Home Discussion Forum What are the meanings of the Minor Arcana of Tarot?

What are the meanings of the Minor Arcana of Tarot?

I have been studying Tarot for a while now, however, I can’t seem to graps a solid meaning of the Minor Arcana in both Non-reversed or reversed state. I’ve looked at various resources, but they all seem to clash and negate each others meanings. I do know that the minor is not as powerful as the major, if I used the right word. But I would like to know all the meaning of the cards.
Can anyone help me please 🙂
Thank you for all the advice everyone! It always seems to unclear when I try to read a spread, it always gets foggy when the minors come. I may need to, like you said, meditate on them.
Thing is (lol), I have done that, I’ve been doing for a bit now (I won’t say a while becuase it hasnt been a while), and the only one’s I have been able to are the Four of Cups, Seven of Swords, Eight of Wands, Ace of Pentacles, and the Nine of Cups. I probably need to just get more practice and meditate more on them and it will come to me. I was mainly wondering does it depend on the deck? Do different decks aspire different meanings of the cards? (if these is an ignorant question, please feel free to tell me so!)


  1. Certainly.
    Minor arcana have modern meanings largely defined by the Golden Dawn. In addition, the Rider Waite deck gives images for the meanings that are fairly accurate.
    The problem you are having is that you want a black and white answer. There is none. The images are intended to stimulate your creative and intuitive understanding of the card. Try any book by Gray on the subject, he has a good solid set of meanings. Or, take the course from BOTA. They are good at training in the cards. Mail order courses, but I hear they are excellent.

  2. The Minor arcana are the small secrets. They help define the answers given by the major arcana. Honestly your best bet if you can is to learn from someone who’s got some experience under their belt to help further your learning.
    This was also a good help to a friend of mine
    Tarot Bible: The Definitive Guide to the Cards and Spreads by Sarah Bartlett.

  3. Everyone has a different interpretation of the Minors. Your best bet is to look at one or two resources and then look at each card yourself. Decide what meaning you think each card has, and then use those meanings in your readings.

  4. The Minor Arcana basically flesh out the readings and provide more detail. Each card has its own specific meaning.
    You might want to research the Kabbalistic roots of Tarot, that really helped me.
    The site below is excellent for research.
    My advice is to meditate on each card and keep a journal of what it means to you. Then, study the traditional meanings. It will take time, but be well worth it.
    The Minor Arcana are grouped into number categories that correspond with elements and seasons.
    Most importantly, when you meditate on the Tarot, the meanings will reveal themselves to you. You should try to get a grasp on what the cards mean to you before studying the traditional interpretation.
    I also was taught that inverse simply meant “from within” instead of opposite, and find this works best for me.

  5. As with all of the cards it depends on which kind of spread you are using,and the position of the card. You might want to check out facade.com there are some sample spreads on there. For example the two of cups can mean different things depending on where it is placed. If it stands alone as just reading the card itself, it means the beginning of new love or renewed love between a couple. With the Celtic cross spread if the 2 of cups falls at the bottom it will not have the same meaning as if it had have fell middle right as in outcome. If that same card fell across the significator it means something else entirely, yet it always signifies feelings. .Until you start to feel second nature in reading the cards I would suggest that you only read them as non reversed. Lastly, think this way: Major Arcana is the red flag in the matter. Minor Arcana is the explanation for the red flag.

  6. There are four decks in the minor Arcana cards. These are the four cardinal directions, east, south, west and north. East signifies your energy and where it is directed., south your emotion, west your physical self, and north your higher thought processes.
    I can’t remember which suits belong with each direction anymore it has been a long time since I’ve needed tarot cards. But there is bound to be a web site that links all that together somewhere. It is a good way to open your senses up to the messeges we are being given all around us.
    Practicing Shaman… quantum physics rocks.

  7. All the minor Arcana have a “twin” in the major Arcana – cards that have basically the same meaning. The Minor arcana deal with the mundane and the Major deal with the spiritual. The impact of the Minor arcanas is not as powerful as the major. For example, the Lovers (major) and the 2 of cups (minor) both can mean the beginning of a relationship, but the Lovers usually indicate a soul mate, whereas the 2 of cups indicates a boy/girlfriend. this is just an example as the cards have different meaning depending on their position in the spread.
    This is a good website to help you learn:
    good luck
    Edit: I use the Morgan-Greer Deck. What I like about it is the pictures are very well drawn and tell the story of the card which makes it easy to understand it’s meaning. I recommend it.

  8. There are some people who only use the major cards for readings, since they make more distinctive and striking visuals. In fact, older decks often didn’t portray full-scenes on the minor cards, and would instead show a series of repeating images more akin to what you see nowadays on playing cards. (It’s of note as well, that tarots earliest use was for gaming, not fortune telling.)
    There’s disagreement whether each deck should be considered as having its own “personality” and thus carry its own interpretation for its cards, but it’s a popular idea, in any case. I think it also depends which of the various explanations for how the cards work you believe, as that effects reading method — it sounds like you subscribe to the school of ‘the images awaken psychic abilities’ in which case there is indeed a lot more reason to suggest you should assign your own meanings as your own mindset deems fitting. (Other methods, like the ‘cards as a language from God’ theory put more emphasis on a firm meaning for each card.)

  9. I’m assuming you know the overall meanings of the 4 suits. There isn’t really a definitive meaning to the individual cards. I like my Universal Waite deck because the pictures allow my mind to focus on a specific scene. If I concentrate on the question I’m asking and try to relate the picture to it, I usually get a very vague connection. But if you put a series of vague connections together, things become more detailed. If you are just learning, the best thing to do is to establish what each card means to you personally. You have to commit the meanings to your subconscious, because that’s what the tarot is guided by.

  10. Hello Palin
    It can simply take time. All sources you travel to will differ, so in time you have to create your own way with the tarot.
    Keep going, write a tarot journal, practice & practice & you will find a comfy place with them.
    Join us * See profile


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