The Minor Arcana

The full 78 deck of the Tarot Cards, is divided into two main groups, The Minor Arcana and The Major Arcana of which the former is the larger group.

The group consists of four suits of 14 cards, or 56 cards in total. The suits consist of Swords, Pentacles, Wands and Cups.

These cards are further divided into basic cards numbered from 2 to 10 and court cards of four, being the King, Queen, Knight and Page, with the Ace being the first in each suit.

The Minor Arcana 56 cards are common to the regular deck of 52 cards, with the exception of the Page. This card is not used in the regular deck as it merged with the Knight early on. Some South-European countries even use the 56 deck cards instead of the better known 52 cards deck.

The Minor Arcana As A Divination Tool

The cards of the Minor Arcana are often used by them self for divination purposes, with out using them along with the other 22 cards. We should not forget that many use the regular deck of 52 cards for divination purposes.

The 56 cards can be divided into two main groups for divination purposes, the court cards representing individuals or characters, while the basic cards representing situations or events.

This is why the Significator is usually picked from the court cards, by looking at the outside characteristics or preferably by looking at the Questioners astrological signs.

The Four Suits

The four suits are named respectively Swords, Pentacles or Coins, Wands, Staffs or Sticks and Cups. The names of the Pentacles and Wands vary, but I prefer to use the names Pentacles and Wands on this site.

These names are related to the deck of 52 cards as follows; Pentacles are Diamonds, Wands are Clubs, Cups are Hearts and Swords become Spades through the Spanish word Espada

Each of the four suits have basic characteristics that are related to the four elements, astrological signs, daily aspects and a letter of the Divine Name, Yahweh.

The following table shows the relationship between the characteristics and the four suits;

Name of Suit Element Astrological Signs Daily Aspect Divine Letter
Wands Fire Leo, Aries, Sagittarius Career Yod
Cups Water Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio Emotions Heh
Swords Air Gemini, Libra, Aquarius Mental Vau
Pentacles Earth Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo Money and Material Heh

Court Cards

The court cards are four in each suit, not three as in the regular deck of 52 cards. These are the King, Queen, Knight and Page or Princess.

These cards are used as Significators to represent the Questioner in the spreads. These cards represent individuals mainly according to the astrological sign of the Questioner, sex and age.

Kings represent mature men of 25 or older, while Queens represent women of the same age. Knights and Pages or Princesses cover the younger persons, from around 13 to 25 with the exception of the Page who also represents young children of both sexes.

In addition the court cards are thought to represent the elements. The King representing Air, Queens representing Water, Knights representing Fire while Pages represent Earth.

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