The Minor Arcana
In this article I cover the Minor Arcana, and try to give structure to something I have long considered the most tedious part of learning the Art of Tarot.
IcyBlue7, the idea for this article spawned from our conversation last weekend.
Hence I dedicate this work to you.
My point of view on the Minor Arcana comes from Paul Fenton-Smith.
His book, “The Tarot Revealed” has been companion to my Rider-Waite deck since I picked up the Art.
It is his wisdom that I tend to defer to, and his interpretations that I have taken as my own.
Do take this article with a grain of salt, as the views expressed here are my own and may differ from each practitioner to the next.
Numbered ace to ten, with four court cards, the Minor Arcana cover fifty six of the seventy eight cards of the Tarot.
I shall cover the non court cards separately from the court cards, addressing each as a theme and by their individual suits.
The Four Suits
Each of the four suits represents an element, which is tied to a concept.
This element and concept is also used in the court cards.
Pentacles/Earth/Material wealth, CareerRelations
above refer to any connection between two or more people, not necessarily limited to the romantic variety.
The Non Court Cards
Each of the four suits has ten non court cards, with each of the suits telling a different story. However, the numbers on each card represent a theme.
Putting the theme together with the concept of the suit, it becomes easier to get a grasp of each of the forty non court cards of the Minor Arcana. E.g. the Four of Swords according to the two charts above would mean “consolidation” of “thought”.
The Court Cards
There are two ways to interpret court cards.
Firstly, each of the cards may represent people. In this case, it is possible that each of the cards represent a certain Zodiac. Alternatively, each of the cards may represent qualities of people.
Secondly, the court cards may also represent an element very much like the suits.
However, they all share a certain theme as well. Since the former is in contention between different schools of Tarot, I shall focus on the second method.
Putting the theme of the court cards together with the suit, I usually interpret each card as an elemental expression of an elemental concept. E.g. the Knight of Swords would mean the “fire of air”; that is to say thoughts or ideas put into action.