Minor Arcana Tarot

The Minor Arcana is the group following the 22 major cards in the Tarot system. You can compare them with shades obtained on the basis of the same color. So, blue (the color of the Water element) easily turns into sky blue or emerald, and brown (Earth) into ocher. These cards complement the overall picture of divination, introducing interesting details. If a person is destined for success, then the Minor Arcana will indicate in which particular area to expect triumph. In the reversed meaning, the cards will show the area in which you should prepare for a miss. But even here, the questioner can use the received predictions for his own benefit in order to prevent or minimize losses.

Meaning of the Minor Arcana in the Tarot

The first Tarot decks appeared in Europe in the 15th century. Initially, people used cards only for playing. That is why the drawing of each illustration was not very detailed. The Minor Arcana are analogous to regular playing cards. However, later in the 18th century, divination sessions began to be held using the deck. If we consider the Tarot from the position of esotericism, then the meaning changes dramatically. Numerical Arcana and curly cards are a kind of reflection of the real world with all its manifestations. The mystic Arthur Waite developed the detailed visualization and created the classic Tarot that is still in use today.

The Minor Arcana allows the master to get a more complete answer. They give additional details: they show time, numbers, specific people and the essence of the event. Thus, 56 Minor Arcana can be considered as a kind of alphabet, a set of sounds, letters and individual words. Various combinations of dropped cards give a full answer to a question of any nature. And if the older group denotes the fundamental points, then the numerical and court ones bring the finishing touches to this picture. And even a single card can add clarity to a complicated matter. Particular attention should be paid to the court characters – often they personify specific people.

Four Suits of the Minor Arcana

The entire group of Minor Arcana is divided into four suits corresponding to the elements – Swords (Air), Cups (Water), Wands (Fire), Pentacles (Earth). Each of them will have their own characteristics and manifestations. The energy of different segments differs in the degree of intensity and its inherent qualities, depending on the suit of the Minor Arcana. Figure cards representing specific people will also show different appearances and personalities. They can also symbolize the seasons, certain stages of development. Each suit shows its own history, which develops as the numerical value decreases.

Suit of Swords

Swords symbolize the initial thought that originates in the depths of consciousness. It is ether, an incorporeal substance. The Minor Arcana of the Air group symbolizes the sharpness of thinking, as well as the readiness to fight. The mind is by nature very negative. This is simply a defensive reaction that prepares a person for the worst possible development of events. Therefore, the suit of Swords personifies conflicts, the ability to resist others and even oneself. The Blades also denote the season – winter. This is a cold energy that helps to look at things soberly. In the upright position, the Blades speak of sanity, but reversed, they speak of destruction.

Suit of Cups

Further, the same impulse descends to the level of feelings. The next group is Cups, related to the element of Water. The Minor Arcana of this suit are responsible for feelings and heart experiences. It is a very calm energy. Its vibrations are like warm sea waves. The Bowls symbolize spring, inspiration and the ability to love. In the entire Tarot system, the value of the Minor Arcana of the Water group will be the most favorable. As if a bright angel closes the querent with its wings and protects the ward from any adversity. A thought created at the level of the intellect goes straight to the heart. Here it is looking for motivation that can set the whole thing in motion.

Suit of Wands

Then action comes into play. Staves or Wands are responsible for bright events that occur very rapidly. It is a drive, a strong desire, a passion. All numerical Minor Arcana of this group show growth and development. The Ten plays a fundamental role here, and Ace completes the story. The Fire group seems to be throwing logs into the fire of motivation. Now, a person performs some actions for the sake of the final result. The Staffs also metaphorically symbolize summer – the heyday of any enterprise. This is the period when the questioning person has a huge supply of resources and is ready to achieve the goal.

Suit of Pentacles

And the final result of the chain under consideration is the group of the Earth – the suit of Pentacles. This autumn is harvest time. The initial thought finally turns into concrete fruits of efforts, results. The Minor Arcana of this element are responsible for financial well-being, profit, expediency. Earth in the Tarot symbolizes the daily routine, domestic issues. And although this element is far from deep feelings, but in the end it plays a major role on the stage of life. Thus, all the elements seem to flow one into another. These are four sides of the same world, albeit with their differences.

Meaning of the Numbered Tarot Cards

The numerical values of the Minor Arcana – from One to Ten, are responsible for the increase or decrease in the energy of the elements. At the same time, Arthur Waite himself, the creator of the classic Tarot deck, considered the cards in descending order. Thus, the Ten is the original impulse, the well full of group vibrations. The Ace symbolizes the end of something, but at the same time it also symbolizes a sketch of the future picture. Each numerical value carries a certain meaning along with belonging to the suit. The larger the number, the greater its potential and influence on ongoing events. And the group to which the card belongs will outline the boundaries of the sphere in question.


The Ace represents unity, the first thought and the root of the whole element. This is a chance, a hand extended by the Universe. If the card fell out in the upright position, then its value in the spread will be positive. The One symbolizes the beginning and end, the transitional stage. This is the eternal game of life with an open ending. In the context of the Air suit, the One is responsible for brilliant ideas; Water – the appearance of sympathy; Fire – flared passion; Earth is the physical creation of something new. So, Ace gives a chance to change the current situation and move on to the next stage of life. All Minor Arcana of this numerical value are responsible for innovations. However, reversed cards will promise a stop and lost time.


The Two symbolizes partnership, the balance of opposites. In the spread, it shows the relationship between people or the inner parts of the human psyche. The Two of the suit of Swords represents closeness and the presence of conflict; Cups – harmony and fusion; Staves – several projects and desires at the same time; Denarius – financial fraud and the ability to adapt. But in the opposite form, the Minor Arcana of this numerical value show broken strategies and repressed emotions. Now the Two symbolizes disunity and lack of mutual understanding. Both sides are cut off from each other, which leads to negative results.


Threes in Tarot show the intervention of several people at once. When upright, the cards symbolize the coherence of any process, even the most dysfunctional one. The Three of the suit of Blades represents heartbreak and suffering; Chalice – common good, holiday; Wands – social connections; Coins – demand. However, in the opposite sense, the Minor Arcana under the number Three show the presence of problems in communicating with people. It is difficult for a querent to find a common language with others. All attempts to establish some kind of process end in a resounding failure. In this case, at one of the stages, a fundamental error is made that affects the outcome of the case.


Fours represent stability and resilience. And this can apply to both pleasant events, and not so much. The Four of Swords shows stagnation; Cups – calmness; Staves – a stable result; Pentacles – financial well-being. The Minor Arcana under this number give predictions for the future, promising that the situation will remain the same. But in the reversed meaning, the same cards show an energy swamp with stagnant water. Events do not develop, which is why a person languishes and becomes morally tired. Now certainty takes on a negative meaning, oppresses and frightens with its immutability.


The Five symbolizes a transitional stage, a "half" results. It takes on a neutral meaning in the scenario, not allowing unambiguous conclusions to be drawn. The Five of the Air element represent emptiness and unsuccessful attempts; Water – unjustified expectations; Fire – competition; Earth – poverty and need. But if the Minor Arcana of this numerical value fell out reversed, then the meaning of the reading changes for the worse. Now uncertainty drives into a corner, exhausts and spends the last strength. There is no more hope for a bright future, and this fact completely demotivates the questioner.


The Six is a kind of time machine that takes the querent into the past. It points to the causes of what is happening, hidden in past events. The Six of the suit of Blades is responsible for escaping reality, nostalgia; Bowls – childhood; Wands – moments of resounding success; Denarius – help to those who find themselves in a similar situation. In the opposite sense, the Minor Arcana under the number Six will show stuck in a certain conditionality. It is difficult for a fortuneteller to get out of the current situation. The path to success is strewn with stumbling blocks that prevent you from making a breakthrough. A person will stumble over and over again until he finds the root of the problem in his past.


The Seven in Tarot symbolizes the completion of a certain cycle. This is the crown of past events, expressed in concrete results. So, the Seven of the suit of Air speaks of a successful trick; Water – the apotheosis of desires and pleasures; Fire – open struggle, confrontation; Earth – harvesting. But the same Minor Arcana in the reversed position do not show the results that the person originally wanted to get. It comes to disappointment, emptiness. All the actions taken are simply unnecessary. As a result, the questioner loses meaning along with vitality and aspirations.


Eights are responsible for cyclicity. These are renewable resources that will never run out. In this case, the individual can feed his inspiration or fears – the result will be a continuation of the current situation. The Eight of Swords shows phobias and limitations; Cups – secret feelings; Wands – the active phase of growth; Coins – the accumulation of experience, the flow. However, these Minor Arcana in the opposite form drive the fortuneteller into a corner. A person is engaged in meaningless work, which only depletes the internal resource. As a result, development does not occur, the querent is marking time. Precious time is running out, and concrete results cannot be achieved.


Nines represent generosity and wealth. This is an intense phase filled with strong feelings. It doesn’t matter if it’s plus or minus. As a result, the energy moves from one pole to another, creating a powerful voltage that can shock. The nine of the Air element symbolize sorrow and mourning, sadness; Water – inspiration and contentment; Fire – perseverance; Earth – security. In the reversed meaning, the Minor Arcana under the number Nine are responsible for untapped potential, hiding strong feelings and emotions. This is even greater tension, which sooner or later will destroy everything in its path.


The Ten is still the same One, but now with zero. The number symbolizes a powerful potential that has already been embodied in reality. It is a generosity to both positive and painful sensations. The Ten of the suit of Blades is responsible for negative events and feelings about this; Cups – joint joy and solidarity; Staves – remarkable strength, a great desire to do something; Pentacles – financial well-being, material well-being. But these same Minor Arcana in the opposite form predict major losses and an inability to cope with feelings on this occasion. Now the Ten turns into a curse that haunts the querent. The same wealth becomes a golden cage, and the death of a loved one – the death of one’s own soul.

Meaning of the Court Tarot Cards

All court Minor Arcana primarily designate specific people. Depending on belonging to a particular suit, these individuals will differ in physique, hair, eye and skin color, as well as character. The main figures are always the King and the Queen. The Knight and the Page are their protectors and messengers. However, in some decks, these cards represent the Sons and Daughters of the royal couple. Also, court figures lie down as a characteristic of the situation. In terms of appearance, these cards of the four elements will show different types. It all depends on the visualization of the rank in question in the deck.


All Pages are traditionally responsible for the arrival of news. In a direct position, this will be good news or information that you can use for your own benefit. The card also symbolizes children or teenagers. The Page of Swords shows the answer "no" or the appearance of some difficulties, the card also personifies smart, but closed people. The Jack of Cups promises good news or symbolizes a kind, docile child. The Page of Staves predicts the development of the situation, shows teenagers with a bright character. The Jack of Pentacles denotes news concerning material matters, and also personifies modest children. But in the reversed position, these Minor Arcana will show belated news.


Knights represent trips and the process of developing a situation. Also, these Minor Arcana show young people. The element of Air speaks of speed, instant reaction, or a strong-willed guy; Water is a love date, a romantic young man; Fire – work trips, personal development or a passionate man; Earth – business trips, an individual aimed at financial well-being. The reversed Knights symbolize postponed affairs, forced movements. This is the appearance of unforeseen obstacles on the way to the goal. At the same time, problems can relate to both internal difficulties and external circumstances.


Queens traditionally show women. However, these same Minor Arcana can characterize what is happening. So, the Lady of Swords symbolizes imperious girls or the appearance of a conflict situation. The Queen of Cups personifies a dreamy, sensitive woman, and also a chance to establish a personal life. The Lady of the Staves shows a passionate lady or a surge of vivacity, motivation. The Lady of the Earth denotes a practical woman, as well as an excellent period for creating a business. Reversed Queens represent mismanagement of the situation, which will lead the querent to collapse. Also, these are negative character traits inherent in each of the elements.


Kings symbolize specific men who have taken place in their field, depending on the suit. The Minor Arcana of this rank also act as a significator of the situation, they can show various enterprises and the essence of the matter. The Lord of Blades is a callous but powerful ruler; circumstances requiring the inclusion of logic. The King of Water is a soft sensitive gentleman; a surge of tenderness, love. The Ruler of Fire is an ambitious person, full of motivation; rapid development of the situation. The Lord of Pentacles is a successful man; financial stability. But reversed, all Kings symbolize abuse of position or inability to cope with the assigned responsibility.

Tarot Arcana