Tarot Card Meanings

If you're new to the Tarot, you will find this introduction to the card meanings useful. We will look at the Major and Minor Arcana (suite of cups, pentacles, swords, and wands).

Major Arcana

  • The Fool: New beginnings, optimism, and the potential for adventure.
  • The Magician: Resourcefulness, power, and inspired action.
  • The High Priestess: Intuition, unconscious knowledge, and mystery.
  • The Empress: Femininity, beauty, nature, and nurturing.
  • The Emperor: Authority, structure, control, and fatherhood.
  • The Hierophant: Tradition, conventional beliefs, and shared cultural values.
  • The Lovers: Love, harmony, relationships, and value alignment.
  • The Chariot: Willpower, victory, assertion, and determination.
  • Strength: Courage, persuasion, influence, and compassion.
  • The Hermit: Introspection, solitude, and seeking inner wisdom.
  • Wheel of Fortune: Cycles, change, and life's ups and downs.
  • Justice: Fairness, truth, law, and cause and effect.
  • The Hanged Man: Suspension, restriction, letting go, and new perspectives.
  • Death: Endings, transformation, and transitions.
  • Temperance: Balance, moderation, and patience.
  • The Devil: Materialism, temptation, and overindulgence.
  • The Tower: Sudden change, upheaval, chaos, and revelation.
  • The Star: Hope, faith, rejuvenation, and inspiration.
  • The Moon: Illusion, fear, anxiety, and subconscious.
  • The Sun: Positivity, fun, warmth, and success.
  • Judgement: Reflection, reckoning, awakening, and self-evaluation.
  • The World: Completion, wholeness, accomplishment, and travel.

Minor Arcana


Element: Water

Emotions, relationships, and feelings

  1. Ace of Cups: New beginnings in love or emotions, a time of happiness and abundance.
  2. Two of Cups: A card of unity and partnership, often representing romantic or deep friendships.
  3. Three of Cups: Celebration and friendship, enjoying good times with loved ones.
  4. Four of Cups: A time of introspection and contemplation, possibly feeling dissatisfied.
  5. Five of Cups: A card of loss and regret, but with an opportunity to look towards what remains.
  6. Six of Cups: Nostalgia and pleasant memories from the past; childhood innocence.
  7. Seven of Cups: Choices and fantasies, possibly feeling overwhelmed by options.
  8. Eight of Cups: Leaving something behind in search of something more meaningful.
  9. Nine of Cups: Satisfaction and contentment, wishes coming true.
  10. Ten of Cups: Harmony and happiness in family or relationships; emotional fulfillment.
  11. Page of Cups: A messenger of creativity and emotion, possibly a young person or child.
  12. Knight of Cups: A romantic and charming individual, often on a quest for love or artistic pursuits.
  13. Queen of Cups: A nurturing and empathetic figure, deeply in tune with emotions.
  14. King of Cups: A calm and diplomatic leader, emotionally balanced and fair.


Element: Earth

Material aspects, such as work, money, and health

  1. Ace of Pentacles: A new opportunity in financial or material matters.
  2. Two of Pentacles: Balance in financial or material aspects; juggling resources.
  3. Three of Pentacles: Collaboration and teamwork, especially in work or creative projects.
  4. Four of Pentacles: Security and control in finances, but beware of greed.
  5. Five of Pentacles: Hardship and loss, particularly in financial or material realms.
  6. Six of Pentacles: Generosity and charity; a balance between giving and receiving.
  7. Seven of Pentacles: Patience and long-term planning; the fruits of labor are coming.
  8. Eight of Pentacles: Hard work and dedication, mastering a skill.
  9. Nine of Pentacles: Financial independence and luxury, enjoying the fruits of one's labor.
  10. Ten of Pentacles: Wealth and stability in family or long-term success.
  11. Page of Pentacles: A messenger of opportunity and financial news.
  12. Knight of Pentacles: Steady and diligent, committed to seeing tasks through.
  13. Queen of Pentacles: A practical and nurturing figure, good at managing home and business.
  14. King of Pentacles: A successful and wealthy individual, skilled in business and finance.


Element: Air

Intellect, thoughts, and conflict

  1. Ace of Swords: A breakthrough or a new way of thinking; clarity of mind.
  2. Two of Swords: Indecision and stalemate, needing to make a balanced choice.
  3. Three of Swords: Heartbreak, loss, and sorrow; emotional pain.
  4. Four of Swords: Rest and recovery; a time for contemplation and peace.
  5. Five of Swords: Conflict and tension, possibly a hollow victory.
  6. Six of Swords: Transition and moving away from difficulties; hope is on the horizon.
  7. Seven of Swords: Deception or strategy; be wary of dishonesty.
  8. Eight of Swords: Feeling trapped or restricted; self-imposed limitations.
  9. Nine of Swords: Anxiety and worry, often exaggerated by one's fears.
  10. Ten of Swords: Betrayal or a painful ending, but also the chance for a new beginning.
  11. Page of Swords: Curiosity and a thirst for knowledge, but beware of being too impulsive.
  12. Knight of Swords: Fast-thinking and action-oriented, but sometimes reckless.
  13. Queen of Swords: An intelligent and independent figure, but may come across as cold.
  14. King of Swords: A strategic and analytical leader, fair but emotionally detached.


Element: Fire

Creativity, action, and ambition

  1. Ace of Wands: Inspiration and new beginnings, particularly in creative ventures.
  2. Two of Wands: Planning and decision-making for the future; personal goals.
  3. Three of Wands: Expansion and looking ahead, success is on its way.
  4. Four of Wands: Celebration and joy, possibly a significant life event like a wedding.
  5. Five of Wands: Competition and conflict, struggles to assert oneself.
  6. Six of Wands: Victory and recognition, success after hard work.
  7. Seven of Wands: Perseverance and courage in the face of challenges.
  8. Eight of Wands: Rapid movement and progress, things happening quickly.
  9. Nine of Wands: Resilience and persistence, nearing the end of a struggle.
  10. Ten of Wands: Burden and responsibility, feeling overwhelmed.
  11. Page of Wands: A messenger of adventure and exciting news.
  12. Knight of Wands: Energetic and adventurous, but can be impulsive.
  13. Queen of Wands: Confident and vibrant, a social butterfly.
  14. King of Wands: A charismatic and bold leader, full of vision and passion.

I hope you found this helpful in exploring the meaning of the major and minor cards of the tarot.

Ayesha Hilton

About Ayesha Hilton

Hello! I'm Ayesha (pronounced eye-sha). I am an avid card deck lover and collector. I publish my own card decks and teach other creators how to design, print, and publish their own card decks with courses and strategy sessions. I am passionate about supporting you to express your brilliance with the world!

Have fun creating!

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