Tarot cards have been used for centuries as a tool for self-discovery, spiritual growth, and divination. At the heart of tarot lies a rich tapestry of symbolism and meanings that can provide valuable insights and guidance to those who learn to read the cards. In this article, we’ll explore the meanings of the 78 cards in a standard tarot deck, as well as tips for interpreting the cards in your readings.

Tarot Deck Structure

A standard tarot deck consists of 78 cards, divided into two main groups: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana.

  • Major Arcana: The 22 Major Arcana cards are the most significant cards in the deck, representing deep spiritual and life lessons. These cards often symbolize major events, spiritual awakenings, or significant transitions in a person’s life.
  • Minor Arcana: The 56 Minor Arcana cards are divided into four suits: Cups, Wands, Swords, and Pentacles. Each suit has 14 cards, numbered Ace to 10, and four court cards: Page, Knight, Queen, and King. The Minor Arcana cards represent everyday situations and practical aspects of life.

Major Arcana Card Meanings: An In-Depth Look

The 22 Major Arcana cards hold profound spiritual significance and provide deep insights into the querent’s life. Let’s delve into the meaning of each Major Arcana card:

  1. The Fool: The Fool symbolizes new beginnings, spontaneity, and the spirit of adventure. It represents taking a leap of faith, embracing the unknown, and trusting that the universe will support you on your journey. The Fool encourages you to embrace your inner child and approach life with curiosity and wonder.
  2. The Magician: The Magician represents personal power, manifestation, and creativity. It signifies the ability to harness your skills, talents, and resources to create the life you desire. The Magician reminds you that you have the power within you to shape your reality and achieve your goals.
  3. The High Priestess: The High Priestess embodies intuition, mystery, and the subconscious mind. She encourages you to trust your inner wisdom and explore the hidden realms of your psyche. The High Priestess signifies the need to listen to your instincts and embrace your spiritual gifts.
  4. The Empress: The Empress symbolizes nurturing, abundance, and fertility. She represents the power of creation and the embodiment of love, compassion, and sensuality. The Empress encourages you to connect with nature, embrace your feminine energy, and cultivate beauty and harmony in your life.
  5. The Emperor: The Emperor signifies authority, stability, and leadership. He represents structure, discipline, and the power of logic and reason. The Emperor encourages you to take charge of your life, establish order, and set boundaries to achieve your goals.
  6. The Hierophant: The Hierophant symbolizes tradition, spiritual guidance, and conformity. He represents the role of religion, institutions, and established beliefs in our lives. The Hierophant encourages you to seek wisdom from trusted mentors and explore the teachings of your spiritual or cultural heritage.
  7. The Lovers: The Lovers represent relationships, partnerships, and choices. This card signifies the importance of making decisions based on your values, desires, and heart’s true calling. The Lovers encourage you to embrace love, trust, and commitment in your relationships, as well as the choices you make in life.
  8. The Chariot: The Chariot symbolizes willpower, determination, and triumph over obstacles. It represents the drive to overcome challenges and achieve your goals. The Chariot encourages you to stay focused, maintain self-discipline, and harness your inner strength to succeed.
  9. Strength: Strength embodies courage, patience, and inner strength. This card signifies the power of gentleness, compassion, and resilience in overcoming adversity. Strength encourages you to face your fears, tame your inner beast, and approach challenges with grace and courage.
  10. The Hermit: The Hermit represents solitude, introspection, and spiritual guidance. He signifies the need for quiet reflection and withdrawal from the external world to find inner wisdom. The Hermit encourages you to seek solitude, meditate, and connect with your inner light.
  11. Wheel of Fortune: The Wheel of Fortune symbolizes cycles, destiny, and luck. This card represents the ever-changing nature of life and the inevitability of both good and bad fortune. The Wheel of Fortune encourages you to embrace change, trust in the cycles of life, and maintain a positive attitude during times of uncertainty.
  12. Justice: Justice embodies fairness, balance, and truth. It represents the importance of making fair decisions, taking responsibility for your actions, and seeking equilibrium in your life. Justice encourages you to examine your motives, weigh your options, and act with integrity and honesty.
  13. The Hanged Man: The Hanged Man symbolizes letting go, surrender, and seeing things from a different perspective. This card signifies the need to release control, accept the present situation, and be open to new insights. The Hanged Man encourages you to embrace patience, trust the process, and view your circumstances from a fresh angle.
  14. Death: Death represents transformation, endings, and new beginnings. Although it may seem frightening, this card symbolizes the natural cycle of life and the opportunity for growth that comes with change. Death encourages you to let go of what no longer serves you and make way for renewal and growth.
  15. Temperance: Temperance symbolizes balance, harmony, and moderation. This card signifies the need to find equilibrium in your life, integrate opposing forces, and cultivate inner peace. Temperance encourages you to practice patience, compromise, and mindfulness in your daily life.
  16. The Devil: The Devil represents temptation, addiction, and materialism. This card signifies the shadow aspects of ourselves, including unhealthy attachments, obsessions, and self-destructive patterns. The Devil encourages you to confront your inner demons, break free from bondage, and reclaim your personal power.
  17. The Tower: The Tower symbolizes sudden upheaval, chaos, and revelation. It represents the shattering of old beliefs, structures, and illusions to make way for new insights and growth. The Tower encourages you to embrace change, confront your fears, and rebuild your life on a more solid foundation.
  18. The Star: The Star embodies hope, inspiration, and spiritual guidance. This card signifies the light that guides us through the darkness, providing a sense of purpose and direction. The Star encourages you to stay true to your dreams, trust in the universe, and keep your faith during challenging times.
  19. The Moon: The Moon represents illusion, intuition, and the subconscious mind. It signifies the realm of dreams, emotions, and the mysterious aspects of our psyche. The Moon encourages you to trust your intuition, explore your inner landscape, and embrace the unknown.
  20. The Sun: The Sun symbolizes joy, success, and vitality. It represents the light of consciousness, illuminating our lives with warmth, clarity, and optimism. The Sun encourages you to celebrate your achievements, embrace your inner light, and radiate positivity.
  21. Judgment: Judgment represents renewal, redemption, and taking responsibility for one’s actions. This card signifies the need for self-assessment, forgiveness, and spiritual awakening. Judgment encourages you to confront your past, learn from your mistakes, and embrace the promise of a new beginning.
  22. The World: The World symbolizes completion, wholeness, and achievement. It represents the culmination of a journey, the fulfillment of a goal, and the integration of all aspects of your life. The World encourages you to celebrate your accomplishments, embrace your inner wisdom, and share your gifts with the world.

By delving into the meanings of the Major Arcana cards, you can gain a deeper understanding of the spiritual lessons and archetypal energies at play in your life. As you continue to work with the tarot, you’ll discover the rich tapestry of symbolism and insights it offers, guiding you on your journey of self-discovery and growth.

Minor Arcana Card Meanings: A Detailed Overview

The Minor Arcana cards represent everyday situations and practical aspects of life. Each suit corresponds to a different element and aspect of life:

  • Cups (Water): Emotions, relationships, love, and creativity
  • Wands (Fire): Energy, passion, action, and ambition
  • Swords (Air): Thoughts, communication, conflict, and truth
  • Pentacles (Earth): Material possessions, finances, career, and physical well-being

Note that providing a detailed description of all 56 Minor Arcana cards would be too lengthy for this format. Instead, we’ll provide an overview of the general meanings associated with each card in the four suits.


  1. Ace of Cups: New emotional beginnings, love, intuition
  2. Two of Cups: Partnership, connection, balanced emotions
  3. Three of Cups: Celebration, friendship, social gatherings
  4. Four of Cups: Discontent, apathy, introspection
  5. Five of Cups: Loss, grief, focusing on the negative
  6. Six of Cups: Nostalgia, childhood memories, innocence
  7. Seven of Cups: Choices, illusions, daydreaming
  8. Eight of Cups: Moving on, leaving behind, seeking deeper meaning
  9. Nine of Cups: Emotional fulfillment, contentment, satisfaction
  10. Ten of Cups: Emotional abundance, happiness, family harmony
  • Page of Cups: Emotional sensitivity, creativity, intuition
  • Knight of Cups: Romance, idealism, following the heart
  • Queen of Cups: Emotional intelligence, nurturing, empathy
  • King of Cups: Emotional maturity, compassion, diplomacy


  1. Ace of Wands: New beginnings, inspiration, creative spark
  2. Two of Wands: Planning, decision-making, potential
  3. Three of Wands: Foresight, expansion, looking ahead
  4. Four of Wands: Celebration, stability, homecoming
  5. Five of Wands: Conflict, competition, struggle
  6. Six of Wands: Victory, recognition, achievement
  7. Seven of Wands: Perseverance, standing your ground, courage
  8. Eight of Wands: Swift movement, action, communication
  9. Nine of Wands: Resilience, persistence, nearing completion
  10. Ten of Wands: Burden, responsibility, overcommitment
  • Page of Wands: Enthusiasm, exploration, new ideas
  • Knight of Wands: Passion, impulsiveness, adventure
  • Queen of Wands: Confidence, charisma, determination
  • King of Wands: Leadership, vision, entrepreneurial spirit


  1. Ace of Swords: Clarity, breakthrough, intellectual power
  2. Two of Swords: Indecision, stalemate, blocked emotions
  3. Three of Swords: Heartbreak, sorrow, painful truth
  4. Four of Swords: Rest, recuperation, contemplation
  5. Five of Swords: Conflict, betrayal, tension
  6. Six of Swords: Transition, moving on, healing
  7. Seven of Swords: Deception, strategy, stealth
  8. Eight of Swords: Restriction, self-imposed limitations, trapped feeling
  9. Nine of Swords: Anxiety, worry, nightmares
  10. Ten of Swords: Betrayal, endings, rock bottom
  • Page of Swords: Curiosity, mental agility, communication
  • Knight of Swords: Ambition, assertiveness, quick thinking
  • Queen of Swords: Independent thinking, clarity, wisdom
  • King of Swords: Mental clarity, authority, strategic thinking


  1. Ace of Pentacles: New financial opportunities, abundance, stability
  2. Two of Pentacles: Balance, adapt ability, juggling responsibilities
  3. Three of Pentacles: Teamwork, collaboration, skill development
  4. Four of Pentacles: Stability, security, possessiveness
  5. Five of Pentacles: Financial loss, isolation, hardship
  6. Six of Pentacles: Generosity, charity, sharing resources
  7. Seven of Pentacles: Patience, long-term investment, waiting for results
  8. Eight of Pentacles: Diligence, mastery, craftsmanship
  9. Nine of Pentacles: Financial independence, luxury, self-sufficiency
  10. Ten of Pentacles: Wealth, family legacy, financial security
  • Page of Pentacles: Ambition, practical learning, manifesting dreams
  • Knight of Pentacles: Persistence, hard work, reliability
  • Queen of Pentacles: Nurturing, practicality, resourcefulness
  • King of Pentacles: Prosperity, stability, business acumen

Understanding the Minor Arcana cards’ meanings will help you interpret the daily situations and practical aspects of life reflected in your tarot readings. As you continue to work with the tarot, you’ll develop a deeper connection with the cards and their symbolism, enhancing your ability to provide insight and guidance for yourself and others.