Understanding the Minor Arcana

Understanding the Minor Arcana

When people think of Tarot cards, their minds often conjure images of mysterious figures, swirling robes, and arcane symbols. While the Major Arcana cards, with their iconic characters like The Fool and The High Priestess, certainly contribute to this mystique, the Minor Arcana plays an equally important role in understanding the Tarot. In this article, we will delve into the world of the Minor Arcana, comprising 56 cards divided into four suits, shedding light on their significance and how they can be interpreted in tarot readings.

Unveiling the Structure of the Minor Arcana

Before we explore the meaning and significance of the Minor Arcana, it’s essential to grasp its structural foundation. The Minor Arcana is made up of 56 cards, which are further divided into four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. Each suit contains 14 cards, numbered from Ace to Ten, followed by four Court Cards: Page, Knight, Queen, and King.

  1. Wands: Often associated with the element of fire, Wands represent inspiration, ambition, and spirituality. They are linked to the realm of ideas and the power of transformation.
  2. Cups: Cups are connected to the element of water, symbolizing emotions, relationships, and intuition. They reflect matters of the heart and the subconscious mind.
  3. Swords: Representing the element of air, Swords are associated with thoughts, communication, and conflict. They delve into the realm of intellect and decision-making.
  4. Pentacles: Pentacles, tied to the element of earth, deal with material wealth, practicality, and the physical world. They explore aspects of finance, career, and the tangible aspects of life.

The Role of Numerology

Numerology plays a crucial role in interpreting the Minor Arcana cards. Each card’s number carries its own significance and conveys a unique message in a reading. Here’s a brief overview:

  • Aces: The Aces signify new beginnings, potential, and opportunity. They represent the raw energy of their respective suits.
  • Twos: Twos often symbolize duality, choices, and partnerships. They can represent balance or the need for it in a situation.
  • Threes: Threes indicate growth, expansion, and collaboration. They represent the manifestation of ideas and creativity.
  • Fours: Fours are associated with stability, structure, and foundations. They suggest a solid and secure framework.
  • Fives: Fives bring change, challenges, and conflict. They often signal a need to adapt or overcome obstacles.
  • Sixes: The number six represents harmony, balance, and cooperation. It signifies a time of coming together and finding solutions.
  • Sevens: Sevens delve into introspection, assessment, and inner wisdom. They encourage a deeper understanding of oneself and one’s path.
  • Eights: Eights symbolize power, achievement, and abundance. They suggest success and accomplishment.
  • Nines: Nines indicate culmination, attainment, and fulfillment. They represent the final stages of a cycle.
  • Tens: The Tens represent completion, endings, and transitions. They mark the conclusion of a phase.

The Court Cards: Personalities and Roles

The Court Cards in the Minor Arcana bring forth personalities and specific roles within a reading. They often represent people or aspects of ourselves:

  • Pages: Pages are messengers and represent curiosity and a desire to learn. They can indicate the need for exploration and gaining knowledge.
  • Knights: Knights are action-oriented and symbolize a drive to pursue goals. They suggest determination and ambition.
  • Queens: Queens embody nurturing, compassion, and wisdom. They represent a mature, feminine energy.
  • Kings: Kings are authoritative and symbolize leadership and mastery. They represent a mature, masculine energy.

Interpreting the Minor Arcana in Tarot Readings

When conducting a tarot reading, the Minor Arcana cards provide practical insights into everyday life and specific situations. They address questions related to career, relationships, finances, and personal growth. To interpret these cards effectively, consider the following steps:

  1. Understand the Suit: Begin by understanding the elemental association of the suit. Is it Wands (fire), Cups (water), Swords (air), or Pentacles (earth)? This will provide a context for the reading.
  2. Analyze the Number: Consider the numerology associated with the card. Does it indicate a new beginning (Ace), a period of growth (Three), or a time of transition (Ten)?
  3. Incorporate the Court Cards: If a Court Card appears, assess its qualities and how they relate to the question or situation. Is it a Page’s inquisitiveness, a Knight’s determination, a Queen’s nurturing, or a King’s authority that is relevant?
  4. Consider Card Combinations: Tarot readings often involve multiple cards. Pay attention to how the Minor Arcana cards interact with each other. Are there any patterns, conflicts, or harmonious connections?


The Minor Arcana, consisting of 56 cards divided into four suits, is a fundamental aspect of Tarot that offers valuable insights into our lives. By understanding the elemental associations, numerology, and personalities of the Court Cards, we can unlock the wisdom contained within these cards during tarot readings.

Remember that Tarot is not just about predicting the future but also about gaining a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us. The Minor Arcana serves as a guide, shedding light on the everyday challenges and triumphs that make up the tapestry of our lives. Please take a moment to visit their page to learn more about psychic reading.

Stephen S. Davidson