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 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.
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.
Cups Tarot card meanings:
Ace of Cups
The beginning of new love or passion.
Ace of Cups Symbols: Chalice, 5 streams of water, yods, dove, hand and cloud.
Two of Cups
Taking a relationship to the next level.
Two of Cups Symbols: Chalice, Caduceus of Hermes, snakes, wings, Yin and Yang.
Three of Cups
There is cause for celebration now, or soon will be.
Three of Cups Symbols: Dancing maidens, flowers, grapes, apples and blue sky.
Four of Cups
You feel bored and are looking for something to excite you.
Four of Cups Symbols: Hand of God, tree, mountains and blue sky.
Five of Cups
Feeling disappointed or sad about a particular situation.
Five of Cups Symbols: Spilled wine, river, bridge, castle, cloak, gray sky symbolism.
Six of Cups
Blast from the past! An issue, person or opportunity from the past re-emerges.
Six of Cups Symbols: Children, white flower, village, inscription X on pillar.
Wands Tarot card meanings:
Ace of Wands
A new beginning or a new venture.
Ace of Wands Symbols: Wand, hand, clouds, leave, yods, river, trees, mountains and castle.
Two of Wands
What you have started begins to deliver results.
Two of Wands Symbols: Castle, globe, flowers, sea, forest and mountains.
Three of Wands
You are experiencing some success and can now expand your horizons further.
Three of Wands Symbols: Chalice, Caduceus of Hermes, snakes, wings, Yin and Yang.
Four of Wands
There is cause for celebration or a happy gathering of friends and family.
Four of Wands Symbols: Archway, flowers, grapevine, castle, moat, bridge and yellow sky.
Five of Wands
Fight for what you want, don’t be afraid to compete.
Five of Wands Symbols: Battle, blue sky and barren landscape.
Six of Wands
Feeling victorious, you achieve what you want.
Six of Wands Symbols: Horseman, laurel wreaths, horse, gauntlet gloves and ribbon.
Pentacles Tarot card meanings:
Ace of Pentacles
This is a beginning of prosperity.
Ace of Pentacles Symbols: Clouds, hand of God, garden, rose, lily of the valley, archway, path, mountains.
Two of Pentacles
Managing a busy life, juggling several things at once successfully.
Two of Pentacles Symbols: Infinity symbol, juggler, raised left foot, sea, ships and tall hat.
Three of Pentacles
Reward and recognition for a job well done.
Three of Pentacles Symbols: Sculptor, dark interior, apron, bench, tools, arches and engravings.
Four of Pentacles
Taking a longer-term view and building for your future.
Four of Pentacles Symbols: Pentacles, city/village, crown, tetragrammaton, untied shoes.
Five of Pentacles
This card represents hardship, struggle and worries.
Five of Pentacles Symbols: Church window, cripple, crutches and snow.
Six of Pentacles
This is a time of good fortune, and giving to others.
Six of Pentacles Symbols: Scales, red cloak, 4 coins, castle, benediction, bandage, red ticket.
Knight of Pentacles
You are making steady progress in one or more areas of your life.
Knight of Pentacles Symbols: Coming soon
Queen of Pentacles
This is a good time for action, push yourself gently a little more.
Queen of Pentacles Symbols: Coming soon
King of Pentacles
This royal card signifies success and worldly power.
King of Pentacles Symbols: Coming soon
Swords Tarot card meanings:
Ace of Swords
The birth of a new idea. This card is the proverbial Ace up your sleeve.
Ace of Swords Symbols: Hand, sword, yods, barren landscape, mountains, palm branch
Two of Swords
You are undecided about which is the best course of action to take.
Two of Swords Symbols: Crossed swords, blindfold, crescent moon, sea, rocks and bench.
Five of Swords
Are you feeling angry with someone?
Five of Swords Symbols: Smiling champion, stormy sky, clouds, mountains, sea
Six of Swords
Better days are coming, and you are heading in the right direction.
Six of Swords Symbols: Ferryman, upright swords, boat, sea and trees