If you're just learning how to read Tarot cards, this chapter of our site should give you a great head start. Here we present our own take on the meanings of the popular Rider Waite Tarot deck. We feel this is one of the best decks to learn with (and stay with) because it has so many symbols hidden within its imagery for you to interpret. Whatever Tarot spread you choose to use, the card meanings here will help you to develop your skills as an authentic Tarot reader!
The Major Arcana
The most powerful cards of the Tarot are the Major Arcana, also known as the Trumps. These cards signify powerful spiritual and life changes and the more that appear in a Tarot reading, the more likely that there are forces at work beyond your control and that you should seek for the lessons within.
The Minor Arcana
The ancestors of the modern playing cards, the Minor Arcana represent the mundane in our lives, the daily events and situations that are represented by the ancient elements of Water, Fire, Air, and Earth.
The Suit of Cups
Symbolizing the element of Water in the Tarot, the suit of Cups represents the full range of emotions from romantic love, to sorrow, friendship, to loneliness. Look to the Cups for signs of new love, happy family, and the joy of good friends.
The Suit of Wands
The Wands represent our courage and passions as indicated by the suit's association with the element of Fire. The Wands speak of career, ambition, and drive. They let us know if we're meeting our goals and what to change in order to achieve them.
The Suit of Swords
The Swords represent the Air element and thus the mind, the intellect, communication, and strife. You'll find some of the more discouraging cards among the swords because it is our thoughts and words that typically get us into to the most trouble. But it is also our thoughts and words that can get us out, so even the worst clouds in this suit have a silver lining.
The Suit of Pentacles
Some say that money makes the world go around. This is nowhere better indicated than in the Tarot suit of Pentacles, representing not only the element of Earth, but the importance of finance, stability, solidity, conservation, and fortitude in one's life. The Pentacles speak of money, but they also tell us about our health and home, being symbols of our most physical reality.