There are 78 cards in the Tarot deck, divided into 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana. The word ‘Arcana’ means secrets, and where the Major reflects big events in our life, the Minor Arcana reflect the mysteries of every-day life. Minor cards offer guidance on work, relationships, money and health; as well as other regular events in your life.
Sometimes called the Lesser Arcana, these 56 cards breakdown into four Tarot suits, each composed of 10 numerical cards and 4 royal court cards. The court cards often represent people you meet in life.
The Minor Arcana Suits
Tarot’s four suits are similar to playing cards, numbered Ace to 10, with royal cards. For this reason, people often assume that Tarot cards evolved from playing cards, but there is no evidence to suggest this. It appears they developed along side each other. While Tarot may have begun it’s history as a game too, it has since evolved into a complex spiritual tool. See: History of Tarot.
The Suit of Cups represents your intuition, emotions and creativity. The Cups cards often appear in a reading when you ask about personal development, as well as love and your relationships with other people. Cups represent the astrological element Water. In modern decks, artists and occultists sometimes reinterpret the Cups, and call them Hearts, Chalices, Goblets, Water and Vessels.
The Suit of Wands represents action. The Wands cards are associated with activity and a can-do attitude. Wands often turn up in a reading when you are dealing with a situation which requires you to act. Wands represent the astrological element Fire. In some Tarot decks, Wands are represented as Clubs, Batons, Staves, Fire, Rods, Torches and Sticks.
The Suit of Pentacles represent the practical and material side of life, money, property, work, study and health. Pentacles often turn up in a reading when you ask about buying a house or getting a bonus at work. Pentacles represent the astrological element Earth. In some Tarot decks, Pentacles are represented as Diamonds, Coins, Discs, Spheres, Earth and Crystals.
The Suit of Swords represent mind and thought. Swords often turn up in a reading when you ask about an idea, or when you ask about communication with other people. Swords represent the astrological element Air. In some Tarot decks, Swords can be represented as Spades, Daggers, Arrows, Athames and Knives.
What Does It Mean When Mostly Minor Arcana Tarot Cards Turn up in a Tarot Reading?
The Minor Arcana refer to smaller, day-to-day events in your life, like how will my presentation at work go? or will I hear back from so and so? Unlike the Major Arcana, the Minor cards are not destiny cards. From the point of divination, or fortune telling, you are not beholden to the future they present. When you receive a Tarot reading with mostly Minor cards, it means you are seeing one possible future path, the path you are currently traveling. If you don’t like what you see, then ask the Tarot, is there anything I can do to change the outcome? Then draw another card for an answer. You may be guided to act in a different way. Therein lies the true power of Tarot, and especially the Minor Arcana cards! Use the cards for guidance and to shape the future you want.
List of The Minor Arcana Tarot Cards
Here are the 56 Minor Arcana Tarot cards, the description of each card is based on the Rider Waite Tarot deck.