Over on social media, we’ve been covering some of the basic concepts that make up the art of tarot. This is a long process, as tarot can be very complicated if one chooses to make it so. As such, we’ve been slowly breaking it down one step at a time. Here, we’ve gathered all of the core concepts covered so far so you can review at you require. We hope this is useful for you all!
The Major Arcana
There are 22 major arcana cards in a traditional tarot deck. These card cover archetypal themes and major influences on what is going on in your life. When a major arcana card shows up in a reading, it typically sets the tone for the rest of the reading. A reading dominated by major arcana cards means there are some major life lessons or forces in play.
Some people talk about the major arcana as depicting The Fool’s Journey. This interpretation has the Fool going through each major arcana card in turn, learning about themself and the world around them till they are reborn as a wiser individual.
The Minor Arcana
Consisting of 56 cards, the minor arcana fill out a tarot deck with a variety of situations and details. While the major arcana cover large events, the minor arcana tend to cover the fallout or everyday impacts of these events.
The minor arcana is divided into four suits. While these vary from deck to deck, they are based on the same concepts and elements. The most common four suits are Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles.
The cards of each suit number 1 through 10, followed by the Court Cards. Usually the Court Cards are labeled Page, Knight, Queen, and King, though some variation does occur.
The Suit of Cups
Cups are the suit of emotions. These cards often have to do with our feelings and interpersonal relationships. Cups are associated with the element of water and western energies. Some tarot decks refer to this suit as chalices, cauldrons, or vials, among other names.
The Suit of Swords
Swords are the suit of logic. These cards often have to do with communications, logical decisions, or thoughts. Swords are associated with the element of air and eastern energies. Some tarot decks refer to this suit as daggers, knives, or needles, among other names.
The Suit of Pentacles
Pentacles are the suit of practicality. These cards often have to do with material wealth, pragmatism, or staying grounded. Pentacles are associated with the element of earth and northern energies. Some tarot decks refer to this suit as disks, stones, or coins, among other names.
The Suit of Wands
Wands are the suit of passions. These cards often have to do with enthusiasm, motivation, and goals. Wands are associated with the element of fire and southern energies. Some tarot decks refer to this suit as candles, staves, or sticks, among other names.