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Understanding the Minor Arcane of Tarot Cards

Mar 18, 2008
A Tarot card deck is divided into two main groups- the Major and Minor Arcana. The Minor Arcana relates more to day to day life while the Major represents larger happenings. The Minor Arcana is further divides into four suits that have corresponding elements: Wands (fire), Cups (water), Swords (air) and Coins (earth).

The Tarot suit of Wands contains cards focusing on action, creativity and movement. Passion, adventure, risk, enthusiasm and confidence are also present. The flame of the fire represents energy flowing out. There is a masculine energy to Wands cards.

Cups Tarot cards dwell in the realms of emotion and spirituality. Internal states, relationships and emotions are supported by the energy that flows in. Water is changeable, sustainable and adaptable making it suit these cards well. There is a feminine energy to Cups cards.

Swords Tarot cards are represented by the clarity of Air. Thought, reason, intellect, truth and justice are found in these cards. Unhappiness, lack of clarity and disharmony can be represented in these cards if they are reversed or placed in a problematic position in a pattern.

Coins are represented by the concrete earth. Security, material objects and practicality are found in these Tarot cards. Interactions with nature and our own bodies are supported here, as are wealth and prosperity.

The structure of each suit is similar to regular playing cards. There are four court cards (Page, Knight, Queen, King) and ten cards that start with Ace and two then end with ten. The corresponding cards for all of the suits (for example the Ace of each one) has a similar purpose but differs in meaning.

The Aces of every suit states the theme that will be carried through the rest of the cards. The Ace of Cups, for example, represents emotion, intuition and love- aspects that all Cups cards share. The Ace card is always positive and is representative of the best parts of its suit.

The numbered cards beginning at two and ending at nine each have different suit aspects. These are more specific to their suit and are what make a Tarot reading have depth. In Wands, the 2 is personal power, the 3 leadership, the 4 excitement and the 5 competition. There is no inherent positive or negative energy associated with these cards. Their meaning relies heavily on placement in the pattern.

If the suits were set up as mathematical equations where the number cards were added (or subtracted) from the purpose of the Ace cards, the solution would be the Tens. The emotion, intimacy and love of the Ace of Cups transform into familial love, peace and joy in the Ten of Cups.

The "people" of the court cards represent their suit qualities and a rank. They stand for ways of existing in the world that can help or hurt us accordingly. The King is masculine maturity, focused on action and observation. Strength, assertiveness and practicality are his defining traits.

The Queen is feminine maturity, the other side to the King's coin in that she is focused inward, relaxed, emotional, relational and satisfied with existence. The Knight is like their teenaged son. He lacks balance and swings between extremes as he tries to find his place and relation to the world. Excessive, but sincere and eager, he has an energetic spirit. The Page is in comparison a small child, acting spontaneously and easily for pleasure. Possibilities and adventure surround him
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for magic, art, and Tantra. You can find the best marketplace for magic, art, and Tantra at these 3 sites for Tarot, art, and Tantra.
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