Understanding the Minor Arcana

minor arcana

Out of 78 cards in a Tarot deck, 56 belong to the Minor Arcana, and they are very similar to the cards used in a regular deck for playing poker or other card games. The Minor Arcana is comprised of high cards such as Ace, King, Queen, Knight, and Page, and then ten non-royal cards, with all of those divided into four suits.

But what exactly is the role of the cards in the Minor Arcana and what do they mean in a Tarot reading? Let’s find out.

Minor Arcana in Tarot readings

Major Arcana cards reveal the story of the soul’s journey in the universe, and cards in the Minor Arcana are said to describe the universe itself, its physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects. These cards:

  • Show the challenges to face and the lessons to learn, and sometimes they can even point to certain people.
  • They are more about your everyday life and the things you face even in ordinary situations.
  • Minor Arcana meanings can reveal the answers to both practical and philosophical questions in your life.
100% Free



By clicking below, I confirm that I have read the Privacy Policy and I accept the legal terms.

100% confidential

Since most of your life you spend in the physical realm, the Minor Arcana cards will be prevalent in your Tarot readings. And if this is not the case, that can signify powerful messages being sent to you by the universe.

Keep in mind that getting many cards of the same type means that the universe is trying to bring your attention to a certain aspect of your life.

For instance, having several cards from a suit of Pentacles may mean that you should focus more on material, practical aspects of your life.

Suits in the Minor Arcana

All cards in the Minor Arcana belong to one of the four suits: Pentacles, Cups, Swords, and Wands. The suits represent a person’s physical and emotional being, along with his or her obstacles and actions to resolve those.

Here is a brief overview of each suit in the Minor Arcana.

1. Suit of Pentacles

Each of the suits in the Tarot is associated with one of the natural elements. For the suit of Pentacles, this element is earth.

This suit is also known to represent the root chakra and winter season, and it corresponds to the suit of diamonds in a traditional deck of cards.

The suit of Pentacles can reveal the state of your basic needs like water, food, security, sleep, safety, shelter, and warmth. Cards in this suit represent how abundant your life is and what you receive from the universe.

When these cards from the Minor Arcana Tarot appear in the reading, they can also tell you about your insecurities and your decisions.

2. Suit of Cups

The suit of Cups in the Tarot Minor Arcana represents water, summer, sacral chakra, and the suit of hearts. The meanings of the cards in this suit are all about your feelings, emotions, connections, and relationships.

When you see these cards in your reading, they can reveal a lot about how you really feel, even if you do not recognize your emotions. They are related to worries, hopes, dreams, desires, expectations, disappointments, and joyful feelings.

In a reading, the suit of Cups signifies events or situations that have an impact on your emotional state.

3. Suit of Swords

The suit of Swords corresponds to the air element, autumn, and the suit of spades in a traditional card deck.

Even though cards in this suit are associated with the heart chakra, they are not about your emotions and feelings, as this role belongs to the suit of Cups.

Minor Arcana cards of this suit represent your connection between the physical and the spiritual worlds. If you see the suit of Swords in your reading, the cards can reveal a lot about your mental state, your mind, and your outlook on life.

Negative thinking and depression can be a result of imbalance here.

4. Suit of Wands

Fire is the element associated with the suit of Wands, along with solar plexus chakra, spring, and the suit of clubs. When you see the cards of this suit in a Tarot reading, they signify everything solid and down-to-earth in your life.

These cards are about your work, efforts, the outcome of those, and the rewards for your struggles. Your plans and actions reveal themselves in this suit, along with your confidence and authority.

When this area is out of balance, this might mean that you are lacking the strength to address the obstacles on your path.

Minor Arcana court cards

When you see the court cards of the Minor Arcana in your Tarot reading, they can reveal the people in your life related to an event or situation you are seeking the answer to.

These people are important, and the type of card will give you more context about the age and gender of the person important for your answer.

There are pages, knights, queens, and kings among the cards of the Minor Arcana, each represented in four suits. Here is more about the court cards.


The pages in a Tarot reading can represent an opportunity, a new experience, or a new beginning. Pages also stand for excitement about getting to know the world and learning new things.

Like children, pages are curious and avid learners, but they also tend to avoid responsibility. Having pages among the Minor Arcana Tarot cards in your reading can mean a connection to your childhood.


Knights are more mature than pages, yet they still show childlike behavior often. They are very confident in their beliefs and tend to stand their ground firmly.

In a Tarot reading, seeing a lot of knights represents people in your life and the atmosphere in your social environment.


Queens in the Minor Arcana represent everything feminine. If you see these cards in your reading, they most likely mean women who are important for resolving your problem or situation.

Queens rely a lot on their intuition and are good judges of people, so keep this in mind for your Tarot reading.


On the other side of the queens are kings, the cards representing masculine energy. These cards do not always mean a male person in your reading, but they always bring powerful energy into the interpretation.

They are responsible and natural-born leaders.