The Minor Arcana of the Tarot consists of 56 cards which are divided into four suits. Arcana means "mystery", so Minor Arcana means "lesser mysteries"; that is, the everyday occurrences of our lives (as opposed to the significant or life long archetypal patterns represented by the Major Arcana). The Minors are also called Pips, and are numbered Ace through Ten. Some Tarot decks feature an illustrated Minor Arcana, meaning there are images of people, places and animals--often interacting with one another. Non-illustrated Pips would be a simple rendering of the suit. For example, the 10 of Wands would merely feature a picture of ten wands.
The Four Suits
The Cups - Also known as Chalices or Hearts, this suit is usually associated with emotions, relationships, feelings, reactions, fantasies, and intuitions, among other things. Cups are associated with the element of Water and the astrological signs of Cancer, Pisces, and Scorpio.
The Wands - Also known as Rods, Batons, Staves or Clubs, this suit is usually associated with desires, energy, movement, enthusiasm, and passion.. Some feel that Wands is associated with Air and others with Fire. Most authors I have come across, and my own intuition, associate Wands with Fire. The astrological correlations are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.
The Swords - Also known as Spades, this suit is usually associated with the realm of the intellect, including reason, logic, challenges, decision-making, communication, strategies, and so on. Some individuals interpret Swords as challenges. Swords are typically associated with the element Air. The astrological correlation for this suit is Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.
The Pentacles - Also known as Coins, Disks, Stones, or Crystals, this suit is usually associated with the material world, including the body, health, practical matters, work, and money. This suit is associated with the element Earth. The astrological correlations are Taurus, Capricorn, and Virgo.
Content copyright © Janet Boyer. All rights reserved.This content was written by Janet Boyer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission.