Understanding Tarot Suits and Symbols

Tarot reading is a practice that has been around for centuries, and it continues to intrigue people to this day. At the core of tarot reading are the four tarot suits: wands, cups, swords, and pentacles. Each suit is rich with symbolism that can be explored in readings to help gain insight into different areas of one’s life. Whether you’re a seasoned reader or just starting out, understanding the symbolism and interpretations of these suits can be a powerful tool in deciphering the meaning behind the cards. Join me as we explore the intricacies of tarot suits and their symbols in this informative guide.

Decipher the Riddles of Your Dreams: Select a Tarot Card and Unveil Their Hidden Meanings!
Card 1
Card 2
Card 3

What are Tarot Suits?

What Are Tarot Suits?
Tarot Suits are one of the fundamental elements of tarot card reading. Each Tarot Suit represents a specific aspect of life and contains a unique set of symbols that correspond to it. There are four Tarot Suits, namely Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. The Wands Tarot Suit represents creativity and passion while Cups represent emotions, intuition, and love. The Swords Suit represents intellect, communication, and decision-making while Pentacles Tarot Suit represents material possessions, money, and the physical world. Understanding Tarot Suit symbolism can help provide insight into your life and guide you in making decisions. Each Tarot Suit also corresponds to the four elements, namely fire, water, air, and earth, respectively. Decoding the symbols associated with the Tarot Suits requires a bit of research and understanding of their cultural background, numerology, and astrology. To learn more about Tarot Symbols and Meanings and decoding Tarot Symbols, check out the relevant resources that will provide you additional insight into the topic.

The Four Tarot Suits

Tarot decks are comprised of four suits, each with its own distinct symbolism and meaning. The four tarot suits are wands, cups, swords, and pentacles. Each suit corresponds to a specific aspect of life and represents different traits and characteristics. Wands are associated with ambition and growth, cups signify emotions and relationships, swords represent intellect and decision-making, and pentacles symbolize material possessions and physical well-being. These suits are essential in interpreting tarot readings and can provide insight into a person’s life circumstances and how they relate to the querent’s query. If you want to know more about the symbols and meanings of Tarot cards, you can visit our website 10 Tarot Symbols and Their Meanings for an in-depth guide.

Relationship to Playing Cards

The Tarot Suits are closely related to playing cards, and both have their origins in medieval Europe. The four traditional suits in Tarot are commonly associated with the playing card suits of Hearts, Spades, Clubs, and Diamonds. The Hearts suit in playing cards is analogous to the Cups suit in Tarot, representing emotions and love. Similarly, Diamonds correspond to Pentacles and can signify material wealth and practicality. The Spades suit is associated with the Swords suit in Tarot, which represents conflict and intellectual elements such as communication and decision-making. Finally, Clubs are likened to the Wands suit, reflecting ambition and growth.

Despite their similarities in origin, there are some key differences between Tarot and playing cards. One example is the addition of the Major Arcana cards in Tarot, which are unique to the Tarot deck and have no equivalent in playing cards. The fifty-six Minor Arcana cards in Tarot, on the other hand, represent the traditional four suits and their corresponding elements. The court cards in Tarot (Page, Knight, Queen, King) also have a different meaning than their playing card counterparts.

It can be helpful for those familiar with playing cards to use their knowledge when learning Tarot, as the symbols and meanings can be easier to understand. However, it’s important to keep in mind that while there are similarities between the two, Tarot has a much richer and deeper symbolism that extends beyond the realm of playing cards. Understanding the unique meanings and relationships of the Tarot suits is essential for successful interpretation and application in readings.

For a deeper understanding of the elements in Tarot, you can read our article about Tarot and the Four Elements. Another interesting topic to explore is the symbolism found in the Major Arcana of the Tarot deck, which you can read about in our article Tarot Major Arcana Symbolism.

Decipher the Riddles of Your Dreams: Select a Tarot Card and Unveil Their Hidden Meanings!
Card 1
Card 2
Card 3

Symbolism in Tarot Suits

Tarot suits are an essential part of interpreting and understanding a tarot reading. Each of the four suits has its unique symbolism, representing different aspects of life, personality, and experiences. Wands are associated with creativity, passion, and action, while Cups represent emotions, relationships, and feelings. On the other hand, Swords symbolize thoughts, conflicts, and decisions, and Pentacles are connected to material possessions, career, and stability. Understanding the symbolism behind each tarot suit can help provide deeper insights and meanings in a reading. These symbols have deep roots in astrology, numerology, and cultural traditions. Knowing these connections can further enhance the meaning behind the cards and provide more clarity in the reading. To decode tarot symbols and understand their unique meanings, it’s essential to explore the cultural backgrounds, astrological connections, and numerical associations. Animal tarot, numerological tarot symbolism, and reversed tarot readings are all ways to gain insight into the world of tarot and unlock its mysteries.


The wands, also known as rods or staves, are associated with the element of fire, represents inspiration, creativity, and passion. In tarot, wands symbolize the power of will and the drive to accomplish goals. They represent ambition, growth, and progress.

  • Ace of Wands: The ace of wands signifies new beginnings, creativity, and energy. A wand is sprouting with leaves, representing growth and spiritual awakening.
  • Two of Wands: The two of wands symbolizes partnership and collaboration. It indicates the need for a balance between personal growth and teamwork.
  • Three of Wands: The three of wands represents the initial stages of implementation and manifestation of ideas or plans.
  • Four of Wands: The four of wands is associated with celebration, festivities, and happiness. It marks the successful completion of a project or event.
  • Five of Wands: The five of wands signifies competition and conflict. It suggests the need for a healthy competition that helps in personal growth and development.
  • Six of Wands: The six of wands symbolizes victory, recognition, and honor. It indicates a successful outcome of a project or the achievement of a goal.

Want to learn more about the cultural backgrounds and symbolism behind Tarot? Check out our article!


The cups suit is one of the four tarot suits and represents emotions, intuition, and relationships. Cups are commonly associated with water, which is a symbol of the unconscious mind and the emotions that flow beneath the surface of our conscious thoughts. When cups appear in a tarot reading, they often indicate matters of the heart.

Here are the symbolism and meaning of each card in the cups suit:

Card Symbolism
Ace of Cups New beginnings, overwhelming emotions, intuition, spirituality, compassion, love
Two of Cups Relationships, partnerships, harmony, balance, attraction, reconciliation
Three of Cups Celebration, social gatherings, joyful experiences, friendships, creativity
Four of Cups Discontentment, apathy, feeling disconnected from emotions, contemplation
Five of Cups Disappointment, loss, grief, sadness, regret, focusing on the negative
Six of Cups Nostalgia, memories, childhood, innocence, simplicity, generosity
Seven of Cups Choices, fantasies, illusions, opportunities, temptation, confusion
Eight of Cups Leaving behind the past, moving on, emotional maturity, growth, self-discovery
Nine of Cups Wishes fulfilled, happiness, satisfaction, contentment, emotional stability
Ten of Cups Harmony, bliss, happy family life, love, success, emotional fulfillment
Page of Cups Emotional messages, creativity, intuition, sensitivity, daydreaming, artistic ability
Knight of Cups Romance, passion, charm, creativity, adventure, idealism, emotional intensity
Queen of Cups Emotional intelligence, empathy, intuition, nurturing, compassion, creativeness
King of Cups Wisdom, mastery of emotions, patience, diplomacy, leadership, maturity

Interpreting cups cards in a tarot reading can reveal important insights about our love life, relationships, and emotional state. When doing a reading, pay attention to the number, symbolism, and colors of the cards. Additionally, take into account the surrounding cards and the question or issue at hand to get a full understanding of the meaning.

If you want to learn more about tarot symbolism and its relation to astrology and zodiac signs, check out the article on Astrology Tarot Zodiac Symbolism. And for more tips on decoding tarot symbols, read Decoding Tarot Symbols: Tips and Techniques.


Swords are the third suit of the tarot deck. The Swords deal with the mind and the intellect. They are associated with intellect, strife, and aggression. In tarot spreads, swords often represent challenges, conflicts, and obstacles in life. Here is a breakdown of the Swords tarot suit and the symbolism they represent.

The Swords Tarot Suit:

Suit of Swords Keywords Meaning
Ace of Swords Breakthrough, Clarity, Success, Victory This card represents the beginning of a new idea or plan. It suggests that you have a clear vision and are ready to take action to achieve your goals.
Two of Swords Indecision, Difficulty, Stalemate The Two of Swords indicates a blockage or stalemate. It suggests that you are facing a difficult decision and are uncertain about what path to take.
Three of Swords Heartbreak, Betrayal, Loss The Three of Swords signifies heartache, betrayal, or disappointment. It suggests that you are experiencing pain, but it is time to move on and heal.
Four of Swords Rest, Recuperation, Recharging The Four of Swords represents rest and recuperation. It suggests that you need to take a break and recharge your batteries before moving forward.
Five of Swords Conflict, Betrayal, Loss, Defeat The Five of Swords signifies conflict, betrayal, or defeat. It suggests that you may need to accept loss in a situation to avoid further strife.
Six of Swords Transition, Moving On, Travel The Six of Swords represents a transition or moving on to a new phase in life. It suggests that you are leaving behind a difficult situation and moving towards a more positive future.
Seven of Swords Deceit, Betrayal, Theft, Sneakiness The Seven of Swords is a warning that someone may be deceiving or betraying you. It suggest that you need to be cautious and protect yourself from dishonest people.
Eight of Swords Isolation, Self-Imposed Restrictions, Trapped The Eight of Swords suggests that you may feel trapped or restricted in some way. It suggests that you need to look at the situation objectively and find a way to break free.
Nine of Swords Anxiety, Fear, Nightmares, Despair The Nine of Swords often represents anxiety or fear. It suggests that you may be worrying excessively or experiencing nightmares. It may be helpful to talk to someone about your fears and concerns.
Ten of Swords Endings, Crisis, Betrayal The Ten of Swords represents endings, crisis, or betrayal. It suggests that you may need to accept a hard truth or let go of something that is no longer serving you.
Page of Swords Curiosity, Exploration, Mental Agility The Page of Swords represents curiosity and exploration. It suggests that you may be eager to learn and explore new ideas, but need to be careful not to be too impulsive.
Knight of Swords Action, Speed, Ambition, Determination The Knight of Swords is all about action and ambition. It suggests that you need to be bold and decisive to achieve your goals.
Queen of Swords Intellect, Perceptiveness, Independence The Queen of Swords is all about intellect and independence. She is perceptive and wise, but can also be detached and cold.
King of Swords Ambition, Authority, Leadership, Logic The King of Swords represents ambition and authority. He is a natural leader who values logic and reason above all else.

The Swords tarot suit can be a difficult and complex suit to interpret, but with a little patience and practice, it can reveal important insights about your life. Remember that the Swords represent the mind and the intellect, so pay close attention to your thoughts and feelings when these cards come up in your readings.


Pentacles, also known as coins or disks, are one of the four tarot suits and represent the element of earth. They symbolize material wealth, financial abundance, and material possessions. When interpreting pentacles in a reading, it’s important to consider the physical and tangible aspects of life.

Here are the cards in the pentacles suit along with their meanings:

Card Name Meaning
Ace of Pentacles The beginning of financial opportunities and material success
Two of Pentacles Balance, juggling finances, adaptability
Three of Pentacles Collaboration, teamwork, skilled craftsmanship
Four of Pentacles Hoarding, possessiveness, fear of loss
Five of Pentacles Financial loss, poverty, hardship
Six of Pentacles Generosity, charity, balance of giving and receiving
Seven of Pentacles Patience, hard work, waiting for results
Eight of Pentacles Diligence, skill development, apprenticeship
Nine of Pentacles Financial independence, luxury, self-sufficiency
Ten of Pentacles Family legacy, inheritance, abundance
Page of Pentacles New financial opportunities, curiosity, studiousness
Knight of Pentacles Hard work, reliability, methodical progress
Queen of Pentacles Earth mother, practicality, material comfort
King of Pentacles Wealth, financial security, strong leadership

In a reading, if multiple pentacle cards appear, it may indicate a focus on material success and financial gain. However, it’s important to note that while pentacles represent tangible, physical aspects of life, they can also

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest news and updates.

have symbolic meanings related to personal values and security.

Pentacles can offer insight into financial opportunities, material possessions, and physical comforts. Their appearance in a reading can prompt reflection on one’s relationship to money and the material world.

Interpreting Tarot Suits in Readings

When interpreting Tarot suits in readings, it’s important to consider the individual meanings and symbolism of each suit, as well as any combinations or contrasts present. For example, Wands typically represent creativity, passion, and inspiration, while Cups symbolize emotions, relationships, and intuition. Swords signify intellect, analysis, and conflict, while Pentacles represent material abundance, practicality, and stability. The specific cards present in a reading, and their placement and orientation, can also provide insight into the querent’s situation. By analyzing and interpreting the Tarot suits and their symbols, a skilled reader can offer guidance and advice that can be applied to real life situations.

Combinations and Contrasts

When interpreting Tarot suits in readings, paying attention to combinations and contrasts can provide deep insights and greater clarity. Combinations occur when multiple cards from the same suit appear in a reading, and they can amplify the suit’s overall theme. For example, if multiple Cups cards appear, the reading may focus on emotions, relationships, and intuition. On the other hand, when contrasting suits appear together, their differences may create tension and require further examination. For instance, if both Wands and Swords cards appear, the reading may present a conflict between passion and reason.

It’s essential to compare and contrast suits in a reading to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the situation. If Swords cards dominate in a reading, there may be a need for logic, analysis, and critical thinking. If Pentacles cards dominate, practicality, finances, and material possessions may be the primary concern. In contrast, an abundance of Cups cards may indicate a focus on emotions, relationships, and creativity, while Wands may suggest energy, passion, and ambition.

Another strategy for interpreting Tarot suits in readings is to pay close attention to the details within the cards. For example, a Cups card may show two figures exchanging a cup, indicating a bond between two individuals. A Swords card may depict a figure holding a sword, representing a need for decisive action or critical thinking.

By examining combinations and contrasts within Tarot suits during readings, a skilled practitioner can provide deeper insights into the querent’s situation. In doing so, understanding Tarot suits’ symbolism can help reveal the underlying energies, challenges, and opportunities present in a situation.

Applying to Real Life

The tarot suits can offer guidance and insight into real-life situations and challenges. As we explore the symbolism and meanings of each suit, it becomes easier to connect them with our own experiences.

One way to apply the tarot suits to real life is to consider them in the context of a specific question or issue that we are facing. For example, if we are struggling with a difficult decision, we might turn to the suit of Swords for guidance, as it represents intellect, logic, and decision-making.

It is important to remember that the tarot suits do not offer concrete answers or solutions to our problems, but rather serve as a tool for introspection and self-reflection. By examining the symbolism and meanings of the suits in relation to our own lives, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our situations.

Another way to apply the tarot suits to real life is to use them as a framework for personal growth and development. We can look to the suits as representing different aspects of our lives, such as career (Pentacles), relationships (Cups), creativity (Wands), and intellect (Swords).

By focusing on each suit and its associated meanings, we can identify areas in which we may need to grow and develop. For example, if we consistently draw cards from the suit of Cups, it may be a sign that we need to work on our emotional intelligence or communication skills in our relationships.

Applying the tarot suits to real life requires a willingness to delve deep into our own experiences and emotions. With practice and patience, we can learn to use the tarot as a tool for self-discovery and personal growth.


In conclusion, exploring tarot suits and their symbols is a fascinating and complex topic. Each of the four suits: wands, cups, swords, and pentacles hold significant symbolism and meaning within the tarot deck. Through understanding the individual symbols and their interpretation, the tarot can reveal insights and guidance for personal growth and self-discovery.

When interpreting tarot suits during a reading, it’s essential to consider both combinations and contrasts between the cards. The contrasting elements can represent tension or challenges, while complementary elements can suggest harmony or a united front. By understanding the nuances of the tarot, it is possible to apply the messages derived in a personal reading to real-life situations in a meaningful and insightful way.

It’s crucial to approach the tarot with an open mind and a respectful attitude towards the inherent power and wisdom of the tools used in divination. Tarot readings offer a path towards greater self-awareness, self-exploration, and spiritual growth. By utilizing the symbols and meanings of tarot suits, we can navigate life’s journey with greater clarity and understanding. So whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or completely new to tarot, embracing the exploration of tarot suits and their symbolism is a worthwhile venture for anyone seeking to deepen their spiritual practices.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Tarot?

The Tarot is a deck of 78 cards, each with its own unique imagery and symbolism, that is used for divination, meditation, and spiritual insight.

What are the major Arcana?

The Major Arcana are the 22 cards in the Tarot deck that represent major life events and themes, such as The Fool, The Magician, and The Tower.

What are the minor Arcana?

The Minor Arcana are the remaining 56 cards in the Tarot deck and are divided into four suits, each with 14 cards that represent everyday situations and challenges.

What is a Tarot reading?

A Tarot reading is a process of divination where a Tarot reader interprets the symbols and imagery on the cards to gain insight into a person’s past, present, or future.

What is the symbolism of the Suit of Wands?

The Suit of Wands represents creativity, inspiration, and action. The wand itself symbolizes spiritual power and the ability to manifest your desires.

What is the symbolism of the Suit of Cups?

The Suit of Cups represents emotions, relationships, and connection. The cups themselves symbolize vessels to hold our feelings and the ebb and flow of our emotions.

What is the symbolism of the Suit of Swords?

The Suit of Swords represents intellect, logic, and decision making. The swords themselves symbolize the power of the mind and the ability to cut through confusion and illusion.

What is the symbolism of the Suit of Pentacles?

The Suit of Pentacles represents material goods, wealth, and abundance. The pentacles themselves symbolize the physical manifestation of our desires and the fruits of our labor.

How can I use Tarot cards in my daily life?

You can use Tarot cards for daily inspiration, meditation, or goal setting. You can pull a card in the morning to set the tone for your day or in the evening to reflect on the day’s events.

Do I need to be psychic to read Tarot cards?

No, you do not need to be psychic to read Tarot cards. The Tarot is simply a tool for accessing your intuition and gaining insight into your life.


Leave a Comment