The minor arcana meanings in this part of my tutorial will help you develop your tarot reading finesse. The minor arcana is comprised of 56 cards in 4 suits. The suits being: Wands, (Rods, Batons), Cups, Swords, and Pentacles (Coins, Discs). Each suit is similar to normal playing cards (ace to ten and Jack Queen King), with the addition of one extra court (face) card, the Page.
The playing card equivalents to the Tarot suits are :
Each suit refers one of four broad arenas of life and are represented by the astrological signs of Fire, (passion), Water, (emotions), Air, (ideas), and Earth (physical).
I include a keyword for each suit and each number group with a single generalization for easy recall.
Minor Arcana Meanings For The Suit Of Cups:
Keyword - Emotions
This is the suit of emotions.
Cups represent the astrological sign of Water.
The cup is a symbol of pleasure and fulfillment, happiness and joy. Often they represent our love life, but also this suit represents the humane person in each of us.
In addition, the suit of cups can also represent psychic powers, visions and illusions.
Minor Arcana Meanings For The Suit Of Swords:
Keyword : Action
This is the suit of leaders and warriors.
Swords represent the astrological sign of Air.
Swords represent ideas, courage, authority, aggression, boldness, force, strength, desire, and ambition.
A sword can be used for either attack or defense. Thus the scenarios represented by swords can therefore represent the subject either attacking or being attacked.
Represents thinking, speaking, problems and troubles. Live by the Sword, die by the Sword sums up many of the situations subjects get themselves into which are highlighted by Swords in their reading.
Minor Arcana Meanings For The Suit Of Wands:
Keyword - Creativity
Also called Rods, Batons or Staves.
Wands are the suit of passions and ideas, inventions, advancement, growth and progress. They represent the astrological sign of Fire - (passion).
This is the suit of laborers and workers. As such, in a reading it usually stands for the subjects ambition, career and creative endeavors.
The meanings expressed by the suit of Wands will represent things which the subject will have to do as they move forward in their life, as they express their talents - i.e. they are cards of action.
Minor Arcana Meanings For The Suit Of Pentacles:
Keyword - Wealth
This is the suit of the physical, which includes the body as well as the material world of careers and wealth.
Pentacles represent the astrological sign of Earth.
Pentacles are best known for representing health and money, but they also represent anything to do with work, a job, a task, a craft.
These are the cards of fortune - and can reveal both good and bad luck.
Each suit is made up of the numbers One (Ace) to Ten followed by four court cards - Page, Knight, Queen and King. As a generalization the numbers refer to the person themselves, whilst the court cards represent outside influences and people who are influencing that person.
There is a general progression through the numbers within the meaning of the particular arena of the selected suit. Within the suits of Wands, Cups and Pentacles, this progression is quite logical. The fly in the ointment is the suit of swords - for the suit of swords, more is definitely not better!
Minor Arcana Meanings For The Aces:
Keyword - Beginning
The aces are the root force of the suit. They are a new start. The Aces represent hopes, dreams and potential success. When following other cards in the story line they indicate creation or attainment.
Minor Arcana Meanings For The Twos:
Keyword - Decision
The twos represent a fork in the road. A decision has to be taken. Competing interests must be balanced. Harmony should be achieved.
Minor Arcana Meanings For The Threes:
Keyword - Triangle
The threes provide us with a triangle. Where the triangle is positive and supportive it is the strongest of all geometric structures. When it is negative and divisive, it becomes a wedge which separates and splits asunder.
Minor Arcana Meanings For The Fours:
Keyword - Stability
The fours represent stability. For a moment, everything is still, solid, rooted, established. This can be positive, a solid foundation. When negative, fours represent something that refuses to budge or change.
Minor Arcana Meanings For The Fives:
Keyword - Problem
The fives invariably pose a problem to be solved. They reflect instability entering the person’s life and as such they often raise more questions than answers. Advice or help for the subject is often called for to move them forward because an upset in the person’s life seems inevitable. Five is also the number of the Hierophant - the adviser.
Minor Arcana Meanings For The Sixes:
Keyword - Solutions
The sixes represent actions, moving forward toward solutions and stability. Even the swords show a getting on with life.
Minor Arcana Meanings For The Sevens:
Keyword - Effort
The sevens relate to the Chariot, a card about finding and maintaining control and mastery over opposing forces.
The subject represented by the sevens is faced with various dilemmas, all of which can be overcome after effort or finding a solution to their problem. Eventual success is foretold.
Minor Arcana Meanings For The Eights:
Keyword – Movement
The eights are about moving, taking action - they are related to the Strength card. Movement, travel, brave decisions and hard work are called for.
Minor Arcana Meanings For The Nines:
Keyword - Completion
The nines represent completion, good or bad, although the subject is not aware of it yet. The Wands are not sure which way to go (although resolution is at hand), the cups and pentacles auger success, and swords mean the ending of the current phase of the person’s life. Nine is also the number of the Hermit - shining a light on the situation.
Minor Arcana Meanings For The Tens:
Keyword - Finality
As the aces represented the start of a venture, dream or idea, the tens represent its conclusion.
The wands auger completion with a last effort or help, the cups show success as do the pentacles. With Swords the situation is over - finished, dead and gone.
The court cards usually represent people other than the subject themselves. In most decks they consist or the Page, Knight, Queen and King. In some styles, notably the Crowley, the Page is the Princess, so that in these packs there are two male and two female court cards. The meanings however, are the same. Court cards are outside influences or forces in the life of the subject. They may represent a lover or a partner, a boss or an assistant. They can show new opportunities and timely advice. On the negative side they can point to disruptive people and people to be avoided.
Minor Arcana Meanings For The Pages:
Keyword – Message
Pages are invariably described as a young person, indicating new ideas or developments. The Page brings a message relating to the arena of the particular suit. The pages can also stand for children in the subject’s life.
Minor Arcana Meanings For The Knights:
Keyword - Mission
The images of Knights are very much of a person on a mission. They suggest people involved in travel. The person is a mover and shaker influencing the life of the subject. Loyalty and trust (Knight like attributes) are associated with the Knights.
Minor Arcana Meanings For The Queens:
Keyword - Wisdom
The Queen is a person of wisdom and knowledge who can help the subject to move forward. The Queens can also counsel the subject to find and consult such a person. The Queen is a person who can put things into perspective.
Minor Arcana Meanings For The Kings:
Keyword - Knowledge
Many explanations actually start with the King because the King starts things off. This person is a motivator, an instigator of new projects. For planning, organizing, moving things forward, the King is the person to consult. A king’s knowledge is power, so use this person’s advice to your advantage.