Tarot 101: Unpacking the Meaning of the Minor Arcana

In a standard tarot deck, there are 78 cards. 22 of those are Major Arcana cards while 56 of those belong to the Minor Arcana.

That said, just because they are called “minor” doesn’t mean they don’t hold much meaning.

You see, while the Major Arcana cards represent long-term situations, the Minor Arcana represents more everyday events and influences. However, they are still important as they can provide insight into the individual’s current situation and the events that are likely to happen in the near future.

What is the importance of the Minor Arcana cards?

As mentioned above, they represent daily life. However, it also represents more than that.

  • These cards can reflect your current state of mind. As such, it can give you insight into your current thoughts and feelings
  • It can indicate how your immediate environment, including the people and the situations you encounter, affect your daily life
  • It can provide guidance for smaller questions in life like how to handle a difficult coworker or how to improve a relationship

The Minor Arcana cards

There are four different suits that compose the Minor Arcana: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles, and they are associated with the four elements. That said, each suit contains 14 cards, 10 of which are numbered cards while the other four are called “court cards” (Page, Knight, Queen, and King).

The Four Suits

The Wands:

The Wands is the suit of fire. They represent inspiration, creativity, and the pursuit of one’s passions. They can also indicate feelings of excitement, motivation, and ambition. That said, Wands often turn up in a reading when you are dealing with a situation that requires you to act. It can also tell you when you should hold back.

The Cups:

The Cups is the suit of water. They represent emotions, relationships, and the inner self. They can also indicate feelings of love, joy, and contentment. The Cups cards often appear in a reading when you ask about personal development, as well as love, and relationships with other people.

The Swords:

The Swords is the suit of air. They represent the mind, communication, and decision-making. They can also indicate feelings of conflict, anxiety, and stress. The Swords cards often appear in Tarot readings about communicating your ideas, making decisions, and asserting your power.

The Pentacles:

The Pentacles is the suit of earth. They represent material possessions, financial matters, and the physical world. They can also indicate feelings of security, stability, and practicality. The Pentacles cards often appear in Tarot readings about career and financial wealth.

The 14 cards 


  • It represents new beginnings, potential, and raw energy. It indicates the start of a new endeavor.


  • It represents balance, harmony, and partnerships. That said, when this card is drawn, it usually means you cannot move forward with something unless you gain balance.


  • It represents creativity, self-expression, and growth. This card also indicates the influence others have on your work, life, and emotions.


It represents stability, structure, and a sense of security. When this card if drawn, it means you need to take stock of what you have been doing and where you want to go next.


  • It represents challenges, conflicts, and difficulties. This may mean that some negative experiences are on your way that you need to overcome.


  • It represents balance, harmony, and stability. This card also represents overcoming challenges.


  • It represents uncertainty and a need to make important decisions. As such, this card teaches you to have faith in yourself and in the universe.


  • It represents abundance, achievement, and abundance. That said, when this is drawn, it would mean that you need to change something in your life to achieve what you want.


  • It represents satisfaction, fulfillment, and a sense of completion. This means that things are coming together and you are liking what you are seeing.


  • It represents completion and the end of a cycle. This card alludes to the rewards and consequences you will get based on how much work you’ve put in.


  • It represents messages and beginnings. This card tells you that a new phase is about to begin but doesn’t tell you how to do it. If this is drawn, gather all information before you take any steps


  • It represents movement. This means that you know what you are doing.


  • It represents feminine power and potential. This card advises you to seek help from someone wiser.


  • It represents power and authority. These cards tell you that you have what it takes to succeed, but you must believe in everything that you are.

What does it mean when a tarot reading is mostly composed of Minor Arcana cards?

When your reading is mostly Minor Arcana cards, it would mean that the challenges you are facing will pass and would not have a lasting influence on your life. Basically, these issues are merely passing through, giving you the opportunity to learn from them. That said, look at any Major Arcana card in your spread to see how the Minor Arcana cards affect your life in the long-term


The Minor Arcana cards may not influence our lives as great as the Major Arcana cards. However, their predictions can still be a source of insight into how we can chart a better part for ourselves.


Denisse loves reading and writing about culture, history, and politics. Outside writing articles for The Singaporean, Denisse enjoys musicals, gaming, and Harry Potter.

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