Unlocking the Secrets of Minor Arcana Cards: A Complete Guide

As you dive deeper into the mystical world of tarot, the symbolism and meanings of the cards may seem overwhelming. However, interpretation of the cards is a key aspect of tarot reading, and understanding the Minor Arcana is just as important as comprehending the Major Arcana. The Minor Arcana consists of four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. Each suit holds its own unique symbolism and meaning. In this detailed article, we will take a closer look at the Minor Arcana, discussing its differences with the Major Arcana and exploring the individual meanings of each suit. We’ll also provide tips on interpreting Minor Arcana cards, including the significance of elements and numerology, the personalities of the Court Cards, and how to approach reversed cards. Finally, we’ll put all of these strategies together with sample readings to help illustrate how Minor Arcana cards can provide insight into various life areas. Get ready to unlock the wisdom and magic of the Minor Arcana!

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Understanding Minor Arcana Cards

Understanding Minor Arcana Cards
The Minor Arcana cards can often be overlooked in Tarot readings, but they actually hold a wealth of information and symbolism. Understanding these cards can deepen your interpretation of a reading and provide more specific insights. In this section, we will delve into the meaning and significance of the Minor Arcana cards. If you’re new to Tarot or want to refresh your knowledge on the basics, check out our Tarot Reading Introduction and Major Arcana Meaning articles.

The Minor Arcana vs. Major Arcana

The Minor Arcana can be identified by the suits, which include Swords, Cups, Wands, and Pentacles. Each suit has ten numbered cards and four court cards, which include the Page, Knight, Queen, and King. In contrast, the Major Arcana consists of 22 cards, each depicting a different archetype, such as The Fool or The Magician.

While Major Arcana cards are typically associated with significant life events or turning points, Minor Arcana cards offer insight into the day-to-day experiences and challenges we face. However, that does not mean that Minor Arcana cards are any less significant or meaningful. In fact, they are often described as the “building blocks” of a Tarot reading, providing details on the specifics of a situation or the energies at play.

It is important to note that just because Minor Arcana cards deal with more mundane or everyday themes, that does not mean they are any less complex or challenging to interpret. In fact, some readers may find the Minor Arcana to be more difficult to navigate than the Major Arcana because there are more cards to consider, each with its own distinct meaning.

As a Tarot reader, it is important to be proficient in interpreting both the Major and Minor Arcana cards to provide your clients with a well-rounded and accurate reading. However, when it comes to the Minor Arcana, it is helpful to have a solid understanding of the unique meanings and symbolism of each suit to make the most out of each individual card.

To learn more about Tarot spreads that feature Minor Arcana cards, check out our guide on common Tarot spreads for beginners. If you are just starting out with Tarot and want to learn how to enhance your intuition, be sure to read our guide on developing intuition with Tarot.

Each Suit’s Unique Meaning

When interpreting tarot cards, it’s essential to understand the meaning of each suit in the Minor Arcana. There are four suits in total: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. Each suit has unique symbolism, colors, and elements that give insight into the cards’ meanings.

Wands: The Wands suit represents creativity, ambition, and progress. The symbol of a wand or staff is associated with leadership and power. The element of Fire is associated with this suit, representing energy, drive, and passion. The Wands often indicate growth, enterprise, and opportunity.

Cups: The Cups suit represents emotions, relationships, and creativity. The symbol of the cup or chalice is associated with intuition and spirituality. The element of Water is associated with this suit, representing the unconscious mind, feelings, and emotions. The Cups often indicate love, compassion, and emotional fulfillment.

Swords: The Swords suit represents conflict, intellect, and decision-making. The symbol of the sword is associated with power and justice. The element of Air is associated with this suit, representing the power of the mind, communication, and clarity. The Swords often indicate conflict, intellectual challenge, and decision-making.

Pentacles: The Pentacles suit represents material wealth, stability, and the physical world. The symbol of the pentacle or coin is associated with money, business, and security. The element of Earth is associated with this suit, representing abundance, growth, and manifestation. The Pentacles often indicate financial security, career advancement, and physical well-being.

Understanding each suit’s unique meaning is crucial for interpreting tarot cards accurately. Each card’s symbolism, colors, and elements will give insight into its meaning, and understanding the suit can help connect the cards in a reading.

If you need ideas for tarot spreads to use with these suits, check out our article on tarot spreads. Or, if you’re new to tarot and looking for your first deck, check out our guide on first tarot deck choices. And don’t forget to keep your deck energized and cleansed with our guide on tarot card cleansing and energizing. Finally, make sure to approach tarot readings ethically, as discussed in our article tarot reading ethics for beginners, for the most accurate and respectful readings possible.

Decipher the Riddles of Your Dreams: Select a Tarot Card and Unveil Their Hidden Meanings!
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Reading Minor Arcana Cards

When it comes to reading tarot cards, the Minor Arcana can provide intricate details about a situation or person, offering insight and guidance. Interpreting these cards can be both daunting and fascinating, as each one holds a unique meaning that requires consideration of both its suit and number. Understanding the elements, numerology, and personalities represented in Court Cards is also essential. In this section, we’ll dive deeper into reading Minor Arcana cards and explore tips for interpreting them effectively. For further tips on providing accurate tarot readings, check out our comprehensive guide on tips for accurate tarot readings.

Elements and Numerology

Understanding the elements and numerology in Minor Arcana cards can help give insight into the reading. Each suit is associated with an element: Wands with Fire, Cups with Water, Swords with Air, and Pentacles with Earth. The element provides a general theme and energy for the suit.

The Wands suit represents creativity, energy, and passion. It is associated with Fire, which can represent drive, intensity, or even aggression. When interpreting Wands cards, look for themes of inspiration, action, and ambition.

The Cups suit represents emotions, relationships, and intuition. It is associated with Water, which can represent feelings, fluidity, and connection. When interpreting Cups cards, look for themes of love, intuition, and connection.

The Swords suit represents thoughts, communication, and decisions. It is associated with Air, which can represent intellect, clarity, and detachment. When interpreting Swords cards, look for themes of conflict, decision-making, or communication.

The Pentacles suit represents material wealth, stability, and the physical world. It is associated with Earth, which can represent practicality, grounding, and manifestation. When interpreting Pentacles cards, look for themes of finances, career, or physical health.

In addition to the elements, the numerology of the card can provide further insight. Each number has a unique meaning that can add to the interpretation.

The Ace represents new beginnings, fresh energy, and potential.

The Two represents balance, unity, and harmony.

The Three represents growth, expression, and creativity.

The Four represents stability, security, and structure.

The Five represents change, unpredictability, and adventure.

The Six represents harmony, cooperation, and domesticity.

The Seven represents reflection, spiritual growth, and inner wisdom.

The Eight represents manifestation, abundance, and success.

The Nine represents fulfillment, attainment, and completion.

The Ten represents culmination, accomplishment, and mastery.

By understanding the elements and numerology of each card, a reader can gain a deeper understanding of the message of the reading.

Court Cards: Personalities and Meanings

One subset of Minor Arcana cards that can be particularly difficult to interpret is the Court Cards. These cards can represent real people in a reading, or they can reflect aspects of the querent’s personality. Understanding the personalities and meanings associated with the Court Cards is key to gaining insight from these complex cards.

Here are the four suits of the Court Cards and their corresponding personalities and meanings:

  • Wands: The Wands Court Cards are associated with the element of fire and represent energetic, passionate individuals. The Page of Wands can indicate a free-spirited, adventurous person, while the Knight of Wands may symbolize a charismatic leader. The Queen of Wands is often associated with confidence and creativity, while the King of Wands may represent a strong-willed, ambitious individual.
  • Cups: The Cups Court Cards are associated with the element of water and represent emotional, intuitive individuals. The Page of Cups may symbolize a dreamer or a new relationship, while the Knight of Cups often represents a romantic and imaginative person. The Queen of Cups is associated with caring and empathy, while the King of Cups is often linked to diplomacy and emotional maturity.
  • Swords: The Swords Court Cards are associated with the element of air and represent analytical, intellectual individuals. The Page of Swords often represents a sharp-minded, communicative person, while the Knight of Swords may indicate a decisive and assertive individual. The Queen of Swords is associated with clear thinking and independent action, while the King of Swords may represent a logical, authoritative figure.
  • Pentacles: The Pentacles Court Cards are associated with the element of earth and represent practical, materialistic individuals. The Page of Pentacles may symbolize a student or an apprentice, while the Knight of Pentacles often represents a diligent, hardworking individual. The Queen of Pentacles is associated with nurturing and abundance, while the King of Pentacles may represent a successful, wealthy individual.

It’s important to note that the personalities associated with the Court Cards can be interpreted in a variety of ways, and they may not always be indicative of the specific individual or aspect of the querent’s personality they represent. The context of the reading and the surrounding cards should be taken into consideration when interpreting Court Cards.

Tips for Interpreting Minor Arcana Cards

Tips For Interpreting Minor Arcana Cards
As you delve into the world of tarot, interpreting the meaning behind the cards can be both exciting and challenging. When it comes to the Minor Arcana, keeping in mind a few key tips can make all the difference in gaining a deeper understanding of their significance. Here are some helpful insights to enhance your reading experience and guide you in interpreting Minor Arcana cards with confidence and clarity.

Intuition and Personal Experience

When it comes to interpreting minor arcana cards, relying on your intuition and personal experience can be a powerful tool. While it’s essential to understand traditional meanings and symbolism, it’s equally important to use your own insights and instincts to interpret the cards’ unique meaning for each reading.

Your intuition can help you pick up on nuance and subtlety that may not be immediately apparent from the cards themselves. When you’re working with the minor arcana, trust your inner voice to guide you towards a deeper understanding of each card’s significance.

It’s also essential to draw on your personal experience when interpreting minor arcana cards. For example, if you’re doing a reading that centers around your career or work life and you draw the three of pentacles, this card may resonate differently for you if you have experience working on group projects or collaborating with others.

Tip: Consider keeping a journal or notebook where you can record your observations and insights about each card as you work with them. Over time, you may begin to notice patterns or themes that emerge, which can be incredibly helpful in refining your interpretations and deepening your understanding of the minor arcana.

Remember, the minor arcana cards offer a wealth of information and insight into your life and circumstances. By tapping into your intuition and personal experience, you can create interpretations that are uniquely tailored to your situation, helping you gain the clarity and understanding you need to move forward with confidence.

Reversed Cards

When interpreting Tarot cards, reversed cards can add complexity and nuance to a reading. Reversals occur when a card appears upside down in a spread, and can indicate a blockage or challenge in the card’s meaning. However, it is important to note that some Tarot readers do not use reversals in their readings, and instead interpret all cards as upright.

If you do choose to use reversed cards in your Tarot practice, there are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Consider the traditional meanings: Reversals often indicate a reversal of energy or a blockage in the traditional meaning of the card. For example, the Seven of Cups in its upright position may indicate many options and choices, while in its reversed position it may suggest confusion or indecision.

2. Pay attention to your intuition: While it’s important to understand the traditional meanings of each card, it’s equally important to trust your intuition when interpreting reversed cards. What does the image on the card evoke in you? What feelings or messages are you receiving from the card? Trust yourself and your inner wisdom.

3. Look for patterns: When interpreting a spread that contains one or more reversed cards, look for patterns or connections between the cards. Are there multiple cards in the spread that suggest blockages or challenges? Are there any cards that appear in both their upright and reversed positions? These patterns can provide valuable insights into the reading as a whole.

4. Consider the context: As with any Tarot reading, it’s important to consider the context of the question or situation being addressed. How does the reversed card relate to the other cards in the spread? How does it relate to the question or situation at hand? Keep the bigger picture in mind when interpreting reversed cards.

5. Don’t fear the shadows: When a reversed card appears in a spread, it can be tempting to view it as a “negative” or “bad” omen. However, the Tarot is a tool for self-exploration and growth, and the shadows can teach us valuable lessons about ourselves and our lives. Embrace the challenges and blockages, and use them as opportunities for growth and transformation.

Bringing it All Together: Sample Readings

Now that we’ve covered the basics of interpreting minor arcana cards, it’s time to explore how to apply that knowledge to actual readings. It can be daunting to navigate the different cards and spreads, but using the tips and insights we’ve discussed, you’ll be able to approach any reading with confidence and intuition. Let’s take a closer look at some sample readings, using a variety of spreads to gain insight into relationships, careers, and self-discovery. By analyzing these cards and their meanings, you’ll learn how to connect the dots and draw meaningful conclusions from each reading. So grab your deck, shuffle those cards, and join us as we bring it all together.

Relationship Reading

When interpreting minor arcana cards for a relationship reading, it is important to consider the specific cards drawn and how they may relate to each other. Here is an example of a relationship reading for a couple:

Card Position Meaning
Page of Cups Present The Page of Cups represents a young person who is emotional, creative, and open-hearted. In the present position, this card suggests that the couple is currently in a state of emotional openness and vulnerability.
Eight of Swords Challenge The Eight of Swords is a card of feeling trapped and powerless. In the challenge position, this card suggests that the couple may be struggling with feelings of restriction and stagnation in their relationship.
Five of Pentacles Lesson to Learn The Five of Pentacles represents hardship and financial struggle. In the lesson to learn position, this card suggests that the couple may need to work together to overcome challenges and come up with practical solutions to their problems.
Two of Cups Advice The Two of Cups represents partnership and connection. In the advice position, this card suggests that the couple should focus on strengthening their emotional bond and finding ways to support each other.
The Lovers Possible Outcome The Lovers is a powerful card of love and union. In the possible outcome position, this card suggests that the couple has the potential to deepen their relationship and create a strong, lasting bond.

This relationship reading suggests that the couple is currently in a state of emotional vulnerability, but may be facing challenges related to feeling trapped and struggling financially. However, the cards also offer advice to focus on strengthening their emotional connection and partnership, which could lead to a positive outcome of deeper love and union. It is important to remember that tarot readings are interpretive and can vary depending on the reader and the specific situation, so use your intuition and personal experience to guide your interpretation of the cards.

Career Reading

When it comes to interpreting minor arcana cards in a career reading, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some tips and insights to consider:

1. Wands (Fire Element)

  • If the Ace of Wands appears, it could signify a new job opportunity or the start of a new project or venture.
  • The Two of Wands may indicate decision-making, planning, or considering a new path.
  • The Three of Wands often represents growth, expansion, and collaboration.
  • If the Four of Wands appears, it could suggest a celebratory event or work accomplishment.
  • The Five of Wands may indicate competition, conflict, or a need to assert oneself in the workplace.
  • If the Six of Wands appears, it could represent success, recognition, or a promotion.
  • The Seven of Wands often symbolizes standing up for oneself, asserting authority, or defending one’s position at work.
  • If the Eight of Wands appears, it may signify quick actions, movement, or progress in a project or career.
  • The Nine of Wands can represent perseverance, determination, or overcoming obstacles in one’s career.
  • If the Ten of Wands appears, it may suggest overwhelm or a burden of responsibility in one’s job or career.

2. Cups (Water Element)

  • The Ace of Cups may signify a new job opportunity that aligns with one’s passions and emotions.
  • The Two of Cups often represents partnership, connection, or finding a mentor in one’s career.
  • If the Three of Cups appears, it could signify teamwork, socialization, or a work-related celebration.
  • The Four of Cups often symbolizes apathy, disinterest, or feeling unfulfilled in one’s job or career.
  • If the Five of Cups appears, it may signify disappointment, loss, or setbacks in one’s career.
  • The Six of Cups often represents nostalgia, memories, or returning to an old career path.
  • If the Seven of Cups appears, it could symbolize confusion, unclear goals, or too many options in one’s career.
  • The Eight of Cups often represents leaving one job or career path for another that aligns better with one’s true desires.
  • If the Nine of Cups appears, it signifies satisfaction, fulfillment, or achieving one’s career goals.
  • The Ten of Cups often symbolizes a harmonious and prosperous work environment or career path.

3. Swords (Air Element)

  • If the Ace of Swords appears, it may signify a new job opportunity that requires clear thinking, communication, or problem-solving skills.
  • The Two of Swords often represents indecision, uncertainty, or a need to weigh options carefully in one’s career.
  • If the Three of Swords appears, it could signify heartbreak, loss, or conflict in one’s career.
  • The Four of Swords often symbolizes rest, recovery, or taking a break from work.
  • If the Five of Swords appears, it may signify betrayal, conflict, or feeling defeated in one’s career.
  • The Six of Swords often represents transition, progress, or moving to a new job or career path.
  • If the Seven of Swords appears, it could signify deceit, dishonesty, or a need to be cautious in one’s career.
  • The Eight of Swords often symbolizes feeling trapped, restricted, or powerless at work.
  • If the Nine of Swords appears, it may signify anxiety, stress, or feeling overwhelmed in one’s career.
  • The Ten of Swords often represents a painful ending or loss in one’s career that leads to a new beginning.

4. Pentacles (Earth Element)

  • If the Ace of Pentacles appears, it could signify a new job opportunity or financial prosperity in one’s career.
  • The Two of Pentacles often represents balance, flexibility, or juggling multiple jobs or projects.
  • If the Three of Pentacles appears, it may signify teamwork, skill-building, or collaboration in one’s career.
  • The Four of Pentacles often symbolizes possessiveness, clinginess, or a need to let go of control in one’s career.
  • If the Five of Pentacles appears, it may signify financial hardship, job loss, or feeling undervalued at work.
  • The Six of Pentacles often represents generosity, charity, or receiving help in one’s career.
  • If the Seven of Pentacles appears, it could signify patience, growth, or a need to wait for career progress.
  • The Eight of Pentacles often symbolizes hard work, skill-building, or a focus on career development.
  • If the Nine of Pentacles appears, it may signify financial independence, career success, or luxury in one’s career.
  • The Ten of Pentacles often represents legacy, wealth, or a prosperous and stable career path.

By understanding the unique meanings of each minor arcana card and their corresponding element and numerology, a tarot reader can provide insights and guidance for a career reading. It’s important to keep in mind that tarot readings are not a definitive answer but can serve as a helpful tool for self-reflection and decision-making.

Self-Discovery Reading

A self-discovery reading focuses on gaining insights into oneself, identifying personal strengths and weaknesses, and exploring opportunities for personal growth. To conduct this reading, shuffle the deck and pull three cards to represent the past, present, and future.

Card One – The Past: This card represents a significant event or influence from the past that has shaped the individual in some way. It may indicate a positive or negative experience that has contributed to their current state of being.

Card Two – The Present: This card represents the current state of the individual, including their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It may indicate areas where they are thriving or struggling, and offer insights into the factors contributing to their current situation.

Card Three – The Future: This card represents potential outcomes based on the individual’s current trajectory. It may suggest steps that can be taken to improve their situation, or highlight potential challenges that need to be overcome.

When interpreting the cards, pay attention to the suit and number of each card, as well as any relevant imagery or symbolism. The elemental qualities and numerology can offer additional insights into the meaning of each card.

Ultimately, a self-discovery reading can be a powerful tool for gaining deeper insights into oneself and identifying areas for personal growth. By reflecting on these insights and taking action where necessary, individuals can work toward creating a more fulfilling and authentic life.


In conclusion, interpreting minor arcana cards can seem intimidating at first, but with practice, patience, and intuition, anyone can become proficient in reading them. It’s important to have a solid understanding of the basic meanings of each suit and the numerology and elemental associations behind them.

It’s also crucial to remember that while the cards may have general meanings, they are ultimately open to interpretation and can vary based on the reader, the querent, and the specific circumstances of the reading. It’s okay to trust your instincts and personal experiences when interpreting the cards.

When reading minor arcana cards, pay attention to the court cards and their personalities, as they can represent people in the querent’s life or aspects of the querent’s own personality. Don’t be intimidated by reversed cards, as they can offer valuable insights and shouldn’t always be viewed as negative omens.

Lastly, practice makes perfect when it comes to reading tarot cards, so don’t be discouraged if it takes time to become comfortable interpreting the minor arcana. Sample readings can be a helpful starting point for practicing interpretation and gaining confidence in your abilities.

Overall, the minor arcana cards offer a rich and nuanced addition to any tarot reading, and with dedication and intuition, can provide valuable insights into a variety of situations and questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Minor Arcana cards in a tarot deck?

The Minor Arcana cards are one of two main divisions of the tarot deck, consisting of 56 cards divided into four suits.

How do the Minor Arcana cards differ from the Major Arcana?

The Major Arcana cards depict major life events and spiritual lessons, while the Minor Arcana cards focus more on day-to-day experiences and challenges.

What are the four suits in the Minor Arcana, and what do they represent?

The four suits are Swords (mental challenges), Cups (emotions and relationships), Wands (creativity and passion), and Pentacles (material and financial matters).

What do the numerology and elements on Minor Arcana cards signify?

The numerology and elements provide additional insight into the meaning of the card, such as the combination of the number and suit indicating a specific aspect of life.

What do the Court Cards represent in the Minor Arcana?

The Court Cards represent different personality types or aspects of the self, and can be read as people or personality traits in a reading.

How can intuition and personal experience be used to interpret Minor Arcana cards?

Intuition and personal experience can help provide a unique interpretation of the cards that is personalized to the individual reader.

What does it mean when a Minor Arcana card appears reversed in a reading?

A reversed Minor Arcana card can indicate blocked energy or a need for self-reflection in the area represented by the card.

What is a relationship reading, and how can Minor Arcana cards be used in it?

A relationship reading focuses on aspects of a romantic partnership, and Minor Arcana cards can be used to provide insight into specific areas of the relationship.

What is a career reading, and how can Minor Arcana cards be used in it?

A career reading focuses on aspects of a person’s professional life, and Minor Arcana cards can be used to provide insight into specific challenges or opportunities in their career.

What is a self-discovery reading, and how can Minor Arcana cards be used in it?

A self-discovery reading focuses on exploring oneself and one’s journey in life, and Minor Arcana cards can be used to provide insight into the individual’s personal growth and development.


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