Tarot card meanings
A Major Arcana card in a spread refers to important matters and personal transformation, whereas the Minor Arcana reflects general emotions, circumstances or characteristics surrounding the questioner. Some cards have multiple meanings so it is up to the reader to interpret the significance based on the question, the surrounding cards in the spread and feedback from the questioner. The court cards can represent people or personality traits. If interpreted as people The King is a mature man, The Queen is a mature woman, The Knight is a young man and The Page is a child.
THE MAJOR ARCANA
0 THE FOOL
Beginning of a journey into the unknown. A fresh start with important decisions to make along the way. Choices to be made.
REVERSE MEANING: Wrong choice or lack of judgement.
1 THE MAGICIAN
Individuality. Harnessing creative forces to achieve results. Everything is possible through creative visualisation and willpower.
REVERSE MEANING: Abuse of talent, manipulating words and actions for self gain.
2 THE HIGH PRIESTESS
Psychological insight, trusting the subconscious, unseen wisdom.
REVERSE MEANING: Ignoring your intuition.
3 THE EMPRESS
Abundance, fertility, healing, balance, creativity, maternal instincts.
REVERSE MEANING: Excessive materialism, unproductive activity.
4 THE EMPEROR
Balance, authority, logical thinking, discipline, leadership, control. A man of authority.
REVERSE MEANING: Lack of progress, lack of control. Need for self-discipline.
5 THE HIEROPHANT
Tradition, convention, a higher authority, an official ceremony.
REVERSE MEANING: Open minded, original, individual, unorthodox.
6 THE LOVERS
Choice of two paths with important outcome. An important decision. A new relationship.
REVERSE MEANING: A bad choice or refusal to make a choice. Infidelity. End of a relationship.
7 THE CHARIOT
Self-assertion, self-discipline, effort. Balancing conflicting emotions and steering a middle course through conflicting forces.
REVERSE MEANING: Lack of direction, scattered energy, out of control.
Strength, wisdom, self-assertion, gentle force, heroism, protection, non-violence, health.
REVERSE MEANING: Weakness, worry, dependency, abuse of power.
9 THE HERMIT
Inner wisdom, meditation, quiet study, spending time alone, searching within.
REVERSE MEANING: Self-absorption, fear of intimacy, aloofness, self-pity.
10 THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE
Change, good luck, opportunity, the up-side of a cycle. If you are down the only way is up.
REVERSE MEANING: Failure, unexpected setbacks, the down-side of a cycle.
Fairness, integrity, harmony, settlements, maintaining law and order.
REVERSE MEANING: Unfair treatment, judged unfairly, false accusations.
12 THE HANGED MAN
A pause in activity, in limbo, breaking with the past, release, adaptability.
REVERSE MEANING: Materialism, apathy, bad investment. Refusal to break from the past.
13 DEATH AND REBIRTH
Transformation, renewal, cleansing, marriage, divorce. Sudden major change, beginning a new way of life.
REVERSE MEANING: Stagnation, obstinacy, decay. Refusing to change.
Patience and tolerance. Moderation, tranquillity, fairness. A balanced viewpoint.
REVERSE MEANING: Extremism, fanaticism, lust, obsession, lack of restraint.
15 THE DEVIL
Materialism, vanity, greed, lust, addiction, enslavement, cruelty, fears, self-doubt.
REVERSE MEANING: Release. Cutting the ties that bind.
16 THE TOWER
Sudden major transformation. A traumatic experience. The breaking-down of a structure.
REVERSE MEANING: The trauma is over. Time to rebuild and start afresh.
17 THE STAR
Happiness, health, harmony, creativity, beauty, balance. A sense of direction. Hopes and aspirations.
REVERSE MEANING: Pessimism, missed opportunity, ill-health.
18 THE MOON
Intuition, psychic awareness, dreams, imagination, fantasy, escapism.
REVERSE MEANING: Worry, dark secrets, deception.
19 THE SUN
Success, achievement, warmth, friendship, attainment, future happiness.
REVERSE MEANING: Vanity, boasting, arrogance. Overly concerned with external appearances.
Judging or being judged. Self-analysis. Changes. New opportunities. A choice that will change your life for the better.
REVERSE MEANING: Unwelcome change. Avoiding making a decision. Procrastination.
21 THE WORLD
The end of the journey with the best possible outcome. Triumph, liberation, elation.
REVERSE MEANING: Reluctance to try new ideas. Stagnation. Stuck in a rut. Quitting too soon.
THE MINOR ARCANA
The suit of SWORDS (Challenge/Thought/Observation)
ACE OF SWORDS
Start of triumph and success. Strength and power.
REVERSE MEANING: Too heavy handed. Bullying. Bad timing.
TWO OF SWORDS
Not knowing which way to turn. Restriction.
REVERSE MEANING: Action, release.
THREE OF SWORDS
Emotional pain, grieving a loss. Tears, separation.
REVERSE MEANING: The pain is easing.
FOUR OF SWORDS
Having time to yourself to recharge. Retreat, inactivity, introspection.
REVERSE MEANING: Back in action.
FIVE OF SWORDS
Sabotage, underhanded attack. Lack of sensitivity. Bullying, bickering. Destructive behaviour.
REVERSE MEANING: Vindicated, cleared of wrong-doing.
SIX OF SWORDS
Leaving your troubles behind. Moving to calmer waters.
REVERSE MEANING: Nothing can be accomplished at this time. Patience is required.
SEVEN OF SWORDS
Cunning, trickery, deception. Taking advantage of someone. Escape. Change of job or location.
REVERSE MEANING: Appreciation. Someone offering the advice you need.
EIGHT OF SWORDS
Feeling trapped, boxed in. Lacking the confidence to break away. Anxiety, confusion.
REVERSE MEANING: Release. The ability to move on.
NINE OF SWORDS
Despair. Extreme misery, stress and anxiety. Illness, insomnia. Feeling under attack.
REVERSE MEANING: New hope. The end of a nightmare.
TEN OF SWORDS
Ruin, failure, defeat, depression, pain. Extreme unhappiness and loss. Hitting rock bottom. Allow yourself to be regenerated by new energy.
REVERSE MEANING: Coming out of a bad situation. The worst is over.
PAGE OF SWORDS
A young person who is both mentally and physically agile. A young person’s activities causing concern. Strong willed, dexterous.
REVERSE MEANING: Be prepared for the unexpected.
KNIGHT OF SWORDS
Someone who has good intentions but can be overbearing. Confidence, assertiveness, leadership.
REVERSE MEANING: Poor judgement, rashness, conflict, violence.
QUEEN OF SWORDS
An intelligent, solitary woman possibly divorced or widowed. Sharp wit, head over heart.
REVERSE MEANING: Refusal to see anyone else’s point of view. Malicious, stirring up trouble.
KING OF SWORDS
A man of authority offering sound advice. Logical but could be out of touch with feelings.
REVERSE MEANING: Strict to the point of cruelty. Ruthless. No compassion.
The suit of WANDS (Creativity/Action/Passion)
ACE OF WANDS
New beginnings. Fresh ideas.
REVERSE MEANING: Struggling to make a start.
TWO OF WANDS
Off to a good start. Signs of achievement.
REVERSE MEANING: Misgivings, losing interest, lack of progress.
THREE OF WANDS
Cooperation. Shared creative energies are flowing. Early returns on investments.
REVERSE MEANING: Wasted efforts. The boats are not coming in.
FOUR OF WANDS
A happy home. Putting down roots. Peace and harmony. Satisfaction from achievements.
REVERSE MEANING: On the way to achievement but not quite there yet.
FIVE OF WANDS
Healthy competition and bonding between friends. Physical activities and sports.
REVERSE MEANING: Petty arguments, clearing the air.
SIX OF WANDS
Winning. Victory and triumph. Promotion, applause, acclaim.
REVERSE MEANING: Losing. Failure, defeat.
SEVEN OF WANDS
Standing your ground. Courage in adversity. Inner strength. You can succeed.
REVERSE MEANING: Feeling overwhelmed. Backing down.
EIGHT OF WANDS
Acceleration in events. Sudden rapid activity. Full steam ahead.
REVERSE MEANING: Feeling under pressure or out of control. Daunted by fast pace. Grounded.
NINE OF WANDS
Putting up your defence barriers. Protecting what’s yours. Being territorial.
REVERSE MEANING: Caught off-guard with defences down. Lack of preparation.
TEN OF WANDS
Taking on too much. Work related stress. All work no play. Over-burdened.
REVERSE MEANING: Burden is lifted. Successful delegation of work.
PAGE OF WANDS
A creative, courageous, energetic young person. Good news. Quick response. Creativity. Message from a relative or friend.
REVERSE MEANING: Unwelcome news.
KNIGHT OF WANDS
Someone who is impulsive and enjoys life, with no current wish to settle down. Sudden decisions are called for. Relocation, travel. Energy to be creative.
REVERSE MEANING: Lack of energy. Minor disputes. Feeling restricted.
QUEEN OF WANDS
A career woman with a warm personality. Well balanced work and family commitments.
REVERSE MEANING: Narrow minded and domineering.
KING OF WANDS
A natural leader. Strong and generous. Secure in work or business. Fatherly and loyal.
REVERSE MEANING: Strict and intolerant. Aggressive, inflexible.
The suit of CUPS (Love/Emotion/Empathy)
ACE OF CUPS
New love or the start of a creative project.
REVERSE MEANING: Loss of love. Self-centred attitude.
TWO OF CUPS
A harmonious partnership. Mutual love and respect.
REVERSE MEANING: End of a partnership. Separation. Distrust.
THREE OF CUPS
A joyful occasion. Celebration. Success. Beginning a new improved lifestyle.
REVERSE MEANING: Harmful excess. Addiction. Self-pity.
FOUR OF CUPS
Discontentment, boredom. Feeling you are lacking something but not sure what.
REVERSE MEANING: Something new to look forward to.
FIVE OF CUPS
Emotional turmoil. Mourning a loss. Separation. Miscarriage. Rejection. Purging.
REVERSE MEANING: Recovery from past hurt. New relationship or rekindling of lost love.
SIX OF CUPS
Nostalgia. Happy memories. Getting back in touch with an old friend or relation.
REVERSE MEANING: Clinging to the past and refusing to move on.
SEVEN OF CUPS
Inability to think clearly. Visions, dreams, fantasy, romanticism. Altered state of mind.
REVERSE MEANING: Feeling focussed and decisive. The mind fog has lifted.
EIGHT OF CUPS
Time to move on. Disenchantment with the past. Searching for a deeper meaning in life.
REVERSE MEANING: Fear of the unknown. Set in old ways and unwilling to try anything new.
NINE OF CUPS
Fulfilment of hopes and desires. A wish come true, especially as the outcome of a spread.
REVERSE MEANING: Over-indulgence. Seeking pleasure through use of drugs or alcohol.
TEN OF CUPS
Realisation of personal dreams and aspirations. Happy family life. Sound friendships.
REVERSE MEANING: Disharmony. Family conflicts causing sadness and depression.
PAGE OF CUPS
A gentle, quiet young person offering help. Creative imagination. Beginning of a new friendship.
REVERSE MEANING: Refusing to grow up. Childish behaviour. Living in a fantasy world.
KNIGHT OF CUPS
Someone who is artistic and emotional, bringing romance into your life. A new opportunity, invitation or proposal. Sensitivity. Artistic talent.
REVERSE MEANING: Trickery, fraud. Check thoroughly before accepting an unexpected offer.
QUEEN OF CUPS
A caring woman. Psychic ability, sensitivity. Reliance on intuition rather than facts. Creativity.
REVERSE MEANING: Unreliable with a tendency to exaggerate. Mental illness. Substance abuse.
KING OF CUPS
A reliable, respected man. Nurturing, caring, fatherly. Trustworthy. Offering sound advice.
REVERSE MEANING: A man who is insincere and puts on a front.
The suit of PENTACLES (Health/Wealth/Physical)
ACE OF PENTACLES
Money matters taking a turn for the better. New opportunity. Prosperity.
REVERSE MEANING: Money problems. Failed investments. Plans may not materialise.
TWO OF PENTACLES
Juggling finances or two situations and trying to maintain a balance. Need to make a decision.
REVERSE MEANING: Instability, being swept away by the tide. Unwise spending.
THREE OF PENTACLES
Good use of talents. Successful navigation. Skill, ability and talent. Plain sailing. Off to a good start.
REVERSE MEANING: Work problems. Poor performance. Lack of experience or materials.
FOUR OF PENTACLES
Strong attachment to material concerns. Well-balanced finances. Financially secure.
REVERSE MEANING: Poor money management. Squandering money. Inadequate income.
FIVE OF PENTACLES
Poverty, unemployment, loss of money. Legal settlements. Sadness. Money can’t buy happiness.
REVERSE MEANING: The end of poverty or unemployment. Improved circumstances.
SIX OF PENTACLES
Enjoying the fruits of your labour whilst being generous. Sharing wealth. Being charitable.
REVERSE MEANING: Being miserly. Bad investment. Illegal financial transactions.
SEVEN OF PENTACLES
Taking stock of finances. Waiting for return on an investment. Planning for the future. Patience.
REVERSE MEANING: Money worries, bad investment, over-spending, quitting too soon.
EIGHT OF PENTACLES
Learning new skills. Training on the job. A fulfilling hobby. A new vocation. Good use of finances.
REVERSE MEANING: Fraudulence, lack of commitment, shoddy workmanship.
NINE OF PENTACLES
Self-sufficiency. Self-control. Material comforts as a result of hard work. Content to be alone.
REVERSE MEANING: Feeling the burden of wealth and privilege. Money from illicit dealings.
TEN OF PENTACLES
Financial security, success, property. Family ties. Settling into a secure family home. Inheritance.
REVERSE MEANING: Financial loss. Family disputes. Worry about health of an elderly relative.
PAGE OF PENTACLES
A good scholar, enjoying going to school and studying. Patience, persistence, duty.
REVERSE MEANING: Rebelliousness, lack of common sense, ignorance. Lack of education.
KNIGHT OF PENTACLES
Someone who is thorough and makes slow and steady progress. Patience and perseverance.
REVERSE MEANING: Money problems. Lack of progress. Lack of commitment. Apathy.
QUEEN OF PENTACLES
A creative lady with good organisational skills. Many talents. Charitable. Good business sense.
REVERSE MEANING: A lady with a suspicious nature. Insecurity causing distrust.
KING OF PENTACLES
Financially secure with a successful career or business. Good mathematician. Kind and generous.
REVERSE MEANING: Materialistic, superficial, fraudulent. Easily led. Possibly a workaholic.