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Minor Arcana Tarot Card Meanings 

Find out about the Minor Arcana tarot card meanings to give more depth to your tarot readings.

The Minor Arcana or "lesser secrets" represent people and situations related to our everyday life. They often depict events that are within our control. The structure of the Minor Arcana is easy to understand because it follows the typical layout of the modern deck of cards.

Minor Arcana Tarot Card Meanings of the Suits

We find four suits (pentacles, cups, spades and wands) and in each,  cards are numbered from ace to ten plus the court cards that remind us of the medieval origin of the game: the King, Queen, Knight and Page. 

The suits relate directly to the suits of the current playing cards. In fact the wands represent clubs, the cups hearts, the swords spades and the pentacles diamonds. In the tarot the four suits are also associated with the four elements to further characterize their relation with our everyday lives.

The tarot suit of Wands represents the element of fire that brings intense but volatile energy.

Wands relate to the power of creative thinkers, artists, mystics and visionaries. These personalities often inspire others but their visions need nurturing and support to become reality. The fire vitality can be easily extinguished by routine and boredom.

A predominance of wands in a spread brings creativity and optimism. Wands are often associated with travel, new ventures, deals and negotiations.

Keywords: Intuition. Energy. Action. Travel. Negotiations. New projects. Creativity. Passion. Exuberance. Enthusiasm.

People: When Wand court cards appear, they often indicate an extroverted, active person full of drama and exuberance. Entrepreneurs, producers. Gifted teachers. Actors, artists.

Cups are all about the world of emotions and feelings. Water nurtures life and growth. Cups in a reading speak to us about sensitivity, relationships and interpersonal exchange. This element is linked with a strong bond with animals and nature.

Keywords: Feelings, emotions. Social life and relationships. Creativity and Intuition. 

People: Relationships and social life are important for typical watery types that are often kind and generous. They are softhearted and concerned about the others.Cups court cards can represent people that are sensitive and overemotional or someone that is deeply bonded to you like a spouse or a close relative. Relatives. Welfare workers. Psychologists. Counselors. Psychics.

Swords represent the element of Air, the realm of rational mental activity. This tarot suit is connected with the world of science and organized thinking. When swords appear in a spread, they often refer more to mental states than actual events. They can herald a desire of knowledge, learning and exploring.

Keywords: Thinking. Intellect. Mental activity. Rationality. Intelligence. Stress. Decisions.

People: Swords court cards represent intellectual people, able to analyze and organize information but unable to express their feelings. These often highly educated people may appear aloof and cold, in reality they have deep feelings but find it difficult to acknowledge them. Scientists. Military leaders. Lawyers. Doctors. 

The element of Earth is symbolized by the Pentacles, they represent the material world and our senses. Pentacles give a firm support to ideas, they are the common sense and the everyday work behind every brilliant intuition.

Earth represents also our sensuality and the need for material comforts. The Pentacles tarot suit symbolizes money, material goods and financial matters.

Keywords: The senses. Reality. The material world. Money. Property. Business. Wealth. Work. Management.

People: Court cards of Pentacles represent solid people who are able to work hard an appreciate the material comforts money can buy. Bankers. Accountants. Managers. Builders. Farmers.

Minor Arcana Tarot Card Meanings of the Court Cards

The court cards may represent real people, the querent or even a particular aspect of a person involved in a situation. These cards often refer to people that are important in our lives or may represent significant aspects of our own personalities. The court cards can be used to focus on relationships and interactions. They can explain conflicts and help us solve misunderstandings.

One way to identify the people engaged in an event is to assign the cards to each individual according to their age, physical and psychological characteristics.

Click on the links to read more about the tarot card meanings of the court cards of each suit.

The Pages

Pages represent children, immature adults or even an underdeveloped aspect of the querent personality.  Pages are associated with enthusiasm and creativity. They can also represent messages for the querent.

The Knights

Knights can represent active, enthusiastic, focused adults or a fast moving situation. They can also symbolize a facet of the questioner that is emerging.

The Queens

Queens represent mature, nurturing women or may stand for the querent's own nurturing aspect. 

The Kings

Kings are authoritative adults that are perceived as mature either for their age or their psychological characteristics.

Minor Arcana Tarot Card Meanings of the Pip Cards

The Minor Arcana are sometime called pip cards from the dots that indicate the numerical value of each card. The meaning of each of these tarot cards, comes from the ancient notion of the four elements and from symbols of numerology.

The Aces

The beginning and the root of each element, unity

The Twos

Balance, choice, relationship and duality

The Threes

Creation, blending, synthesis, expansion and new life

The Fours

Building the base, stability, order

The Fives

The foundation is undermined, challenge, struggle

The Sixes

Restoring harmony, equilibrium, progress

The Sevens

Knowledge brings instability, tests, victory

The Eights

Power and awareness, flow, change


The Nines

Fulfillment, triumph, attainment and completion

The Tens

 Achievement, perfection, transcendence and preparation for a new beginning

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