The Minor Arcana
The Wands represent the fire sign: they are passionate, fierce, dashing, and daring. This is a suit full of impulsiveness and the bursts of creativity needed to get something started.
The Ace of Wands is handed to you as a big YES to your fierce passion and creative boldness. The wand is still sprouting, popping out leaves at the top - what’s your spark?
The Two of Wands shows a figure with the world in one hand and a wand in the other - they’re feeling their potential energy and planning what’s next. There’s more to do, carry on!
The Three of Wands shows a figure looking ahead to take advantage of every opportunity around them. They’re on the right track and gaining momentum with early confidence.
The Four of Wands is an especially lavish party. A banner between the wands makes a welcoming arch for the figures arriving together, with flowers in hand. A reunion? A wedding?
The Five of Wands is a pain in the ass. Five figures in petty conflict, with wands raised either to fight or emphasize their point. Everything’s tense and aggressive. What’s the way out?
The Six of Wands shows someone trotting in on a horse, strutting a recent victory. There’s more to do, as this is only a six, but for now they’re enjoying some recognition and rewards.
The Seven of Wands shows someone defending themselves, one against six! They have an aggressive stance that screams confidence as they literally stand up for themself.
The Eight of Wands are rushing through the air, swiftly and powerfully. The fight from Seven is over, and now the wands swing with passion and decisiveness, can you feel it?
The Nine of Wands shows an exhausted fighter, someone who’s been up all night, alone and outnumbered. They stand their ground without giving up - not when they’re this close to ten!
The Ten of Wands is a heavy load. One person said “yes” to carrying all ten wands - it looks like they need to reassess their responsibilities and learn how to say “no” before burnout.
The Page of Wands has ideas! They’re brimming with youthful possibilities and excited about each magical opportunity ahead. Which adventure will the Page make the most of?
The Knight of Wands is a bull in a china shop. Wearing armor and rearing their horse, they are courageous, impatient, and rebellious - their endless energy is fun, but wreaks havoc.
The King of Wands leads the creativity of the wands by decisively implementing the solution. They are bold and an effective teacher who can cultivate curiosity and vision.
The Queen of Wands is also ambitious and energetic, but not domineering, like the King can be. Instead of competitiveness, they are generous and radiate good vibes toward everyone.
The Pentacles represent the earth sign. Literally down-to-earth, this is the suit of the home, the hard work it takes to make one, and the stability and security that it provides in life.
The Ace of Pentacles is handed to you as a promise of treats and treasure. The large gold coin represents abundance and prosperity, telling you to say “yes” and enjoy yourself.
The Two of Pentacles shows someone juggling two coins connected by an infinity loop. There is a lot going on - both ups and downs - but the flexible juggler is handling it well.
The Three of Pentacles are set in the wall of a cathedral. The architects and builders are below, collaborating and working as a team, finding meaning in this accomplishment.
The Four of Pentacles are under the foot and in the arms of someone who can’t let them go. A splurge or donation might bring them joy, or at least lessen their insecurity about wealth.
The Five of Pentacles shows two figures walking past a warm and abundant window. They are either completely oblivious to nearby help, or too ashamed and disgraced to ask for it.
The Six of Pentacles shows someone giving a few coins to beggars. They hold a scale, implying that their new generosity restores some balance to an otherwise dramatic inequality.
The Seven of Pentacles shows someone resting, looking at all their coins. They are quietly reflecting on their progress thus far, and planning how (or what) they will grow next.
The Eight of Pentacles shows a smith hard at work - no time to stop! They are completely focused, obsessed with their craft, and push their standards higher with each coin.
The Nine of Pentacles depicts someone enjoying the comfort of their wealth (and their fancy bird!). Independent and gentle, they strut with the confidence of true security.
The Ten of Pentacles is the end of the story about money: a family enjoys the stability and privilege that their roots and inheritance can provide. When you have a dog, you’ve made it!
The Page of Pentacles, as with all Pages, is the young upstart of the suit. They’re on a mission to prove themselves and their worth through commitment and focus (on the coin).
The Knight of Pentacles sits stoically on a horse with hooves on the ground. They are rooted, patient, committed to their work, and serious about fulfilling their responsibilities.
The King of Pentacles exudes knowledge and power, holding a scepter (for their mandate), and a coin (for their prosperity). They indulge in their abundance, and share it generously.
The Queen of Pentacles enjoys the comfortable life they built from hard work and careful saving. They are wealthy enough to donate liberally, and still have the time of their lives.
The Cups represent the water sign. They are emotional, creative, and full of joy and hope. Romantic, platonic, professional, and all other relationships are big themes for this suit.
The Ace of Cups is overflowing with emotions and intuition. This Ace represents the potential energy and excitement of awakening to springtime, when love is in the air.
The Two of Cups show two figures exchanging cups. Either a romantic or business relationship, these two have come together, negotiated, and are here to seal the deal.
The Three of Cups is about crew love! The bond of friendship is powerful, and here these three toast their success as individuals and as the community they have created together.
The Four of Cups shows a figure under a tree, indifferently staring at the three cups in front of them. Apathetic and self-focused, they can’t even see a fourth one magically appearing.
The Five of Cups, as with all Fives, is the suit’s low point: a cloaked figure mourns the heavy loss of three cups overturned. But not all is lost: two are upright, if they just turned around…
The Six of Cups shows childhood joy: two kids playing with cups. It’s a wholesome and innocent scene meant to surge your nostalgia. Where can you find that joy here and now?
The Seven of Cups is having an illusion - or a delusion? Seven cups appear out of thin air - are these magical opportunities, or does the figure need to sober up and clear their head?
The Eight of Cups shows a mysterious figure walking away from their cups. Eight cups is an abundance, but the gap in the top row suggests they still didn’t make this person feel whole.
The Nine of Cups are arranged neatly behind someone sitting on a bench. This is a smug contentment with one’s own success and achievements. The Cups journey is almost over…
The Ten of Cups is a scene of domestic bliss. A family dances around in joy and wonders up at a gift from above: a rainbow of cups. Is this what “happily ever after” looks like to you?
The Page of Cups is a figure of fantasy, spontaneous, and creative in a whirlwind burst. They hold their cup with a bouncy stance, ready to leap at their next wild and crazy idea.
The Knight of Cups is a dreamboat, too good to be true. They’ll seduce you from their graceful horse’s jog, charm you with their ideas about art, but ride away before you wake up.
The King of Cups is your loyal mentor, offering caring and wise feedback. They calm and uplift you, signaling safety with their control of themselves and every situation.
The Queen of Cups is holding a unique cup: its top is closed to highlight the Queen’s command of the subconscious, and its handles are winged, delicate as her touch.
The Swords represent the air sign. They are tactlessly logical: intellectualism itself without intuition or softness. They solve the problem but are prone to conflict and hurting feelings.
The Ace of Swords is a breakthrough idea handed to you from the sky, encouraging action and vision. The sword has a little crown on it: there is clarity and the force of truth here.
The Two of Swords are pointed in opposite directions, held by someone blindfolded. This represents a problem that needs to be faced - no more indecision, what will it be?
The Three of Swords shows a stabbed heart, betrayed. This literal heartbreak is painful and upsetting - feelings that can and should be evicted and replaced (by chocolate ice cream).
The Four of Swords shows a sleeping figure using downtime as an opportunity to rest and recover. The three swords of pain above are balanced with one below in the other direction.
The Five of Swords shows a shallow victory. The person has had a small win, but it was a draining one. They need to retreat away from the conflict before they suffer more damage.
The Six of Swords shows a family rowing forward into the distance. A painful acceptance of loss, they have chosen to move on to protect themselves and their long term prospects.
The Seven of Swords shows a thief making a getaway with armfuls of loot. They are scheming and deceitful, and though light on their steps, they could still get caught…
The Eight of Swords shows a blindfolded figure behind a row of swords. But if they took off the blindfold, maybe they’d see that there is enough of a gap in the row for them to escape?
The Nine of Swords are behind a figure in terrible despair, awoken by a nightmare. Escaping from the row of eight was painful, and there is a haunting isolation when that pain is bottled.
The Ten of Swords is the suit’s climax, awful but over! With ten swords in their back, that person could not possibly have it any worse. At rock bottom, the only way to go is up.
The Page of Swords is a youthful flurry of idealism and energy. Curious but clueless, they cannot stop their ideas from flowing out, telling everyone they meet exactly what they think.
The Knight of Swords is confidently but heartlessly riding in with a sword drawn. Perhaps if they balanced their ideas with some empathy, they’d be more successful, less destructive?
The King of Swords rests on the authority of their intellect and integrity. A brainiac serious about their ethics, they can always find the moral high ground - and then mansplain it to you.
The Queen of Swords is raising a sword with one hand and reaching out to you with the other. They listen carefully before calling you out on your bullshit with brutal honesty.