Minor Arcana Tarot Card Meanings

If you want to read about the meaning of the Major Arcana Cards, click HERE

The Minor Arcana is comprised of fifty six Tarot Cards in four suites; Cups (or Chalices), Swords, Pentacles (or Coins) and Wands (or Rods). Each suite has fourteen cards; four of these are court cards (King, Queen, Knight and Page) the rest are numbered from one to ten, one being more commonly called the ace.

Each suite is associated with one of the elements; Cups are connected to water, Swords are allied with air, Pentacles complement the notions surrounding the element of earth, and Wands are linked with fire.

Cups represent the emotions, they tell us how we relate to others and the wider world. They also give insight into the inner works of the mind and how it effects our interactions. The suite of Cups is linked to the star signs Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.

Swords are often seen as the least fortunate of the suites of Tarot Cards, they are associated with the intellect, and perhaps their poor reputation is due to our general unwillingness to face facts and act logically. Nevertheless, the suite of Swords also reminds us that sometimes logic can only take us so far and it is possible that intuition may, on occasion, be more useful. As you might suspect, the star signs that are associated with the suite of Swords are the Air signs; Libra, Aquarius and Gemini. 

Minor Arcana Tarot Card Suites

Minor Arcana consists of 4 suites:

Pentacles are the most pragmatic suite; they concern themselves with the practicalities of life, such as our material needs and our career. Pentacles are associated with the astrological signs Taurus, Capricorn and Virgo.

That leaves Wands. As you might expect from Tarot Cards associated with the element of fire, they are linked to notions of energy, passion and new ways of thinking or acting. Unfortunately, too many Wands in a spread can suggest the subject is being too impulsive or taking on too much. The astrological signs allied to this suite are; Leo, Aries and Sagittarius.

As we have seen, each suite has four Court Cards, which you’ll remember are the Page, Knight, Queen and King. Each Court Card is the personification of the symbol of that suite.

Thus, the King of Swords will be a person who has the characteristics of the suite of Swords; someone who is intelligent and articulate. The King of Pentacles on the other hand, will display a personality which fits the general tone of the suite of Pentacles, so this person is likely to be good at dealing with financial matters and reliable. Kings are dynamic Tarot Cards which represent people with power and charisma. The influence of someone who is represented by a King will be dramatic and obvious. They also tend to represent males who are in a position of authority.

The Queens in the Tarot pack are supposed to be passive characters (I know, but don’t blame me, I didn’t invent the Tarot), they also tend to be artistic and creative. They are said to represent the supposedly feminine characteristics of nurturing and protection. They may also represent women who hold a position of power. To be honest, few modern day Tarot readers would pretend that the Kings and Queens in a pack literally represent a gender (except perhaps as a signifier), and most would accept that a King could be a driven Alpha character of either sex, whilst a Queen points to a calm or passive outlook, regardless of biological gender.

The Knight demonstrates the attributes of a given suite at its most extreme, be that for good or ill. Thus, the Knight of Wands can be exciting and daring or reckless and unreliable. Knights can also refer to footloose folk who have no partners or children, people under 30, and sometimes individuals who are a bit immature.

The Page represents children, teenagers or very immature adults. At best, the Page has a light-hearted fun energy; at worst they are childish, fickle and grabbing.

As always with Tarot Cards, these descriptions are for guidance only, different people use the Cards in different ways and associate them with different meanings; as long as it works for them, that is perfectly acceptable.

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I'm professional Astrologer and Tarot reader Patrick Arundell.

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