My Tarot Meanings

DRAFT – March 15, 2014

This is a list of the basic tarot meanings I tend to use. This is an interesting exercise as I’ve never tried to pin down every card before. I tend to treat them in a more fluid fashion during readings, where meanings shift like wisps of fog according to the question and surrounding cards. Still, I have an idea of the core meaning(s) that each card has for me. I expect that this list will be refined as I work on this page.

These tend to slant towards the Waite-Smith deck, with a dollop of Golden Dawn (Book T) thrown in, and some idiosyncratic stuff. For more comprehensive meanings, I recommend

Pardon the virtual construction dust, if you note errors or inconsistent formatting. I will remove the DRAFT status when I consider this list complete, or at least edited for format and appearance.

Major Arcana

0. Fool – Unexpected, foolish, beginning

1. Magician – Skill, a magical person, power to act

2. High Priestess – Knowledge, wisdom, intuition

3. Empress – Woman, creation, fertility, birth

4. Emperor – Man, authority, boss

5. Hierophant – tradition, teacher

6. Lovers – Partnership, joining, united

7. Chariot – Success, movement, vehicle

8. Strength – strength, fortitude, vitality, compassion

9. Hermit – alone, solitary, self guidance

10. Wheel – change of fortune

11. Justice – balance, legal matters, right vs wrong

12. Hanged Man – sacrifice, time out, service

13. Death – an ending; transformation may follow

14. Temperance – Balance, moderation, tempering, protection

15. Devil – base motivations, executive power, addiction

16. Tower – impact, destruction

17. Star – hope, guidance, direction, good fortune, new beginning

18. Moon – illusion, unseen, deception; sometimes regular cycles

19. Sun – Success, joy, powerful

20. Judgment – renewal, new phase, making a decision

21. World – complete, ending, the matter at hand, distant travel


Minor Arcana

Wands: fire – hot and dry – active – creative, power – south – summer – noon

Cups: water – cold and moist – passive – emotions – west – fall – evening

Sword: air – hot and moist – active – thoughts, conflict, problems – east – spring – morning

Pentacles (coins): earth – cold and dry – material things – north – winter – night

Aces: Beginnings, elemental seed, root of element

W – start of creative endeavor; sexual energy

C – start of something emotional; love, happiness, grace

S – forceful action, battle or defense

P – start of business endeavor; blockage; something material

Two: duality, partnership or conflict

W – Dominion, power over someone or something

C – friendship, partnership, relationship, love (a gentle one)

S – truce

P – juggling, balancing

Three: Foundation, creation

W – demesne, established strength, action

C – celebration, party

S – separation

P – work, expertise (especially professional)

Four: Stability

W – marriage, house or apartment, joy

C – boredom, jaded, drunk

S – rest, illness

P – keep things to self, greed, hold onto

Five: Change, imbalance

W – strife

C – Loss, sorrow, disappointment

S – Defeat, gossip

P – Material trouble, lackin g

Six: Harmony, rebalance

W – Victory

C – the past, nostalgia

S – short travel, science, moving on

P – generosity, giving, exchange

Seven: Testing

W – Defense, courage, strength

C – Confusion, too many option, addiction, delusion

S – Theft, deceptive, sneaky, hidden

P – Patience, fruits of labor, waiting

Eight: Success, accomplishment

W – Speed, progress, soon, haste, internet

C – leaving something behind

S – trapped, bound, able to escape but unwilling

P – apprentice, working hard, factory, skillful

Nine: Completion

W – Strength

C – “wish card;” content, heart’s desire,

S – nightmares, despair, cruelty, suffering

P – material gain, success, having everything one needs

Ten: Past the end of a cycle (ready for new, or too much)

W – Burden

C – Happiness, family, joy

S – Ruin, defeat, back troubles

P – Wealth, “wall street card”, lots of stuff

 (Court Cards to be added next)