin--no heat or dryness. LED is an amazing new frontier in the antiaging arsenal." When you couple red and infrared LED, you're able to "stimulate circulation, which improves the look of the skin by bringing in antioxidants from the bloodstream. In sun-damaged skin, there's a loss of collagen lower down, and infrared can go below the dermis, where the blood vessels are, to induce healing."

I incorporate both LightStim for Anti-Aging and LightStim for Acne into my facial treatments to enhance the results we are trying to achieve. But the work doesn't stop there. All results are cumulative. If you suffer from acne, I may be able to get you to minimal breakouts, but your home care is what will keep you there. Using the LightStim for Acne on top of breakouts for 3 minutes a day will reduce inflammation, promote circulation and destroy P. acnes bacteria, which in turn lets us accomplish more each appointment! Using the LightStim for Anti-Aging at home for 3 minute increments on sections of your face will intensify product absorption, accelerate healing, reduce inflammation, promote circulation, and build collagen and elastin. In other words, your results will last longer.

-Marisa Overton, Esthetician

Healing Touch for Trauma Recovery

healing touch for trauma recovery

“Be my friend, hold me. Wrap me up, unfold me.”

- Sia

Trauma often occurs when situations happen so rapidly that there is no time to protect oneself, and the response to trauma often triggers fear and guarding mechanisms in the brain as well as the body and energetic body. Trauma can be from events such as accidents, sudden loss, assault, and can have many faces and many different effects depending on the person.

When working with clients, we can see and feel these patterns in the physical and the energetic body, and we have seen time and time again how healing touch through massage therapy or Reiki can help your mind and body to relearn TRUST.

If you are at a place where you are ready to receive Healing Touch to help move through trauma, then you have already come so very far in your healing. We honor where you are at, and we promise to do our very best to meet you where you are at and move at a therapeutic pace that feels the best for you.

We are trained to hold complete space for you, to listen to subtle and often unsaid cues about when your body says ‘yes,’ ‘no’ or ‘maybe,’ and we keep verbal communication open on that always. These messages in our bodies can change day to day or minute to minute. You are always welcome to communicate with us if you need more or less of something, as something we do may be ok one day and not ok the next. This is all a part of healing, and healing is never linear. This time is for YOU, and we do not have any goal in mind other than to help you on your journey and to provide you with a safe space to explore that. Take as much time as you need.

If Massage Therapy seems like too big of a step, we highly recommend a Reiki session. You can remain fully clothed for these sessions, and they only require light touch or energetic “beaming” to make you feel the most comfortable and to ease in to more graduated steps towards Healing Touch.

While we are not trained psychotherapists, we CAN listen and hold space for you and refer you to our most trusted resources. And we also believe that all healing doesn’t have to just go through talk therapy. We believe in a combination of practices. So much healing can be done when we find ways to release pain and trauma from our body and our energetic holding patterns, allowing more space to heal our minds and our souls.

We are here for You. If you have any questions, need further information about whether we are the right match for you, or need a reference for other local healers, counselors, doctors, etc that may best suit you, you can email us at futureperfectmassage@gmail.com.

-Dara Metcalfe, Massage Therapist & Reiki Master Teacher

Choosing the Right Facial Roller

choosing the right facial roller

“Rollin’ with the homies.”

- Coolio

Facial Rolling is an ancient Chinese skincare treatment, and one that all of us at Future Perfect love and use in our daily skincare and self care rituals.

We specifically chose three different crystal facial rollers: Jade, The Golden Healer, & Amethyst. Here is our guide to choosing which one, or two, is right for You.

Jade is the traditional facial roller, and since Jade is a naturally cooling stone, it is great for beauty routines to soothe tired skin, decrease eye puffiness and calm redness. We love to use this one to massage in our facial oils and eye treatments.

The Golden Healer Quartz Roller is one of our personal favorites because this stone is great for your Reiki and crystal healing at home. Quartz is for your crown chakra, while the golden hue from the iron oxide in the stone resonates with the root chakra, and this golden combination activates your solar plexus and gives your entire chakra system a recharge. Use this when you need a little self care, self love.

Amethyst is the one that we keep on our nightstands. This stone is calming, so it’s perfect for those who struggle with insomnia. Use this as part of your nightly routine to massage and relax and prepare for sleep.

Whenever you use this lightly stimulating massage roller, you are moving lymph under the skin. Our lymph system moves toxins out of our bodies, so it is important to move this lymph towards the closest node to flush these toxins out of bodies. So make sure to make a few rolling passes down towards your underarm, or axillary lymph node. If you have any questions, feel free to ask us, and we are happy to show you a demonstration in store, or we can even include the treatment in your next massage appointment!

-Dara Metcalfe, Massage Therapist & Reiki Master Teacher

Healing Myself through Healing Others

healing myself through healing others heather luttrell

“I believe the true healer is one who has been wounded and learned to heal herself.”

- Heather Luttrell

:: Written by Heather Luttrell ::

Being a human is hard work. It requires a lot of emotional and physical exertion. Sometimes, when we injure ourselves, the source is obvious: a fall, a slip, a broken bone. Sometimes, the source of our pain is not so obvious: you attempt to get out of bed in the morning and your left leg just won’t work anymore, rendering you unable to walk for six weeks. You can guess which was the case life gave me.

I spent the better part of the past fifteen years driving my tour van around the country, singing the blues with my traveling music show. It was a lot of sitting, a lot of work and I was exhausted by the hustle. I was exhausted period. My growth as a musician was nonexistent and as a human I had become stagnant. Life held little interest for me beyond whiskey and a stage to scream my blues away. Like in a cartoon, it was as if someone had bricked up and painted over my tunnel and I was a musical freight train headed straight for disaster. Unsure how to get “through” all of this, or perhaps simply unable to see it, I hit the wall with an excruciating metaphorical splat and the injury took me down. I wasn’t doing any self care and my body had finally made me stop. After being carried into my doctor’s office, I was informed I had five herniated discs. Faced with either surgery or bed rest and crossed fingers, I opted for my bed which came with a host of healing kitty companions.

To remedy my situation I decided to employ a combination of therapies including chiropractic care, cold laser therapy, yoga and massage. My holistic doctor also spoke to me about the emotional implications of my injury. My back was breaking because I was doing ALL the work for my band: the booking, the tour managing, the art for the albums, writing all the songs, driving us everywhere, handling all the money...pant pant pant... I wasn’t getting any help from my band mates or record label. My back was literally breaking in part because I felt unsupported. So as I lay there, legs up on pillows staring at the ceiling, I began to make phone calls to my support system to discuss how to lighten my load. I began delegating, saying “No” to things I couldn’t do, and was pleasantly surprised with how simple that was: no one thought less of me for doing less. That may have been the longest six weeks of my life... but after many books, movies, hours of thinking and learning to play the banjo, I emerged from the cocoon my bed had become and into a back brace with a lot of research under my belt.

healing myself through healing others heather luttrell

While my hodge-podge therapy combination was helping me to become a hobbling human again, nothing truly did the trick until a friend came to give me a massage. She was a tiny, intimidating person with whom I had no deep emotional connection, and yet, she was able to work magic on my physical form. After she unlocked my piriformis, I could be upright with minimal pain. It was long, slow, deep work... but I could once again walk without pain. Once my physical body had been attended to, it was time to give my emotions my full attention.

This experience of being being healed with holistic methods after being told by doctors that surgery was required reinvigorated my love of natural healing. The need to help and to heal others was reawakened within me and I knew I had some changes to make in my life and work. In 2003, when I graduated from the Atlanta School of Massage with a degree in Neuromuscular Therapy, I had mostly been doing mobile, in-home client massage and working out of my own home on friends and family. It sort of petered out over time and I missed it but wasn't sure where my fire had gone. This injury gave me the time to reassess what was important to me. My former fascination with the miracle that is the human body, our ability to heal and the emotional brain/body connection was once again at the forefront of my mind. Reuniting with my work as a massage therapist gave new fuel to pursue the passions that I had let fade. The new information I had gathered through my own experience was the key: the emotional body must be addressed for true healing to occur in the physical body. I find what often gets set aside in modern Western medicine is the emotional state of the patient and how the processing of emotions affects our physical body. I began exploring how to incorporate a range of therapies that take this emotional aspect into account in my own practice. Meditation, guided visualization, talk therapy, sound healing, and nutrition are a part of the healing I found vital for myself and now give to others. I believe the true healer is one who has been wounded and learned to heal herself.

Now, five years later with a yoga teacher certification under my belt, I am back to massaging full time. While I still struggle with working too much, I love what I do. I feel a purpose in it and am honored by my clients for allowing me to help them, as I once needed that help. I’m trying hard to remember and learn to listen when my body starts telling me to slow down before it stops me dead on the tracks again. If it does, I feel that maybe this time around I can trust the universe that change is coming, and it might just be time to rest up and get ready for what is next.

-Heather Luttrell, Massage Therapist

Massage & Reiki Meditation for Anxiety Relief

massage and reiki meditation for anxiety

“My heart is like a package with a fragile label on it. Be careful with me.”

- Cardi B

Are you suffering from anxiety? Either from short term situational anxiety to those that suffer from a chronic anxiety condition, massage and Reiki meditation can guide you towards relief.

When we are overwhelmed, it can tax our sympathetic nervous system, putting us in a constant state of fight or flight response. Over time this can tax our adrenals, trigger anxiety disorders, and increase cortisol levels which are “stress hormones.” This constant taxing leads to body fatigue which can lead to very real physical pains and ailments. When you find yourself here, learned grounding techniques and alternative therapies are so important to have in your self care tool box.

Massage is a wonderful grounding treatment because it reconnects us to our bodies, to our centers, and to the clues we hold in our bodies that teach us where we need to heal and where we need to center our attention. Massage can address and relieve all of those body pains triggered from stress and anxiety.

Massage also balances our parasympathetic nervous system. When this part of our nervous system is activated, it helps to release dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, which soothe anxiety and depression and help with an overall feeling of well being.

People also often lean towards Reiki and meditation during these times of stress because it calms the central nervous system, and when you release energetic blockages, there is always a sense of grounding afterwards. Although Fear is a strong emotion, it is often all an illusion. So when Reiki clears our energetic debris, we can connect more strongly to our genuine heart centered space of self love, giving us strength to change old patterns, heal old wounds, and to move forward in life with more firm footing.

Book a massage or Reiki meditation session for preventative care or when you find yourself in need. We are here for You.

-Dara Metcalfe, Massage Therapist & Reiki Master Teacher