Have you ever used a tarot deck? Tarot cards have been around since the 15th century and provide insightful meaning about how your life is going. Tarot readings can be done as a stand-alone reading or as part of a reading that also includes astrology, numerology, and other metaphysical arts. So let’s take a look at all 78 of the tarot card meanings to gain a deeper understanding.
Tarot readings are like a signpost to show you the way. They will tell you what you already know on some level, and help you find your own answers to the questions that matter most.
In this Tarot Card Meanings Guide, we will discuss what each card in the deck means and give you tips on how to read your tarot card spread.
Tarot Card Meanings: Get to Know Your Tarot Deck
Tarot can be a wonderfully rewarding experience that offers you clarity, helps you make important decisions, and gives you some insight on where your life is headed to next.
Tarot cards have long been a way to predict the future, understand a person’s personality, and so much more.
One of the most fascinating aspects of tarot cards is their ability to offer a glimpse into the future. It is up to the reader how they interpret these card meanings and what predictions they make from them. The tarot allows readers to predict events that might happen in the future or even help them understand what events have happened in their past.
These cards can be used for just about anything you can think of. They are often used in divination practices like predicting love matches or upcoming career success, but there are also some who use them for therapy or even more specific predictions like predicting pregnancy status.
There are lots of misconceptions about tarot cards, so take your information from reliable sources.
As fascinating as Tarot is, it can also be overwhelming, with a total of 78 cards in a classic tarot deck.
But don’t worry – the more you use them, the easier it will be to read the cards. You first need to learn the basics of what each card represents, this includes the 22 Major Arcana cards and also the 56 Minor Arcana cards.
Here is a short explanation of each of the 78 tarot cards so you can begin to get more familiar with them.
We will add full in depth descriptions for each of the cards, and link them all here in this tarot guide so please bookmark this page if you want to come back for the entire resource.
Part 1: Major Arcana of the Tarot Deck
The classic tarot deck is split up into major arcana cards and minor arcana cards. The major arcana are often seen as the best ones to get and are extremely powerful. They include the most famous cards like The Fool, The Star, The Magician, and The Tower.
There are 22 cards in total, each with a variety of different interpretations.
The first card in the major arcana, which is actually number 0, is The Fool. The fool card is not a bad card, so don’t worry!
The Fool tarot card actually represents the start of something new. The fool has more of a childlike demeanor, where he or she takes risks and heads off on an adventure. The fool can also represent someone with more innocence.
If you get the fool in reverse, it could indicate being a little too reckless or not thinking through something sufficiently.
The official number 1 major arcana card is The Magician. This is THE card for manifesting. If you pull this card, then it indicates that you or the person you are reading for is likely working on their manifestations or dream life. It can also be about desires or creating something.
If the magician is in the reverse, it could represents illusions, as opposed to manifesting something that is desired.
The High Priestess
The High Priestess tarot card is a card of feminine energy, nature, spirituality, and intuition. By this we mean divine feminine energy, not the gender. Everyone has both a feminine and masculine energy.
If you get this in the reverse, it is the opposite of intuition, where someone feels repressed or like they can’t speak up about something.
Another of the divine feminine tarot cards is The Empress. There are a few different interpretations for this card, but it commonly refers to fertility (of all types), sex, motherhood and nature. This card is often closely connected to the high priestess.
In the reverse, the meaning can be related to feeling empty, alone, or being smothered.
This one is a divine masculine card. This tarot card is considered a divine counterpart for the empress. This is someone who represents a lot of stability, hard work, leadership, and someone who follows the rules. In terms of a love reading, the emperor tells you to be practical and logical as you approach a new partner.
In reverse, the emperor card might indicate being too rigid or cold.
This major arcana card brings forth feelings of morality and being ethical. It can be related to traditions, having good intuition, and mastering a certain area of your life.
In reverse, the hierophant might be about being more of a rebel and not following logical steps.
The important thing to remember about the lovers card is that while it can mean a union, depending on other cards it appears with in the spread, it might also be a reminder to consider any challenges in a potential new relationship. This card is about being honest and realistic, and making sure communication remains open between two people.
In the reverse, the lovers card might unfortunately mean there isn’t much harmony in a particular union.
If you get the chariot card, it could be a sign of needing more control or gaining willpower in a situation. It is a reminder that you can achieve anything you want as long as you work hard toward action.
In the reverse, chariot can mean the opposite, where you are lacking a plan or direction.
The strength card is about your inner passions and strength, and focusing on your own inner balance. Many strength cards show someone with a lion or a similar image on the card, showing that you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
In the reverse, the strength card might mean feeling weak or insecure.
If you get the hermit card, it could be a sign of needing to look inside for the answers. It is not just about spending time alone, though that can be part of it. It is about self-reflection and contemplation.
In reverse, the hermit card might mean the negative side of this, such as feeling lonely or isolated.
Wheel of Fortune
The wheel of fortune card is tarot is one of the most positive cards that you can pull. It often signifies a positive change coming up and good fortune.It can also be a sign of a cycle coming to an end soon.
If you get this in reverse, consider a loss of control you might have or a string of bad luck.
The meaning of the justice card is exactly how it sounds; seeking justice and karma. You might get this card if you are looking for fairness in a situation or seeking to achieve karmic balance. It can also reveal something truthful that has been hidden from you.
In the reverse, the justice card may be warning you of someone being dishonest towards you or another form of unfairness.
The Hanged Man
With the hanged man, you are looking at a situation that needs a little more patience. It is not a bad card, but it is one that reminds you sometimes you need to sit things out, take a look around, and wait until the time is right. In some situations, it also represents a release of some kind or a sacrifice.
If you get the hanged man in reverse, it might mean really needing to sacrifice something you aren’t happy about losing.
Don’t panic or freak out if you get the death card – it’s actually a good thing! Death in tarot is simply the end of a cycle. It could be a season of life coming to an end and a new season beginning.
In love readings, this card might be the end of one relationship and the start of another, or the ending of being single and finding love.
In reverse, the death card could represent holding on to something when it needs to be let go.
With the temperance card, you are being told to take it easy. It might come up during a stressful situation, or when you are moving too fast and not practicing enough patience.
In the reverse, temperance could be about doing something in excess.
There are no bad tarot cards, not even the devil card. Instead, this card is about gentle warnings of being in a relationship that might not be the best for you, or possibly about your own shadow self. It could also be about someone with an addiction who needs to be careful.
In the reverse, it is often about more freedom and gaining control.
People are often afraid to get the tower card because it can represent some type of big change or danger, but in many cases, it is a good change. It could be a sudden ending you didn’t see coming, but one that brings about something much better for you.
If you get the tower in reverse, you might see an end of suffering.
The star card is tarot is about getting inspiration, finding your purpose in life, and leaning on your faith or spiritual awakening.
If you get the star card in reverse, you might feel insecure and discouraged about something.
The moon is a beautiful tarot card full of wonder, but also one that contains mysteries and reveals hidden truths. There could be someone with an illusion who is hiding their true selves, or a situation that requires being a little more intuitive and looking for the signs.
In reverse, the moon card is often interpreted as some type of confusion or fear.
The sun is by far one of the best cards in the tarot deck! This is all about luck, fortune, and happiness. If you get the sun card during a love reading, it is very likely that you are going to find the person who makes your soul fill with joy.
It is one of only two tarot cards that has no reverse meaning. No matter what way it shows up, the sun card is a great card.
The judgment card reminds you that there are some decisions that need to be made. You might be headed toward something new after a resurrection in your life, or perhaps being more self-reflective.
The reverse can be feeling a lot of doubt or like you need clarity.
And lastly, there is the world card. Most people also see this as a card with no reversal meanings, though some do read the reversal as something being incomplete.
With the world card, a cycle has ended and something new is on the horizon. This is a very good and happy card full of balance and fulfillment. It could be a manifestation that is finally coming true.
Check out our free printable tarot coloring pages featuring all 22 cards of the major arcana
Part 2: Minor Arcana of the Tarot Deck
The next set of tarot cards to get to know are the minor arcana. These are the remaining 56 cards and include four different suits, just like what you would find in playing cards. But rather than being hearts, clubs, spades and diamonds, The suits of the Tarot deck include cups, wands, pentacles, and swords.
Each suit mean something different overall, but in addition to that, each card within these suits also has its own interpretation so the meaning is layered.
Just like with the major arcana, these tarot cards can also be read differently if they show up in reverse.
The cups suit is all about your feelings and emotions, as well as giving a lot of insight into connections. Just like in Astrology, you will know that the water signs of the zodiac (pisces, scorpio, cancer) are the most emotional of all the signs. So this might be an easy way to interpret cup cards – think of cups as if you are filling up a cup with water.
Ace of Cups
With the ace of cups, you might have new feelings about something or have been using your intuition a lot more recently. However, in the reverse, this tarot card could refer to some type of emotional blockage or indicate that you are feeling empty inside.
Two of Cups
Think of the two of cups as two people coming together in union. It can be the start of a new relationship or a partnership. Remember this doesn’t have to be a romantic union. In the reverse, the two of cups might be about a broken relationship or partnership or some type of imbalance in your life.
Three of Cups
The three of cups is also about union, but more about community and friendship. It is often seen as three friends on the card, depicted in a happy and joyous scene. With the reverse, consider if gossip or isolation has been in your life recently.
Four of Cups
The four of cups is often associated with contemplating something, but often with a feeling of apathy. You might feel a little disconnected from a situation or person in your life. The reverse is about being more aware and having clarity.
Five of Cups
The five of cups tarot card is another slightly negative card, perhaps reminding you not to feel sorry for yourself or to focus on your grief. The reverse could mean more peace is coming in your life.
Six of Cups
The six of cups is a positive, happy cards. You might be heading to healing some wounds in your life, being more grateful for your family, and just staying in the same position with a new appreciation for it. The reverse is often about moving on or moving forward.
Seven of Cups
The seven of cups typically shows up when you have been trying to manifest or figure out what to do next. Maybe you are daydreaming or looking for your purpose in life. In the reverse, seven of cups might show some confusion about your next steps.
Eight of Cups
With the eight of cups, you are looking to walk away from a situation. It is not really avoiding someone, but just needing to leave someone behind. However if you get this in the reverse, it could be that you are avoiding making a move or fearing this change.
Nine of Cups
If you get the nine of cups, you might have a wish being granted soon, or are looking for the finer things in life. In the reverse, it could mean bragging or being a little smug about the things you have in your life.
Ten of Cups
Everyone wants the ten of cups! This is the ultimate wish fulfillment. Your dreams are coming true, and you are finding your manifestations happening in your life. But if you get it in the reverse, it might mean the opposite, where some of your dreams are shifting or are gone altogether.
Page of Cups
The page of cups is a card of emotional maturity, having a happy surprise occur in your life, and being a dreamer. If you get it in the reverse, you might be dealing with some type of disappointment.
Knight of Cups
The knight of cups is a very romantic card. It is great news if this shows up in your reading and you are looking for romance. It can also mean following your heart or being creative in other areas of your life. If you get it reversed, you might be dealing with a poor mood.
Queen of Cups
With the queen of cups, you are in a calm and comfortable environment. You likely feel very stable in yourself, secure, and compassionate. But if you get this in the reverse, be aware of co-dependency in others or feeling low self-esteem.
King of Cups
The kind of cups is a divine masculine energy, where you feel very controlled and balanced. You give out good advice to those who come to you and are often stable in your life. In the reverse, it could mean an energy of being irritable, unhelpful to others, and unstable.
Next is the wands suit, which are nearly opposite of water. These represent fire, so they can be a lot about taking action to make decisions, and are frequently infused with feelings of high energy and passion.
Ace of Wands
When you get the ace of wands, it represents someone who is very passionate, bold, and creative. This is something they are born with, not that they learn. The reverse is someone with lack of creativity or passion.
Two of Wands
In tarot, the two of wands card is typically about making decisions and plans for what you want in the future. The reverse is often having a fear of the unknown and not taking action because of that fear.
Three of Wands
If you get the three of wands, the person you are reading for is likely planning for the future. It can mean growth or simply looking ahead at what comes next. The reversal might be having some kind of delays or challenges with these plans.
Four of Wands
With the four of wands, it is all about celebration and happiness. There is a lot of gratitude and community with this card. In the reverse, it speaks of loneliness or conflicts with other people.
Five of Wands
The five of wands typically is about some type of conflict or competition with a group of people. On the tarot card, you see five people who are holding their wands in the air, speaking of perhaps some rivalry. Though in reverse, it can b read as avoiding challenges.
Six of Wands
The six of wands is a card about pride, accomplishments, victory, and success. It can often be about getting acknowledgement for your accomplishments. In the reverse, six of wands might be about lack of recognition.
Seven of Wands
If you pull the seven of wands, you are standing your ground and are in control. You might be a little defensive, but are doing so in order to stay where you are and be more assertive. The reverse could represent someone giving up or not being confident.
Eight of Wands
With the eight of wands, it is about keeping up momentum and continuing to move forward, perhaps at a faster pace than what you are used to. You often make rapid decisions and get going quickly. If you get it in reverse, you are waiting for too long or slowing down.
Nine of Wands
The nine of wands talks about resilience and grit. It is for a person or situation where there are challenges, but the person stays firm with their actions and holds onto hope. In reverse, there is a lot of fatigue and overwhelm.
Ten of Wands
With the ten of wands, you are accomplishing great things, but you might also be burdened by doing too much. It reminds you to take a step back and analyze how things are going in your life. The reverse is being even more stressed about a situation.
Page of Wands
The page of wands is all about excitement and freedom. This is a person who acts quickly and is adventurous in love and life. In the reverse, they might get bored easily, have no direction, or be in the middle of conflict.
Knight of Wands
With the knight of wands, it is representing something very straightforward, but could also be someone who is fearless in their approach. In the reverse, the knight of wands is too impulsive.
Queen of Wands
The queen of wands is very determined and courageous. This energy is that of someone who knows their life purpose and goes after it without hesitation. The reverse is an energy of pettiness and jealousy.
King of Wands
The king of wands in tarot is a leader and someone who uses creativity and passion to make smart choices in life. The reverse is often impulsive and sometimes overbearing.
The pentacle suit of cards is closely connected to the earth, so not only are they more practical, but also very closely associated with money, manifestations, and wealth.
Ace of Pentacles
The ace of pentacles is a very prosperous card, particularly when it comes to new businesses or opportunities. For many people, this is their “entrepreneur” tarot card. In the reverse, it could be a bad investment or an opportunity you let slip through your fingers.
Two of Pentacles
The two of pentacles card is interpreted as adapting to change and putting things into perspective. You become more organized and start finding balance. If it lands in the reverse, it might mean a loss of that balance.
Three of Pentacles
With a three of pentacles, the energy is that of collaborating with other people. It could be romantic, but mostly is about teamwork. The reverse of this card is a lack of organization and conflict between partners or in a group.
Four of Pentacles
If you get the four of pentacles, consider an energy of financial security through the means of saving, setting a budget, or being frugal. The reversal is either being greedy, or spending without thinking it through.
Five of Pentacles
With the five of pentacles, it goes even further into poverty and more of a need or being insecure in finances and in life. However, the reversal can be more positive, looking at an improvement in finances.
Six of Pentacles
The six of pentacles tarot card offers up an energy of sharing and being more generous. You might be donating to a cause or the energy is that of sharing the wealth. The reverse is being stingy and possibly offering only with expectations of getting something back.
Seven of Pentacles
As we move through the pentacles suit, we get to the seven of pentacles, where it is about hard work and persevering. This is someone who knows what they need to do and doesn’t give up. The reversal can be someone who is lazy or simply gets distracted.
Eight of Pentacles
This tarot card is about raising your standards when it comes to wealth and your passions in life. If it lands in the reverse, you might be feeling uninspired or lacking motivation to work on your goals.
Nine of Pentacles
With the nine of pentacles, you are being rewarded for all your hard work, but the reversal might mean spending your rewards too quickly or living beyond your means.
Ten of Pentacles
Finally, there is the ten of pentacles. This card helps set you up for the future. It is the most prosperous of all pentacles card where you get surprise money or find wealth and fame. With the reversal, you have a lack of stability.
Page of Pentacles
With the page of pentacles, there are feelings of desire and ambition. This is someone similar to a Virgo or Capricorn who go after what they want in a very efficient way. But in the reverse, this is someone who doesn’t work hard and lacks commitment.
Knight of Pentacles
The knight of pentacles is a card to represent hard work and doing what needs to be done. You are not lazy or inefficient, unless this card shows up in the reverse.
Queen of Pentacles
The queen of pentacles is an energy of comfort, security in finances, and being vry stable. This is a practical energy and someone who thinks with their head. The reverse is someone who tends to get jealous easily and might smother those they love.
King of Pentacles
The king of pentacles is a wonderful card for abundance. It is excellent to get if you are trying to manifest something or looking for more stability and security. If it lands in the reverse, it could be about over-indulgence and greed.
Lastly, there are the suit of swords, which are the air cards. Think of swinging a sword in the air, and it can help you remember this association. With sword cards, they are typically more about intelligence, thoughts, and making important decisions. These can also be closely related to manifesting.
Ace of Swords
The ace of swords is a card of breaking through and finding clarity. This is someone who is seeing much more clearly. In reverse, there might be some chaotic energy and a lot of confusion.
Two of Swords
With the two of swords, the energy is about indecision and hitting a block. This energy has difficulty making a choice, either from lack of clarity or fear. The reversal of the two of swords is feeling like there is no good choice.
Three of Swords
In tarot, the three of swords card is one of grief, sadness, or heartbreak. For a love reading, it could mean a couple that is breaking up. In a life reading, there might be another situation causing emotional turmoil for this person. The reversal is one of acceptance and forgiveness.
Four of Swords
The four of swords is about contemplating and getting rest. You might come from a period of working hard and trying to take action, but now you are being asked to step back and reassess. If it is in the reverse, you are facing burnout or under a lot of stress.
Five of Swords
The five of swords card is an energy of being sneaky and cheating, lying, or stealing to get a win. The reversal can either be forgiveness or trying to reconcile.
Six of Swords
Six of swords is a card of transition and moving on. It is frequently associated with moving on from a person or relationship, but can be anything in life that feels like a new start. The reversal is about resisting this change or having emotional baggage.
Seven of Swords
With the seven of swords, there is a lot of deception and hidden agendas. The person you are dealing with is likely hiding something, especially if this comes up with the Moon card. The reversal is often someone who no longer wants to deceives and is going to be honest.
Eight of Swords
Eight of swords is a very self-imprisonment energy. You feel trapped, stuck, or suffocated. It is often self-inflicted however. The reverse of this card is being more accepting of your situation and finding a new way to look at things.
Nine of Swords
The nine of swords card has a lot of anxiety and feelings of abandonment or trauma. But if it shows up in the reverse, this person is looking for help.
Ten of Swords
Ten of swords in tarot is one of a feeling of failure and defeat. It might be in a relationship, work, or personal situation. The reversal is seeing it from a new perspective where the only way to go from here is up.
Page of Swords
In tarot, the page of swords card is one that reveals being a little restless, curious, and looking for more insight. In the reverse, it could mean someone who is being manipulative or not following up their words with actions.
Knight of Swords
With the knight of swords, you are looking at an energy of being impulsive and acting swiftly to defend what you believe in. The reverse is an energy of no direction and not taking responsibility.
Queen of Swords
The queen of swords is a very complex person who is highly intuitive and has a clear mind, but in the reverse, she is bitter and sometimes resentful.
King of Swords
The king of swords is a tarot card about truth and discipline. This is someone who makes decisions based on their mind, not their heart. In the reverse, the king of swords might be weak or even cruel.
Choosing Your Tarot Deck
Tarot decks come in many different shapes and sizes, with many different Tarot decks available on the market – But how do you choose which deck is best for you?
It’s important to find the deck that resonates with you and feels most aligned with your life.
Take a look at the imagery of a few different decks and see which one appeals to you. Is there a deck which you intuitively feel more of a connection with?
The most popular deck recommended for beginners is the Ryder Waite deck because the imagery is clear and it is considered easier to read.
However there are also some beautiful new tarot decks emerging these days, so it’s not a must to stick with the old favourites.
Interested in the meaning of Angel numbers too? Check out this guide to the meaning of Angel Number 444, and browse around for the other numbers you have been seeing.
If you are interested in astrology then check out our guide to the best forms of self care based on your rising sign.
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Anna is a Wales-based writer and graduate from SOAS University of London.
As the voice behind On Your Journey, she empowers women to embrace holistic well-being and spiritual growth through her expert insights into wellness and symbolism.
When she isn't writing thought-provoking articles, you'll find her busy crafting and raising her 4 children.