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Tarot 101: The Meanings Behind the Cards

Updated on July 1, 2019

Major Arcana

The Fool: Innocence. New Beginnings. Free Spirit. Reversed: Recklessness. Being Taken Advantage Of. Inconsideration.

The Magician: Willpower. Desire. Creation. Manifestation. Reversed: Trickery. Illusions. Out of Touch.

The High Priestess: Intuition. Unconscious. Inner Voice. Reversed: Lack of Center. Lost Inner Voice. Repressed Feelings.

The Empress: Motherhood. Fertility. Nature. Reversed: Dependence. Smothering. Emptiness.

The Emperor: Authority. Structure. Control. Fatherhood. Reversed: Tyranny. Rigidity. Coldness.

Hierophant: Tradition. Conformity. Morality and Ethics. Reversed: Rebellion. Subversiveness. New Approaches.

Lovers: Partnerships. Union. Duality. Choice. Reversed: Loss of Balance. One-Sidedness. Disharmony.

The Chariot: Direction. Control. Willpower. Reversed: Lack of Control. Lack of Direction. Aggression.

Strength: Bravery. Compassion. Focus. Inner Strength. Reversed: Self Doubt. Weakness. Insecurity.

The Hermit: Contemplation. Search for Truth. Inner Guidance. Reversed: Loneliness. Isolation. Lost Your Way.

The Wheel: Change. Cycles. Inevitable Fate. Reversed: No Control. Clinging to Control. Bad Luck.

Justice: Cause and Effect. Clarity. Truth. Reversed: Dishonesty. Unaccountability. Unfairness.

Hanged Man: Sacrifice. Release. Martyrdom. Reversed: Stalling. Needless Sacrifice. Fear of Sacrifice.

Death: End of Cycle. Beginnings. Change. Metamorphosis. Reversed: Fear of Change. Holding On. Stagnation.

Temperance: The Middle Path. Patience. Finding Meaning. Reversed: Extremes. Excess. Lack of Balance.

The Devil: Excess. Materialism. Playfulness. Reversed: Freedom. Release. Restoring Control.

The Tower: Sudden Upheaval. Pride. Disaster. Reversed: Disaster Avoided. Delaying Disaster. Fear of Suffering.

The Star: Hope. Faith. Revujination. Reversed: Insecurity. Discouragement. Faithlessness.

The Moon: Unconscious. Illusions. Intuition. Reversed: Confusion. Fear. Misinterpretation.

The Sun: Joy. Success. Celebration. Positivity. Reversed: Negativity. Depression. Sadness.

Judgement: Reflection. Reckoning. Inner Voice. Reversed: Lack of Self-Awareness. Doubt. Self-Loathing.

The World: Fulfillment. Harmony. Completion. Incompletion. No Closure. Uncomplete Goals.


Ace of Wands: Creation. Willpower. Inspiration. Desire. Reversed: Lack of Energy. Lack of Passion. Boredom.

II of Wands: Planning. Making Plans. Discovery. Reversed: Lack of Planning. Disorganization. Bad Planning.

III of Wands: Looking Ahead. Expansion. Rapid Growth. Reversed: Obstacles. Delays. Frustration.

IV of Wands: Community. Home. Celebration. Reversed: Lack of Communication. Instability. Home Conflicts.

V of Wands: Competition. Conflict. Rivalry. Reversed: Avoiding Conflict. Respecting Differences.

VI of Wands: Victory. Success. Public Reward. Reversed: Self-Doubt. Lack of Recognition. Punishment.

VII of Wands: Perseverance. Defensive. Maintaining Control. Reversed: Give Up. Destroyed Confidence. Feeling Overwhelmed.

VIII of Wands: Rapid Action. Movement. Quick Decisions. Reversed: Obstacles. Waiting. Slowing Down.

IX of Wands: Resilience. Pushing Forward. Last Stretch. Reversed: Exhaustion. Fatigue. Reaching Burnout.

X of Wands: Accomplishment. Responsibility. Burden. Reversed: Inability to Delegate. Lack of Priorities.

Page of Wands: Exploration. Excitement. Freedom. Reversed: Lack of Direction. Negativity. Feeling Caged.

Knight of Wands: Action. Adventure. Fearlessness. Reversed: Anger. Impulsiveness. Recklessness.

Queen of Wands: Courage. Determination. Joy. Reversed: Selfishness. Jealousy. Demanding.

King of Wands: Big Picture. Leader. Overcoming Challenges. Reversed: Impulsive. Overbearing. Unachievable Expectations.


Ace of Cups: New Love. Overflowing Feelings. Creativity. Reversed: Wasted Emotions. Blocked Creativity. Emptiness.

II of Cups: Unity. Partnership. Two Become One. Reversed: Imbalance. Broken Communication. Tension.

III of Cups: Friendship. Community. Happiness. Reversed: Herd Mentality. Conformity. Solitude.

IV of Cups: Apathy. Contemplation. Disconnectedness. Reversed: Boredom. Taking for Granted. Aloofness.

V of Cups: Loss. Grief. Disappointment. Reversed: Acceptance. Moving On. Finding Peace.

VI of Cups: Nostalgia. Happy Memories. Reunion. Reversed: Resisting Change. Clinging to Past. Unrealistic Expectations.

VII of Cups: Choices. Fantasy. Illusion. Reversed: Temptation. Diversion. Confusion.

VIII of Cups: Walking Away. Disillusionment. Leaving Behind. Reversed: Confusion. Fear of the Unknown. Fear of Loss.

IX of Cups: Comfort. Emotional Stability. Luxury. Reversed: Greed. Smugness. Dissatisfaction.

X of Cups: Peace. Contentment. Fulfilment. Celebration. Reversed: Shattered Dreams. Broken Family. Bad Relationships.

Page of Cups: Delightful Surprise. Inner Child. Intuition. Reversed: Immaturity. Escapism. Lack of Creativity.

Knight of Cups: Messenger. Romance. Adventure. Reversed: Moodiness. Disappointment.

Queen of Cups: Compassion. Calm. Comfort. Reversed: Coldness. Insecurity. Dependence.

King of Cups: Compassion. Control. Balance. Reversed: Manipulation. Moodiness. Trickery.


Ace of Swords: Victory. Raw Strength. Sharp Mind. Reversed: Confusion. Brutality. Chaos.

II of Swords: Difficult Choices. Indecision. Stalemate. Reversed: Lesser of Two Evils. No Right Choice. Confusion.

III of Swords: Heartbreak. Suffering. Grief. Reversed: Recovery. Forgiveness. Moving On.

IV of Swords: Rest. Restoration. Contemplation. Reversed: Restlessness. Burnout. Stress.

V of Swords: Unbridled Ambition. Win at all costs. Sneakiness. Reversed: Lingering Resentment. Desire to Reconcile. Desire to Forgive.

VI of Swords: Transition. Leaving Behind. Moving On. Reversed: Emotional Baggage. Unresolved Issues. Resisting Transition.

VII of Swords: Deception. Trickery. Turning a Blind Eye. Reversed: Turn a New Leaf. Desire to Reform. Desire to Change.

VIII of Swords: Imprisonment. Powerlessness. Self-Victimization. Reversed: Self-Acceptance. New Perspective. Freedom.

IX of Swords: Anxiety. Hopelessness. Nightmares. Reversed: Fear. Lack of Objectivity. Despair.

X of Swords: Betrayal. Back-stabbing. Defeat. Reversed: Reviving. Rejuvenation. Inevitable End.

Page of Swords: Curiosity. Restlessness. Mental Energy. Reversed: Hastiness. Rushing Through. All Talk.

Knight of Swords: Drive. Speed. Ambition. Reversed: No Direction. Disregard for Consequence. Unpredictability.

Queen of Swords: Complexity. Perceptive. Clear Mindedness. Reversed: Cold Hearted. Cruel. Bitterness.

King of Swords: Intellectual. Power. Truth. Reversed: Manipulative. Cruel. Criticism.


Ace of Pentacles: Opportunity. Prosperity. New Venture. Reversed: Lost Opportunity. Missed Chance.

II of Pentacles: Balance. Priorities. Adapting to Change. Reversed: Loss of Balance. Disorganization. Overwhelmed.

III of Pentacles: Teamwork. Collaboration. Building. Reversed: Lack of Teamwork. Disorganized. Group Conflict. Competition.

IV of Pentacles: Conservation. Security. Frugality. Reversed: Greediness. Stinginess. Possessiveness.

V of Pentacles: Need. Poverty. Insecurity. Reversed: Recovery. Isolation.

VI of Pentacles: Charity. Generosity. Sharing. Reversed: Selfishness. Stinginess. Debt.

VII of Pentacles: Hard Work. Perseverance. Diligence. Reversed: Work Without Results. Distractions. Lack of Rewards.

VIII of Pentacles: Education. Apprenticeship. Achievement. Reversed: No Focus. No Ambition. No Motivation.

IX of Pentacles: Fruits of Labor. Independence. Rewards. Reversed: Mistakes. Obsession with Work. Setbacks.

X of Pentacles: Legacy. Inheritance. Culmination. Reversed: Failure. Lack of Stability. Lack of Resources.

Page of Pentacles: Dreams. Desire. New Opportunity. Reversed: Daydreaming. Impracticality. Laziness.

Knight of Pentacles: Efficiency. Hard Work. Routine. Reversed: Laziness. Obsessiveness. Work without Reward.

Queen of Pentacles: Practicality. Creature Comforts. Financial Security. Reversed: Work Life Imbalance. Smothering.

King of Pentacles: Abundance. Power. Security. Reversed: Greed. Indulgence. Sensuality.

© 2019 Hanah De Laurell


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      21 months ago

      wow, what a nice post and article.Thanks for your content.


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