Some of the tarot card meanings of the suits
in the Minor Arcana, as well as the overall structure, have influenced
our regular modern day 52-card deck. There are 4 suits that are each
numbered from ace to ten, followed by 4 court cards called Page,
Knight, Queen and King. As you have probably noticed, that is only one
card more than a modern day deck of cards.
The 4 suits of Minor
Arcana are called Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. The number of
suits has a symbolical importance because in ancient times it was
thought that everything in the world was made up of just four
elements… air, earth, fire and water. Years later, these elements
were believed to be related to the 4 fixed signs of the Zodiac…
Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius.
The Wands suit
represents energy, growth, enterprise, animation and glory. The Wands
on the cards are green wood that has a few live twigs to signify
growth. They are sometimes used as a club to fight with or as a staff
to carry the victor’#8217;s crown. Their position in relation to the other
cards in a layout will determine whether its energy will be good or
bad. Wands are associated with ideas, creation and agriculture. The
modern day suit of clubs comes from the Wands.
Cups suit represents love, happiness, emotions, fertility and beauty.
The cups symbol is associated with water, which represents the
subconscious mind and instincts as opposed to the conscious mind and
reason. The suit of hearts in a regular deck of cards comes from the
The Swords suit represents aggression, force,
ambition, courage and misfortune. Many cards of this suit shows
fighting or people that are bowed down with misfortune. Swords
represent action, both good and bad. This is where the spades suit
comes from in a modern day deck.
suit represents money, industry and material gain. All the cards in
this suit except for the 5 of Pentacles show people either working with
or enjoying the fruits of their labour. Pentacles are the coin like
disks that are inscribed with pentagrams (5 pointed stars). In ancient
times, people wore pentagrams as a protection from evil. Of course this
is where the suit of diamonds comes from in our regular playing cards
The tarot card meanings of the Minor Arcana
refer to the lesser events of everyday life. The Major Arcana on the
other hand are the most powerful because they predict the major issues
rather than the everyday ups and downs that the Minor Arcana reveal.
John Rotin is fascinated with tarot and has created a web site for fellow enthusiasts at http://tarotcard-meanings.blogspot.com