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The Tarot Quick Reference Guide
By Jennifer Dunne
Obviously, if you really want to learn about the meanings of the tarot cards and use them well, you'll spend time studying them and understanding the nuances of each card's interpretation. If, on the other hand, you're looking for a cool party game and want to impress your friends, this "cheat sheet" should provide you enough of a clue about each card's meaning that you can fake your way through a reading. And who knows -- once you loosen up and relax, you may surprise yourself!
The Major Arcana
The Major Arcana consists of cards that have an individual name (such as "The Fool") as opposed to simply a suit designation (such as "3 of Cups"). Most tarot decks number the Major Arcana as well as name them, although some give only the name.
Card Card Card
Number Name Meaning
------ ---------------- -------------
0 Fool Faith
1 Magician Action
2 High Priestess Potential
3 Empress Abundance
4 Emperor Authority
5 Hierophant Conformity
6 Lovers Relationship
7 Chariot Will
8 Strength Compassion
9 Hermit Introspection
10 Wheel of Fortune Destiny
11 Justice Responsibility
12 Hanged Man Release
13 Death Transition
14 Temperance Balance
15 Devil Materialism
16 Tower Downfall
17 Star Hope
18 Moon Illusion
19 Sun Vitality
20 Judgment Rebirth
21 World Accomplishment
The Minor Arcana
The Minor Arcana consists of cards that have a rank (such as "3" or "Queen") and a suit (such as "Cups"). Depending on your deck, the suits will have different names, but they have the same meanings. The first suit may be called wands, rods, staves, or sticks. The second suit is pretty universally called swords. The suit of cups is occassionally called chalices. And the final suit may be called coins, disks, or pentacles.
Card Wands Swords Cups Coins
----- ----------- ---------- ----------- -----------
Ace Creative Mental Emotional Material
... Force Force Force Force
2 Personal Stalemate Connection Flexibility
3 Exploration Betrayal Delight Planning
4 Celebration Rest Self- Possessive-
... absorption ness
5 Struggle Dishonor Loss Suffering
6 Triumph Depression Good Will Apprentice-
7 Defiance Deceit Fantasizing Assessment
8 Quick Powerless- Turning Diligence
... Action ness Away
9 Defense Anguish Satisfac- Self-reliance
10 Burdens Defeat Joy Affluence
Page Creative Thoughtful Emotional Practical
Knight Daring Dashing Sensitive Thorough
Queen Energetic Witty Loving Resourceful
King Inspiring Just Diplomatic Supporting
Jennifer Dunne is the author of over a dozen novels and novellas of Hot, Heartwarming fiction, many featuring magic and psychic powers. A Tarot reader since her childhood, she is frequently asked to do readings at local gatherings and celebrity events such as the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention.
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