What Are the Tarot Card Meanings?

There are 78 tarot cards and each of them can be interpreted in a certain way. So what are the meanings of tarot cards?

We will explore together the meanings of the different tarot cards. However, it is important to understand that a good reading involves more than checking what are the symbols behind each card. Experience plays a big role in putting together everything.

To give you the high level perspective first, there are 22 cards in the so called Major Arcana and 56 cards in the Minor Arcana. Then, the Minor Arcana consists of four suits: Cups, Swords, Wands and Pentacles.

What Are the Major Arcana Card Meanings?

The Major Arcana cards deal with the major areas of our life. They form the core of the Tarot deck and they help you get in-touch with the spiritual side of life. If you are open, you will receive important lessons that allow you to deepen self-awareness and grow spiritually.

Major Arcana Tarot Spreads

If you are interested mainly in a spiritual growth type of reading, you may decide to go for a Tarot reading using only the Major Arcana cards.

This type of reading will provide you with deep insight into what is the direction you should consider in order to gain better self-awareness and grow.

Major Arcana Cards Symbolism

Their symbolism goes beyond the specific meaning of each card. You need to take a broader view and try to connect all the dots in a way that resonates with you. The more experienced you become and the more you understand their symbolism, the more value-added you will get from your readings.

The human journey through life is complex and it involves a growth process that is often challenging. We get to enjoy nice surprises, love and positive life events. However, we also need to face adversity, deal with all kinds of situations and people, make tough decisions. This is known as “the journey of the Fool”.

The reversed Major Arcana cards in your reading mean that you have to learn yet the lesson related to that card.

Card
Meaning
Card
Meaning
69px-RWS_Tarot_00_Fool
Fool
Upright: spontaneity, extravagance, beginnings
Reversed: carelessness, negligence, vanity
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Magician
Upright: skill, power, action
Reversed: manipulation, disgrace
69px-RWS_Tarot_02_High_Priestess
High Priestess
Upright: wisdom, intuition, mystery
Reversed: passion, conceit
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Empress
Upright: initiative, femininity, fruitfulness
Reversed: dependence, doubt, ignorance
nullEmperor
Upright: power, protection, accomplishment
Reversed: domination, rigidity
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Hierophant
Upright: conformity, kindness
Reversed: servitude, weakness
nullLovers
Upright: attraction, beauty, love
Reversed: failure, imbalance
nullChariot
Upright: triumph, control
Reversed: trouble, defeat
nullStrength
Upright: power, courage
Reversed: abuse, weakness
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Hermit
Upright: prudence, introspection
Reversed: treason, corruption
nullWheel of Fortune
Upright: success, luck, abundance
Reversed: bad luck
nullJustice
Upright: fairness, justice
Reversed: unfairness, dishonesty
nullHanged Man
Upright: sacrifice, suspension
Reversed: selfishness, indecision
nullDeath
Upright: transformation, transition
Reversed: resistance to change
nullTemperance
Upright: moderation, balance
Reversed: excess, competing interests
nullDevil
Upright: materialism, sexuality, vehemence
Reversed: breaking free, detachment, selfishness, self-distruction
nullTower
Upright: catastrophe, failure, confusion
Reversed: danger, fear of change
nullStar
Upright: accomplishments, promises, hope
Reversed: disappointment, frustration
nullMoon
Upright: danger, enemies, fear
Reversed: doubt, failure, unhappiness
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Sun
Upright: success, richness, wealth
Reversed: lack of success, acceptance, lack of ambition
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Judgement
Upright: judgement, rebirth
Reversed: conviction, repression
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World
Upright: completion, accomplishment, fresh new start
Reversed: lack of direction, lack of closure

Minor Arcana Tarot Cards Meaning

While the Major Arcana deals with the major archetypal elements, the Minor Arcana cards deal with the day to day aspects of of lives.

The Minor Arcana is made out of four suits, each of them made out of 14 cards.

Tarot Suit of Cups Meanings

The natural element associated with Suit of Cups is water. The Suit of Cups Tarot cards meaning has to do mainly with relationships, connections and feelings. They are therefore important for all the aspects that are related to love and to maters of the heart in general.

Cups also symbolize imagination and creativity, with both their positive and negative associations. On the positive side you can put them to good use, like for accomplishing an artistic goal for example.

On the negative side, you can stay too much in a fantasy world, being out of touch with reality.

What Does it Mean When You Get Mostly Suit of Cups Cards in a Tarot Reading?

The ones getting mainly Cups in their Tarot readings are seeking answers to heart related matters, such as love and emotional struggles.

Card
Meaning
Card
Meaning
nullAce of Cups
Upright: love, new relationship
Reversed: repressed feelings
nullTwo of Cups
Upright: partnership, taking a love relationship to the next stage
Reversed: break-up
nullThree of Cups
Upright: accomplished family / friendship relationship
Reversed: troubled family / friendship relationship
nullFour of Cups
Upright: meditation, apathy
Reversed: missed opportunity
nullFive of Cups
Upright: loss, despair
Reversed: forgiveness, moving on
nullSix of Cups
Upright: nostalgia, paying for past mistakes
Reversed: stuck in the past
nullSeven of Cups
Upright: day dreaming, fantasy
Reversed: illusion, lack of action to make plans come true
nullEight of Cups
Upright: disappointment, withdrawal
Reversed: walking away
nullNine of Cups
Upright: satisfaction, happiness
Reversed: dissatisfaction, greed
nullTen of Cups
Upright: happy relationship, harmany
Reversed: broken relationship
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Page of Cups
Upright: creativity, receiving a message
Reversed: lack of creativity, lack of emotional intelligence
nullKnight of Cups
Upright: charm, romance
Reversed: mood swings, jealousy
nullQueen of Cups
Upright: calm, compassion
Reversed: dependence, lack of emotional stability
nullKing of Cups
Upright: generosity, balance
Reversed: manipulation, moodiness

Suit of Pentacles Tarot Card Meanings

The natural element associated with the Suit of Pentacles is Earth. The Suit of Pentacles Tarot meanings are mostly focused on material aspects: money, work, property.

The interpretation with the Pentacles Suit is most often related to what you make out of your material reality. How are you doing in terms of wealth, career and so on? As always, there are to sides of the coin. The negative part is related to going to the extreme, i.e. to being too greedy, or too careless in terms of managing your finances, to excessively prioritizing work over anything else.

Pentacles are also associated with ego and self-esteem, so watch-out for this more esoteric symbolism, as well.

What Does it Mean When You Get Mostly Suit of Pentacles Cards in a Tarot Reading?

What this means is the one who gets the reading is mainly preoccupied with finding answers to material matters: career, money, possessions.

Card
Meaning
Card
Meaning
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Ace of Pentacles
Upright: business opportunity, wealth
Reversed: financial crisis, sign not to start new ventures
null Two of Pentacles
Upright: balance, prioritization
Reversed: lack of control in terms of finances
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Three of Pentacles
Upright: collaboration, results of hard work
Reversed: laziness, lack of teamwork
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Four of Pentacles
Upright: security, conservatism
Reversed: greed, materialism
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Five of Pentacles
Upright: poverty, insecurity, worries
Reversed: financial struggle recovery
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Six of Pentacles
Upright: generosity, prosperity
Reversed: selfishness, debt
nullSeven of Pentacles
Upright: reward, perseverance
Reversed: lack of success
nullEight of Pentacles
Upright: engagement, learning
Reversed: lack of focus, perfectionism
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Nine of Pentacles
Upright: luxury, gratitude
Reversed: financial losses, overworking
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Ten of Pentacles
Upright: wealth, retirement
Reversed: loss, financial failure
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Page of Pentacles
Upright: financial opportunity, new career
Reversed: lack of progress
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Knight of Pentacles
Upright: efficiency, conservatism
Reversed: being “stuck”, boredom, laziness
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Queen of Pentacles
Upright: down-to-earth, motherly
Reversed: lack of work-life balance
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King of Pentacles
Upright: abundance, security, control
Reversed: too controlling, authoritative

Tarot Suit of Swords

The natural element associated with the Suit of Swords is air. The typical Suit of Swords Tarot card meanings are associated with courage, change, action. This suit is also associated with the mind and intellect.

Action can lead to accomplishments, but also to conflict, battles and hatred, when used in the wrong way.

What Does it Mean When You Get Mainly Suit of Swords Cards in a Reading?

The ones that get a lot of Swords in their readings are preoccupied with finding answers to mental level challenges (like making a tough decision), to conflicts and arguments.

Card
Meaning
Card
Meaning
nullAce of Swords
Upright: a new beginning, power
Reversed: lack of action at the right time
nullTwo of Swords
Upright: inability to make-up ones mind
Reversed: confusion over the next steps
nullThree of Swords
Upright: being negatively affected by an action of someone else
Reversed: recovery after a painful loss
nullFour of Swords
Upright: peace, relaxation
Reversed: lack of focus, nervousness
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Five of Swords
Upright: inconsistent behavior, tension
Reversed: a coming change, resentments coming from the past
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Six of Swords
Upright: transition, change
Reversed: stagnation
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Seven of Swords
Upright: betrayal
Reversed: someone who betrayed you will be exposed
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Eight of Swords
Upright: weakness, imprisonment
Reversed: pushing through to remove the obstacles
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Nine of Swords
Upright: having a feeling of failure, anxiety
Reversed: depression
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Ten of Swords
Upright: tragic ending, crisis
Reversed: survival, recovery
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Page of Swords
Upright: determined, smart, curious
Reversed: sneaky, not serious / trustworthy
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Knight of Swords
Upright: rational, hasty, lacking practical sense
Reversed: break-up, fight
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Queen of Swords
Upright: individualist, thinking on your feet, analytical
Reversed: cruel, dangerous, bitchy
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King of Swords
Upright: wise, agile, spiritual
Reversed: cold, shrewd

Tarot Suit of Wands Meanings

The element associated with the Suit of Wands is fire. The Suit of Wands Cards Tarot meanings are liked to spirituality, intuition, personal energy.

In readings, Wands are often connected to our ideas and actions to push things forward. They have to do with what makes us enthusiastic.

On the positive side, they may be connected to personal projects we are passionate about. On the negative side, they may symbolize lack of direction and meaning.

What Does it Mean When One Gets Mainly Suit of Wands Cards in a Tarot Reading?

The one that gets in his reading mostly Wands is preoccupied with projects that have just been initiated, with higher purpose matters of with other ideas that (s)he has strong feelings about.

Card
Meaning
Card
Meaning
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Ace of Wands
Upright: a new personal beginning
Reversed: bore, delays
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Two of Wands
Upright: planning, future action
Reversed: lack of action, lack of interest
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Three of Wands
Upright: results of hard work, preparation
Reversed: work that does not lead anywhere, lack of foresight
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Four of Wands
Upright: harmony, sound base
Reversed: fear of losing something important, personal safety is questioned
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Five of Wands
Upright: minor fight, mistake,
Reversed: something goes wrong, following an accidental error
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Six of Wands
Upright: personal victory, progress
Reversed: defeat, lack of confidence
null
Seven of Wands
Upright: competition, disputes
Reversed: giving-up, being overwhelmed
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Eight of Wands
Upright: taking action in order to achieve something important
Reversed: routine, lack of meaningful action to drive something forward
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Nine of Wands
Upright: something does not work as planned
Reversed: lack of attention, hesitation
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Ten of Wands
Upright: stress, burden
Reversed: you get rid of an obstacle
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Page of Wands
Upright: enthusiastic, ambitious, curious
Reversed: superficial, unfaithful
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Knight of Wands
Upright: energetic, powerful, generous
Reversed: aggressive, offensive
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Queen of Wands
Upright: determined, attractive, kind
Reversed: unpredictable, vindictive, demanding
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King of Wands
Upright: generous, fair, leader
Reversed: harsh, impulsive, selfish

What Are Tarot Card Spreads?

Tarot card spreads are ways of picking and positioning the cards, in a certain pattern. The different types of spreads have been developed to facilitate reading of a specific aspect of your life you are interested in.

You should not feel that there are fixed rules and that readings can be done only in a certain way. There is a certain degree of flexibility in which the tarot spreads can be used. You can use a generic spread in order to get answers to a more specific concern, but a dedicated spread can work better.

At the same, time you can use a spread that was designed for a certain type of reading, in order to go for a different type of reading. The more experienced you get, the more you will get a sense of what works for you better.

What Is a Reversed Tarot Card Meaning?

Each tarot card has a certain meaning if it is upright and a different meaning in reversed position. You simply need to check what is the specific meaning of a certain reversed tarot card you got.

Then, depending on the symbolism of that card in reversed position and on the spread you are going for, you will be able to make your reading.

Getting a tarot card in reversed position is not either good or bad by default. In general, the upright and respectively the reversed position of a card have totally opposite meaning. However, a card in upright position may have a bad meaning, which mean that the reversed position brings good news.

Tarot Cards Meanings in Love

It is not surprising that love relationships tarot readings are quite frequent. Weather you are currently involved in a relationship or you would like to be, you can definitely benefit from clues on the right next steps going further.

Are you interested in finding out if someone is really your soul-mate? Will you reconcile? Will you manage to catch the interest of someone you have fallen in love with?

There are a number of tarot love spreads that can provide very good guidance on how your love life is going to be. A frequent question is what are the top love tarot cards. I will cover this in a dedicated post, as it is a topic of high interest.

Can Tarot Cards Predict the Future?

There are several ways in which people view the way in which tarot card readings predict the future. I definitely believe that Tarot readings can predict the future.

However, I always encourage people to take a broader view. Although at this time the future looks in a certain way, you do have the power to change it. This is because we do have free will. Our destiny is not 100% carved in stone, in detail.

We do have predispositions and based on a lot of different factors our future at one point looks as depicted for example in a Tarot reading. But this is exactly the point. How do you use such a reading? The ideal way is to use it as a tool to grow and to act in a way that sets your life on a better path.

Psychic Tarot Readings

I hope you find Tarot as fascinating and helpful as I do. With dedication and hard work, everyone can become a good Tarot reader. There is more to it than meets the eye though. It’s not only about laying a spread and checking what each card means.

It may be therefore a good idea to go for a professional reading, at least in the beginning. In this way you can get answers you can really count on.

In case you do want to want to put in the work and become great at Tarot readings yourself, than I hope you find the materials shared here helpful. If you need anything else that is not covered on the site, please feel free to contact me and I will do my best to help you out.

As you make progress, remember to give back and help others grow, as well. What goes around comes around! Good luck!