The Minor Arcana In Tarot
While Major Arcana represents common topics, Minor Arcana brings these topics into practical areas to show how they work at daily events. Cards in the Minor set represent related issues, activities and emotional states that create circumstances in our daily lives.
There are 56 cards divided into 4 suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. Each of these suits represents a separate aspect of life.
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Wands suit in Minor Arcana
The Wands is a suit of creativity, action, and change. It combines with enthusiastic, adventurous, confrontational and confident qualities. This suit is similar to the Yang symbol, or masculine character, in Chinese philosophy and is associated with the element of Fire. A burning fire is the perfect symbol of the Wands energy. This source of energy flows outwards and creates a passionate motivation.
Cups suit in Minor Arcana
The Cups is a suit of emotional feelings and experiences. It describes the deepest states within, feelings and samples of relationships. The energy of this suit flows inside. The Cups suit corresponds to the Yin symbol, or feminine character, in Chinese philosophy and is associated with the element of Water. The ability of water is flow, fill gaps, maintain and reflect changeable emotions making it the ideal symbol of the Cups.
Swords suit in Minor Arcana
The Swords is the suit of intellect, thought, and reason. It related to justice, truth and moral principles and is combined with the Air element. A clear, open and bright sky full of light, is a symbol of sagacity – the ideal symbol of the Swords. This suit also incorporates states that lead to imbalance and unhappiness. Our intellect is an invaluable asset, but also an agent of ego which can lead us to the wrong turn if we do not imbue the wisdom of the “mentor within us”.
Pentacles suit in Minor Arcana
The Pentacles is the suit of practicality, guarantees and material problems. It combines with the Earth element and clear requirements for material activities. In Pentacles suit, we respect the beauty of nature, relationships with plants and animals and physiological experiences in the body. This suit also represents the prosperity and abundance of all material forms. Sometimes, this suit is called Coins, a clear symbol of exchanging goods and services in the material world.
Each suit in the Minor set has its own unique qualities. Our daily experiences are a mixture of these four qualities. Many Tarot spreads will show you how different energy sources impact your life at a specific time.
The four suits are very similar to the Western playing cards, including 10 numbered cards (from Ace to Ten) and four court cards (King, Queen, Knight, and Page). Each card plays a certain role in showing how its energy exposes in the world.
Cards of Aces (1) in Minor Arcana
Ace cards speak up the theme of the suit. The Ace of Cups represents love, emotion, intuition, and intimacy – concepts that will be discovered in the cards of the Cups. An Ace card always shows positive energy. It is the standard for the best things that its suit has.
Cards from (2) to (9) in Minor Arcana
Each card numbered from (2) to (9) represents a different aspect of the suit. The Wands suit explores topics such as personal strength (card number (2)), leadership (card number (3)), excitement (card number (4)), and competitiveness (card number (5)). A card can approach an idea from many angles. The Five of Pentacles represents many aspects of desire – difficult times (material desires), poor health (physical desires), and rejection (emotional desire).
Cards (10) in Minor Arcana
Cards number (10) imply that all the topics are led by an Ace card to the end according to their logic. If you follow love, intimacy, and emotions of the Ace of Cups to its final stages, you will have the joy, serenity, and family bonding of the Ten of Cups.
Court Cards in Minor Arcana
Court cards imply people with personalities that reflect the quality of Minor cards and their hierarchy. Court cards show us certain ways of existing in the world, so we can use (or avoid) those ways when appropriate.
King cards in Minor Arcana
The King represents maturity and masculinity. He is a person whose action is focused on events outwards life. He demonstrates power, control, and mastery of areas related to his Minor set. King’s style is strong, outstanding and straightforward. He is involved in practical, instructive and practical issues/results.
Queen cards in Minor Arcana
The Queen represents maturity and femininity. She is the embodiment of the qualities that her suit owns, instead of revealing them. Her concentration is introvert, and her style is relaxing and spontaneous. A Queen has little to do with the results, instead, she appreciates being in the world. The Queen combines with feelings, relationships, and self-expression.
Knight cards in Minor Arcana
The Knight represents immature youth. He cannot express himself in a balanced way. He soared wildly from one extreme to another because he was trying to connect with his world. Knight tends to be outrageous, but he is also enthusiastic and sincere which compensates for his shortcomings. We admire his spirit and energy.
Page cards in Minor Arcana
The Page is a mischievous child. He revealed the quality of the Minor set with joy and wildness. His approach was not very deep, but comfortable, loose and spontaneous. He is a symbol of adventure and potential.
At the moment, you have the basic concepts about the role of each Minor Arcana card in your Tarot deck. You will have a feeling that all of them fit together and each one contributes to the whole thing. In the following articles, you will find out more about these cards and how to interpret them in your spread.