This week, we’ll be diving into the remaining 56 cards in the Tarot deck, known as the Minor Arcana. These Minor cards add perspective to what is happening in your everyday life.
The cards in the Minor Arcana are divided into four suits. Each suit represents a different aspect of your life and corresponds to one of the four elements:
- Water Element: Cups (also known as Chalices)
- Fire Element: Wands (also known as Rods, Staffs, or Staves)
- Air Element: Swords (also known as Daggers)
- Earth Element: Pentacles (also known as Coins or Discs)
Each suit is then made up of numbered cards (Ace through Ten) and Court cards (Page, Knight, Queen, and King). Each number has its own meaning within the suits, giving you a deeper understanding of what the cards are telling you. In general, the Even numbers (2, 4, 6, 8, and 10) reveal that there is balance and harmony in your life whereas odd numbers (1/Ace, 3, 5, 7, and 9) represent obstacles or challenges you may face (think of these as opportunities for growth).
To dive deep into the Tarot Minor Arcana, you can work with your crystals to help you uncover even more about the meaning of each card.
To do this, you’ll need a deck of tarot cards and a crystal to represent each element (that’s four crystals in total). I’ve listed some of my favorite elemental crystals here below.
- Earth: Petrified Wood, Anthracite, Malachite, Carnelian, Red Jasper, Emerald, Rainforest Jasper, Chrysocolla, Serpentine, Agate (all types), and Peridot
- Air: Celestite, Pumice, Azurite, Blue Apatite, Lepidolite, Turquoise, Blue Kyanite, Blue Sapphire, Angelite, and Mica
- Fire: Amber, Rhodochrosite, Ruby, Lava Rock, Fire Agate, Red Spinel, Citrine, Diamond, Heliodor, Obsidian, and Clear Quartz
- Water: Amethyst, Boulder Opal, Larimar, White Calcite, Pearl, Blue Lace Agate, Amazonite, Aquamarine, Moonstone, Selenite, and Blue Tourmaline
To begin this process, separate out the Major Arcana (0-21) cards from your Tarot deck and set them aside, leaving only the 56 Minor Arcana Cards.
Choose just one of these Minor Arcana cards that you’d like to explore in-depth.
Place it in front of you (on your altar, or on the floor or a table in your sacred space). Reach for your corresponding elemental crystal. For example, Aquamarine for Cups and the Water element or Malachite for Pentacles and the Earth element. You might also like to have other representations of these elements on your altar or in your sacred space for this process.
Bringing the Elements Into Your Sacred Space:
- Earth: fresh flowers, a dish of sand or soil, crystals or fossils, wood carvings, fruit, seeds, an image or statue of a land animal.
- Air: feathers, incense, lace, athame (or small dagger), windchimes, bell, a hand fan, a flute, an image or statue of a bird.
- Fire: candles, a lantern, a cauldron, an image or statue of a dragon, salamander, or phoenix
- Water: a small dish of water, a fountain, seashells (especially an Abalone shell), a chalice or goblet, a mirror, an image or statue of a mermaid or dolphin.
Close your eyes and breathe deeply while holding the stone in your hands. To truly embody the vibration of the card, take the number of breaths equal to the number of your card. For example, three deep breaths for the 3 of Wands, or six deep breaths for the 6 of Swords. Breathe in the elemental energy of the crystal in your hands as you do this. If you chose to work with a Court card, use your intuition to guide you on the correct number of breaths.
After your final exhalation, open your eyes and immediately look at the card. Do this while still holding your stone. Gaze at the card in detail and think about its symbolism and imagery. What thoughts enter your mind about the energy and meaning of this card (especially as it relates to the element of its suit)?
You may wish to journal about your insights to help you keep a record of the in-depth meanings you uncover for each card in the Minor Arcana.
For a sample of this process, I’ve made a helpful video to give you an idea of exactly how to put this into action. I know you’ll find it a useful tool for learning more about the archetypal energies of the Minor Arcana cards.
To learn even more about the meaning of each card in the Tarot Minor Arcana, you can combine the energetic qualities of the element in the card’s suit, with the meaning of the number of the card.
The Magical Meanings of the Elements:
- Cups are associated with the Water element (the emotions, intuition, love, and a mirror of your heart)
- Wands are a representation of the Fire element (vitality, creativity, personal power, your energy, passion, and motivation)
- Swords are affiliated with the Air element (change, new beginnings, intellect, the sharpness of the mind, thoughts and swift actions)
- Pentacles embody the Earth element (This element represents protection, stability, abundance and wealth, growth, the physical realm, and material possessions)
The Magical Meanings of Numbers:
- #1 (Ace): Oneness, Sovereignty, Control, Power, Independence, Innovation, Risks, Doubt
- #2: Balance, Unity, Intuition, Persuasion, Duality, Indecision, Weakness, Sensitivity
- #3: Transformation, Cycles, Communication, Creativity, Rebirth, Magic, Distraction
- #4: Stability, Security, Practicality, Loyalty, Stubbornness, Patience, Dedication
- #5: Harmony, Serenity, Change, Curiosity, Relationships, Flexibility, Lack of Direction
- #6: Duality, Crossroads, Protection, Support, Romance, Happiness, Idealism, Self-Sacrifice
- #7: Spirituality, Personal Growth, Adaptability, Curiosity, Secretive, Suspicion, Withdrawn
- #8: Bliss, Ambition, Abundance, Success, Achievement, Endurance, Materialism, Entitlement
- #9: Awakening, Healing, Expansion, Consciousness, Advice, Comfort, Suffering, Resentment
- #10: Completion, Wholeness, Contentment, New Beginnings, Change, Fear, Triumph
The Magical Meanings of the Court Cards:
- Page: Naivety, New Beginnings, First Steps, Lack of Direction, Young at Heart
- Knight: Taking Action, Next Steps, Goal-Oriented (but often distracted), Ambition
- Queen: Near Mastery, Inner Power, Support, Understanding of the Self
- King: Maturity, Mastery, Wisdom, Life Experience, Inner Knowing, Understanding of the World