Tarot is often associated with the enigmatic Major Arcana cards. However, nestled within the deck lies another realm of symbolism and significance—the Minor Arcana. While they may be labeled as “minor,” these cards carry immense power and profound meanings that deserve our attention.
The Minor Arcana represents the everyday aspects of life, providing insights into our existence’s practical and temporary aspects. The Minor Arcana highlights our day-to-day experiences, challenges, and opportunities.
This article delves into the fascinating world of the Minor Arcana in Tarot, exploring their representation of everyday experiences, emotions, and challenges. Discover why understanding Tarot’serpreting the Minor Arcana is essential for unlocking the depths of Tarot readings and how these seemingly modest cards can reveal profound insights into our lives.
If you are looking for the meaning of the Major Arcana cards, you will find in-depth information in the article below.
Related article: Soul’s Journey: Meaning of Major Arcana Cards
What the minor Arcana represents
Picture the Major Arcana as the grand milestones and life-altering events that shape our paths. The cards represent big-ticket moments like love, significant decisions, and spiritual awakening.
On the other hand, the Minor Arcana cards capture “everyday” moments, the mundane yet significant experiences that make up the fabric of our lives. It is always good to remember that substantial shifts in life often come from more minor decisions.
I often hear that the Major Arcana is more “important” than the Minor Arcana, but it is not true. In my experience, the most significant happenings in my life have sparked from a seemingly (at the time) small decision.
For example, I was not planning to go out with my friends but was talked into it – I later met my husband at the party. A small decision led to a significant impact on my life.
The Minor Arcana is where the nitty gritty of a tarot reading often is found. It is the details.
The Minor Arcana consists of the four suits
The Minor Arcana consists of four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles (or Coins). Each suit has a unique energy and corresponds to different areas of our lives.
- Wands: This fiery suit symbolizes passion, creativity, and inspiration. It represents our ambitions, projects, and personal growth. When Wands appear in a reading, they ignite our motivation and push us to take action toward our dreams.
- Cups: The Cups suit is all about emotions, relationships, and matters of the heart. It reflects love, compassion, intuition, and our emotional well-being. When Cups cards show up, they provide insights into our romantic, familial, or friendship connections.
- Swords: The Swords suit delves into intellect, thoughts, and communication. It represents life’s mental state, decision-making processes, and conflicts. Swords cards guide finding clarity, overcoming challenges, and achieving mental equilibrium.
- Pentacles: Grounded in the element of earth, the Pentacles suit focuses on life’s material and practical aspects. It encompasses finances, career, home, and physical well-being. Pentacles cards bring insights into our material pursuits, offering guidance on abundance, stability, and our relationship with the physical world.
As you notice, the Minor Arcana stand for the details in our lives, while the Major Arcana for the major energetic shifts or movements in our lives to understand the messages we receive from a tarot reading.
If you want to learn more about Suits, I have written an in-depth article. You find it below.
Further reading: What Tarot Suits Are: A Total Beginner’s Guide
Why the Minor Arcana is important
Why are these seemingly “minor” cards important in Tarot readings? Well, they bring balance and depth to the messages we receive.
While the Major Arcana offers overarching themes and transformational energy, the Minor Arcana provides the finer details and practical advice we need to navigate our daily lives.
The Minor Arcana helps us comprehensively understand a situation when interpreting Tarot cards. They add layers of meaning and offer guidance specific to the challenges and opportunities we encounter regularly.
Whether it’s a career decision, matters of the heart, or personal growth, the Minor Arcana illuminates the subtleties and nuances that shape our journey.
By paying attention to the Minor Arcana, we honor the importance of everyday experiences. Through these seemingly “minor” details, we can make profound life changes and decisions.
The Minor Arcana acts as a bridge, connecting the grand themes of the Major Arcana with our tangible reality.
So, the next time you dive into a Tarot reading, embrace the Minor Arcana enthusiastically. They hold a wealth of wisdom, offering practical insights and guiding you through the intricacies of your unique journey.
Remember, no experience is too small or insignificant regarding Tarot. Whether major or minor, each card carries a special message just for you.
Incorporate the Minor Arcana, and watch your Tarot readings become more prosperous, nuanced, and genuinely transformative.
It is possible to leave the Minor Arcana cards out of a reading if you want to, but you will lose a lot of information and detail. But at times, it can be beneficial. If you want to learn more about this, read the article below.
Further reading: Tarot Readings With Major Arcana Cards: Pros And Cons
The MINOR Arcana cards in order
Learning the Minor Arcana cards when you are a beginner can be a little tricky. But don’t fret; you will get the hang of it with time.
My most important tip is to learn the meaning of the suit itself and then learn the basics of numerology. Look at the card and take notice of the symbols. When you combine the three, you get the meaning of the Minor tarot card.
The meaning of the suit + symbolism + numerology meaning = tarot card meaning
|Unity, Potential, Wholeness, Divine
|Individuality, Independence, Self-confidence
|Balance, Harmony, Cooperation
|Creativity, Expression, Joy
|Stability, Hard Work, Practicality
|Freedom, Adventure, Change
|Love, Family, Responsibility
|Spirituality, Intuition, Inner Wisdom
|Success, Abundance, Achievement
|Transformation, Compassion, Humanitarianism
|Divine Order, Manifestation, Potential
Please note that numerology interpretations may vary among schools of thought and practitioners, but the above meanings are commonly associated with the respective numbers.
I understand it can sometimes feel daunting learning all of the cards. If you want to learn more about how long it might take to learn the system, you find information in the article below.
Further reading: How Long Does It Take To Learn And Master The Tarot?
THE COURT CARDS
The court cards are the Pages, Knights, Queens, and Kings of the tarot deck. They belong to the Suits but have different characteristics than the Aces to Tens.
The court cards are a specific category representing different personalities or archetypes.
They typically depict individuals, often referred to as “courtiers” or “court figures,” and they play a significant role in the Tarot deck.
The court cards are divided into four suits: Wands (also known as Staves or Rods), Cups, Swords, and Pentacles (also known as Coins or Disks). Each suit has its own court cards consisting of the Page, Knight, Queen, and King.
The court cards in Tarot signify different qualities, characteristics, or roles that can be found in people and situations.
The court cards often depict certain archetypes or symbolic representations of individuals or personality types, providing insights into the dynamics or the energies influencing the situation.
Here’s a brief overview of the general significance and representation of the court cards:
- Pages: The Pages symbolize youthful energy, curiosity, and growth potential. They are associated with learning, messages, and new beginnings. Pages can represent a person or situation needing exploration, enthusiasm, and receptivity to new ideas.
- Knights: The Knights embody action, passion, and a sense of adventure. They represent a drive for progress, ambition, and pursuing goals with determination. The Knights often signify a person or situation characterized by assertiveness, movement, and taking bold strides forward.
- Queens: The Queens represent nurturing, intuition, and emotional intelligence. They embody qualities such as compassion, wisdom, and the ability to provide support. The Queens often symbolize individuals or situations where nurturing, empathy, and understanding are prevalent.
- Kings: The Kings embody authority, leadership, and mastery. They represent power, wisdom, and the ability to make decisions. The Kings often symbolize individuals or situations that require leadership, responsibility, and a firm hand to achieve desired outcomes.
It’s important to note that while the court cards can represent actual people in a reading, they can also signify energies, characteristics, or situations that need to be considered.
The specific interpretation of a court card can vary depending on its position in a spread, surrounding cards, and the reader’s intuitive insights.
Interpreting court cards in Tarot requires understanding the general meanings associated with each card, considering their suit elements, and applying intuition and context to derive a more nuanced understanding of their significance in a particular reading.
The meaning of the court cards
Below you will find the general meanings of court cards and suit-specific meanings.
|Youth, curiosity, new beginnings, messages
|Learning, exploration, opportunities
|Action, adventure, passion, impulsiveness
|Energy, drive, enthusiasm
|Nurturing, empathy, intuition, maturity
|Wisdom, grace, compassion
|Authority, leadership, mastery, stability
|Power, control, responsibility
|Creative inspiration, exploration, enthusiasm
|Ideas, potential, curiosity
|Action, adventure, passion, impulsiveness
|Courage, drive, ambition
|Confidence, leadership, independence, determination
|Charisma, vitality, influence
|Vision, power, success, entrepreneurship
|Strength, authority, innovation
|Emotional growth, intuitive messages, new relationships
|Sensitivity, imagination, creativity
|Romance, charm, artistic pursuits, emotional expression
|Idealism, passion, gentleness
|Emotional balance, compassion, nurturing, psychic abilities
|Intuition, empathy, serenity
|Emotional maturity, diplomacy, leadership, creativity
|Wisdom, calmness, emotional intelligence
|Intellect, curiosity, new ideas, communication
|Mental agility, alertness, curiosity
|Ambition, determination, decisive action, justice
|Courage, assertiveness, truth-seeking
|Clarity, logic, objectivity, independence
|Intelligence, analysis, perceptiveness
|Intellectual power, authority, truth, fairness
|Wisdom, discernment, leadership
|New opportunities, practicality, learning, diligence
|Ambition, curiosity, growth
|Hard work, reliability, responsibility, stability
|Efficiency, perseverance, dependability
|Abundance, practicality, nurturing, financial security
|Fertility, sensibility, generosity
|Wealth, success, stability, mastery of the material world
|Security, competence, discipline
Please note that interpretations of Tarot cards can vary, and these meanings and keywords are general guidelines.
The specific interpretations may differ depending on the reader or the context of the reading. As the court cards involve personality traits, they can sometimes be complex. If they feel confused, give it time. The meaning will usually come to you when you least expect it.
The Minor Arcana meanings
In the tables below, you find keywords that can help when learning the Minor Arcana cards. If you want to learn more about other tarot cards in the deck, I recommend you check out my tarot cheat sheet page. Bookmark it for easy access when doing tarot readings.
|Ace of Cups
|Love, new emotional beginnings
|Connection, harmony, mutual love, and understanding
|Two of Cups
|Union, partnership, harmony
|Connection, harmony, mutual love and understanding
|Three of Cups
|Celebration, friendship, creativity
|Joyous gatherings, friendships, creative collaborations
|Four of Cups
|Contemplation, introspection, apathy
|Self-reflection, contemplation, reevaluation of emotional fulfillment
|Five of Cups
|Loss, disappointment, grief
|Emotional loss, regret, focusing on what went wrong
|Six of Cups
|Nostalgia, childhood, memories
|Innocence, memories, reconnecting with the past
|Seven of Cups
|Choices, fantasies, illusion
|Daydreaming, choices, being overwhelmed by possibilities
|Eight of Cups
|Soul-searching, walking away
|Leaving behind what no longer serves, soul-searching, personal growth
|Nine of Cups
|Contentment, wishes fulfilled
|Emotional satisfaction, fulfillment of desires
|Ten of Cups
|Harmony, joy, family
|Emotional harmony, happy family life, domestic bliss
|Page of Cups
|Creativity, new opportunities, messages
|Creative inspiration, new opportunities, receiving emotional messages
|Knight of Cups
|Romance, charm, emotional exploration
|Romantic pursuit, emotional exploration, following the heart’s desires
|Queen of Cups
|Intuition, compassion, emotional support
|Emotional sensitivity, nurturing, compassion
|King of Cups
|Emotional maturity, wisdom, diplomacy
|Emotional stability, wisdom, diplomatic approach
|Ace of Pentacles
|New beginnings, prosperity, opportunities
|Material abundance, new ventures, financial opportunities
|Two of Pentacles
|Balance, adaptability, juggling priorities
|Balancing multiple aspects of life, adaptability, managing priorities
|Three of Pentacles
|Collaboration, teamwork, craftsmanship
|Collaboration, skilled work, teamwork
|Four of Pentacles
|Stability, possessiveness, financial security
|Financial stability, possessiveness, guarding resources
|Five of Pentacles
|Hardship, poverty, isolation
|Financial struggle, isolation, feeling left out
|Six of Pentacles
|Generosity, giving and receiving, charity
|Giving and receiving, acts of kindness, sharing resources
|Seven of Pentacles
|Patience, perseverance, long-term vision
|Patience, investment, waiting for results
|Eight of Pentacles
|Diligence, skill development, craftsmanship
|Hard work, skill development, attention to detail
|Nine of Pentacles
|Abundance, luxury, self-sufficiency
|Material abundance, self-reliance, enjoying the fruits of labor
|Ten of Pentacles
|Legacy, family, wealth
|Family prosperity, financial security, passing down traditions
|Page of Pentacles
|Ambition, practicality, opportunities
|New opportunities, practicality, ambition
|Knight of Pentacles
|Responsibility, reliability, hard work
|Dependability, hard work, methodical approach
|Queen of Pentacles
|Nurturing, abundance, practicality
|Nurturing, practicality, financial stability, abundance
|King of Pentacles
|Wealth, success, stability
|Material success, financial stability, responsible and practical approach
|Ace of Swords
|Mental clarity, new ideas, breakthrough
|Mental clarity, new ideas, intellectual breakthrough
|Two of Swords
|Difficult decisions, stalemate, compromise
|Indecision, difficult choices, need for compromise
|Three of Swords
|Heartbreak, sorrow, grief
|Emotional pain, heartbreak, sorrow
|Four of Swords
|Rest, recuperation, contemplation
|Rest, recovery, taking a break to reflect and rejuvenate
|Five of Swords
|Conflict, deceit, winning at all costs
|Conflict, deception, victory at the expense of others
|Six of Swords
|Transition, moving on, finding peace
|Transition, moving on, finding solace
|Seven of Swords
|Betrayal, deception, sneakiness
|Deception, betrayal, cunning actions
|Eight of Swords
|Restriction, self-imposed limitations
|Feeling trapped, self-imposed limitations, limited perspective
|Nine of Swords
|Anxiety, nightmares, inner turmoil
|Anxiety, nightmares, inner torment
|Ten of Swords
|Defeat, failure, hitting rock bottom
|Overwhelming defeat, failure, reaching the lowest point
|Page of Swords
|Curiosity, mental agility, new perspectives
|Intellectual curiosity, mental agility, seeking new perspectives
|Knight of Swords
|Ambition, determination, assertiveness
|Ambition, assertiveness, strong determination
|Queen of Swords
|Clarity, independence, discernment
|Mental clarity, independence, sharp discernment
|King of Swords
|Authority, logic, intellectual power
|Intellectual power, authority, strong analytical and logical thinking
|Ace of Wands
|Inspiration, new opportunities, creative potential
|New beginnings, creative inspiration, potential for growth
|Two of Wands
|Planning, partnership, future vision
|Making plans, partnership, envisioning the future
|Three of Wands
|Expansion, progress, exploration
|Progress, expansion, exploring new horizons
|Four of Wands
|Celebration, harmony, homecoming
|Celebration, harmony, joyous occasions
|Five of Wands
|Conflict, competition, disagreement
|Conflict, competition, disagreements
|Six of Wands
|Victory, recognition, public acclaim
|Victory, recognition, receiving public acclaim
|Seven of Wands
|Courage, perseverance, standing your ground
|Courage, resilience, defending your position
|Eight of Wands
|Swiftness, rapid action, progress
|Rapid action, progress, quick changes
|Nine of Wands
|Resilience, persistence, inner strength
|Resilience, persistence, inner strength
|Ten of Wands
|Burdens, responsibilities, overwhelm
|Feeling overwhelmed, burdens, responsibilities
|Page of Wands
|Exploration, enthusiasm, new beginnings
|Curiosity, enthusiasm, embracing new opportunities
|Knight of Wands
|Energy, passion, adventure
|Energy, passion, adventurous spirit
|Queen of Wands
|Confidence, leadership, independence
|Confidence, leadership, independence
|King of Wands
|Authority, vision, charisma
|Authority, vision, charisma, taking charge
The reversed meanings of the MINOR Arcana cards
A reversal is when the tarot card is positioned upside down. It is not necessary to read reversals; some never do this. But reversals are the way to go if you want a more nuanced reading with shadow and light meanings.
If you want to learn more about if it is necessary to read reversals, I invite you to read the article below.
Further reading: Do You Have To Read Reversed Tarot Cards?
I always read upright and reversals as it brings more in-depth information and insights – but it is not for everyone. You have to do you – there is nothing like a right and wrong way to do things regarding the Tarot.
If you want to want to try reversals, you find helpful tables below.
Reversed Meanings of the Cups Suit
|Reversed Ace of Cups
|Blocked emotions, lack of love
|Emotional blockages, difficulty expressing or receiving love
|Reversed Two of Cups
|Disharmony, imbalance in relationships
|Lack of harmony, disagreements, imbalances in partnerships
|Reversed Three of Cups
|Social isolation, disconnection
|Feeling left out, social disconnection, lack of celebration or joy
|Reversed Four of Cups
|Stagnation, missed opportunities
|Complacency, missed chances for emotional fulfillment
|Reversed Five of Cups
|Acceptance, moving on from loss
|Finding acceptance, moving on from grief, seeking new emotional possibilities
|Reversed Six of Cups
|Dwelling on the past, nostalgia
|Excessive focus on the past, clinging to outdated memories
|Reversed Seven of Cups
|Lack of focus, confusion
|Lack of clarity, being overwhelmed by options or fantasies
|Reversed Eight of Cups
|Avoidance, fear of change
|Fear of leaving behind what is no longer serving, avoiding necessary emotional growth
|Reversed Nine of Cups
|Discontentment, unfulfilled desires
|Lack of emotional satisfaction, unfulfilled wishes or desires
|Reversed Ten of Cups
|Disharmony in family, disconnection
|Strained family relationships, lack of emotional harmony within the family
|Reversed Page of Cups
|Blocked creativity, emotional immaturity
|Difficulty accessing creativity, emotional immaturity or volatility
|Reversed Knight of Cups
|Emotional manipulation, moodiness
|Manipulative behavior, emotional instability, mood swings
|Reversed Queen of Cups
|Emotional insecurity, emotional dependence
|Self-doubt, emotional neediness, difficulty maintaining emotional boundaries
|Reversed King of Cups
|Emotional control, moodiness
|Suppressed emotions, moodiness, difficulty expressing or managing emotions
Reversed Meanings of the Pentacles (Coins) Suit
|Reversed Ace of Pentacles
|Missed opportunities, lack of abundance
|Missed chances for material abundance, scarcity mindset
|Reversed Two of Pentacles
|Imbalance, financial instability
|Financial imbalance, difficulty managing resources or juggling priorities
|Reversed Three of Pentacles
|Lack of teamwork, skill development
|Lack of collaboration, lack of progress in skill development or work
|Reversed Four of Pentacles
|Financial insecurity, greed
|Hoarding resources, fear of loss, financial insecurity
|Reversed Five of Pentacles
|Finding hope amidst hardship, seeking help or support
|Reversed Six of Pentacles
|Selfishness, imbalance in giving and receiving
|Imbalance in giving and receiving, selfishness in sharing resources
|Reversed Seven of Pentacles
|Impatience, lack of long-term vision
|Impatience with progress, short-sightedness in planning
|Reversed Eight of Pentacles
|Lack of diligence, skill stagnation
|Lack of dedication, lack of progress in skill development
|Reversed Nine of Pentacles
|Financial dependency, overspending
|Overreliance on others, financial extravagance, lack of self-sufficiency
|Reversed Ten of Pentacles
|Family discord, financial instability
|Strained family relationships, financial instability within the family
|Reversed Page of Pentacles
|Lack of ambition, missed opportunities
|Lack of motivation or ambition, missing out on potential opportunities
|Reversed Knight of Pentacles
|Lack of responsibility, laziness, resistance to hard work
|Reversed Queen of Pentacles
|Financial instability, lack of nurturing
|Financial instability, lack of practicality or nurturing qualities
|Reversed King of Pentacles
|Financial setbacks, misuse of power
|Financial setbacks, mismanagement of resources, abuse of power
Reversed Meanings of the Swords Suit
|Reversed Ace of Swords
|Confusion, lack of clarity
|Mental confusion, lack of clarity in thoughts or communication
|Reversed Two of Swords
|Inability to make decisions, feeling stuck in a situation without progress
|Reversed Three of Swords
|Healing, release from pain
|Emotional healing, release from pain or heartbreak
|Reversed Four of Swords
|Inability to find rest or relaxation, mental or physical burnout
|Reversed Five of Swords
|Seeking reconciliation, making amends, letting go of conflicts
|Reversed Six of Swords
|Delayed progress, unresolved issues
|Obstacles in transition or moving on, unresolved issues hindering progress
|Reversed Seven of Swords
|Facing the truth, self-reflection, letting go of deceitful behavior
|Reversed Eight of Swords
|Self-empowerment, breaking free
|Breaking free from limitations, finding self-empowerment, overcoming mental barriers
|Reversed Nine of Swords
|Inner peace, release from anxiety
|Finding inner peace, release from anxiety or worry
|Reversed Ten of Swords
|Recovery, healing from pain
|Healing and recovery from a painful experience or situation
|Reversed Page of Swords
|Lack of curiosity, limited thinking
|Lack of curiosity, narrow-mindedness, limited thinking
|Reversed Knight of Swords
|Impulsive behavior, aggression, acting without considering consequences
|Reversed Queen of Swords
|Emotional vulnerability, compassion
|Opening up emotionally, showing compassion, embracing vulnerability
|Reversed King of Swords
|Abuse of power, manipulation
|Misuse of authority, manipulation, abuse of intellectual or analytical skills
Reversed Meanings of the Wands Suit
|Reversed Ace of Wands
|Lack of inspiration, missed opportunities
|Lack of inspiration, missed chances for new beginnings or creative endeavors
|Reversed Two of Wands
|Lack of planning, delays
|Lack of planning or foresight, delays in progress or decision-making
|Reversed Three of Wands
|Lack of progress, setbacks
|Lack of progress, encountering setbacks or obstacles in ventures or plans
|Reversed Four of Wands
|Disconnection, lack of celebration
|Lack of harmony, disconnection from joyous occasions or community celebrations
|Reversed Five of Wands
|Conflict resolution, collaboration
|Finding resolutions to conflicts, promoting collaboration rather than competition
|Reversed Six of Wands
|Excessive pride, arrogance, seeking validation or recognition
|Reversed Seven of Wands
|Surrender, giving up
|Giving up, surrendering to opposition or challenges, feeling overwhelmed
|Reversed Eight of Wands
|Delays, lack of momentum
|Delays in progress, lack of momentum or forward movement
|Reversed Nine of Wands
|Mental or physical exhaustion, burnout, feeling overwhelmed or depleted
|Reversed Ten of Wands
|Release, burdens lifted
|Release from burdens or responsibilities, lightening the load, letting go of excessive stress
|Reversed Page of Wands
|Lack of enthusiasm, missed opportunities for exploration or embracing new experiences
|Lack of enthusiasm, missed opportunities for exploration or embracing new experiences
|Reversed Knight of Wands
|Lack of direction, impatience
|Lack of direction or focus, impatience, rushing into actions without considering consequences
|Reversed Queen of Wands
|Self-doubt, lack of confidence
|Self-doubt, lack of confidence, difficulty asserting oneself or embracing personal power
|Reversed King of Wands
|Impulsiveness, dictatorial behavior
|Impulsiveness, dictatorial behavior, misuse of power, imposing opinions or beliefs on others
Please note that interpretations of reversed Tarot cards may vary among readers and traditions. The keywords provided offer a general understanding of the reversed meanings, but the actual interpretation may depend on the context of the reading and the reader’s intuition.
You will find helpful information in the article below if you want to learn more about deciphering reversed tarot cards.
Further reading: Reversed Tarot Cards: What They Are And How To Read Them
The Minor Arcana cards are the magic glue of the Tarot. They can be tricky to learn when first starting to understand the Tarot. But don’t give up; they are worth all your hard work.
The Minor Arcana ignites significant events, which are essential to pick up on. At times, they are just what they are – everyday events that pass – but sometimes, they give clues about important happenings to come.
I love the Aces; they almost always indicate that changes are coming. Tens are other favorites of mine; they show that manifestation is close or has already happened. When I think of it, I love all the Minor Arcana cards. They are truly magical.