Tarot Minor Arcana for Beginners

Tarot Minor Arcana Meanings for Beginners

Learning the meanings of the Minor Arcana of the Tarot requires time, study, and practice. By this point, you should have already read An Introduction to the Tarot, Tarot Keyword Lists for the Major Arcana, and Understanding the Court Cards.

I’ll be providing two to three keywords or keyword phrases for each minor card in both their upright and reversed positions. Though this is not the best or only way to read the cards, it provides quick reference starting points for new students.

Each card has a few different keywords/phrases. Use the one that best or is most likely to fit the situation.

As a reminder, these meanings can also be used with any deck of standard playing cards.

  • Wands = Clubs
  • Cups = Hearts
  • Pentacles = Diamonds
  • Swords = Spades


Aces of the Tarot

Ace of Wands Upright: New home or change in the home environment. New energy.
Ace of Wands Reversed: As above, but will happen slowly or be delayed.

Ace of Cups Upright: A new love. An opportunity to be happy.
Ace of Cups Reversed: As above, but will happen slowly, or be delayed.

Ace of Pentacles Upright: New job or career. An offer involving money.
Ace of Pentacles Reversed: As above, but will happen slowly, or be delayed.

Ace of Swords Upright: New education. Improvement in communication.
Ace of Swords Reversed: As above, but will happen slowly, or be delayed.


Twos of the Tarot

Two of Wands Upright: Planning for the future which leads to success. Needing to get organized.
Two of Wands Reversed: Future plans will change. Need to make changes to plans to be successful.

Two of Cups Upright: A soul mate relationship or situation.
Two of Cups Reversed: A good relationship or situation, but needs work.

Two of Pentacles Upright: Able to juggle two or more different things with balance.
Two of Pentacles Reversed: Unable to juggle two or more things with balance.

Two of Swords Upright: Unable to make a decision. Over-thinking.
Two of Swords Reversed: A decision has been made. Trust intuition.


Threes of the Tarot

Three of Wands Upright: Waiting. A genuine friendship.
Three of Wands Reversed: Disappointment. Friends that aren’t really friends.

Three of Cups Upright: A celebration. Reunion with old friends.
Three of Cups Reversed: Only pretending to be happy. Friendship falls apart.

Three of Pentacles Upright: Positive change in career. A group/club. Good advice.
Three of Pentacles Reversed: Bad advice. Leaving a group/club. An adverse change in career.

Three of Swords Upright: Tremendous emotional pain. Despair.
Three of Swords Reversed: Getting over emotional pain or despair.


Fours of the Tarot

Four of Wands Upright: Happy social event. Romance with marriage potential. Creating a good home.
Four of Wands Reversed: Divorce. Unpleasant social event. Romance with little potential for marriage.

Four of Cups Upright: Meditation. Deep thinking. An offer.
Four of Cups Reversed: Turning down an offer. Not listening to intuition. Needing more meditation.

Four of Pentacles Upright: Greed. Difficulty letting go.
Four of Pentacles Reversed: Letting go. Overspending.

Four of Swords Upright: Peace. Observation. Rest.
Four of Swords Reversed: Action needed. No time for rest.


Fives of the Tarot

Five of Wands Upright: Struggle. Conflict. Competition. Having the upper hand and winning.
Five of Wands Reversed: As above, but will likely lose.

Five of Cups Upright: Separation. Depression. Loss.
Five of Cups Reversed: As above, but in the past.

Five of Pentacles Upright: Hitting rock bottom.
Five of Pentacles Reversed: Things get better and improve.

Five of Swords Upright: Walking away from a situation that can’t be won.
Five of Swords Reversed: Needing to walk away, but can’t.


Sixes of the Tarot

Six of Wands Upright: Success. Jealousy.
Six of Wands Reversed: Failure. Unnoticed or ignored.

Six of Cups Upright: Return of the past, but in a helpful way. Close friends or siblings.
Six of Cups Reversed: Return of the past, not in a helpful manner. Enemies.

Six of Pentacles Upright: Budgeting. Enough money is available.
Six of Pentacles Reversed: Finances not balanced. Bad financial situation.

Six of Swords Upright: A trip. Moving away from problems.
Six of Swords Reversed: A trip not take. Problems come back.


Sevens of the Tarot

Seven of Wands Upright: Having the advantage.
Seven of Wands Reversed: No confidence. Being at a disadvantage.

Seven of Cups Upright: Many choices available.
Seven of Cups Reversed: Opportunity passing by. Regret.

Seven of Pentacles Upright: Karma (good or bad) coming back. Need to rest.
Seven of Pentacles Reversed: Karma delayed. Need for nature.

Seven of Swords Upright: Sneaking around and not getting caught. Warning to be careful.
Seven of Swords Reversed: Getting caught. Being punished for bad behavior.


Eights of the Tarot

Eight of Wands Upright: Long distance communication or travel.
Eight of Wands Reversed: Lack of communication or no travel.

Eight of Cups Upright: Moving on. Looking for the greener grass.
Eight of Cups Reversed: Disbelief in the spiritual. Stuck.

Eight of Pentacles Upright: Hard work that’s rewarded. A promotion.
Eight of Pentacles Reversed: Problems at work. No recognition.

Eight of Swords Upright: Trapped. Out of touch with reality.
Eight of Swords Reversed: Freedom. Back to reality.


Nines of the Tarot

Nine of Wands Upright: Lesson learned. Don’t trust.
Nine of Wands Reversed: Lesson not learned. Weak.

Nine of Cups Upright: Wish being fulfilled. Overdoing.
Nine of Cups Reversed: Will not get what is wanted.

Nine of Pentacles Upright: Independence. Alone, but happy.
Nine of Pentacles Reversed: Dependent. Losing independence. No security.

Nine of Swords Upright: Can’t sleep. Psychic Attacks. Anxiety.
Nine of Swords Reversed: Sleeps well. Attacks are over. No more anxiety.


Tens of the Tarot

Ten of Wands Upright: Carrying burden. Obligations. Resentful.
Ten of Wands Reversed: Improved attitude. No more burden.

Ten of Cups Upright: Happy family and/or home. Happy children.
Ten of Cups Reversed: Unhappy family/home. Misbehaving children.

Ten of Pentacles Upright: Extended family. Family coming together.
Ten of Pentacles Reversed: Problems with/amongst extended family. Lack of family support.

Ten of Swords Upright: Getting stabbed in the back. Lots of pain. Surgery.
Ten of Swords Reversed: Pain in the past. Surgery not done or needed.


John Culbertson is a highly sought-after tarot card reader, spiritual advisor, and spiritual counselor with over 25 years of experience in metaphysical fields. Known for his accuracy, honesty, and deep spirituality, John has conducted thousands of readings that provide trusted guidance and growth for his clients.

John’s specialty is leveraging tarot and intuitive insights to offer clarity, direction, and next steps to those feeling uncertain on life’s path. His compassionate, non-judgemental approach creates a safe space for people to navigate challenging transitions, find inner wisdom, and transform their lives through self-discovery.

Having trained extensively in areas from eastern spirituality to mystical Christian traditions, John synthesizes spiritual principles across faiths. He believes spiritual growth should empower and enhance our human experience.

John offers confidential tarot readings and spiritual mentoring remotely by phone. He is a published author and holds a Doctorate in Ministry with a specialization in pastoral counseling and Certified Metaphysical Practitioner designation. His goal is illuminating the unique gifts within each person through tarot divination and metaphysical healing arts.

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