The Minor Arcana in the Classic Tarot: Decoding the Cards

17th October 2023

The Minor Arcana in the Classic Tarot: Decoding the Cards

Hello, my lovely spiritual seekers! Nicky Alan here, Psychic Medium, author, and tutor, with decades of experience under my belt. You may already be familiar with the Major Arcana—those iconic cards like The Fool, The Lovers, and The Death card. However, today, I want to delve deeper into the lesser-talked-about The Minor Arcana in the Classic Tarot, which is equally impactful. Yes, the unsung heroes of the Classic Tarot that provide the crucial context for your readings.

A Minor Arcana Card

What Is the Minor Arcana in the Classic Tarot?

The Classic Tarot deck is a labyrinth of spiritual insight, and the Minor Arcana makes up the majority of this world. While the Major Arcana may deal with life’s significant shifts and landmark events, the Minor Arcana in the Classic Tarot brings you the day-to-day nuances that give your readings their texture and depth. Comprising 56 cards divided into four suits—Cups, Wands, Swords, and Pentacles—each card has a treasure trove of symbolism that can guide you in myriad ways.

The Four Suits and Their Elements

Understanding the elements tied to each suit is the first step in decoding the Minor Arcana.

Cups – The Realm of Emotions

Cups represent water and deal with your emotional world. They shed light on relationships, love, and internal feelings. When a Cups card shows up in your reading, take it as a cue to look within and understand your emotional landscape.

The Three of Cups


Wands – The Fire of Inspiration

Wands are all about fire, action, and initiative. If you’re looking for that spark to kickstart a project or ignite your creativity, Wands are your guiding light.

The Five of Wands from the Minor Arcana


Swords – The Air of Intellect

Representing air, Swords are the mental powerhouses of the tarot deck. They bring your attention to communication, thoughts, and choices. A Swords card can signal that it’s time to think clearly and make decisions based on logic rather than emotion.

The Two of Swords


Pentacles – The Earthly Matters

Pentacles resonate with the element of earth and relate to material aspects such as career, home, and finances. If a Pentacles card shows up, it’s time to ground yourself and focus on practical matters.

The Eight of Pentacles from the Minor Arcana


The Numbers: A Sequential Story

Numerology is another layer of depth you can add to your readings. In the Minor Arcana, the numbers range from Ace (one) to ten, each bearing its unique symbolism.

  • Ace: The beginning or potential for the respective suit.
  • Two: Duality, partnerships, or decisions.
  • Three: Collaboration and initial achievements.
  • Four: Stability but also a warning against stagnation.
  • Five: Change, usually accompanied by challenges.
  • Six: Harmony and a sense of coming into one’s own.
  • Seven: A pivotal point that calls for insight or introspection.
  • Eight: Movement and change, but in a more structured manner.
  • Nine: Nearing completion and reaping the rewards.
  • Ten: Completion, but also a segue into a new beginning.

The Court Cards: The People in Your Life

Don’t forget the Court Cards—Page, Knight, Queen, and King—that represent personalities or archetypes that could influence your situation. Pages are typically youthful and explorative, Knights are action-oriented, Queens are nurturing and intuitive, while Kings are masterful and authoritative.

The Knight of Wands from the Minor Arcana

The King of Pentacles


Tips for Reading the Minor Arcana Classic Tarot Cards

  1. Context is Key: Always look at the surrounding cards. A Five of Swords might spell conflict, but if it’s surrounded by positive cards like the Nine of Cups and the Six of Wands, the reading might suggest overcoming obstacles to achieve success.
  2. Intuition Over Rules: The guidebook can provide standard meanings, but your intuition will often guide you towards a more personal interpretation. Trust it.
  3. Suits as Seasons: Some readers associate suits with seasons (Cups with Summer, Wands with Spring, Swords with Autumn, Pentacles with Winter). This can add an extra layer of insight into timing questions.

Understanding the Minor Arcana in the Classic Tarot is just as important as knowing the Major Arcana. It’s the daily conversations, the little decisions, and the emotional ebbs and flows represented by these cards that make up the fabric of our lives.

If you want to get a much more in-depth understanding, consider joining our online video psychic tarot course. I hope this blog has enlightened your path toward becoming an adept Tarot reader.


As always, you can find out much more about me at my website:

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post. Keep a look out for more blogs from me, coming soon!

Keeping it Real as always,

Nicky x

Nicky Alan

Psychic Medium

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