Tarot cards have been used for centuries to provide guidance, insight and predictions for the future. They continue to fascinate and intrigue people from all walks of life. Many see tarot cards strictly as a form of occult and esoteric wisdom. However, anyone can learn how to read and benefit from tarot cards. Let’s take a closer look at the history, meaning and ways you can interpret tarot cards.

What Are Tarot Cards Meaning?

Tarot cards are a deck of 78 playing cards, each with its own imagery, symbolism and story. The two main components of a tarot deck are the Major and Minor Arcana.

  • The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards that represent archetypes, life lessons and the journey through life from birth to enlightenment. Each Major Arcana card has a title and Roman numeral assigned to it. For example, The Fool is card 0 and The World is card 21.
  • The Minor Arcana has 56 suit cards divided into 4 suits: Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. Each suit has 14 cards: Ace through 10, Page, Knight, Queen and King. This part of the deck is similar to a regular deck of playing cards.

When combined together, the Major and Minor Arcana cards create a powerful tool for gaining insights, clarity and spiritual guidance. Tarot works by tapping into the collective unconscious and energy forces surrounding an individual. Tarot readers aim to interpret what meaning and message the cards convey about a person’s life situation and path ahead.

How Does the Tarot Work?

There are many theories about how and why tarot cards can reveal truths. Here are 3 of the main views about how divining with tarot works:

  • Jungian Psychology: Carl Jung believed archetypes exist within the collective unconscious of all humans. The symbols, characters and lessons in the tarot cards allow the psyche to project itself onto these archetypal images. This stirs the unconscious into providing meaningful reflections about one’s life.
  • Synchronicity: This theory developed by Jung states that coincidental events reveal meaningful patterns and connections. Synchronicity explains the tarot’s capacity to reveal astonishingly accurate details through random card sequences.
  • Energy Forces: Some mystics and occultists regard the tarot as a conduit to tap into universal energy forces or spiritual entities. They allow these energies to guide the cards they place for a spread to reveal insights into a querent’s situation.

Regardless of belief, the tarot provides a rich set of imagery that helps illuminate life’s pathways, offering clarity when feeling directionless.

What is the History of Tarot?

The history and origins of tarot cards remains somewhat obscure and debated. Here is what we know about the development of tarot over the centuries:

  • 14th century: The first documented tarot decks emerged in Italy and other parts of Europe as playing cards. They consisted only of the 4 suits that make up the Minor Arcana.
  • 15th century: The oldest existing tarot deck is the Visconti-Sforza deck painted in the mid-15th century for the Duke of Milan. This is the first deck that included the cards of the Major Arcana.
  • 18th century: Tarot became associated with mysticism and occult sciences in the 18th century through societies and prominent occultists like Antoine Court de G├ębelin.
  • 19th century: Tarot underwent a revival in the 19th century thanks to prominent occult and mystical schools. Members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, like A.E. Waite, created tarot decks still widely used today.
  • 20th century: Tarot saw its greatest revival and popularization in the 20th century. Psychics, occult practitioners and New Age adherents brought tarot firmly into the mainstream consciousness.

While many theories exist about the ancient Egyptian or Gypsy origins of tarot cards, most historians agree that tarot emerged in medieval Italy before spreading across Europe. The exact symbolic meanings of the cards also evolved over time, leaving much still open to interpretation today.

How can I Learn How To Read Tarot?

How can I Learn How To Read Tarot
How can I Learn How To Read Tarot

For beginners, learning how to read tarot cards takes time, practice and patience. However, getting started with tarot is not as difficult as it may seem. Follow these steps to start reading tarot cards for yourself and others:

  • Get a tarot deck. Your first deck should be a classic 78-card tarot deck so you can learn all the traditional card meanings. The Rider-Waite deck is the best choice for beginners.
  • Learn the meaning of each card. Get a guidebook or look up online the upright and reversed meanings for each Major and Minor Arcana card. Create flashcards if it helps!
  • Start with simple 3-card spreads. The past, present, future spread is ideal to begin practicing your interpretation skills. Draw 1 card for each position in the spread.
  • Read for yourself first. Doing self-readings allows you to become comfortable with cards before reading for others. Record your sessions to see how cards relate to your life.
  • Find a tarot learning community. Joining groups of tarot enthusiasts online to share experiences, ask questions and improve skills can be invaluable for your learning.

With regular study and practice, your tarot interpretation abilities will strengthen over time. Be patient, keep an open mind, and let your intuition guide you as you develop your unique approach to the tarot.

Which Tarot Cards Represent Which Zodiac Signs?

Which Tarot Cards Represent Zodiac Signs
Which Tarot Cards Represent Zodiac Signs

Many tarot readers incorporate astrology into their practice by linking certain cards to zodiac signs. Here is a quick guide to the tarot cards associated with each sign:

  • Aries: The Emperor
  • Taurus: The Hierophant
  • Gemini: The Lovers
  • Cancer: The Chariot
  • Leo: Strength
  • Virgo: The Hermit
  • Libra: Justice
  • Scorpio: Death
  • Sagittarius: Temperance
  • Capricorn: The Devil
  • Aquarius: The Star
  • Pisces: The Moon

Knowing the astrological correspondences gives tarot readings an additional layer of insight into a querent’s sun sign personality traits and life challenges. For example, a Taurus’ reading may deal strongly with themes of tradition, values and seeking meaning conveyed through the Hierophant card. Keep in mind, however, that tarot offers a symbolic language all its own, and the meaning of any card depends heavily on context.

The Major Arcana

The Major Arcana
The Major Arcana

The 22 Major Arcana cards represent principles, life cycles and archetypes on the soul’s journey. When these cards appear in a spread, they reveal significant themes, events and lessons currently influencing the querent’s life. Here is a quick guide to the key concepts embodied in each Major Arcana card:

The Fool

  • Upright Meanings:
    • Symbolizes new beginnings and fresh starts.
    • Encourages embracing adventure with an open heart.
    • Signifies taking risks, often leading to personal growth.
    • Represents spontaneity, innocence, and boundless potential.
    • Inspires a sense of freedom and optimism.
  • Reversed Meaning:
    • Caution against recklessness or impulsive decisions.
    • Suggests the need for more thoughtful planning.
    • Encourages considering consequences before embarking on a new journey.
    • Warns against overlooking potential pitfalls.

The Magician

The Magician represents new beginnings, manifesting goals, and tapping into one’s full potential.

Upright Meanings

  • Manifesting goals and abilities
  • Having the power and resources to achieve objectives
  • Initiative, self-confidence, action
  • Manipulation of the natural world

Reversed Meaning

  • Lack of drive or ability to tap into talents
  • Feeling uninspired or blocked
  • Trickery, illusions, out of touch with goals

The High Priestess

The High Priestess represents wisdom, intuition, sacred knowledge, and the subconscious mind.

Upright Meanings

  • Intuition, insight, inner knowing
  • Things hidden becoming known
  • Understanding the deeper meanings
  • Exploring esoteric or occult knowledge

Reversed Meaning

  • Secrets remaining hidden
  • Disconnected from intuition
  • Lack of inner voice or wisdom
  • Withdrawing into oneself

The Empress

The Empress represents fertility, femininity, beauty, nature and abundance.

Upright Meanings

  • Fertility, creativity, beauty, nature
  • Nurturing, compassion, life in bloom
  • Abundance of resources, sensuality
  • Motherly love, domestic harmony

Reversed Meaning

  • Creative block, lack of drive or passion
  • Dependence, smothering, emptiness
  • Lack of care for own needs
  • Infertility, creative struggles

The Emperor

The Emperor represents authority, structure, control, fatherhood, traditional values.

Upright Meanings

  • Authority, establishment, structure
  • Regulation, rules, fatherhood
  • Domination, rigidity, inflexibility
  • Stability, protection, conservatism

Reversed Meaning

  • Tyranny, excessive control, rigidity
  • Lack of discipline, recklessness
  • Domineering,abusiveness
  • Overthrowing structure, lawlessness

The Hierophant

The Hierophant represents institutions, tradition, conformity, morality, ethics.

Upright Meanings

  • Tradition, conformity, morality, ethics
  • Institutions, authority figures, officialdom
  • Ceremony, ritual, rites of passage
  • Spiritual guidance, religious doctrine

Reversed Meaning

  • Rebellion, subversion, desire for change
  • Unorthodoxy, questioning beliefs
  • Freedom from dogma, new approaches
  • Independence, self-awareness

The Lovers

The Lovers represent relationships, choices, temptation, values alignment.

Upright Meanings

  • Partnerships, duality, union
  • Choices, temptation, aligning values
  • Love, harmony, relationships
  • Trial and tribulation, testing bonds

Reversed Meaning

  • Disharmony, imbalance, misalignment
  • Bad choices, disputes, friction
  • Interference, confusion about love
  • Loss of trust, disconnect, temptation

The Chariot

The Chariot represents victory, success, willpower, control, determination.

Upright Meanings

  • Victory, success, determination
  • Control, willpower, assertion
  • Drive, motivation, purpose
  • Journey, forward movement, ambition

Reversed Meaning

  • Lack of direction, going around in circles
  • No control, aggression without purpose
  • Defeat, frustration, delays and obstacles
  • Low motivation and willpower

Strength

Strength represents courage, power, energy, compassion, patience.

Upright Meanings

  • Courage, patience, compassion, gentleness
  • Persistence, resilience, inner power
  • Control over passions, emotions, instincts
  • Maturity, strength of character

Reversed Meaning

  • Self doubt, weakness, insecurity
  • Loss of control, lack of restraint
  • Impatience, anger, recklessness
  • Lowered vitality and motivation

The Hermit

The Hermit represents introspection, search for truth, inner guidance, solitude.

Upright Meanings

  • Soul searching, introspection, solitude
  • Inner wisdom, analysis, reflection
  • Withdrawal, retreat, contemplation
  • Search for truth and inner guidance

Reversed Meaning

  • Isolation, loneliness, withdrawal
  • Lack of inner reflection or search
  • Disconnection from self or spirituality
  • Alienation, refusal to seek within

Wheel of Fortune

Wheel of Fortune represents cycles, change, ups and downs, destiny, fate.

Upright Meanings

  • Destiny, fate, what goes around comes around
  • Cyclical change, ups and downs in life
  • Turning point, new opportunities and luck
  • Taking risks, seizing the moment

Reversed Meaning

  • Bad luck, negative external forces
  • Lack of control over destiny
  • Repeating negative cycles
  • Resisting change, clinging to control

Justice

Justice represents truth, fairness, law and order, cause and effect.

Upright Meanings

  • Justice, fairness, truth and law
  • Cause and effect, action and consequence
  • Clarity, objectivity, lack of bias
  • Legal disputes, trials, arbitration

Reversed Meaning

  • Unfairness, lack of accountability
  • Unjust, biased and corrupt legal system
  • Dishonesty, unaccountability, abuse of power
  • Errors in judgment, unfairness

The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man represents surrender, new perspective, suspension, sacrifice.

Upright Meanings

  • Surrender, sacrificing for change
  • New perspective, enlightenment
  • Delays, suspension, waiting it out
  • Indecision, stalling, feeling stuck

Reversed Meaning

  • Struggle against surrender, resistance to change
  • Self-sabotage, martyrdom
  • Inability to gain new perspective
  • Impatience, frustration with delays

Death

Death represents transformation, change, transition, letting go.

Upright Meanings

  • Transformation, renewal, metamorphosis
  • End of a phase or cycle, beginning of change
  • Transition, letting go of the past
  • Spiritual growth and awakening

Reversed Meaning

  • Fear of change, holding on to control
  • Resistance to change, stagnation
  • Anxiety about loss and endings
  • Decay and decline without renewal

Temperance

Temperance represents balance, moderation, patience, blending opposites.

Upright Meanings

  • Balance, harmony, moderation, patience
  • Blending opposites, mediating between forces
  • Adaptability, going with the flow
  • Tranquility, neutrality, cooperation

Reversed Meaning

  • Excess, lack of balance, mood swings
  • Conflict of opposing forces or interests
  • Disorganization, impatience, recklessness
  • Disagreements, lack of harmony

The Devil

The Devil represents shadow self, addiction, materialism, playfulness.

Upright Meanings

  • Shadow self, addiction, repression of negative traits
  • Material wealth and temptations
  • Playfulness in negative behavior
  • Hedonism, giving in to temptation

Reversed Meaning

  • Releasing limiting beliefs, detaching from negative patterns
  • Embracing humanity, empathy
  • Exploring passions positively, fun and joy
  • Freedom from addictions and ignorance

The Tower

The Tower represents sudden upheaval, broken pride, disaster, awakening.

Upright Meanings

  • Sudden upheaval and chaos, disaster
  • Broken pride, destruction of ego
  • Awakening, humbling revelation
  • Disruption that leads to positive change

Reversed Meaning

  • Personal transformation avoided
  • Clinging to false beliefs, ignorance
  • Fear of change, avoiding truth
  • Delaying the inevitable awakening

The Star

The Star represents hope, faith, purpose, inspiration, optimism.

Upright Meanings

  • Hope, faith, purpose, renewal
  • Inspiration, spirituality, generosity
  • Serenity, intuition, calmness
  • Luck, fortune, alignment

Reversed Meaning

  • Lack of faith, despair, cynicism
  • Confusion about life’s purpose
  • Narcissism, excessive pride
  • Feeling lost, burnt out

The Moon

The Moon represents illusions, shadows, dreams, fear, fantasy.

Upright Meanings

  • Illusions, fears, anxiety, insecurity
  • Confusion, distorted perception
  • Fantasy, dreams, imagination
  • Mysteries, the unknown and unconscious

Reversed Meaning

  • Releasing fear and anxiety
  • Dispelling illusions, inner truth revealed
  • Gaining clarity and insight
  • Moving past confusion or distrust

The Sun

The Sun represents joy, success, celebration, positivity, happiness.

Upright Meanings

  • Positivity, fun, warmth, success
  • Joy, happiness, celebration
  • Vitality, confidence, radiance
  • Creative enthusiasm and expression

Reversed Meaning

  • Inner child wounds, lack of joy
  • Feeling down, depressed, extinguishing inner light
  • Burn out, fatigue, lack of vitality
  • Problems with ego, pride or confidence

Judgement

Judgement represents reckoning, awakening, absolution, inner calling.

Upright Meanings

  • Judgement, awakening to purpose
  • Rebirth, absolution, inner calling
  • Major life change, epiphany
  • Making the right choices

Reversed Meaning

  • Fear of death and rebirth, avoidance
  • Resistance to change or hearing the inner call
  • Self-doubt, guilt without release
  • Feeling judged or blamed

The World

The World represents fulfillment, harmony, accomplishment, travel.

Upright Meanings

  • Completion, integration, accomplishment
  • Harmony and fulfillment
  • Success, achievement, satisfaction
  • Wholeness, global awareness, travel

Reversed Meaning

  • Lack of completion, unfinished business
  • Going around in circles, repeating lessons
  • Staying within comfort zone
  • Feeling stuck, limited opportunities

The Minor Arcana

The Minor Arcana
The Minor Arcana

The 56 Minor Arcana cards represent the smaller day-to-day concerns and situations we face. The 4 suits carry their own elemental associations.

Wands: Career, creativity, adventure

Cups: Emotions, relationships, spirituality

Swords: Intellect, challenges, mind

Pentacles: Finances, prosperity, health

Here is a quick guide to the 14 cards in each suit and their common interpretations:

Ace of Wands

Ace of Wands represents new beginnings, creativity, inspiration, energy.

Upright Meanings

  • New beginnings, creativity, inspiration
  • Vitality, energy, strength, assertion
  • Ambition, enterprise, adventure
  • Passion and drive for goals

Reversed Meaning

  • Lack of energy or passion for goals
  • Boredom with the status quo
  • Depression, creative block
  • Delays or resistance to change

2 of Wands

Two of Wands represents planning, progress, decisions, discovery.

Upright Meanings

  • Future planning, progress
  • Discovery, decision-making
  • Bold risk-taking, foresight
  • Expansion, broader perspective

Reversed Meaning

  • Fear of unknown, lack of planning
  • Unexpected delays or resistance
  • Struggle with direction or decisions
  • Played too small, limited comfort zone

3 of Wands

Three of Wands represents foresight, expansion, overseas opportunities.

Upright Meanings

  • Foresight, expansion, overseas opportunities
  • Future planning, progress
  • Entrepreneurship, global enterprise
  • Looking to the future with vision

Reversed Meaning

  • Lack of foresight or long-term vision
  • Limitations of current environment
  • Impatience, lack of planning
  • Underestimating challenges ahead

4 of Wands

Four of Wands represents celebration, joy, harmony, relaxation.

Upright Meanings

  • Celebration, joy, harmony, relaxation after challenges
  • Community, homecoming, return to peace
  • Period of prosperity, rejuvenation
  • Harvesting successful plans

Reversed Meaning

  • Lack of celebration,feeling stuck in challenges
  • Disconnection from community, unrest
  • Hard work without results or enjoyment
  • Disruption of harmony or stalled progress

5 of Wands

Five of Wands represents conflict, disagreements, competition, tension.

Upright Meanings

  • Conflict, disagreements,competition
  • Tension, arguments, rivalry
  • Obstacles, setbacks requiring adaptability
  • Personal and creative struggles

Reversed Meaning

  • Avoiding or fearing conflict
  • Giving in, lacking confidence in abilities or ideas
  • Tension or hostility beneath passive exterior
  • Lack of motivation, creative stagnation

6 of Wands

Six of Wands represents success, victory, public reward, progress.

Upright Meanings

  • Public recognition, victory, success, progress
  • Self-confidence, increase in status or power
  • Pride in achievements, validation
  • Positive movement, going with the flow

Reversed Meaning

  • Lack of public recognition or excess pride
  • Personal and creative dissatisfaction
  • Delays, resistance, hostility to success
  • Falling short of goals, phyrric victory

7 of Wands

Seven of Wands represents challenge, competition, tenacity, strategy.

Upright Meanings

  • Challenge, competition, holding your ground
  • Tenacity, courage, conviction
  • Test of strategy skills under pressure
  • Struggle leading to higher achievement

Reversed Meaning

  • Avoiding or fearing challenge, giving in
  • Feeling attacked, disempowered or overwhelmed
  • Frustration, anger, lack of strategies or planning
  • Burn out from constant challenges

8 of Wands

Eight of Wands represents swift action, progress, alignment of energy.

Upright Meanings

  • Swift action, alignment of energy
  • Rapid progress, movement, change
  • Quick decisions and communications
  • Exciting new opportunities, ideas

Reversed Meaning

  • Disorganization, scattered energy and planning
  • Counter-productive fast pace, delays
  • Waiting when action required
  • Energy and passion dissipated

9 of Wands

Nine of Wands represents resilience, grit, last stand, endurance.

Upright Meanings

  • Resilience, grit, last stand, perseverance
  • Inner resources, strength near the finish line
  • Fatigue, questioning motivations
  • Persistence through setbacks

Reversed Meaning

  • Complete exhaustion, burn out, lack of endurance
  • Giving up at the last hurdle, losing hope
  • Overwhelmed, depleted energy and resources
  • Inability to finish challenges

10 of Wands

Ten of Wands represents excessive burdens, heavy responsibilities.

Upright Meanings

  • Burden, extra responsibility, hard work
  • Strain, over-commitment, bites off more than can chew
  • Obligation, being indispensible, lack of support
  • At limit of endurance and responsibilities

Reversed Meaning

  • Setting down a burden, delegating tasks
  • Freeing self from obligations or no appreciation
  • Rest from hard work and responsibility
  • Not taking on what doesn’t belong to you

Page of Wands

Page of Wands represents creativity, confidence, adventure, inspiration.

Upright Meanings

  • Exploratory, independent and creative energy
  • Enthusiasm for adventure, free spirit
  • Passion, skill development, expression
  • New inspiring opportunities, learning

Reversed Meaning

  • Lack of direction or commitment to goals
  • Frustration with tedious or restrictive circumstances
  • Self-doubt, vague goals, creative block
  • Restless, distracted energy

Knight of Wands

Knight of Wands represents action, adventure, passion, impulsiveness.

Upright Meanings

  • Passion, adventure, impulsiveness
  • Competitive, energetic risk-taker
  • Impatient when restricted, loves a new challenge
  • Free spirit needing constant motion

Reversed Meaning

  • Anger, jealousy, impulsiveness out of control
  • Restless but no direction, scattered energy
  • Impatience with restrictions
  • Excess pride, unpredictability, recklessness

Queen of Wands

Queen of Wands represents determination, boldness, courage, confidence.

Upright Meanings

  • Confidence, determination, boldness
  • Courageous, warm, independent
  • Strong leadership skills, visionary
  • Protective of loved ones, secure

Reversed Meaning

  • Irritability, jealousy, lack of vision or direction
  • Overly impulsive, demanding
  • Manipulative, egocentric behavior
  • Insecurity disguised as confidence

King of Wands

King of Wands represents leadership, vision, entrepreneurship, honor.

Upright Meanings

  • Natural-born leader and visionary
  • Passion, inspiration, charisma
  • Entrepreneurial, dignified
  • Takes bold action, honorable

Reversed Meaning

  • Impulsive, overbearing, abuses power
  • Passionate about wrong goals
  • Weak leadership skills and vision
  • Lacks integrity in ruthless pursuits

Ace of Cups

Ace of Cups represents new feelings, spirituality, intuition, creativity.

Upright Meanings

  • Spiritual beginnings and insight
  • New feelings, intuition awakened
  • Compassion, healing, renewal
  • Inspired creativity, fertility

Reversed Meaning

  • Emotional loss, blocked creativity
  • Disconnection from spirit and intuition
  • Lack of empathy and engagement
  • Numbness, fatigue, disillusion

2 of Cups

Upright Meanings

  • Signifies emotional connection, deep partnership, and harmony.
  • Represents the union of two individuals in love or strong friendship.
  • Symbolizes mutual respect, shared goals, and a harmonious bond.
  • Suggests the potential for new relationships or the strengthening of existing ones.

Reversed Meaning

  • May indicate disharmony, conflicts, or the need for introspection.
  • Can suggest relationship challenges or a temporary setback in emotional connections.

3 of Cups

Three of Cups represents celebration, friendship, creativity, collaborations.

Upright Meanings

  • Celebration, friendship, creativity
  • Collaborations, finding your tribe
  • Celebrating life, revelry, joy
  • Reuniting with old friends

Reversed Meaning

  • Disconnection from friends or community
  • Feeling like an outsider, unwelcome
  • Overindulgence, lack of moderation
  • Collaborations breaking down

4 of Cups

Four of Cups represents boredom, contemplation, apathy, disconnectedness.

Upright Meanings

  • Boredom, contemplation, apathy
  • Tuning out from distractions
  • Disconnectedness, absorption in thought
  • Time for introspection

Reversed Meaning

  • Taking life for granted
  • Distractedness, information overload
  • Avoidance of self-reflection
  • Restlessness, scattered energy

5 of Cups

Five of Cups represents loss, grief, regret, disappointment.

Upright Meanings

  • Grief, loss, disappointment
  • Regret, disillusionment, despair
  • Failure of hopes and dreams
  • Difficult transition, post-traumatic growth

Reversed Meaning

  • Moving on from loss, acceptance
  • Focusing on the positive
  • Healing from emotional wounds
  • Finding meaning in loss

6 of Cups

Six of Cups represents nostalgia, childhood memories, innocence.

Upright Meanings

  • Nostalgia, childhood memories
  • Innocence, simplicity, tender feelings
  • Reconnecting with past happier times
  • Generalized nostalgia or longing

Reversed Meaning

  • Stuck in the past, inability to move forward
  • Childhood trauma or wounds
  • Clinging to outgrown situations or relationships
  • Regression or infantilization

7 of Cups

Seven of Cups represents fantasy, wishful thinking, options, illusion.

Upright Meanings

 

  • Fantasy, wishful thinking, illusion
  • Dreaminess, dissipation
  • Imagination and opening up possibilities
  • Choices and options, daydreaming

Reversed Meaning

  • Lack of direction or groundedness
  • Escapism and self-delusion
  • Inability to make a choice
  • Confusion about desires

8 of Cups

Eight of Cups represents walking away, disillusionment, leaving behind.

Upright Meanings

  • Walking away, disillusionment
  • No longer emotionally fulfilled or satisfied
  • Seeking meaning elsewhere
  • Moving toward purpose over pleasure

Reversed Meaning

  • Fear of change, afraid to move on
  • Staying in an unhappy situation
  • Denial of unhappiness
  • Unable to let go of control

9 of Cups

Nine of Cups represents happiness, comfort, wishes fulfilled.

Upright Meanings

  • Satisfaction, emotional fulfillment
  • Luxury, comfort, sensual pleasure
  • Achieving wishes, happiness
  • Reward and congratulations

Reversed Meaning

  • Dissatisfaction with life, achievements or relationships
  • Discontentment, feeling undeserving
  • Overindulgence, lack of balance
  • Taking things for granted

10 of Cups

Ten of Cups represents joy, family, community, connection.

Upright Meanings

  • Enduring happiness and community
  • Strong bonds with family or friends
  • Supportive, loving environment
  • Achievement of peace or connection

Reversed Meaning

  • Disconnection from loved ones or community
  • Family or relationship conflicts
  • Feeling isolated or like an outsider
  • Discontentment with home life

Page of Cups

Page of Cups represents creativity, imagination, innocence, sensitivity.

Upright Meanings

  • Creative, imaginative, dreamy youthful energy
  • Emotional openness, innocence
  • Sensitivity, vulnerability, shyness
  • Intuition, artistic talents emerging

Reversed Meaning

  • Lack of direction or appreciated talents
  • Overly emotional, hypersensitivity
  • Creative frustrations, self-doubt
  • Manipulative, emotionally demanding

Knight of Cups

Knight of Cups represents romance, charm, imagination, beauty.

Upright Meanings

  • Romance, sentimentality, charm
  • Imagination, beauty, allure
  • Being seduced by emotion or passion
  • Pursuit of relationships, arts, or muse

Reversed Meaning

  • Moodiness, disappointment in love or projects
  • Emotional manipulation or codependency
  • Flaky, unreliability, fleeting passions
  • Escapism, living in a fantasy world

Queen of Cups

Queen of Cups represents compassion, calmness, comfort, intuition.

Upright Meanings

  • Compassion, calm, comfort, devotion
  • Emotional generosity, fluidity
  • Intuition, deep spiritual wisdom
  • Artistic creativity, visionary imagination

Reversed Meaning

  • Martyrdom, insecurity, co-dependence
  • Emotionally manipulative
  • Clingy, stunted creative growth
  • Poor boundaries, overly sacrificial

King of Cups

King of Cups represents mastery of emotion, compassion, diplomacy.

Upright Meanings

  • Emotional balance and control
  • Compassion, diplomacy, refinement
  • Generous, diplomatic, even temperament
  • Ready to give comfort and care

Reversed Meaning

  • Emotional manipulation, moodiness
  • Coldness, lack of empathy
  • Addictive personality
  • Emotionally volatile or unstable

Ace of Swords

Ace of Swords represents new ideas, breakthroughs, clarity, intellect.

Upright Meanings

  • New ideas and inspiring thoughts
  • Breakthrough, clarity, sharp mind
  • Prospect of success in intellectual pursuits
  • Triumph of logic and reason

Reversed Meaning

  • Mental confusion, distraction
  • Cut off from intuition or inner truth
  • Inaction, lack of direction
  • Poor judgement clouded by emotions

2 of Swords

Two of Swords represents impasse, stalemate, tension, avoidance.

Upright Meanings

  • Stalemate, tension, impasse
  • Avoidance, denial, stalling
  • Needing more information to proceed
  • Careful reflection before decisions

Reversed Meaning

  • Breaking out of stalemate
  • No longer avoiding the inevitable
  • Forcing action before time is right
  • Rushing decisions without thought

3 of Swords

Three of Swords represents heartbreak, grief, betrayal, rejection.

Upright Meanings

  • Heartbreak, grief, betrayal
  • Rejection, deep wounding, sorrow
  • Emotional pain from loss or separation
  • Finding strength in adversity

Reversed Meaning

  • Releasing pain, moving on
  • Forgiveness, acceptance
  • Relief after difficult times
  • Healing, recovery, hope

4 of Swords

Four of Swords represents rest, restoration, contemplation, meditation.

Upright Meanings

  • Rest, relaxation, temporary retreat
  • Contemplation, meditation
  • Recovery from illness or mental exhaustion
  • Time out to rejuvenate and reflect

Reversed Meaning

  • Restlessness, burn out
  • Difficulty being alone with thoughts
  • Recovery delayed or interrupted
  • Forcing return to work prematurely

5 of Swords

Five of Swords represents conflict, disagreements, hostility, rivals.

Upright Meanings

  • Conflict, disagreements, rivalry
  • Hostility from others, verbal battles
  • Winning without honor, at any cost
  • Aggression, lack of empathy, betrayal

Reversed Meaning

  • Avoiding conflict, walking away
  • Finding peaceful resolution, compromise
  • Remorse, desire to reconcile
  • Disadvantageous victory, lack of ethics

6 of Swords

Six of Swords represents transition, leaving behind, moving on.

Upright Meanings

  • Transition, passage from hardship or danger
  • Moving on to calmer waters
  • Distancing yourself from difficulties
  • Achieving objectivity and perspective

Reversed Meaning

  • Emotionally stuck, unable to move on
  • Resistance to change or transition
  • Going around in circles in thought
  • Holding on to wounds or pain

7 of Swords

Seven of Swords represents deception, cheating, trickery, stealth.

Upright Meanings

  • Deception, tricks, cheating, craftiness
  • Stealth, sneakiness, covert action
  • Getting away with something dishonest
  • Outwitting someone through deception

Reversed Meaning

  • Coming clean, confession, apology
  • Discovering the truth of deception
  • No longer avoiding accountability
  • Admitting your role in things

8 of Swords

Eight of Swords represents being restricted, powerless, self-victimization.

Upright Meanings

  • Feeling restricted, trapped by circumstances
  • Powerless, victimized, lack of options
  • Punishing self, self-imposed limitation
  • Feeling fenced in by obstacles or people

Reversed Meaning

  • Escaping victim mentality, empowerment
  • Freedom from restrictions or negative thinking
  • Seeing options where once saw dead ends
  • Taking back control through positive action

9 of Swords

Nine of Swords represents anxiety, worry, trauma, insomnia.

Upright Meanings

  • Anxiety, worry, distress, insomnia
  • Trauma, grief, fear of future
  • Nightmares, negative thinking patterns
  • Guilt, shame, loneliness, misery

Reversed Meaning

  • Releasing fear and worry, finding peace
  • Seeking help, taking steps to improve
  • Working through grief or self-blame
  • Turning a corner, light at the end of tunnel

10 of Swords

Ten of Swords represents ruin, endings, betrayal, collapse.

Upright Meanings

  • Failure, collapse, defeat, betrayal
  • Ruin, loss, ending, reaching rock bottom
  • Back-stabbed or at the mercy of others
  • Extreme pain before ability to recover

Reversed Meaning

  • Relief after difficulties, slow recovery
  • Pulling through a terrible situation
  • Overcoming hurt, forgiveness, moving on
  • The worst is over, only upwards from here

Page of Swords

Page of Swords represents curiosity, restlessness, mental energy.

Upright Meanings

  • Curiosity, restlessness, mental energy
  • Need for intellect and communication
  • Desire to learn through challenging old ideas
  • Mental dexterity” thinks quickly on feet

Reversed Meaning

  • Deviousness, manipulation of truth
  • Abusive communication, hurtful words
  • Joy in creating mental pain or conflict
  • Immaturity, mentally undisciplined

Knight of Swords

Knight of Swords represents action, intellect, communication, bluntness.

Upright Meanings

  • Fast thinking, action, communication
  • Intellectual, clever, competitive
  • Blunt, direct, lacks emotional nuance
  • Cutting to the truth without tact

Reversed Meaning

  • No direction, scattered thoughts, actions
  • Misuse of intellect and words
  • Vicious, emotionally immature, fights dirty
  • Lacks empathy, ignores other views

Queen of Swords

Queen of Swords represents clarity, intellect, independence, wit.

Upright Meanings

  • Clear thinking, intellect, truth
  • Independence, wit, perceptiveness
  • Complex mind, enjoys challenging old paradigms
  • Strong boundaries and principles

Reversed Meaning

  • Coldness, lacks compassion or nuance
  • Emotionally blocked off
  • Judgmental, narrow viewpoint
  • Overly blunt, critical without empathy

King of Swords

King of Swords represents head over heart, discipline, truth, law.

Upright Meanings

  • Head over heart, objectivity
  • Discipline, authority, truth
  • Clear judgement detached from emotion
  • Rules by law and principles

Reversed Meaning

  • Manipulative, excessive coldness
  • Abusive authority, lack of compassion
  • Prejudice, narrow viewpoint
  • Dishonest means to an end

Ace of Pentacles

Ace of Pentacles represents new financial opportunities, prosperity, abundance.

Upright Meanings

  • Financial opportunity, new resources
  • Prosperity, abundance, wealth potential
  • Gift, winnings, new income stream, raise
  • Material comfort, financial security

Reversed Meaning

  • Missing an opportunity, bad investment
  • Poverty mindset, insecurity around money
  • Struggling with debt or cash flow problems
  • Greed, financial loss, lack of resources

2 of Pentacles

Two of Pentacles represents balancing, adapting, resourceful, flexible.

Upright Meanings

  • Juggling resources, multi-tasking
  • Adaptable, flexible, resourceful
  • Balancing priorities and interests
  • Staying on top of things, organized

Reversed Meaning

  • Disorganized, dropping balls, scattered
  • Finances and priorities out of balance
  • Inflexible, unable to adapt to change
  • Distracted, overwhelmed, lack of systems

3 of Pentacles

Three of Pentacles represents teamwork, initial fulfillment, pride in work.

Upright Meanings

  • Teamwork, collaboration on shared goals
  • Initial achievement of goals
  • Pride in excellent work and skills
  • Gaining respect through high standards

Reversed Meaning

  • Mediocre work, lack of skills
  • Struggling with teamwork or group efforts
  • Capabilities not appreciated by others
  • Difficulty prioritizing goals

4 of Pentacles

Four of Pentacles represents control, security, holding on to resources.

Upright Meanings

  • Holding tightly to resources or security
  • Saving rather than spending
  • Protecting accomplishments, conservative
  • Withholding from others, stinginess

Reversed Meaning

  • Opening up, sharing resources
  • Balanced approach to money
  • Letting go of control around possessions
  • Taking financial or intimacy risks

5 of Pentacles

Five of Pentacles represents hardship, poverty, isolation, worry.

Upright Meanings

  • Hard times, poverty, alienation, neediness
  • Illness, loss, financial struggle
  • Feeling excluded, rejected, lonely
  • Lack mentality, worrisome thoughts

Reversed Meaning

  • Recovery from hardship, healing
  • Support from others, overcoming loneliness
  • Generosity, opening up to receive help
  • Developing self-reliance skills

6 of Pentacles

Six of Pentacles represents generosity, sharing wealth, balance, charity.

Upright Meanings

  • Generosity, charity, sharing wealth
  • Giving assistance, balancing scales
  • Fairness, balance, equitable exchange
  • reciprocation, receiving needed help

Reversed Meaning

  • Stinginess, imbalance, strings attached
  • Pride prevents accepting help
  • Feeling undeserving, used or exploited
  • Refusing accountability or payment

7 of Pentacles

Seven of Pentacles represents perseverance, investment, hard work, frustration.

Upright Meanings

  • Hard work, perseverance, diligence
  • Long term investments
  • Frustration with short term results
  • Re-evaluating approach and priorities

Reversed Meaning

  • Lack of care or effort, apathy, laziness
  • Planning without follow through
  • Easily giving up when results don’t arrive
  • Scattered efforts, reinventing the wheel

8 of Pentacles

Eight of Pentacles represents apprenticeship, passion, high standards, repetition.

Upright Meanings

  • Apprenticeship, passion, skill development
  • Total absorption in task, dedication
  • High standards, attention to detail
  • Discipline, repetition, meticulousness

Reversed Meaning

  • Shoddy workmanship, lack of passion
  • Boredom with task or skill
  • Restless, scattered energy
  • Lack of dedication or precision

9 of Pentacles

Nine of Pentacles represents luxury, comfort, self-sufficiency, financial security.

Upright Meanings

  • Luxury, leisure, self-sufficiency, relaxation
  • Financial independence, enjoying fruits of labor
  • Comfort in solitude, inner contentment
  • appreciation of beauty and quality

Reversed Meaning

  • Financial dependence on others
  • Loneliness from isolation or lack of purpose
  • Lack of self-esteem or vision for life
  • Showy materialism over inner growth

10 of Pentacles

Ten of Pentacles represents legacy, inheritance, family bonds, prosperity.

Upright Meanings

  • Lasting prosperity, legacy, passing on values
  • Strength of family, community
  • Security from material investments or real estate
  • Establishing something of value for future generations

Reversed Meaning

  • Fleeting success, lack of planning for future
  • Uprooted, fractured family life
  • Greed at expense of values or connections
  • Obsession with money and status

Page of Pentacles

Page of Pentacles represents learning, potential, skill development, opportunity.

Upright Meanings

  • Learning new skills, intellectual development
  • Talent and opportunity, potential
  • Diligence, scholarship, being a student
  • Mind open to grow capabilities

Reversed Meaning

  • Immature, lazy, distracted student
  • Talents ignored or undiscovered
  • Boredom with developing skills or talents
  • Lack of drive or discipline to learn

Knight of Pentacles

Knight of Pentacles represents efficiency, routine, conservatism, methodicalness.

Upright Meanings

  • Efficiency, routine, conservativism
  • Step-by-step approach, methodical
  • Discipline, responsibility, hard work
  • Building through determination and consistency

Reversed Meaning

  • Lack of drive or discipline
  • Cutting corners, sloppy work, negligence
  • Going through the motions without passion
  • Inflexible, resistant to change

Queen of Pentacles

Queen of Pentacles represents nurturing, practicality, providing, down to earth.

Upright Meanings

  • Nurturing, comforting, providing security
  • Practical, productive, down to earth
  • Resourceful, uses finances wisely
  • Sensual, loves beauty, luxuries

Reversed Meaning

  • Smothering, martyrdom, co-dependence
  • Lack of common sense or business skills
  • Living beyond means
  • Obsession with money or possessions

King of Pentacles

King of Pentacles represents abundance, prosperity, security, discipline.

Upright Meanings

  • Properity, abundance, apex of luxury and security
  • Financial discipline, enjoys finer things in life
  • Authority, sound judgement, responsibility
  • Benevolent and strategic leadership

Reversed Meaning

  • Corrupt boss, bribery, ruthless pursuit of wealth
  • Stingy, greedy, indulgent
  • Obsessed with status
  • Mismanages resources and finances

FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about tarot cards and readings:

Can Tarot Tell the Future?

Tarot does not necessarily predict concrete future events. Instead, it reveals upcoming influences, energies and trends that can alter the course of the future. The future is never set in stone. The tarot provides guidance to steer readers towards the most fruitful path ahead.

What Is The Difference Between Major Arcana Cards and Minor Arcana Cards?

The Major Arcana represents universal archetypes, lessons and energies. When these cards appear they reveal significant themes affecting the querent. The Minor Arcana deals with day-to-day situations and influences. These suit cards reflect more mundane concerns and activities.

Do I Have To Be Gifted My First Tarot Deck?

There is no rule saying your first deck must be a gift. However, many tarot readers consider buying your own deck bad luck. It’s seen as better to have a deck gifted or handed down to you. But plenty of readers buy their own decks when starting out with no ill effects.

How Do I Shuffle Tarot Cards?

It’s best to shuffle tarot cards frequently during a reading. Shuffling infuses the deck with the energy of the querent. The cards are shuffled until the reader feels sufficiently attuned. Common shuffling methods include overhand shuffling, the riffle shuffle or spreading the cards out before restacking.

What is The Most Powerful Tarot Card?

Some of the most influential and impactful cards in any spread tend to be the Major Arcana cards, especially cards like The Tower, Death, The Moon. Judgement and The World. These cards reveal major shifts, endings, turmoil and new phases that profoundly alter one’s life path.

Key takeaways

  • Tarot cards originated in medieval Italy before evolving over centuries into the 78 card decks used today. The Major and Minor Arcana make up the two main components.
  • Learning tarot requires studying each card’s meaning, practicing spreads and tapping into your intuition. Begin with simple 3-card spreads to interpret past, present and future influences.
  • The Major Arcana represents significant themes and events in someone’s life journey. The Minor Here are some additional key takeaways about tarot cards:
  • The four suits in the Minor Arcana correspond to the four elements: Wands are fire, Cups are water, Swords are air, and Pentacles are earth.
  • Reversed cards can have slightly different meanings than upright cards. Reversals often suggest blocks or resistance in the area of life represented.
  • How the querent relates to the imagery on a card is just as important as the textbook meaning. Intuition matters in tarot interpretation.
  • Tarot spreads can be as simple or complex as the reader wishes. Celtic Cross, 3 card, horoscope, and relationship spreads are most popular.
  • Learning the astrological and numerological significance behind cards can add extra dimension to readings.
  • Keep detailed tarot journals to track readings. Notice patterns in card meanings for yourself and certain querents.
  • Finding the tarot deck whose imagery and symbolism resonates most strongly with you is key to accurate interpretation.
  • Ethical tarot readers avoid making dire negative predictions. The future reveals itself slowly and positively if we heed the tarot’s guidance.
  • Skeptics claims tarot only works because of the Forer effect or confirmation bias. But millions worldwide consider tarot a valid divination tool.

Conclusion

Tarot cards are a powerful tool for self-discovery, guidance, and insight. They offer a unique way to tap into our intuition and explore the energies at play in our lives. By understanding the meanings of each card and practicing with different spreads, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Whether you believe in their mystical powers or not, tarot cards have stood the test of time as a popular and effective method of divination. So why not pick up a deck and give it a try? Who knows, you may uncover some hidden truths and unlock new perspectives on life.

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here