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Minor Arcana

The Minor Arcana cards typically represent one of the four elements, being Earth, Fire, Air and Water.   They each have their own individual meanings for the purpose of divination, but are usually subordinate to the Major Arcana.  They are arranged in four suits.  The suits have different names depending on whether you are using a Latin, French or Spanish deck.  The Latin (Rider-Waite) suits have been described below.

Suit of Wands (or Staves)

Ace of Wands – Symbolises beginnings, birth or the starting point of enterprises.

Two of Wands – Most often means courage or daring, or starting out on a new path.

Three of Wands – Represents creation or looking forward to something with a sense of optimism.

Four of Wands – Reflects harmony and positive feelings, or hard work with good results.

Five of Wands – Often connotes a sham fight, or taking part in another’s battles.

Six of Wands – Often reflects success or triumph

Seven of Wands – Usually means fighting for one’s position, or for something that one believes in.

Eight of Wands – Represents immediate action, or swiftly-travelling news.

Nine of Wands – Represents order, or an unassailable or morally-superior position.

Ten of Wands – Often signifies a large burden, or of spiritual or intellectual overload. The figure is depicted as working hard, but not able to see past his burden.

Page of Wands – Often signifies a new beginning, or the chance to make a success of a new venture.

Knight of Wands – Depicted as a questing knight, this card usually signifies a purpose, or an adventure.

Queen of Wands – Often symbolises directness, basic instinct, spontaneity and independence.

King of Wands – Usually indicates decisiveness, but also quiet deliberation.  The King’s throne has no top, indicating the absence of limits.

Suit of Coins (or Disks/Pentacles)

Ace of Coins – Symbolises new beginnings or great potential, typically in material matters.

Two of Coins – Can mean to balance responsibilities, but it can also symbolise excessive juggling of too many obligations.

Three of Coins – Generally indicates the mastery of a skill or trade

Four of Coins – Refers to a lover of material wealth, who hoards treasures with no intention of sharing.

Five of Coins – Often suggests a grim or dire situation, and one which the querant may not be soon clear of.

Six of Coins – Represents satisfaction, and the guarding of material wealth.  Can also mean envy if reversed.

Seven of Coins – Represents the reward of working hard as its own end, but reversed it can mean giving too much time or energy to a fruitless task.

Eight of Coins – Means hard work which will have good payoffs, but can also mean the perversion of skill if reversed.

Nine of Coins – Can mean financial independence, or excess spending when reversed.

Ten of Coins – Often associated with family wealth or affluence.

Page of Coins – Primarily means changing your line of work, or a new career.  It is usually associated with students.

Knight of Coins – Represents a young man of dark complexion, usually one who is stubborn or set in his ways.

Queen of Coins – Represents a woman of knowledge or wisdom, but can also signify the neglect of responsibilities if reversed.

King of Coins – Often symbolises a man of great earthly power, often political. Often signifies a man who can help the querant with a question in their life.

Suit of Cups

Ace of Cups – Generally implies joy or peace, originating from close family.

Two of Cups – A complex card, this card can mean the power that is created when two come together.  It can signify a strong relationship between lovers, with a hint of danger and adventure.

Three of Cups – Symbolises simple joy and frivolity, often in conjunction with birth, and especially if combined with The Empress Major Arcana card.

Four of Cups – Can symbolise introspection or quiet deliberation, but also an obsession with minor tasks.

Five of Cups – often connotes disappointment, emotional dejection or sorrow at how recent events have turned out.

Six of Cups – Stands for innocence or nostalgia, and looking back fondly on better times.

Seven of Cups – This card contains seven complex symbols, which have disputed individual meanings.  Together, however, they symbolise ungrounded, impractical over-imagination.

Eight of Cups – Usually represents a change in affections or affiliations, or a break with old links to the past.  Can also signify moving on from an ended, painful relationship.

Nine of Cups – Often represents having your wish fulfilled, or enjoying sensual pleasure.

Ten of Cups – Often reflects a fortunate marriage, or contentment with a romantic relationship.

Page of Cups – Represents a child who is dreamy and imaginative, and who loves home and family, but might have difficulties socially or at school.

Knight of Cups – Represents change and excitement, typically of a romantic nature.

Queen of Cups – Can represent a woman who is loving and pure of heart, but inverted this could warn of a deceitful lover or friend (usually a woman).

King of Cups – Often predicts an encounter with a fair-haired, emotionally-complex man who is associated with Law or the Arts.

Suit of Swords

Ace of Swords – Indicates decisive ability, or cutting through confusion to get to the root of a problem.

Two of Swords – Represents a woman in control, even though she may not know the outcome of current events.  She holds powerful weapons, but not in an aggressive way.

Three of Swords – Represents powerful sorrow of the mind, which must be felt in full in order to allow for closure.

Four of Swords – May represent peaceful withdrawal, or quiet introspection in order to come to peace with recent events.

Five of Swords – Often suggests impending victory, preparedness and confidence before a battle.

Six of Swords – This card can mean gradual change, or slow but persistent progress in moving away or past an obstacle.

Seven of Swords – Often implies hasty action or decisions, and can also mean hidden dishonour.

Eight of Swords – Usually summed up as “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”, this card represents a difficult situation, and one from which you are prevented from escaping both by external obstacles and your own fears.

Nine of Swords – Can mean doubts and pain, but the connotation of just having woken up implies that these may be imagined.

Ten of Swords – Represents absolute destruction, or being pinned down and unable to move by your worries or responsibilities. When reversed it can be a warning to not be troubled in a seemingly-impossible situation.

Page of Swords – Symbolises a person possessed of a decisive nature, who doesn’t hesitate or fret over important decisions.

Knight of Swords – Often symbolises a young man who fights bravely, but foolishly or without giving proper thought to his actions.

Queen of Swords – Depicts a woman of intellect, who is familiar with pain and sorrow but understands their necessity in life.

King of Swords – Usually represents a man who is strong-hearted, intellectual and decisive.