Tarot Cards have been used to tap into the subconscious and Universal energies that influence people’s lives for centuries. They started off as a frivolous game, matching the symbols and signs of the cards to people’s character traits, but their divinatory power became apparent very quickly. These days Tarot Cards are used all across the globe to help people attune to the subtle and hidden influences inside and around them.
I’ve compiled this quick and easy to use Tarot Card Interpretation Table for you to decipher what the cards are trying to tell you. Remember that the cards are a window into the hidden energies at play in your current circumstances. They are not going to tell you your future and sometimes you won’t exactly like what they have to say. But on the positive side their interpretation isn’t set in stone and if you take their advice the outcome can always be changed.
The Upright and Reverse Debate
You’ll see I’ve included the upright and reverse meanings. While some people may prefer to only use upright cards in their readings I urge you to try using reversed cards as well. This opens a whole second layer of interpretation, and while they do usually edge on the negative, they also give you a better sense of what to watch out for. Life isn’t just about the positive and knowing what to avoid is, well, a good way to avoid unnecessary trouble.
A good Tarot Reader knows that the cards are always right, but they don’t always predict the future. They predict the most likely outcome for that point in time, which largely depends on the energies surrounding the topic you’re consulting the Tarot on. So, even a small shift in one of the energies can result in the outcome changing completely. That’s why it’s so important to take what the cards tell you to heart, but not to let a negative reading get the better of you. In the end they are just a tool and the true power lies within you to make your future happen the way you want it to. But that’s just my opinion, if you prefer to only work with upright cards it’s your prerogative.
The Major Arcana
Each traditional Tarot Deck is divided into the Major and the Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards. The Fool is the main character and is usually unnumbered (but still counts as one of the 22 Major Arcana cards). The other 21 cards tell the story of The Fool as he faces Major life challenges and themes. These are the same themes we all face in our Spiritual journey, so if a Major Arcana card shows up in your reading there is a very strong Spiritual shift at play in your life.
The energy surrounding the Major Arcana cards aren’t easily changed and when they show up in a reading it’s best to take the advice from the rest of the reading and don’t try to fight what’s happening. Some things just have to run their course. At least you’ll be aware of their influence after the reading and you won’t act as rashly as you may have done in ignorance of the situation.
Here are the 22 Major Arcana cards and what each of them represent:
|0 - The Fool||beginnings, possibilities, pleasure, adventure, opportunity, foolishness, thoughtlessness, extravagance||indecision, hesitation, injustice, apathy, bad choice, carelessness, negligence|
|I - The Magician||creativity, self-confidence, diplomacy, dexterity, sleight of hand, willpower, skill||delay, unimaginative, insecurity, lack of self-confidence, disgrace, mental instability|
|II - The High Priestess||knowledge, wisdom, learning, intuition, impatience, virtue, purity, mystery||selfishness, deceit, shallowness, misunderstanding, ignorance|
|III - The Empress||development, initiative, accomplishment, action, evolution, venturing into the unknown||inaction, lack of concentration, vacillation, anxiety, infidelity, unraveling|
|IV - The Emperor||authority, father-figure, protection, structure, solid foundation, stability||domination, excessive control, obstruction, inflexibility, immaturity|
|V - The Hierophant||mercy, conformity, forgiveness, social approval, alliances, inspiration||vulnerability, unconventionality, foolish generosity, understanding, weakness|
|VI - The Lovers||harmony, attraction, romance, optimism, beauty, love||separation, frustration, failure, fickleness, untrustworthy|
|VII - The Chariot||providence, rushed decision, presumption, turmoil, vengeance, adversity||vanquishment, defeat, failure, disputes|
|VIII - Strength||courage, conviction, power, energy, determination, action, virility||pettiness, sickness, misuse of power, unfaithfulness, weakness|
|IX - The Hermit||inner strength, prudence, solitude||withdrawal, vigilance, corruption, roguery|
|X - The Wheel of Fortune||unexpected events, luck, advancement, destiny, fortune, success||increase, abundance, superfluity|
|XI - Justice||equality, rightness, virtue, honor, balance||false accusation, unfairness, bias|
|XII - The Hanged Man||change, reversal, wisdom, improvement, rebirth, sacrifice, intuition, prophecy||false prophecy, useless sacrifice, unwillingness, selfishness|
|XIII - Death||loss, failure, transformation through adversity, corruption, destruction, death||immobility, slow changes, sleepwalking, stagnation|
|XIV - Temperance||temperance, patience, good influence, management, moderation, economy||conflict, disunion, frustration, impatience, discord, competing interests|
|XV - The Devil||downfall, destiny, effort, controversy, ravage, disaster, ill tempered||weakness, the unseen, pettiness, evil|
|The Tower||disruption, abandonment, destruction, downfall, unexpected events, adversity||imprisonment, cruelty, oppression, fear|
|The Star||optimism, insight, hope, faith, a brighter future||disappointment, arrogance, disdain, imbalance, broken dreams|
|The Moon||double-dealing, deception, disillusionment, trickery, terror, danger, disgrace||trifling mistakes, deception, changeability, silence, instability|
|The Sun||accomplishment, success, fortune, love, joy, happy marriage, satisfaction, contentment||adequacy, survival, balance, achievement|
|Judgement||awakening, renewal, rejuvenation, rebirth, improvement, promotion, change of position||disappointment, simplicity, failure, ill-health, theft, worry|
|The World||perfection, recognition, success, fulfillment, eternal life also travel||lack of vision, stagnation, permanence|
The Minor Arcana
This part of the Tarot Deck reveals more about everyday energies and challenges you may be facing. The energy is more mutable than that of the Major Arcana, but just because it’s easier to change doesn’t make it any less important. In fact, knowing what the Minor Arcana cards reveal in your reading will help you to overcome some pretty tough obstacles.
There are four suits in the Minor Arcana, and they do correspond to the four suits you find in normal playing cards. Each suit has a specific meaning attached to it and if your reading has a surprising amount of a single suit it means that the reading is about the topic represented by that suit.
Wands represent the forward motion of life. Like a seed carries the primal energy of life, so the suit of Wands represents all energy. This energy is especially associated to Spirituality and creativity. So, if your spread is filled with this suit it’s a clear sign that new things and the energy to accomplish what you set out to do is coming your way.
|Ace of Wands||creation, profitable endeavour, new business, beginning, new career, birth, inheritance||selfishness, lack of determination, indulgence, setback|
|Two of Wands||“money doesn’t buy happiness”, generous person, wealth, unhappiness, patience||surprise, enchantment, impatience, fear|
|Three of Wands||cooperation, good partnership, enterprise, success, effort||carelessness, arrogance, pride, disappointment|
|Four of Wands||satisfaction, harmony, kindness, peace||growth, beauty, attractive decorations|
|Five of Wands||ungrounded or petty lawsuit or quarrel, fake allies, competition to attain success||tricks, legal matters, contradictions|
|Six of Wands||victory, good news, hope, success||postponement, bad news, fear, pride in riches, disloyalty|
|Seven of Wands||stiff competition, discussion, negotiations, victory, courage||embarrassment, anxiety|
|Eight of Wands||energy, new ideas, love, journey, assured happiness||jealousy, violence, quarrels, remorse|
|Nine of Wands||strength, good health, obstinacy, patience||weakness, ill-health, adversity, obstacles|
|Ten of Wands||pain, ruin, failure all as a result of oppression||cleverness, contradictions, mystery|
|Page of Wands||enthusiasm, exploration, discovery, free spirit, a faithful lover||setbacks to new ideas, pessimism, indecision|
|Knight of Wands||generous, journey, friendly person||suspicion, jealousy, narrow-mindedness, a break-up|
|Queen of Wands||a loving, friendly, honorable person; fondness of money||jealous, vengeful, infidelity, opposition|
|King of Wands||honest and conscientious married person with a friendly demeanor||unyielding but tolerant, severe but good|
Cups represent emotions and everything linked to them, including relationships. Your emotional consciousness is in question when Cups dominate a reading. If this happens look at how your emotions are influenced and influencing your relationships and the quality of the connection you share with others.
|Ace of Cups||“your cup runneth over”, good health, love, joy, beauty, purity||deceit, selfishness, instability|
|Two of Cups||romance, friendship, passion, cooperation, affinity||violent passion, false friendship, misunderstanding|
|Three of Cups||conclusion, fortune, hospitality, happiness, healing||hidden, overindulgence, pain, gossip, ending|
|Four of Cups||dissatisfaction, kindness, reevaluation, redemption||new goals, ambitions, beginning|
|Five of Cups||bitter marriage, vain regret, sorrow, loss, inheritance||return, news, ancestry, hope|
|Six of Cups||good memories, happiness, childhood||renewal, the future|
|Seven of Cups||imagination, illusion, directionless, sentiment||willpower, determination, projects|
|Eight of Cups||disappointment, abandonment, misery||pleasure, success, joy, celebration|
|Nine of Cups||physical well-being, hopes, security, victory||illness, failure, mistakes, overindulgence, imperfection|
|Ten of Cups||friendship, happiness, life at its best||waste, broken relationships, quarrel, violence|
|Page of Cups||sweetness, interest in literature, gentleness, studious||poor imagination, selfishness, seduction|
|Knight of Cups||emotional, romantic dreamer, intelligence, arrival or something coming||idleness, untruthful, fraud, swindling|
|Queen of Cups||loving, devoted person who is gentle and exudes happiness||a perverse and unhappy person who suffers from a gloomy disposition and over-active imagination|
|King of Cups||an educated person who is kind and willing, enjoys helping others||a double-dealer that incites scandal, crafty, violent|
SwordsSwords represent the intellect and its uses. It refers to your personal beliefs, attitudes and the actions you take to enforce these. In some instances the pen may indeed be mightier than the sword, so if your reading is filled with this suit take special note of what you’re thinking and how this is affecting your actions. Don’t be rash!
|Ace of Swords||unclearness, trouble, balance, choice, avoidance||obstacles, tyranny, power, overcoming with violence|
|Two of Swords||conformity, trouble, balanced, friendship, affection||unscrupulous, release, disloyalty, duplicity|
|Three of Swords||broken relationship, civil war, broken heart or bonds||feeling alienated, sorrow, loss, confusion|
|Four of Swords||temporary exile, strife, retreat, vigilance, literally tomb or coffin||circumspection, renewed activity, precaution|
|Five of Swords||defeat, cowardliness, empty victory, dishonour||unfairness, defeat, loss, burial|
|Six of Swords||harmony, sorrow, journey, expedition||obstacles, confession, difficulties, declaration|
|Seven of Swords||betrayal, insolence, unwise attempt, false hope||counsel, helpful advice, instruction|
|Eight of Swords||crisis, weakness, indecision, censure||unwanted results, difficulty, accident, opposition|
|Nine of Swords||desolation, illness, miscarriage, suspicion, cruelty, deception, disappointment||doubt, suspicion, fear, shame, imprisonment|
|Ten of Swords||defeat, failure, pain, sadness, tears||courage, positive energy, good health, success, advantage|
|Page of Swords||grace, diplomacy, dexterity, a spy or secretive person||cunningness, someone using good qualities for bad ends|
|Knight of Swords||a strong person who is brave and clever||a crafty troublemaker that lacks discretion|
|Queen of Swords||a mutable person who has a lot of experience and wisdom||a sly, keen, deceitful person|
|King of Swords||a powerful person who extends friendship and counsel||a perverse person who is obstinate with evil intentions and judgments|
PentaclesPentacles represent anything material in life including work and wealth. It’s quite fitting as the coins represent material well-being and this suit is concerned with how to collect that wealth too. If you’ve got a spread filled with pentacles take a look at your financial situation and what you’re doing to improve or impoverish it.
|Ace of Pentacles||prosperity, happiness, pleasure, contentment||wealth turned rotten, misery, greed|
|Two of Pentacles||harmony, new projects, recreation||false pretenses, facade|
|Three of Pentacles||abilities, approval, craftsmanship, skill||preoccupation, unfulfilled ambitions, mediocrity|
|Four of Pentacles||greed, inheritance, selfishness||spendthrift, obstacles, opposition|
|Five of Pentacles||destitution, poor finances, despair, but not without company||disorder, ruin, chaos|
|Six of Pentacles||prosperity, charity, gifts, the present moment||jealousy, illusion, unfairness, desire|
|Seven of Pentacles||development, re-evaluation, effort, hard work||impatience, slow progress, anxiety|
|Eight of Pentacles||employment, money, learning, trade, skill||void, no ambition, dislike, vanity|
|Nine of Pentacles||solitude, well-being, green thumb, discernment||caution, possible loss as a result of deception|
|Ten of Pentacles||wealth, property, stability, richess||misfortune, lost bet or gamble, loss but inheritance gained|
|Page of Pentacles||a person associated with writing, whether with study or letters||a person living in luxury, often beyond their means, rebelling and as a result they are bad news|
|Knight of Pentacles||a person who seems dull, but is patient and responsible and shows interest, trustworthy||a careless person who has lost all ambition and remains stagnant and irresponsible|
|Queen of Pentacles||a generous person who is happy to share what they have freely, whether it’s advice or wealth||a person that cannot be trusted, they are evil and should be feared|
|King of Pentacles||a reliable person, that is steady in business||a corrupt person who indulges in bribes, materialistic|