Guide for Interpretation:
The Tarot Deck is comprised of Seventy Eight Cards:
The Major Arcana consists of Twenty Two numbered Cards referred to as Trumps; and Four Suits, of Fourteen Cards each. These are called the Minor Arcana, small cards, or numbered cards.
Each Suit represents an element of nature, a direction, a season and a social class; as well as having zodiac and planetary considerations.
Looking at the regular playing card deck simulates the Calendar; with the basic unit a Day; divided into Day and Night; light and dark. The complete solar Cycle is 365 Days. The combined values of the deck add up to 364, adding the extra Card, the Joker; brings the total to 365. There are 13 Luner Months; and each Season has 13 Weeks, represented by the 13 Cards. The Four Suits stand for the Four Seasons. The Twelve court Cards stand for the 12 Months and are also represented by one of the 12 signs of the Zodiac. The 52 Cards equal the 52 Weeks of the Year. An interesting numerological note: If the Thirteen values of the English names (also French) are counted A+C+E+T+W+O ect. the total is 52.
*The FOOL, (Joker) is the only Major Arcana card in this deck.
It is believed by some that in the "standard" Deck the Knight and the Page were merged into the Jack. Others see this indicates separate configurations altogether.
Swords (Spades) represent North; Winter; Air/Cosmos; and a sanguine, cheerful, personality. They represent Intellect, Friendship & Influence; and are represented by the Slyph; (an elemental air being) and the Eagle of the Apocalypse. They stand for the upper class and the Nobility and Military. Pentacles ( Diamonds) represent East; Spring; Earth/Terra; and have a melancholy personality. They represent Strength, Patience & Matter; and are represented by the Gnome, (an Earth being); and the Bull of the Apocalypse. They stand for the merchant class and the Farmer. Wands (Clubs) represent South; Summer; Fire/Astral; and have a choleric personality. They represent Passion, Desire & Instinct; and are represented by the Salamander; and the Lion of the Apocalypse. They stand for the working class and the laborer. Cups (Hearts) represent the West; Fall; Water/Sea; the Zodiac Water Signs: the King-Scorpio, Queen-Pisces, the Jack-Cancer; with a phlegmatic personality. They represent Emotion, Persuasion & Adaptability. ; and are represented by the female water sprite; and the Water Bearer of the Apocalypse. They stand for the Cleric class and the Priest.
Having the indivisible value of One; represent the purest form of the suit .All the numbers are contained in the Ace and unfold from it. It is viewed as the first card in a sequence; representing beginning, and all possibility. Contrarily; all the numbers in the Ace it is also the final card in the sequence, representing fullness and achievement.
The Court Cards generally represent other people; who may influence the question or Querent.
Older, classic interpretation designates people by their physical characteristics; particularly hair, eye, and skin color.
Swords: being persons with dark hair and brown eyes.
Pentacles: people with Black hair and Dark eyes and dark skin.
Wands: persons with blond hair & light skin, blue or light eyes.
Cups: people with light brown or red hair & light or hazel eyes.
In the newer "Jungian" interpretation the Suits represent the personality or character of the person; which is more in tuned with the Zodiac influence.
The KINGS: represent the (fixed) Signs: Leo, Taurus, Aquarius, Scorpio. (stable, persistent, loyal, reliable).Represent Male; Father figure in the family; maturity, or later stage in life.
The QUEENS: represent the (mutable) Signs: Sagittarius, Virgo, Gemini, Pisces. (adaptable, resourceful, changeable). Represent Female; Mother figure in the family; maturity, or later stage in life.
The JACKS: (KNIGHT & PAGE) represent the (cardinal) Signs: Aries, Capricorn, Libra, Cancer. (active, outgoing, initiating, enterprising).
KNIGHT: Represent Male; figure in the family is Son; youth, or early adulthood.
PAGE: Can be either sex; figure in the family is Daughter; youth or childhood.
Swords represent the Air Signs:
the King-Aquarius, the Queen-Gemini, the Jack-Libra.
Pentacles represent the Earth Signs:
the King-Taurus, the Queen-Virgo, the Jack-Capricorn.
Wands represent the Fire Signs:
the King-Leo, the Queen-Sagittarius, the Jack-Aries.
Cups represent the Water Signs:
the King-Scorpio, the Queen-Pisces, the Jack-Cancer.
The NUMBERED CARDS:
The numbers indicate the stage of the action or enterprise associated with the Suit. From the beginning stages, shown by the Two; to the completion or final stages referenced by the Ten.
Qualities are also assigned to each of the numbers (pips) from Two to Ten. This combines with the aspect of the particular Suit to define the nature of the card. Each number also has an astrological ruler which contributes to understanding it's qualities.
Number: Quality Planetary Ruler
2 Antithesis Mercury/Moon
3 Synthesis Venus
4 Completion Earth/Sun
5 Conflict Mars
6 Reconciliation Jupiter
7 Limitation Saturn
8 Expansion Uranus
9 Integration Neptune
10 Culmination Pluto
Major Arcana cards are deemed roads to enlightenment, They contain the secret knowledge of the "Tree of Life" and answer the mysteries of the Universe.
The Trumps have a complex system of divisions that interact amongst the cards, These 21 cards conceptualize the different aspects of an individual's character and personality and are divided into two initial categories representing the "inner" Self; and the "external"; and the concepts of "Being" and "Becoming".
1-9 Inner Personality (single digits being one's potential, or Being.)
10-21 Outer Personality (double digits symbolized by their choices, what they have Become.)
The 21 Major Arcana are also considered divided into three groups of Seven.
In these Three groups: cards marked I-VII , are active, and relate to the aspect of the Spirit. While cards VII-XIV, are passive relating to the preceding cards; and active with respect to the last Seven; and signify the essence of the Soul. Cards XV-XXI, are passive and relate to the material world of the Body.
The 21 Major Arcana are similarly interpreted as being divided into Seven groups of Three.
In each group of Three the First element is active. and corresponds to
Spirit; the Second, is passive in relation to the preceding one, active in sense of the one that follows, and corresponds to the Soul; the Third element is completely passive, and relates to Body.
The FOOL has no number.
He is considered to be "outside" the Deck. He can sometimes represent the Querent. Or; he is called Zero; which is nothing. But is also the sum of everything that has been from the beginning; and stands for the Tree of Life and Universe itself.