Tarot Card Meanings

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The Tarot

Tarot cards and Tarot card meanings have intrigued and fascinated many people over the centuries.

If you want to learn more about the Tarot cards, their traditional meanings and what they can reveal to you then read through the following pages I’ve put together.

The Tarot consists of 78 cards divided into two sections, the Major and Minor Arcana. The word Arcana means secret. The cards, therefore, are a collection of the secrets that can be revealed in Tarot Readings. The Tarot cards convey many messages because of the richness of their images and connections.

It is the interpretation, guided by psychic intuition of the Psychic Reader that can verbalise these messages to pass onto others in Tarot Readings.


The origin of the Tarot is clouded in mystery. No one knows exactly where the true origins of the Tarot lie. Some say Egypt, China, or Greece.

What is certain is that the cards were used in Italy in the fifteenth century as a popular card game.

The designs of the 22 cards in the Major Arcana can be traced back as far as 1440, when the first known deck appeared in Italy. The 3 decks called the "Visconti Trumps" are generally regarded as the "forefathers" of the decks that are widely available today.

It is believed that they were originally created as a game for Noblemen. It is not until centuries later that the cards re-emerged, this time as a tool of divination.

The Major Arcana

Click on the links and look through the 22 Major Arcana Tarot cards, numbered from 0 – 21 of the Tarot. More importance and significance should be placed on interpreting a Major Arcana card as these represent major events, emotions and deciding factors in any Tarot Reading.

The Minor Arcana cards represent the more mundane, everyday aspects in Tarot Readings.

There are hundreds of different Tarot designs and themes of Tarot decks but I’ve featured the most traditional – the Rider Waite Deck.

Most packs follow the same specific order in the Major Arcana, but some packs switch the Justice card and the Strength card numbering 8 or 11.

The Fool’s Journey

Each of the Major Arcana cards symbolises an aspect of our being. In our lives, we are continually influenced and driven by the underlying forces that the Tarot depicts. Collectively, the Major Arcana depicts the 'Fools Journey', the journey we all make, 'our lives' in other words. More on the Fools Journey.

To learn more about each of the Tarot card meanings simply click on the pictures below.

The Cards of the Major Arcana

The Minor Arcana

Similar to traditional playing cards, the 56 Minor Arcana cards are divided into four suits. These are Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. Some packs assign different names to their suits such as Rods, Staves or Batons in place of Wands. Pentacles in some packs are also known as Coins or Discs.

Again similar to playing cards each suit has numbered cards Ace –10. However unlike the three face cards in a playing card pack, the Tarot pack has four face or court cards - Page, Knight, Queen and King. Again different packs may give alternative names to the court cards such as Prince or Princess.

The four elements and Zodiac signs are assigned to each suit.

Swords are from the element of Air – Gemini, Libra, Aquarius and are connected with the intellect, thinking and learning.

Pentacles are from the element of Earth – Virgo, Capricorn and Taurus and are connected with practical, material and financial matters.

Wands are from the element of Fire – Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius and are connected with work, ambition and creativity.

Cups are from the element of Water – Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Cups are connected with emotions, feelings and love.

Court Cards

There are 4 Court Cards for each suit - Kings, Queens, Knights, and Pages (sometimes the names differ in different Tarot decks)

The challenge exists for Tarot Readers in interpreting the Court Cards because the Kings, Queens, Knights, and Pages can represent actual people, events, or aspects of a person's personality.

To learn more about each Court Card card and it’s meaning simply click on its picture below.

Court Cards of the Minor Arcana

Minor Arcana Number Cards

Ace of Wands Ace of Swords Ace of Pentacles Ace of Cups
2 of Wands 2 of Swords 2 of Pentacles 2 of Cups
3 of Wands 3 of Swords 3 of Pentacles 3 of Cups
4 of Wands 4 of Swords 4 of Pentacles 4 of Cups
5 of Wands 5 of Swords 5 of Pentacles 5 of Cups
6 of Wands 6 of Swords 6 of Pentacles 6 of Cups
7 of Wands 7 of Swords 7 of Pentacles 7 of Cups
8 of Wands 8 of Swords 8 of Pentacles 8 of Cups
9 of Wands 9 of Swords 9 of Pentacles 9 of Cups
10 of Wands 10 of Swords 10 of Pentacles 10 of Cups

Reversed Tarot Cards

Some Tarot Readers use reversed (upside down) cards in their interpretation of Reading the cards.

It can be quite overwhelming to use both upright and reversed meanings though when you are beginning to use the Tarot, so it is usually best to learn the upright cards first until you have a firm understanding

More on Reversed Tarot Cards


Some Tarot spreads have a built in significator (a card drawn to represent the Querant), and some do not. Some Tarot Readers do not Read with a significator, and simply ignore that position when it is built into a spread.

As with many aspects of Tarot Reading there is no hard and fast rule about this.

More on Significators

Tarot Spreads

Tarot spreads are simply the ways that Tarot Readers lay out the cards to give a tarot Reading. Normally, each position in the spread is assigned an area of life such as love, health, career, family etc. or past, present, future etc.

More on Tarot Spreads

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