Spot tarot symbols in the card images and learn to read tarot like a pro.
Icons are sprinkled throughout the imagery of all tarot decks. Learn to recognize them and interpret their meanings.
Below you can see some card pictures and at their side I listed the symbols you can find in each one.
Find out how many symbols you can spot in a tarot card and try to figure out their meaning.
Follow your intuition and remember there is not a right or wrong interpretation but just meanings that happen to be more obvious than others.
Then compare your insight with the list of common interpretation at the end of the page.
Here we listed in alphabetical order some of the recurring tarot symbols and their common interpretation.
Angels: Divine messenger, inspiration, important news, noble ideals.
Ankh: The Egyptian symbol we find in the right hand of the Emperor. It symbolizes immortality and life
Arches: New path, an opening in a new direction.
Armor: Protection, strength, getting ready for adversity.
Banner/ Flag: change, transformation, freedom
Bird: Higher ideals and thoughts, taking off to a higher level
Blindfold: Inability to discern what is around us, incapability to accept the truth.
Boat/Ship: Journey, moving, taking a different direction.
Books: Knowledge, understanding.
Bridge: Transition, support to accomplish something, connection.
Bull: Strength, powerful force, strong will.
Butterfly: metamorphosis, change, transformation.
Caduceus: The wand of Hermes represents duality, partnership, negotiation but also lies and theft.
Castle: Shelter, accomplishment.
Chains: Slavery, restrictions, self imposed limits.
Children: Harmony, happiness, family, new beginnings.
Circle: Unity, wholeness, continuity.
City: Protection, social interaction, group energy.
Clouds: Messages, revelations, disclosure, epiphany.
Crab/Lobster: regeneration, the subconscious.
Crown: Mastery, royalty
Dog: Loyalty, fidelity, steadiness.
Dove: Pure love, hope, longing.
Falcon/Eagle: Rising above ordinary life, transcending the mundane, superiority, power.
Fire: Creative energy, passion and destruction.
Fish: Emotions, intuition, creativity, the subconscious mind.
Flowers: Creativity, beauty, happiness, abundance.
Grapes/Grapevines: Abundance, fertility, fruitfulness.
Hammer: Work, getting the job done.
Hand: Force, power, protection.
Heart: Emotions, love, courage.
Horse: Energy, strength, power, movement, progress.
House: Protection, security, family.
Infinity Sign: This tarot symbol represents the eternal cycle of life.
Keys: Discover what is hidden, gaining knowledge.
Lamp: Learning the truth, enlightenment, awareness, keeping watch.
Leaves: Vitality, creativity, abundance
Lightning: Act of god, striking message from above, creation and destruction, blinding clarity.
Lily: Purity and innocence
Lion: Courage, strength, power, beastly instincts.
Moon: Feminine tarot symbol, it represents the intuition, the cycles of nature and the element of water.
Mountains: Difficulty, challenge, obstacles and goals, overcoming troubles.
Path: Finding our way, the chosen path, life journey.
Pillars: Looking for the right balance, diplomacy.
Pomegranates: Abundance, fertility, riches, love, sensuality.
Ram: Leadership, authority, determination, action.
Rose: Beauty, commitment, promise.
Rainbow: Hope, happiness, new beginning.
Salamander: Rebirth, renovation, renewal.
Sea/Ocean: Immensity of the unknown, depths of mystery, emotions.
Shield: Protection and defense, getting ready.
Snake: Rebirth an renewal, flexibility, adaptability.
Square: Structure, stability.
Sphinx: Mytological creature that guards life secrets.
Star: Hope, guidance, healing, guiding light.
Sun: Creativity, growth, energy.
Sunflower: Optimism, energy.
Tree: Protection, growth.
Tomb: Rest, getting rid of wrong attitudes, rebirth.
Veil: Hidden Knowledge
Wall: limitation, blocks.
Water: Subconscious mind and emotions.
Wreath: Victory, peace, success.
Some symbols are less conspicuous than others and recognising them can give your reading an interesting depth.
Using the Rider-Waite deck I’ll point out some of these secret tarot symbols you can use like a key to an insightful interpretation.
The Fool - The rose in his hand represents purity and rebirth.
The Magician - The stick you see in the magician hand is a magic wand, symbol of his power over the material world.
The High Priestess - The two pillars at the sides of the Priestess represent the duality of the world.
The Empress - The twelve stars on the crown of the Empress are the zodiac signs.
The Emperor - Under his robes, The Emperor wears a protecting suit of amor.
The Hierophant - The triple crown on his head stands for the three stages of masonry apprenticeship.
The Lovers - The Angel and the Sun represent the knowledge and the logical thinking.
The Strength - The figure of eight on the woman’s head stands for the infinity.
The Hermit - The six pointed star and the lantern represent the enlightenment.
The Wheel of Fortune - The four winged creatures represent the elements.
The Justice - The two columns are symbols of the balance of opposites.
The Hanged Man - The tree supporting the hanged man is the surrender to the flow of life.
Death - The rose on the standard represents life and purification.
The Temperance - The symbol on the temperance forehead is the alchemical sign for gold.
The Devil - The star pointing down is a symbol of negativity.
The Tower - The circular crown on the square tower represents the human arrogance.
The Stars - The four elements are represented by the star (fire), the bird (air), the pool (water), the ground (earth).
The Moon - The lobster in the water stands for the unconscious mind.
The Sun - The feather on the boy’s head is the vital energy we also find in the Death and in the Fool.
Judgement - The red cross on the flag recalls the symbol of the Knights Templar and the call to arms.
The World - The sticks in the hands of the female figure represent the unifying of the opposites and the wreath around her recall the number zero of the Fool.
Find out about the Fool's Journey and tarot cards meaning
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