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Love Tarot Cards

The Minor Arcana

the minor arcana
the minor arcana tarot cards

The Minor Arcana consists of 4 colors with each 16 cards. Every color is composed of 10 numbered cards and 4 court cards.

The Minor Arcana An Overview

The Basics of the Minor Arcana in Tarot Reading

A tarot deck consists of 78 cards that are separated into two general groups: the Major Arcana cards and the Minor Arcana cards.
the minor arcana tarot cards and love tarot

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The Minor Arcana makes up the majority of the tarot deck consisting of 56 cards. 52 of the 56 cards in the Minor Arcana loosely correspond to the 52 cards found in a regular playing card deck.

The remaining four cards are the four page cards, or in some decks, the princess cards.

Like a regular playing card deck, there are also knights (e.g. jacks), queens and kings. These are called the court cards and they typically used to represent people during a reading.

The other remaining minor arcana cards are numbered one through ten and are referred to as the the pip cards.

Pip cards usually are used to represent everyday events or situations in readings.

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The 52 Minor Arcana cards are composed of four suits. Although various tarot decks can call these suits by different names, the more traditional decks refer to them as Wands, Swords, Cups and Pentacles.

Each suit is associated to a particular element: earth, fire, water and air which are thought to correspond to different aspects of our daily lives.

Every suit also has an astrological association as well which represents a particular season of the year.

By understanding the astrological associations and season of the year, you can determine when things might occur.

Minor Arcana in Tarot Reading
How to quickly and easily understand the Minor Arcana.
The SuitThe ElementAspectsThe Direction
The Suit Of WandsThe Element is FireSpiritual undertakings, Fertility, Sexuality, Careers, Directions in Life and Sense of Purpose.The Suit of Wands direction is to the east and the season is spring
The Suit Of CupsThe Element is WaterRelationships, Emotions, Intuition, Creativity, Love and RomanceThe Suit of Cups direction is to the north and the season is summer.
The Suite Of SwordsThe Element is AirAbstract Thinking, Rational Thinking, Challenges and Obstacles, Truth, Clarity, IntelligenceThe Suit of Swords directions is to the west and the season is fall.
The Suit Of PentaclesThe Element is EarthMaterial possessions, security, money, ethics and values, growth and manifestationThe Suit of Pentacles direction is to the south and the season is winter.
  • Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are signs associated to the summer
  • Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are signs associated to the spring.
  • Libra, Gemini, and Aquarius are signs associated to the fall.
  • Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo are signs associated to the winter.
Minor Arcana in Tarot Reading

When you learn to do tarot readings for other people you will have to choose a Signifier card.

A Significator card (also sometimes referred to as the “Significator card”) is a card that represents the person being read. In most cases one of the court cards is usually chosen by the reader to represent this person.

This can be accomplished through their astrological sign, their age, or on their personailty traits.

Here are some of the most popular associations readers use to select the appropriate signifier card:

  • Pages are children or adolescents
  • Knights are men or woman under the age of thirty
  • Queens are mature women
  • Kings are mature men
  • The Suit of Wands is associated to Leo, Aries and Sagitarius
  • The Suit of Swords is associated to Gemini, Aquarius, and Libra
  • The Suit of Cups is associated to Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio
  • The Suit of Pentacles is associated to Taurus, Capricorn and Virgo
Minor Arcana in Tarot Reading

Although some tarot readers may choose not to use reversed cards, many tarot readers rely on a cards position to deepen the cards meaning.

In this respect, each card has two separate meanings: one for an upright position and the other for a reversed position. In most cases, uprights cards tend to be positive while reversed show obstacles or blocks.

Many beginning tarot readers often choose to read the cards in an upright position while they are initially learning the various tarot card meanings.

Once they become familiar with the upright meanings they then can begin to incorporate reversed meanings.

Minor Arcana in Tarot Reading
The Minor Arcana Meaning

Tarot Card Meanings – Tarot Reading and Understanding The Minor Arcana Tarot Cards

To fully understand tarot reading and tarot card meanings, we first need to begin with the part of the tarot deck known as the minor arcana cards.

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If you are at all familiar with a modern playing card deck, then you shouldn’t have too much difficulty learning how the cards of the minor arcana in a tarot deck are organized.

Both types of decks have four suits, but instead of the suits of hearts, diamonds spades and clubs, the tarot deck features the suits of wands, cups, coins and swords.

Both modern day playing cards and the cards of the tarot are numbered in numerical order.

In both decks you will find aces and numbered cards from two through ten.

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One significant distinction between the modern playing cards and the Tarot is the number of court cards represented.

While in a playing card deck you’ll find three court cards: jacks, kings and queens, a tarot deck has one extra court card series which is referred to as the pages.

While a playing card deck has a total of 52 common cards, the cards that make up the minor arcana in a tarot deck contain a total of 56 cards given the addition of the extra cards that represent the pages.

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While both decks may be similar in the way they are organized, the meanings of the individual cards contained within the decks are not.

In the minor arcana, different tarot card meanings are attributed to each card which may represent various situations that are going on in your present day to day life.

They can represent how you interact with people, your work, your emotions, your finances, and your personal relationships.

They can also represent the influences of the four elements: earth, sky, water and fire.

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Although many people believe the minor arcana tarot cards are not as significant as the major arcana tarot cards, I tend to disagree.

The minor arcana are incredibly powerful due to their specific nature. In a tarot card reading, the minor arcana reveal the who’s, how’s, and what’s.

There is no sense of permanence. If there are a number of minor arcana suit cards in your spread, know that you can make changes, work through blocks, and understands where you are emotionally.

What The Minor Arcana Symbolizes

Tarot Card Meanings: Tarot Reading And Understanding Suits of Wands, Cups, Pentacles and Swords

The four suits to the tarot deck are the wands, cups, pentacles and Swords.

Each Suit corresponds to a particular element: Fire, Water, Earth and Air.

They also correspond to the different seasons of the year: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

the minor arcana tarot cards

One could say that the Minor Arcana embraces the elements of the world to give us a next level meaning to our power reading

An overview

The Rider-Waite Minor Arcana Meanings

wands min

Wands – Represent the element Fire and show action and dynamic behavior

The Suit of Wands is the suit of action and direction. It is a creative suit and often reflects the imaginative and resourceful components to our natures. The element is fire. Fire is associated with passion, creativity, and spirituality. The suit of wands also is associated with the career. The wands indicate a time to look at your options, evaluate and then move forward with force. Wands, in general, tend to be warm and enthusiastic. They value tradition and want their environment to be harmonious.

Their tarot card meanings also can include issues of sexuality and fertility. In a love tarot reading, the wands represent the sex drive, love intentions and a call to action or initiation. However, they can also represent loss of interest, infidelity, and a low sex drive. These are powerful cards when associated with love tarot. They can offer tremendous insight into the nature of someone’s relationship or relationships to come.

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Cups – Represent the element Water. They are about your emotions and empathy.

This suit is remarkable in its ability to give insight into the emotional landscape of ourselves, as well as give insight into our love relationships and the relationships to our family. Because this suit is interconnected with the soul and the soul journey, their tarot card meanings can reveal past traumas that infiltrate our everyday lives and our perceptions of the world.

Water is a symbol of the unconscious, the dream world, and the intuitive natures of our psyches. Water is also a mirror. This mirror reflects our emotional natures, the wounds we have endured, and the gifts we can emotionally give to others. The cups also symbolize the “nurturing” qualities that have influenced our lives and can often reveal where we have struggled with a lack of this. In a tarot reading, the suit of cups can reveal the areas in our lives that our fluid as well as reveal the areas that are stuck. Their tarot card meanings can reflect our overall emotional well being.

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Swords – Represent the element Air and show your rational and communicative possibilities

The command of the swords references the current life challenges and obstacles of those being read. It is the suit that “cuts” through to the truth regardless of the feelings associated with such life challenges. With that in mind, their tarot card meanings can be unsympathetic and can deal great blows to such defense mechanisms like denial or repression. It is the suit that requires the most willingness, with spiritual inferences that demand a new awareness and perception, regardless of the pain associated in making such a massive transition of consciousness.

When the swords are drawn in a tarot reading, it is important to recognize that they represent the realm of the mind and not necessarily the facts of a situation. The swords preside over the intellect, and solicit new wisdom and clarity. Their tarot card meanings can serve as a warning for over aggressive behavior and situational miscommunications. In a tarot reading, this suit can foretell an illness, emotional turmoil and even death. The element is air and the symbolism is that of truth. Like the sword, truth can be double-edged. It can be both enlightening as well as heartbreaking. In either case, this suit calls for new clarity and action.

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Pentacles – Represent the element Earth and stand for how you go along with tangible things.

In a tarot reading, the suit of pentacles typically represents all that resides in the physical world. This includes material gain, financial security, emotional stability, and the fruits of our labor. It is the suit of manifestation and realization. It is also the suit of health and the “physical body”. It is not surprising that their element is earth. Depending on the deck that is used in your tarot reading, pentacles can also be depicted as disc, coins and diamonds.

Pentacles can also symbolize the mother earth, growth, and fertility. It is the suit of material resources and can refer to all that this earth can give us. On a more practical level, their tarot card meanings can refer to matters of real-estate, property, and industry. Often, the suit of pentacles may represent anything that may have to due with the exchange of money. This includes situations relating to banking matters, inheritance, and financial management. Their tarot card meanings may also refer to issues of trust, generosity, commitment and egalitarianism. They may propose actions of charity, kindness, and the defending of those who are being treated unfairly.

An overview

Understanding The Court Cards

Court cards have two primary purposes.

The first is to depict specific characteristic of the person being read, and the second is to represent the various people in his or her life.

Court cards can be an excellent tool for delving into the areas of oneself that need to be improved upon.

Their tarot card meanings can illuminate the qualities that are working for you as well the qualities that are working against you.

The same can be said for the various people in ones life.

Differentiating these tarot card meanings can prove to be difficult.

As a tarot reader, you must learn to identify when the cards apply directly to the self (that of the person being read) or to their relationships.

minor arcana court cards

There are a number of techniques used to allocate the various court cards to particular individuals.

One approach is to appoint astrological signs to each of the suits.

Another is to assign the court cards to individuals according to their age and physical appearance. In this case, pages represent children and adolescents, knights represent young adults (20’s to 40’s) and king and queens represent mature adults.

Should you wish to base your interpretations on physical appearances in a tarot reading, you may use the chart below to help establish what suit is associated with what characteristics.

the minor arcana
  • Wands – Fair or red hair, fair skin, eyes can be both dark or light
  • Swords – Brown hair, olive skin, blue, hazel or light brown eyes
  • Cups – Light hair, fair skin, gray or blue eyes
  • Pentacles – Dark hair, ethnic skin, dark eyes

When you are doing a tarot reading, sometimes you can not allocate a card to a specific individual nor can you find a relationship to the qualities of the court card with the qualities of the person being read.

In this case, their tarot card meanings may carry a more generalized interpretation.

Below, I have listed general outlines for pages, knights, queens and kings.

Should all else fail, and I can not make an association; I can count on the cards universal elucidations.


The Court Cards Meaning

In the past – and many still do today – Tarot readers interpreted the court cards as representing real people: a blonde woman, a dark man… rather you should rarely see a Tarot card as corresponding to a person.

Every reader can decide for himself how he sees this. There is nothing wrong with that.

In a tarot card reading, pages are typically the messengers of some form of communication.

Because of their youth, there is always a need for more information to make appropriate decisions.

Pages are innocent, flexible and often represent new beginnings that require attention and cultivation

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Kings – Represent the active properties of their color. They are symbol for the spirit of the color

Kings characteristically represent public relations, public recognition and awards.

They are the father figures. With this authority, kings have the opportunity to sit back and let others do the work for them.

When kings come up in a tarot reading, their tarot card meanings may reflect a situation where there will be an opportunity for leadership.

Kings can also indicate the ending of a situation.



Queens – Stand for the passive properties of their color and are symbol for the soul of that color

In a tarot reading, queens rarely represent actual situations.

They are more likely to represent the commencement of new understanding and awareness of a situation.

They may suggest a need for a more feminine or passive approach when taking a new direction.

They indicate a time for growth and progress.



Knights – Express moods concerning the properties of their color

Knights typically reflect the onset of new relationships in your life.

In your free tarot reading, a knight may also suggest a deep need for new knowledge on a particular subject.

Knights can also represent the consequences of an action.

This may be due to their inclination towards hastiness.

Knights always predict a movement of some kind

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Pages – Shows opportunities, concerning their color, offered to you. It are the opportunities that cross your path.


Ace Tarot Card Meanings

minor arcana ace cards

The Aces have significant meaning.

They, like the major arcana, often represent the onset of a new life cycle.

Although they are associated with the Pip Cards (the minor arcana) they typically refer to new beginnings and important crossroads.

They convey a raw force, propelling us forward into a new area of development and growth.

When an Ace appears in a tarot reading it is an indication that new opportunities are on the horizon.

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The Ace of each suit is the foundation for the remaining cards of that suit.

They represent the initial stage of a phase of development.

They are associated with the number one.

One symbolizes the beginning of a new cycle.

It also symbolizes forward action, new opportunity and individuality.

Their tarot card meanings often refer to major changes in ones life.

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When there are a number of Aces in a tarot spread, it is typically an indicator that this is an excellent time to initiate a new project.

This is also the ideal environment for planting the seeds for future growth.

Fresh ideas and creativity will serve you.

You may find yourself in a new relationship or your existing relationship will reach a new level of intimacy.

Aces always encourage one to seek out new opportunities and explore new areas of interest.

ace of wands


This is a period of transformation.

New beginnings and new opportunities may present themselves.

This is a great time to explore changes in your career.

Get into action and follow your dreams. Be creative

ace of swords


This is a period in which you will be inundated with new ideas and self-confidence.

You will experience a new freedom.

The timing is right for you to assert yourself.

You may find yourself embarking on a new intellectual project

ace of cups

The golden orb and sceptre symbolise a monarch or ruler. There are two interpretations for the sceptre, the first being the Egyptian ankh bringing life, health and good fortune, and the second being a mathematician’s T-square.

The solid grey throne yells out loud, “I have worked hard and long to build my empire, and now I have rule over my earthly domain.”

Tarot Card Meanings of the Ace of Pentacles in a Tarot Reading min

You may experience a new sense of self-worth.

Your personal value system will make necessary shifts.

Financial projects will be successful.

This is a great time to start a new business.

Your hard work will pay off.

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