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Tarot Card Symbology

The most famous tarot card movie scene is probably that from James Bond.  A tarot card reader draws the “Death” card, signifying death and danger to our 007 hero.   But actually that’s the wrong interpretation of the card.  The Death card is about rebirth, like the death of Winter brings Spring and flowers and sunshine.  You need endings to have new beginnings.  Death is not associated with physically dying, but more to do with new endings so that we can leave behind things of the past.

Tarot is less about fortune telling and more about symbols.  Tarot was not invented as a mystical or magical tool of fortune telling.

The Major Arcana are usually 22 cards in a standard 78-card pack. They are typically numbered from 0 to 21.  Each Major Arcanum depicts a scene, mostly featuring a person or several people, with many symbolic elements.

Here are some of the cards and their interpretation:

The Magician — Mastery; taking advantage of your talents. Close to revealing your life purpose/calling/gifts to the world

The Fool — Start of a new journey or new beginning; leap of faith. New path aligned to heart, soul, purpose, calling

The High Priestess — Aligning to your higher-self and One Consciousness. Intuitive awareness

The Empress — Rise of the feminine; One Consciousness; flow of life. Abundance; healing; fruitfulness

The Emperor — Control of your own destiny. Order; control; power; the father

The Hierophant — Tradition; convention.  Search for who you truly are; bridge for spirit

The Lovers — Choice; union. Coming back to your higher-self

The Chariot — Progress through opposing forces. Forward motion; victory

Strength — Inner strength and faith. Have faith in self, gifts, purpose and who you are

The Hermit — Search within. Patience; truth illuminated/revealed; all answers are within

The Wheel of Fortune — Change for the better. Good luck and good fortune; the tide is turning

Justice — Being judged; fair outcome. Need for balance; law; fair outcome

The Hanged Man — Suspension; new perspective.  Waiting; different perspective

Death — Major transformation.  Ending; letting go; surrender; releasing the ego

Temperance — Moderation; blending.  Flow of life; protection

The Devil — Self-imposed limitations.  Holding yourself back by self-imposed limitations

The Tower — Collapse of an old structure, old needs, addictions.  Big transformations, clearing away what no longer serves

The Star — Hope; optimism.  Protection from angels, hope and optimism

The Moon — Deep instinctual forces.  You don’t have all the answers yet

The Sun — Success; fulfillment.  Happiness and joy, children; animals

Judgement — Rebirth.  Awakening to heart and soul; 5th Dimensional self is rising-up

The World —  A natural end of a cycle. Wholeness; completion; oneness


The Minor Arcana (or Lesser Arcana) are the 56 suit cards of the 78-card deck of tarot cards. Minor Arcana cards in contemporary tarot decks are usually illustrated—a convention popularized by the Rider-Waite tarot deck. 


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Tarot cards in the Pentacles suit — sometimes referred to as “Coins” — pertain to things in the material and physical world.   The Suit of Pentacles Tarot cards deal with the physical or external level of consciousness and thus mirror the outer situations of your health, finances, work, and creativity.  The Suit of Pentacles Tarot card meanings cover material aspects of life including work, business, trade, property, money and other worldly possessions, money and career success.

Ace of Pentacles —> Beginnings of firm financial/material foundation.  New beginning in 3rd Dimensional world
2 of Pentacles —> Balancing and juggling things in material world.  Juggling; overwhelmed with lots of priorities, to balance
3 of Pentacles —> Job well done; good use of talents.  You’re on track, time to step back reflect and review, the mastery of a skill in trade or work
4 of Pentacles —> Maintaining status quo; holding tight.  Holding on too tight; fear, hoarding, a lover of material wealth
5 of Pentacles —> Down and out; missing out on something.  Victim/martyr mentality, a grim and hard situation
6 of Pentacles —> Getting what you deserve; giving and receiving.  Giving and receiving with universe; getting what you deserve
7 of Pentacles —> Slow and steady growth; perseverance.  Waiting time; lull in forward motion, moving to your hopes and dreams
8 of Pentacles —> The work card; apprenticeship.  Working for self; owning own business; building for future, work, craftsmanship, skill
9 of Pentacles —> Independence; standing in own power; success. Self-reliance; self-sufficient
10 of Pentacles —> Happy, successful times, wealth, riches. Material abundance; family support
Page of Pentacles —> Good news related to physical/material world, great enthusiasm, commitment, dedication and a strong sense of responsibility to see a project.  Good news about money/material world
Knight of Pentacles —> Good, positive steady progress.  Slow, steady progress; tangible progress
Queen of Pentacles —> Practical, hard-working successful woman, a business woman, a patron of the arts, a provider. Practical manager; sensible approach
King of Pentacles —> Worldly success, earthly power, ambition


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The Suit of Wands Tarot card meanings are associated with primal energy, spirituality, inspiration, determination, strength, intuition, creativity, ambition and expansion, original thought and the seeds through which life springs forth.  The meanings of the Wands Tarot cards deal with the spiritual level of consciousness and mirror what is important to you at the core of your being.  The Tarot suit of Wands — sometimes called Rods, Staves, or Staffs — represents the energy of movement, creativity, and invention. Wands represent ideas and innovation, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Ace of Wands —> Exciting new life and beginning; raring to go.  New beginning for passion, purpose, calling, birth, inspiration, motivation
2 of Wands —> Off to a good start; period of waiting.  Good start, but now waiting, decision making, deadlock energies
3 of Wands —> Birth of an enterprise. Early signs of success, inner balance for optimism, think big
4 of Wands —> Well-deserved rest after reaching certain stage in development.  Good progress; laying the groundwork, cause for celebration
5 of Wands —> External conflict; exciting challenge.  Inner battle; scattered energy, struggles caused by ambitious maneuvering and competition
6 of Wands —> Victory; likelihood of success, respect and recognition
7 of Wands —>Holding firm; a position of advantage. Lack of confidence; you’re in a better place than you think, stand up for yourself and enjoy
8 of Wands —> Speed; full steam ahead. Green light; all systems go, events are unfolding quickly
9 of Wands —> Stand your ground; strength in reserve. Hold on, nearly there, restore energy, savor victories, you’re about to rest if needed
10 of Wands —> Carrying a heavy load, max effort. Ending for heavy burden / responsibility
Page of Wands —> Exciting news; opportunity. Changes on the horizon related to passion, purpose or calling, freedom, an innovator, inventor, or rebel. Good news is coming
Knight of Wands —> Change is in the air; escaping from difficulty. Change is coming relating to passion, purpose or calling, soul searching, reach your own conclusions
Queen of Wands —> Career woman; balancing family and career. Female Entrepreneur; life’s work, loves to be the center of attention but welcoming and kind
King of Wands —> Enterprise.  Male Entrepreneur; leadership, dominant, respected

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The Suit of Swords Tarot cards deal with the mental plane of consciousness that is centered around thinking and the intellect.  The Suit of Swords Tarot card meanings are associated with action, power, truth, justice, conflict, and force. The Suit of Swords is associated with the element of air.  The swords symbolize the intellect, and the heart, the emotions which always suffer under this treatment.

Ace of Swords —> New beginning after adversity, a long, tough battle; victory, Indicates decisive ability. Cutting through confusion. Taking a radical decision or standpoint. The ability to see through deception, and expose it.
2 of Swords —> Unclear options to take; undecided, indicates doubt over decisions. Uncertain which way to turn; stalemate
3 of Swords —> Upset; unhappy. Emotional pain; sorrow
4 of Swords —> Subconscious fear and blocks; past-life blocks, avoidance, can also represent surrender, or in some cases, pacifism.  Respite; recharging batteries
5 of Swords —> Negative thinking and mindset, victory by betrayal, Pyrrhic win.  Negative energy
6 of Swords —> Sailing into an easier time or entering a dangerous journey.  Leaving your troubles behind; calmer and easier times are ahead
7 of Swords —> Doing the unexpected; stealth.  Self-sabotage,  covert activities
8 of Swords —> Feeling trapped, powerless to change; lost connection to One Consciousness.  Restriction
9 of Swords —> Fear; stress, despair; worry
10 of Swords —> Irrevocable ending.  End of a stressful cycle; light pushing away dark, indicate the end of a repetitious cycle, things are getting better. 
Page of Swords —> Things coming in quickly; unexpected news, decisiveness
Knight of Swords —> Quick, fast paced change. Sudden changes; rapid comings and goings
Queen of Swords —> Objective, clear, logical, rational woman. Power, intelligence, tactical thinking. Independent woman; autonomy
King of Swords —>  Authority and command; rational thinking. Cutting through the rubbish to get to the truth. Discipline with passion. Power and insight. Can symbolize tyranny

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The Suit of Cups Tarot cards deal with the emotional level of consciousness and are associated with love, feelings, relationships and connections.  Cups are also linked to creativity, romanticism, fantasy and imagination.  Cups Tarot cards indicate that you are thinking with your heart rather than your head, and thus reflect your spontaneous responses and your habitual reactions to situations.

Your cup runneth over! This saying refers to an abundance of feelings, luck, and joy, and it’s a great way to think about Tarot’s suit of Cups.

Ace of Cups —> New beginnings connecting to love, heart and emotions, fresh feelings.  Beginnings of emotional rebirth and new love
2 of Cups —>Balanced, happy union or partnership.   Choice about emotions; union of soul mates, significant soul relationships
3 of Cups —> Celebration, fun and joy, spirit of agreement, mutual support, encouragement, and teamwork.
4 of Cups —> Bored; fed up; restless time, disconnected from One Consciousness. Dissatisfied
5 of Cups —> Too much focus on the negative, the mess that is left after an emotional upheaval, wallowing in regret.  Loss and disappointment
6 of Cups —> Reconnection to higher-self, soul group, soul mates, twin flames.  Nostalgia; rekindling; reconnections
7 of Cups —> Dreams and desires, embrace a sense of magic. Daydreams; sense of confusion
8 of Cups —> Walking into a brighter tomorrow after some setback, feel free to walk away from a bad situation.  Saying goodbye; moving on
9 of Cups —> Wishes coming true; feeling good, happiness, fulfillment, Wish Card.  Wish fulfillment; desires met
10 of Cups —> Joy; harmony in personal relationships.  Elation, true joy, happiness and celebrating with those you love, feel good about your direction
Page of Cups —> Birth of new emotions; new relationship.  Start of emotional rebirth; loving offer, embrace your inner child
Knight of Cups —> New relationships; important event related to relationships.  Emotional changes and fulfillment; new relationship; offer of love, balance your dreams with practicality,
Queen of Cups —> Feminine essence; loving, caring, nurturing, supportive woman, trust your intuition.  Caring woman; nurturing
King of Cups —> Loving, caring, nurturing, supportive man, lean into your feelings.  Wise counsel; compassion


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