The Meaning of The Four Minor Arcana Suits in Tarot

Tarot reading has always been a fascinating and thought-provoking activity. The intricate and rich symbolism of tarot cards has been studied and analyzed for centuries, and the meanings of each individual card are still being explored and debated today. One of the most crucial components of tarot reading is the four minor arcana suits, which each hold significant meanings and interpretations. By exploring each of these suits in detail, we can gain a deeper understanding of the tarot and its power.

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The Four Minor Arcana Suits

The Four Minor Arcana Suits
Understanding the meaning behind each of the four Minor Arcana suits can be a perplexing process for those new to exploring Tarot readings. Each suit – Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles – represents a unique aspect of the human experience, with its own set of challenges and blessings. While studying the Major Arcana cards can help to understand overarching themes in a reading, delving into the Minor Arcana suits can bring a deeper level of insight into specific areas of life. Let’s explore each of the Minor Arcana suits in more detail to gain a greater understanding of their individual meanings and the symbolism within them. Later in the article, we’ll see how combining these suits with other Tarot elements can influence the meaning of a reading.


Wands are one of the four suits in the Minor Arcana, representing the element of fire and symbolizing creativity, passion, and energy. Wands are often associated with career, ambition, and personal growth.

In a tarot reading, wands can indicate a need for action, and suggest that the querent needs to take a more assertive or proactive approach to their situation. The cards in the wand suit can also represent challenges or obstacles that need to be overcome, but also opportunities for growth and exploration.

The following table summarizes the meanings of each card in the wand suit:

| Card | Description | Interpretation |
| — | — | — |
| Ace of Wands | New beginnings, creative energy | A new creative opportunity is on the horizon |
| 2 of Wands | Planning, decisions | A decision needs to be made with regard to career or personal growth |
| 3 of Wands | Progress, expansion | Success is within reach, but patience is required |
| 4 of Wands | Celebration, harmony | A time of joy and celebration with family or friends |
| 5 of Wands | Conflict, competition | Conflict or competition is creating a challenge that needs to be addressed |
| 6 of Wands | Victory, recognition | Success and recognition are on the horizon |
| 7 of Wands | Courage, perseverance | Stand up for what you believe in and don’t give up in the face of opposition |
| 8 of Wands | Movement, speed | Things are moving quickly and a new opportunity or idea is on the horizon |
| 9 of Wands | Resilience, perseverance | Keep pushing forward despite obstacles or setbacks |
| 10 of Wands | Burden, responsibility | Feeling overwhelmed or overburdened by responsibilities or obligations |
| Page of Wands | Creativity, enthusiasm | A new creative project or opportunity is on the horizon |
| Knight of Wands | Action, adventure | Taking risks and pursuing new opportunities |
| Queen of Wands | Leadership, independence | A strong, independent woman who is a natural leader |
| King of Wands | Ambition, determination | A powerful and successful leader who is driven by ambition |

The wand suit emphasizes the importance of taking action, pursuing one’s passions, and being willing to take risks in order to achieve one’s goals. Incorporating the wand suit into tarot readings can provide valuable insights into issues related to personal growth, career, and ambition.


Cups represent emotions, relationships, and the subconscious mind. This suit reflects the water element and is often associated with the west direction. The cups have a deep spiritual meaning and can be challenging to interpret. The suit consists of 14 cards, including Ace to Ten and the Page, Knight, Queen, and King.

The Ace of Cups is a powerful card that signifies new beginnings, emotional experiences, and creativity. This card is often interpreted as a symbol of love and compassion. The reversed Ace of Cups, on the other hand, represents blocked emotions, emotional distance or coldness.

The numbered cards of Cups reflect different degrees of emotional experiences. For example, the Two of Cups indicates harmony, love and cooperation between two people while the Three of Cups signifies happiness, joy and celebration with others. The Four of Cups, in contrast, represents contemplation, apathy, and boredom. The reversed Four of Cups can indicate that you need to open yourself up to new opportunities.

Court cards in Cups suit represent individuals with different personalities and characteristics. The Page of Cups reflects creative and intuitive energy, while the Knight of Cups is sensitive, romantic and in tune with their emotions. The Queen of Cups represents the nurturing and compassionate energy. The King of Cups is a mature and wise figure who has a deep understanding of the emotional complexities of life.

One way to interpret the Cups is through the lens of Jungian psychology, which emphasizes the importance of the subconscious mind in shaping our behaviors and personalities. The water element in Cups is associated with emotions and intuition, which can be explored and integrated into the conscious mind through inner reflection and meditation. This can help us develop a deeper sense of self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

Another way to interpret Cups is by using symbolism from astrology. The cups are associated with the zodiac sign Cancer, which is known for its emotional depth and sensitivity. Cancer is ruled by the moon, which represents the subconscious mind and the emotions that lie beneath the surface. The Cups can be interpreted in relation to the moon’s cycles and the emotional tides they represent.

Cups is a complex and challenging suit in Tarot. It represents emotional experiences, relationships, and the subconscious mind. Understanding the meanings of each card can help you gain insights into your emotions and relationships with others. By combining different interpretations of Tarot, including astrology and Jungian psychology, you can deepen your understanding of Cups and use it to gain insight into your own emotional experiences.


The Swords tarot suit is often associated with mental and intellectual aspects of life. It deals with conflicts, decisions, and the power of the mind. The suit itself is represented by a double-edged sword, indicating both the positive and negative aspects that come with this suit.

Symbolism: The Swords represent the mind, intellect, and decision-making process. The double-edged sword symbolizes the duality of these aspects, indicating there are both positive and negative thoughts and decisions that come with this suit. The sword can also be seen as a symbol of power and strength, but also danger and destruction.

Meanings: Each card in the Swords suit has its unique meaning and interpretation, but they all relate back to the intellectual and analytical aspects of life. The suit contains cards that represent suffering, loss, and betrayal, as well as those that embody triumph, victory, and growth.

Below is a table summarizing the meanings of each card within the Swords suit:

Card Meaning
Ace of Swords New ideas, mental clarity, breakthroughs
Two of Swords Indecision, difficult choices, stalemate
Three of Swords Heartbreak, sorrow, emotional pain
Four of Swords Rest, meditation, contemplation
Five of Swords Conflict, defeat, betrayal
Six of Swords Transition, moving forward, leaving the past behind
Seven of Swords Deception, betrayal, getting away with something
Eight of Swords Feeling trapped, self-imposed restriction, limiting beliefs
Nine of Swords Anxiety, worry, fear, nightmare
Ten of Swords Defeat, failure, collapse, rock bottom
Page of Swords Cleverness, curiosity, restlessness, communication
Knight of Swords Ambition, speed, directness, assertiveness
Queen of Swords Independence, rationality, clear boundaries, detachment
King of Swords Intelligence, analysis, wisdom, fair judgement

If you pull a Swords card in a reading, it may indicate that you need to tap into your rational mind and make tough decisions based on logic and reason. It may also mean that you are dealing with a situation that requires mental toughness and strength to overcome.

If you want to learn more about how different aspects of the tarot, such as numerology, astrology, and color symbolism, impact readings, check out our other articles on numeroscope tarot interpretations, tarot astrology role, color symbolism in tarot, and more.


The Pentacles suit is typically associated with the element of earth, representing material possessions and the physical realm. The cards in this suit often depict scenes of prosperity, wealth, and abundance.

Card Meanings:

Card Meaning
Ace of Pentacles New financial opportunities, growth, stability
Two of Pentacles Balance, adaptability, time management
Three of Pentacles Collaboration, teamwork, group effort
Four of Pentacles Holding on to possessions, fear of change, frugality
Five of Pentacles Financial loss, poverty, isolation, rejection
Six of Pentacles Charity, generosity, giving and receiving, prosperity
Seven of Pentacles Awaiting results, patience, perseverance, hard work
Eight of Pentacles Craftsmanship, skill development, apprenticeship, attention to detail
Nine of Pentacles Independence, luxury, self-sufficiency, abundance
Ten of Pentacles Wealth, inheritance, family, traditions
Page of Pentacles Exploration, new beginnings, manifestation, financial opportunity
Knight of Pentacles Consistency, hard work, responsibility, materialism
Queen of Pentacles Abundance, practicality, nurturing, comfort
King of Pentacles Wealth, stability, business acumen, practicality

As with each of the suits in the Minor Arcana, the Pentacles can represent different aspects of our lives. When interpreting the cards in a reading, it’s important to consider the symbolism of the card in relation to the other cards and the question at hand. The Pentacles are often associated with financial and materialistic aspects of life, but can also represent the physical body and health.

Understanding the meanings of the suits and cards in the Minor Arcana can be a useful tool in gaining insight into our lives and the world around us. By combining numerology, symbolism, and archetypal psychology, tarot can help us tap into our intuition and find deeper meaning in our experiences.

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How the Suits Influence Readings

The Minor Arcana Suits are not just arbitrary divisions of the cards, but rather, they hold deep symbolic meanings that can greatly impact a Tarot reading. Understanding the influence of each suit on a reading requires knowledge of numerology, symbolism, and even Jungian psychology. By incorporating the suits with other Tarot cards, a more nuanced and complete reading can be achieved. Let’s explore how the suits can influence Tarot readings and how they can be used in conjunction with other Tarot concepts.

Combining Numerology with Tarot Suits

A common practice in tarot readings is combining numerology with tarot suits to gain deeper insights into the readings. Each minor arcana suit represents a specific element and is associated with certain numerology values.

Wands: The wands suit represents the element of fire and embodies creativity, passion, and energy. In numerology, the number 1 is associated with new beginnings and taking charge. Thus, when the wands suit appears with the number 1, it can symbolize the start of an exciting new project or venture.

Cups: The cups suit represents the element of water and embodies emotions, feelings, and relationships. In numerology, the number 2 is associated with partnerships and balance. When the cups suit appears with the number 2, it can indicate the need for emotional balance in a relationship or a focus on improving communication.

Swords: The swords suit represents the element of air and embodies intellect, communication, and conflict. In numerology, the number 3 is associated with self-expression and creativity. When the swords suit appears with the number 3, it can symbolize a need to speak one’s truth or finding creative solutions to conflicts.

Pentacles: The pentacles suit represents the element of earth and embodies material possessions, wealth, and practicality. In numerology, the number 4 is associated with stability and security. When the pentacles suit appears with the number 4, it can indicate a focus on financial stability or the need to create a secure foundation for future endeavors.

It is important to note that while numerology can provide insights into the minor arcana cards, the interpretation of the cards should also take into account the context of the reading and the other cards in the spread. Combining numerology with other tarot practices such as symbolism of major arcana or archetypes in tarot cards can provide a more holistic understanding of the reading. Jungian psychology tarot can also be used as a tool for understanding the unconscious meanings behind the minor arcana cards.

Incorporating Tarot Suits with Other Tarot Cards

When interpreting a tarot reading, it’s important to consider not only the individual cards but also how they relate to each other. Incorporating the tarot suits with other tarot cards can provide deeper insight into a reading. For example, if a reading contains multiple cards from the Wands suit, it may indicate a focus on creativity, passion, and ambition. If the cards also include the Ace of Swords, it could suggest that these qualities will be harnessed with mental clarity and decisiveness.

Similarly, if a reading features a lot of Cups cards, it may indicate an emphasis on emotions, relationships, and intuition. The presence of the Page of Pentacles, a card associated with new beginnings and financial opportunities, could indicate a focus on manifesting abundance in one’s personal or professional life.

One way to incorporate suits with other cards is through numerology, which assigns meanings to each number in the tarot. For example, the number three is associated with creativity, communication, and collaboration, while the number eight signifies financial success, power, and ambition. Combining numerology with the tarot suits can provide a more nuanced understanding of a reading.

Another way to incorporate suits with other cards is through Jungian psychology. The tarot has been used by Jungian therapists as a tool for self-reflection and personal growth. By considering the archetypes and symbols of each suit and card, as well as their relationship to the individual’s unconscious, a deeper exploration of the reading can be achieved. Jungian psychology and the tarot can work together to provide insight into one’s inner world and the underlying psychological patterns at play.

Incorporating tarot suits with other tarot cards can deepen the interpretation of a reading and provide a more holistic understanding of the situation at hand. Whether through numerology, Jungian psychology, or other techniques, there are many ways to approach tarot interpretation and unlock its hidden meanings.

Interpreting Minor Arcana Cards

As we delve deeper into the world of tarot, we find ourselves exploring the intricacies of the Minor Arcana. These 56 cards are divided into four suits, each rich with symbolism and meaning. Understanding and interpreting these cards can be a daunting task, but with the right tools, anyone can unlock their insights. In the following sections, we will examine the Ace cards, numbered cards, and court cards of each suit in detail, uncovering the hidden messages and lessons they hold. By the end of this journey, you will have a greater appreciation for the Minor Arcana’s unique role in tarot readings and its connection to the larger realm of Jungian psychology.

Ace Cards

Ace cards in the minor arcana are the foundation of each suit. They represent new beginnings, potential, and pure energy. Each Ace Card is associated with an element that links it to the corresponding suit. For instance, the Ace of Wands is related to fire; the Ace of Cups is related to water; the Ace of Swords is related to air, while the Ace of Pentacles is related to earth.

The Ace of Wands is associated with inspiration, creativity, and growth in the spiritual and creative realms. It suggests that the querent is at the beginning of a new project, and they have the potential to achieve great things if they harness their focus and dedication.

The Ace of Cups is associated with emotional connections, relationships, and intuitions. It suggests that the querent might be starting to fall in love or develop a new friendship that could evolve into something powerful and significant.

The Ace of Swords is associated with clarity of thought, intellect, and logic. It suggests that the querent is at the starting point of a new idea or project that will require them to use their mental faculties and wit to achieve the intended results.

Finally, the Ace of Pentacles is associated with financial success, business, and material possessions. It suggests that the querent may be starting a new venture that has great potential to provide them with wealth and prosperity.

In readings, Ace cards are usually positive, and they signify new beginnings or opportunities. When appearing in a spread, they usually indicate the potential for growth, new projects, and fresh ideas. The card’s element provides an extra layer of meaning to the card, indicating the area of life most strongly affected by the new start.

Incorporating the ideas of Jungian psychology with tarot interpretations can also help add complexity and depth to readings involving Ace cards. According to Jungian theory, the Ace cards can be interpreted as archetypes representing primordial forms in the human psyche. For example, the Ace of Cups can represent the “Mother” archetype – a nurturing, empathetic force capable of providing comfort and protection. Understanding these archetypes can offer deeper insights into the querent’s state of mind and suggest a more profound transformation about to take place.

Numbered Cards

When interpreting the Minor Arcana numbered cards, it’s important to pay attention to the number on the card as well as the suit it belongs to. Each number from one to ten carries its own significance and can add depth to the interpretation of the card. Here is a brief overview of the meanings of the numbered cards for each suit:


  • Ace: New beginnings, creative ideas, inspiration
  • Two: Balance, collaboration, partnerships
  • Three: Progress, growth, expansion
  • Four: Stability, foundation, structure
  • Five: Conflict, competition, challenges
  • Six: Success, victory, recognition
  • Seven: Opportunities, choices, crossroads
  • Eight: Movement, action, speed
  • Nine: Fulfillment, attainment, accomplishment
  • Ten: Completion, abundance, manifestation


  • Ace: Emotional new beginnings, intuition, love
  • Two: Partnership, harmony, balance
  • Three: Celebration, socializing, creativity
  • Four: Stability, security, home
  • Five: Loss, sadness, grief
  • Six: Reunion, nostalgia, happiness
  • Seven: Choices, trust, reflection
  • Eight: Abundance, fertility, family
  • Nine: Wishes, blessings, contentment
  • Ten: Fulfillment, joy, peace


  • Ace: Mental clarity, new ideas, breakthroughs
  • Two: Difficult choices, tension, indecision
  • Three: Heartbreak, betrayal, separation
  • Four: Rest, stability, gathering thoughts
  • Five: Conflict, loss, defeat
  • Six: Regret, nostalgia, feeling stuck
  • Seven: Betrayal, deception, feeling trapped
  • Eight: Transition, change, movement
  • Nine: Anxiety, worry, fear
  • Ten: Painful endings, upheaval, transformation


  • Ace: New financial opportunities, manifestation, prosperity
  • Two: Balance, partnership, mutually beneficial agreements
  • Three: Fruition, growth, expansion
  • Four: Stability, security, home and hearth
  • Five: Loss, financial hardship, insecurity
  • Six: Abundance, generosity, sharing
  • Seven: Patience, perseverance, hard work
  • Eight: Growth, expansion, prosperity
  • Nine: Fruition, fullness, abundance
  • Ten: Legacy, financial success, inheritance

Keep in mind that while the meanings of the numbered cards are important, they can also be influenced by the surrounding cards in the reading, as well as the querent’s question and the reader’s intuition. For a deeper understanding of the Minor Arcana and how it pertains to Jungian psychology, check out our article on Jungian psychology and the Tarot.

Court Cards

The Court Cards are some of the most intriguing and complex cards in the Minor Arcana suits. As they represent people or archetypes in the querent’s life, it can be challenging to interpret these cards accurately. It is important to pay attention to the personality traits, physical appearance, and symbolism in each Court Card to provide an insightful reading.

There are four Court Cards in each suit: the Page, Knight, Queen, and King. Each of them represents different aspects and roles in the querent’s life.

Card Represents Corresponds to
Page Young, inexperienced person or messenger Spring season and the element of air
Knight Ambitious, action-oriented person or traveler Summer season and the element of fire
Queen Mature, nurturing person or advisor Autumn season and the element of water
King Authority figure, leader or mentor Winter season and the element of earth

The Pages are the youngest and most inexperienced of the Court Cards, but they have a sense of enthusiasm and novelty that can bring fresh perspectives into the querent’s life. The Knights are ambitious and action-oriented, and they are often associated with travel and adventure, representing the need for action and movement. The Queens are mature and nurturing, offering guidance and support to those around them. Finally, the Kings represent wisdom, authority, and leadership, suggesting that the querent may need to assert their own leadership qualities.

When interpreting Court Cards, it is crucial to look at their position in the spread, as well as the surrounding cards. If a Court Card is in a prominent position, it may be a sign that the person or archetype they represent is significant to the querent’s current situation. If they appear reversed or as a challenge, it may indicate that the querent needs to work through issues related to that particular Court Card.

Interpreting Court Cards can be challenging but rewarding. By paying attention to their unique characteristics and symbolism, one can gain insight into the people and archetypes present in the querent’s life.


In conclusion, it is clear that each minor arcana suit in tarot has its own unique meanings and influences. By understanding the symbolism and characteristics of each suit, a skilled tarot reader can provide insightful and helpful readings for their clients.

Throughout this article, we have explored the four minor arcana suits – Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles – and delved into how each suit can influence readings. Numerology can also be used in combination with tarot suits to further enhance the interpretation of cards.

Additionally, incorporating minor arcana suits with other tarot cards can provide a deeper level of understanding and insight into a reading. By interpreting the Ace cards, numbered cards, and court cards within each suit, a reader can gain a more complete understanding of the messages being conveyed by the tarot.

Overall, tarot is a powerful tool for self-discovery and personal growth. Understanding the meanings and influences of minor arcana suits is just one aspect of reading tarot, but it is an important one for anyone looking to harness the power of this ancient practice. Whether you are new to tarot or a seasoned reader, taking the time to explore the meanings of minor arcana suits will undoubtedly enhance your readings and deepen your understanding of this fascinating practice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the Minor Arcana and Major Arcana?

The Major Arcana cards represent major life events and spiritual lessons, while the Minor Arcana cards focus on everyday experiences and influences.

What do the Wands represent in the Minor Arcana?

Wands often represent action, creativity, and ambition. They can also indicate growth and new beginnings.

What do the Cups represent in the Minor Arcana?

Cups represent emotions, relationships, and spirituality. They can also indicate intuition and creativity.

What do the Swords represent in the Minor Arcana?

Swords often represent conflict and challenges, as well as intellect and communication. They can also indicate sharp intuition.

What do the Pentacles represent in the Minor Arcana?

Pentacles represent physicality, material possessions, and finances. They can also indicate stability and practicality.

How do the suits influence tarot readings?

The suits can give insight into the area of life being influenced by the cards. They can also affect the overall tone and message of a reading.

What is numerology and how is it incorporated into tarot readings?

Numerology is the study of numbers and their meanings. Each card in the tarot deck has a numerical value that can contribute to the meaning of a reading.

How can you incorporate other tarot cards with the Minor Arcana suits?

By considering the meaning of other cards in combination with the suits, readers can gain a deeper understanding of the message being conveyed in a reading.

What is the meaning of the Ace cards in the Minor Arcana?

Ace cards often represent new beginnings, potential, and opportunity. They can also indicate a strong energy or intention behind a situation.

What do the numbered cards represent in the Minor Arcana?

Numbered cards represent more specific messages and influences based on their numerical value. For example, a card with the number 3 may indicate growth and expansion.

What is the significance of the Court Cards in the Minor Arcana?

The Court Cards typically represent people or personalities, and can indicate specific individuals in one’s life or aspects of one’s own personality. They can also indicate different roles or energies in a situation.


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