tarrot cards meanings

Tarot Card Meanings: The Complete List

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If you’re looking to enhance your psychic or intuitive abilities or in need of daily guidance, you’ve come to the right place!

Understanding the complete list of tarot card meanings can be a gratifying experience to reveal or reflect on meaningful life lessons or events. So, get the candles, incense, crystals, and of course, your tarot deck ready! 

While there are many types of tarot card decks available, the most popular deck for tarot readings is the Rider-Waite tarot deck. Every tarot deck comes standard with 78 cards split into two main categories: the major and minor arcana.

The Major Arcana Tarot Cards

There are 22 major arcana cards that are considered the core foundation of your tarot deck. Get to know these cards well! These are your powerhouse cards referring to major life events, lessons, milestones, karmic influences, and revelations. They represent the BIG picture. 

When you view the major arcana cards in order from 0 (the fool) to 21 (the world), you’ll discover a symbolic story where the Fool is the sole character. This is known as the Fool’s journey where the Fool meets new characters and learns life lessons along the way.

the fool Arcana Tarot card

The Fool (0)

Adventure, New Beginnings, Leap of Faith

the magician Arcana Tarot card

The Magician (1)

Make a Choice, Master of all Elements, Choosing a Path

The high priestess Arcana Tarot card

The High Priestess (2)

Consequences, Intuition, Spiritual Wisdom

The empress Arcana Tarot card

The Empress (3)

Growth, Abundance, Nurturer

The emperor Arcana Tarot card

The Empreror (4)

Decision Maker, Lead Through Action, Creating Order from Chaos

The hierophant Arcana Tarot card

The Hierophant (5)

Improvement of Knowledge, Ritual & Ceremony, Tradition

the lovers Arcana Tarot card

The Lovers (6)

Awareness of Other, Union, Balance, Passion, Temptation

The chariot Arcana Tarot card

The Chariot (7)

Intensity, Focus, Willpower, Mastery

Strength Arcana Tarot card

Strength (8)

Perseverance, Courage, Inner Strength

The hermit Arcana Tarot card

The Hermit (9)

Who am I?, Spiritual Journey, Quest

Wheel of fortune Arcana Tarot card

Wheel of Fortune (10)

Outside Forces, Cycles of Life, Destiny, Luck

Justice Arcana Tarot card

Justice (11)

Detachment, Karma, Harmony

The hanged man Arcana Tarot card

The Hanged Man (12)

Knowing Sacrifice, Letting Go, Accepting What Is

Death Arcana Tarot card

Death (13)

Transformation, Change, Endings

Temperance Arcana Tarot card

Temperance (14)

Balance, Acceptance, Tolerance

The devil Arcana Tarot card

The Devil (15)

Rebellion, Spiritual Selfishness, Destructive Patterns

The tower Arcana Tarot card

The Tower (16)

Obliterate, Sudden Change, Releasing all Emotion

The star Arcana Tarot card

The Star (17)

Vision, Hope, Calm, Perseverance

The Moon Arcana Tarot card

The Moon (18)

“I Want” or “I Desire”, Dreams & Visions, The Unknown

The Sun Arcana Tarot card

The Sun (19)

Truth, Clarity, Enlightenment, Vitality

Judgement Arcana Tarot card

Judgment (20)

Decisions, A Fresh Start, Reawakening

The world Arcana Tarot card

The World (21)

Successful Conclusion, Satisfaction, Peace of Mind

The Minor Arcana Tarot Cards

Following the first 21 major arcana cards, you’ll find the remaining minor arcana cards arranged into 4 suits – swords, pentacles, wands, and cups. Each suit has a ruling element – earth, water, air, and fire – and corresponds to specific areas of life.

  • Suit of Cups – Element of Water – Emotions, & Relationships
  • Suit of Pentacles – Element of Earth – Material Manifestation, Health, Property & Achievement
  • Suit of Swords – Element of Air – Communication, Mind/Intellect, Thoughts, Dual Energy, & New Perspective
  • Suit of Wands – Element of Fire – Spirit, Life Purpose, Creativity, Action

For more advanced readings, the Court Cards – page, knight, queen, and king – can represent an individual person like you or someone else. Each card may also have an astrological sign and chakra assigned to it as well.

tarrot cards meanings

Suit of Wands Tarot Card Meanings

  • Ace of Wands – New beginnings, Excitement, Power, Inspiration
  • Two of Wands – Direction, Future Planning, Progress, Choice
  • Three of Wands – Perspective, Preparation, Foresight, Exploration
  • Four of Wands – Establishing, Celebration, Happiness, Community 
  • Five of Wands – Scattered Energies, Competition, Disagreement, Conflict
  • Six of Wands – Victory and Triumph, Recognition, Self-Confidence
  • Seven of Wands – Challenge, Competition, Feeling Defensive, Standing your Ground
  • Eight of Wands – Speed, Movement, Release, Swift Change, Travel
  • Nine of Wands – In Control, Courage, Resilience, Test of Faith
  • Ten of Wands – Rewards that come with Success, Burden, Responsibility
  • Page of Wands – Enthusiasm, Exploration, Discovery, Free Spirit 
  • Knight of Wands – Impulsiveness, Energy, Passion
  • Queen of Wands – Exuberance, Warmth, Vibrancy
  • King of Wands – Natural Leader, Vision, Honor

Suit of Cups Tarot Card Meanings

  • Ace of Cups – Emotional fulfillment, Love, Compassion, Intimacy
  • Two of Cups – Unified Love, Partnership, Mutual Attraction
  • Three of Cups – Celebration, Friendship, Laughter
  • Four of Cups – Meditation, Contemplation, Introspection, Apathy
  • Five of Cups – Catalyst/Choice, Loss, Regret, Disappointment
  • Six of Cups – Reunion, Nostalgia, Childhood Memories, Youth
  • Seven of Cups – Dreams/Fantasy, Wishful Thinking, Choices, Temptation
  • Eight of Cups – Escapism, Abandonment, Hopelessness, Moving On 
  • Nine of Cups – Wishes Fulfilled, Satisfaction, Prosperity
  • Ten of Cups – Harmony, Marriage, Happiness, Emotional Bliss
  • Page of Cups – A Messenger, Creative Inspiration, Synchronicity 
  • Knight of Cups – Romantic, Intuitive, Charm, Follow your Heart
  • Queen of Cups – Essence of Creation, Nurturing, Intuitive, Compassionate
  • King of Cups – Wisdom, Patience, Tolerance, Emotional Self-Control

Suit of Swords Tarot Card Meanings

  • Ace of Swords – Raw Power, Sudden Opportunity or Idea, Clarity
  • Two of Swords – Decisions, Truce, Stalemate
  • Three of Swords – Sorrow, Heartbreak, Painful Separation, Betrayal
  • Four of Swords – Recuperation, Contemplation, Rest
  • Five of Swords – Discord, Conflict, Physical Altercations/Abuse, Defeat
  • Six of Swords – Recovery from Hardship, Learning to Let Go, Transition
  • Seven of Swords – Escaping Responsibility, Betrayal, Taking what’s not yours
  • Eight of Swords – Isolation, Feeling Stuck
  • Nine of Swords – Despair, Depression, Torment, Inner Fear, Anxiety
  • Ten of Swords –  Inevitable End, Misfortune, Burdens to Bear
  • Page of Swords – Strong sense of purpose, Honesty, Non-Judgmental, Curiosity
  • Knight of Swords – Fearless, Invincible, Courageous, Haste
  • Queen of Swords – Purity, Inner Knowledge, Clarity, Astute
  • King of Swords – Truth, Strength, Warrior – Battle Ready, Wise, Controlling

Suit of Pentacles Tarot Card Meanings

  • Ace of Pentacles – Manifestation, New Financial Opportunity, Prosperity
  • Two of Pentacles – Balance, Adaptability
  • Three of Pentacles – Teamwork, Initial Fulfillment, Learning
  • Four of Pentacles – Control, Security, Stability, Budgeting
  • Five of Pentacles – Fear of Failure, Isolation, Insecurity, Hard Times, Poverty
  • Six of Pentacles – Reinvestment, Generosity, Prosperity, Charity/Giving
  • Seven of Pentacles – Reaping Rewards, Perseverance, Reward, Making Investments
  • Eight of Pentacles – Establishment, Patience, Education, Perfectionism
  • Nine of Pentacles – Gratitude, Security, Luxury, Self-Sufficiency, Independent Wealth
  • Ten of Pentacles – Prosperity, Inheritance, Hard Work Coming to Fruition, Culmination
  • Page of Pentacles – New Opportunities or New Job, Practical, Reflection
  • Knight of Pentacles – Efficiency, Methodical, Routine, Focused, Conservative
  • Queen of Pentacles – Practical, Motherly, Down to Earth, Security
  • King of Pentacles – Financially secure, Disciplined

Now that you have a general idea of the 78 tarot card meanings don’t forget to practice. Have fun with it too! This should be a personal experience for you to interpret each card’s meaning and what it holds for you (or a friend). 

Now, there are many readers who choose to read reversals (when the card pulled is upside down) but I personally choose not to read them. I read intuitively so regardless of how the card shows up my readings will still guide you in the right direction. Just because something shows up in reverse does NOT mean that it’s bad. Go with your gut when you’re reading each spread. 

Get started with tarot readings by pulling one card daily for general guidance and work your way up to a three-card spread, seven-card spread, or the traditional 10-card Celtic spread. The choice is yours!

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