Home Discussion Forum what is your interpretation of the different tarot suits?

what is your interpretation of the different tarot suits?

for example, if i did a celtic cross reading on myself with a lot of swords coming up, what would that mean, beyond the literal interpretation of each card? if that makes any sense…
also, what do the other suits signify?


  1. It depends who you ask. Some will read the book that comes with the set, while others will interpret the visual on the card and apply it to the reading topic at hand. The suit alone does not dictate what the card means, but the individual cards themselves do.

  2. Wands (Fire): creativity, passion, action, spirituality, work and social
    Swords (Air): intellectual matters, trouble and strife, thoughts and communications
    Cups (Water): emotions and relationships
    Pentacles (Earth): health, wealth and security (physical stuff)
    In some decks, Wands and Swords are interpreted the other way around.
    Recommended websites for learners:
    http://www.learntarot.com (Joan Bunning’s free online course)

  3. Pentacles: Health, Money, Home, Physical, Grounded. The season of Fall. The color green (growth). The Earth astrological signs of Taurus, Capricorn, and Virgo.
    Cups: Love, emotion, empathy, heart. The color red (strong emotional feelings). The season of Summer. The Water astrological signs of Pisces, Scorpio, and Cancer.
    Wands: Creativity, Action, Passion, Spirit. The color yellow (energy). The season of Spring. The Fire Astrological signs of Sagittarius, Leo, and Aries.
    Swords: The mind, thought, challenge, observation. The color blue (truth, justice, being loyal to yourself). The season of winter. The Air Astrological signs of Libra, Aquarius, and Gemini.
    Generally when I draw a lot of swords, I think of it as something that needs to be cut out of my life. There’s a definite problem. One thing that helped me with my interpretation was laying out all of the cards for each suite and you kind of get a story. For example, in the 10 of swords there is a figure with 10 swords, but on the horizon you can see calm waters and blue skies lifting away the dark. I don’t look at the figure as an actual person, but as something in the querent’s life that has to “die.” The 10th card which resolves the suite of swords is the only one that even hints at anything getting better and that’s after something corrupt has been cut out of the querent’s life. This is just how I see it.

  4. The Suit of Swords is representative of the element of Air. Swords are associated with action, change, force, power, oppression, ambition, courage and conflict. Action can be both constructive and/or destructive, sometimes resulting in violence. This suit can also mean hatred, battle, and enemies, and of all the suits, this one is considered to be the most powerful and dangerous.
    The Suit of Swords deals with the mental level of consciousness that is centred around the mind and the intellect. Swords mirror the quality of mind present in your thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs. Swords themselves are double-edged and in this way the Suit of Swords symbolises the fine balance between intellect and power and how these two elements can be used for good or evil. As such, the Swords must be balanced by spirit (Wands) and feeling (Cups).
    The negative aspects of the Suit of Swords (i.e. when the Swords cards appear reversed) include anger, guilt, harsh judgement, a lack of compassion and verbal and mental abuse.
    Swords represent the Air signs of Aquarius, Libra and Gemini. Swords people (as typically seen in the Court Cards) are intelligent, thoughtful, rational, logical and excellent communicators. They are rational beings and like to experience the world by understanding and analysing what is occurring around them. On the flipside, Swords people can be ruthless, domineering, confrontational and rigid.
    When referring to timing in a Tarot reading, the Suit of Swords traditionally represents Winter or Spring, or months. In a deck of playing cards, Swords corresponds to Spades.
    Should a Tarot reading be predominantly Swords cards, then you can be sure that the client is seeking solutions to what are primarily mental struggles, conflict and arguments, and decisions which must be made. Also, there could be many arguments or even violence at present. While Swords can carry with them many negative or very strong, forceful messages, Swords serve also as a warning to be more cautious of what is occurring around you.
    My blog provides more details about the other three suits – http://biddytarot.wordpress.com/category/learning-the-tarot-tarot-basics/minor-arcana-learning-the-tarot-tarot-basics/

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