tarot card meanings of all 78 cards

tarot card meanings of all 78 cards

Tarot Card Meanings: The Basics

The 78 Cards and Why They Matter

Tarot is a deck of 78 cards (traditionally, some indie decks will have more), each with its own agreed meanings, imagery, symbols, assigned correspondences such as astrology, & energy.

The Major Arcana "bigger mysteries" are the first 22 cards of the deck (when in order and unshuffled). They represent life's karmic & spiritual lessons, the bigger events that occur in a human lifespan. They represent a journey to spiritual and esoteric knowledge & self-awareness, all while describing and being based upon the various stages we encounter as we search for greater meaning, evolution, awakening, & understanding. In this way, the Major Arcana cards hold deeply meaningful lessons on a soul level, but also on emotional, mental, & physical levels

The rest of the tarot deck is made of 56 cards of the Minor Arcana "smaller mysteries" and its these cards which fill in the gaps from the bigger, more important energies of the Major Arcana. If the Major Arcana cards provide the who, what, why, how, and when, the the Minor Arcana cards give us the rest of the information that stems from those impantant postmarks. Yes, they might demonstrate Minor, more mundane information and events, but are no less important. They help to flesh out and fill in the picture we try to create when reading tarot cards.

The Minor Arcana cards can further be broken down into the 4 suits - cups, pentacles, wands, and swords. From those four suits, 16 cards (four from each suit) are the Court Cards. They represent the 16 differing personality archetypes/characteristic that we, as humans, may display at any time. The rest of the cards, the remaining 40, are the numbered cards and begin with the ace and go all the way to ten. 

All in all, I believe that the energy of the cards is much like using a GPS, a roadmap, an atlas, a blueprint, or a note scribbled on a post-it note. It’s a conversation between the cards, the reader (and the quearrent, if present). Getting to know the cards, their meanings, & their enegies, plus understanding just how they communicate with us is a task one takes a lifetime to keep learning. While there are professional tarot readers, no one knows everything and the beauty of learning about the cards is the fact that you'll never actually master it. 


The Major Arcana:

0. The Fool

The Fool traditionally heralds a new beginning. Be that one we have had a choice in or one that is the result of something outwith our control. Regardless of how the change presented itself in our lives, there is often a time of contemplation or taking a moment to realign with ourselves. What should our first steps in the process of change be? 

We are all fools in our journey through life. We often experience many “fools journeys” happening simultaneously at various different stages of completion.

The Fool in a reading:

When the fool shows up, it can signal a change is coming. However,  it may also speak of change that has already taken place. The surrounding cards give the nuance to past, present or future tense.

When we multiply any number by zero the answer is zero, if we consider this in respect to the fool card in a reading does the presence of this card indicate that everything else is reset to zero? For us to begin again? 

Upright keywords: new beginnings, a journey, sudden changes, new ideas, innovation, foolhardy, immaturity.

Reversed keywords: reluctance, fear of change, delays in new projects, clouded thoughts, stagnation. 

1. The Magician

The image of the magician has changed significantly since the early tarot decks, The card was portrayed as a street magician who would use illusions to trick passers by. Think along the lines of a con artist. This is where the idea of the magician being untrustworthy comes from and the association to mercury hinting at the trickster and the god of thieves in Roman Mythology.today we see the magician as a card of communication and manifestation, master of the four elements. I'd like to add that you consider the 5th element of spirit particularly if you are using the magician in magickal practices.

The Magician in a reading: 

When The Magician comes floating into your reading it’s usually because there is a message that you have to understand. This can be that you have something you wish to communicate or someone wants to communicate with you. The Magician can show up as a warning that there could be an untrustworthy situation around you. remember that trickster we spoke of earlier and that all may not be as it first appears. Generally though, the appearance of The Magician is a signal that manifestation through communication is present or soon to be present.

Upright keywords: Manifestation, communication, elemental equilibrium, magick 

Reversed keywords: trickster, cunning, stalled communication, deception.


2. The Priestess

The Priestess or High Priestess as she is usually known is a card that has evolved over time. In the Tarot de Marseille system she is called “La Papesse”. Throughout the history of tarot this card has represented the feminine aspect of the balance of divinity. She is a card of intuition, accessing feminine cycles to aid our connection to the divine. She is the guardian of the unknown, of what is behind the veil. 

She is associated with the story of Persephonie and her journey to the underworld. She is the ancient Greek Goddess of the Underworld & Wife of Hades, but also Goddess of Spring and Innocence. 

The Priestess in a reading:

When the Priestess appears in a reading it’s generally a nudge to listen and pay attention to our intuition. The priestess can often see much more than we can at that moment. How do you feel with the overall energy of the spread you have in front of you? Often we mistrust our intuition or doubt what we see, hear, feel in the moment. 

As the keeper of mysteries and the unknown this card can indicate that there is something you are unaware of happening around the question or situation being inquired about. Whilst this is sometimes to our detriment, remember not all secrets are a bad thing. Party, Anyone?

Upright keywords: Intuition, psychic development, Wisdom from within, keeper of mysteries, guardian of the unknown.

Reversed keywords: secrets, lies, lack of intuition, illusion, revelations of truth, untrustworthy.

3. The Empress

The Empress is the embodiment of feminine energy and power. She is the bringer and receptacle of life, abundance, & all that grows. To merely call this card “the Pregnancy Card” is a disservice as this card is so much more. The Empress is an equal part of the ultimate power couple. She nurtures the land that we live upon and the resources we rely on to survive and prosper. 

The Empress in a reading:

The Empress appearing in your reading can indicate that you are going through a period of growth. understand that when we are growing we can’t always see our progress. Think of a seed deep in the soil. We planted it and we trust that within that dark, safe place it is developing and gaining strength until it's ready to emerge. This can be literal and indicate news of a pregnancy or the birth of a new business venture as the empress provides us with the tools to grow whatever our desires are. The card may speak to us of our relationship with our mother or mother figure and could suggest we look at how that relationship has influenced our life. She can show up when we are about to be offered a new job or a financial proposition to bring you prosperity. The Empress is about seizing the chances we are given and nurturing them to fruition. 

Upright keywords: Feminine Energy, Caregiver, Nurturing, New Business ventures, abundance, fertility. 

Reversed keywords: Toxic Matriarch, Difficulties with finances, Abandonment issues, Challenging Parent/Child relationships.


4. The Emperor 

The Emperor sits upon his throne of power, surveying all that he has amassed: Land, Laws, and people. He is our masculine side, our oppressor, our protector and our father figure all rolled into one. The Relationship we have with this card is often dependent on our experiences with male figures in our own lives. 

Consider the archetype of what an emperor is: A victorious warrior who has planned, led, fought, and won battles. But a warrior is nothing without an army. The most successful Warriors or Emperors won because of the loyalty of their followers. Do not underestimate the power of your army. Be it friends, family, or your own grit and determination to succeed. 

The Emperor in a reading:

When the Emperor shows up in a reading the first thing to consider is how this energy changes the rest of the cards. Does it create conflict or a need to focus on what you can achieve by tapping into your inner warrior? Is it time to fight for something you believe in? To calculate your next move in a situation or relationship? Of course he can indicate a message from, or about, a close male in your life (in particular a father figure). consider how your relationship with male energy has affected the decisions you have made.

Upright keywords: Masculine Energy, Paternal Figure, Power, Authority, Leading the Way, Strategy.

Reversed keywords: Overbearing, power hungry, Controlling, Abuse of Power, Formidable, Fiery Temperament


5. The Hierophant

The Hierophant has become one of the more difficult cards within the major arcana. This can be for numerous reasons, but mostly due to the damage that certain groups have done in regards to organised religion. Many feel themselves being repelled by the card or on occasion, triggered. 

However, if you separate the religious connotations and see it as a card of teaching and learning then a whole new energy is waiting on your personal discovery. This card can be a motivator or an indicator to have more faith in yourself. How can the lessons you have learnt through trial and tribulations help another person on their journey?

The Hierophant in a reading:

This card can be seen in a reading as a card of studying and learning. Consider if you, or your Querent, are the student or the teacher in the situation. The most profound lessons are often taught through facing difficult times, finding our inner strength, and perhaps our more stubborn side.

This card can show up to indicate an immovable structure (be that physical or metaphorical) as it is ruled by Taurus, after all. It may appear if someone refuses to change their beliefs or behaviours.

It can indicate “Red Flags” in a relationship reading.

Upright keywords: Conforming, Traditionalist, insightful, wise, Diligent, Discerning, Educator through Experience. 

Reversed keywords: Dogmatic, Stubborn, Resistant to change, Uncooperative, passive Aggressive.


6. The Lovers

The Lovers is traditionally a card of Choice. In both the Tarot de Marseille and the Waite Smith decks there are three beings in the image. Particularly in the Marseille tradition we see three people, one looks like they are making a choice between each of the other two suitors. 

In the Waite Smith version of the card Adam and Eve are depicted in the garden of Eden with an angel elevated between them in the sky. Eve gazes at the angel and Adam is gazing at Eve. 

I've often wondered if this dynamic is representative of the masculine need for the pleasures of the flesh, the intimacy of physical touch, and the feminine side being more in tune with that of the emotional/spiritual aspect of love. Perhaps it’s our own inner choice of lust, love, or even both. 

The Lovers in a reading:

When this card appears in a reading (especially a love/relationship  reading) it's a good sign of a favourable outcome. Although, if we dig a little deeper we may want to consider if there is a choice that we or our querent has to make in a relationship. This may be choosing to give up some independence from being single to being part of a relationship (not always a bad thing). If this card appears for a career reading, we may ask ourselves “am I choosing this direction because i love my career, or out of a sense of duty”. Consider other factors when this card appears and is not love or romance related in the usual sense. 

Upright keywords: Making a choice, Partnership, Communication, A new love interest, Head or heart decisions. 

Reversed keywords: Separation, Deceit, Toxic Relationships, Unable to make decisions, lack of boundaries.

7. The Chariot

The Chariot traditionally shows a warrior standing proud in their vehicle with a city behind them, giving the impression they are leaving it to travel to an unknown destination. However, by paying close attention to the waite smith imagery we see that the chariot is not in motion, the sphinxes are at rest. Another observation is that there is a body of water between the charioteer and the citadel. There are similarities in colouration of the armour & showing the crescent moons as we see in the High Priestess. Also, these cards link to our emotions. Is it possible we consider that in actual fact the chariot is our mode of transportation into our emotions? 

That the movement only comes once we are ready to travel to where our emotions are held within the citadel? Perhaps the Charioteer is our emotional taxi driver?

The Chariot in a reading:

Drawing The Chariot can signal a physical or emotional journey. This is very much dependent on the question or topic being read upon. Generally seen as a card of movement, the question presented by this card is more like “there is an opportunity for movement, but it's up to you if you take it”. If we use the taxi analogy: It's there waiting but the journey only begins once you decide to board the vehicle. 

Upright keywords:A Journey, moving forward, Forging ahead, Victorious Outcome, Physical Travel, A new car, The Balancing of our emotions.

Reversed keywords: Recklessness, Uncertain of the way ahead, stalling of emotions, Unbalanced, Speeding Tickets.

8. Justice

Justice is the equaliser of the tarot. Sitting upon a throne between two pillars, what is beyond them is hidden from our view. Lady Justice holds aloft a sword of truth and the scales of justice. She looks at us and asks: Where do you find justice? As the tarot is representative of the human experience, justice plays its role by facilitating a space to play out our stories. If we consider a court of law, the court itself  is the neutral playing field; neither for or against. It’s the participants that control the action, be it the prosecution or the defence.  

Justice in a reading:

If Justice appears then we should pay attention to where we need to find balance, particularly in our methods of communication. Are we in search of the truth or is the truth being withheld from us? Often signalling legal matters, the surrounding cards will help to show the direction and outcome of the proceedings. 

It can also represent our collective need for social justice & even environmental justice. In a more mundane & literal capacity, the justice card very often appears in a reading for someone who works in criminal justice or another area of law. 

Upright keywords: favourable outcomes in legal matters, balance & truth, official communications, new information coming to light. Feeling vindicated in your actions.

Reversed keywords: miscarriage of justice, feeling or being wrongly accused of something, an unbalanced argument, important information being withheld from you.

9. The Hermit

The Hermit is a card of solitary introspection, a place where we find peace in the act of being alone with our thoughts and feelings. Finding wisdom within, it is our gateway to all the answers we desire. This comes with a great responsibility, for once we know we cannot un-know. Once we see the answers we must come to terms with what they mean for us. The history of the hermit is an interesting one. originally the lamp that guides the hermit upon his journey was a sand timer and the hermit himself was purported to represent father time. Could this mean that we only have a limited amount of time to find and face our truths?

The Hermit in a reading:

It can suggest that a period of being physically alone is needed for us to contemplate how we want to move forward in our journey through life. It may indicate that we have spent too much time alone, or feeling alone, & the hermit is here to suggest it's time to move away from that space & rejoin society. Begin again to frequent the places that bring a sense of well being. Consider the many ways in which we can feel alone. we don't have to be physically alone. Sometimes being amongst a group of people who don't share our core beliefs or way of living can be very isolating.  

Upright keywords: solitary reflection, time away, listening to your inner voice, finding wisdom, spiritual evolution of self.

Reversed keywords: agoraphobia, lonely, alone, distant, detached from reality, inability or desire to engage with society.

10. The Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel of Fortune is a card with lots of symbology. There are many characters depicted within the Waite Smith version. In each of the four corners we see winged creatures that represent the four fixed signs of the zodiac. The Bull for Taurus, The Lion for Leo, the eagle for Scorpio and an angel for aquarius. around the wheel we see a sphynx, a snake, & a humanoid creature. Is it a jackal? The Devil? A Demon? You decide. It’s a card of fate and fortune, forever reminding us of the cycles of life. We all go through changes, phases, & cycles. Each is valid. All different, yet all connected.  

The Wheel of Fortune in a reading:

When the Wheel comes spinning into your reading it is an acknowledgement of changes. Consider how these changes have impacted you or your querent. It can indicate the ending of a karmic cycle, something that had to be done in order to facilitate spiritual growth. Another way to see this card is as a confirmation that your luck is about to change, that things are going to get better after a period of difficulty. 

Upright keywords: Endings & Beginnings, Cycles of Behaviour, Karmic Lessons, A Feeling of Luck, Fate and Fortune.

Reversed keywords: Inability to Change, Toxic Behavioural Cycles, On/Off Relationships, Stagnation, Holding onto the Past, Fear of Change.

11. Strength

Strength is where we are presented with taming the beast that resides within us all. It’s also an understanding that more often than not, this requires gentle coaxing as opposed to outright aggression. In the Waite Smith imagery the maiden has a lemniscate above her head suggesting that this is the eternal struggle which we face. True strength is found in vulnerability, by opening our hearts to the pain we are feeling,  or experiencing life in the moment. It is important that we create a safe space to heal our wounded beast within. 

Strength in a reading:

When this card presents in a reading we may consider what it is about our query that requires us to show fortitude. Where can we draw strength from? When we may feel that it's all too much, this card shows up to remind us that we do have that inner reserve, an untapped potential. Regardless of the situation we are facing, we will get through it. Courage, strength, and fortitude are the characteristics we gain from travelling the hard paths, traversing the difficulties life throws at us.  

Upright keywords: Courage, Determination, Stoic Temperament, Inner Strength.

Reversed keywords: Fear of Success, Self Sabotaging, Lack of Courage, Unwilling to face fears.

12. The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man  is a card of looking for a different perspective. There is a suggestion that it represents Odin hanging from the tree of life where he was shown all the mysteries of the universe. The character in the Waite Smith image does not appear to be in discomfort, there is more a feeling of contented contemplation from their vantage point. With what appears to be a sun surrounding his head it may suggest that by being in this position they have found enlightenment. That saying “A rush of blood to the head” springs to mind when seeing this card. 

I often refer to this card as the “snow globe card”. When you shake things up you view the scene through the snow which gives a different perspective from the scene with the snow lying undisturbed. 

The Hanged Man in a reading:

This card often shows up during a time where taking a step back from a situation is called for. by looking at things from a different angle or consulting someone who has another point of view can bring on that light bulb moment. It asks us to take stock of what we have been doing & make changes if our endeavours have not been yielding the results we want. 

Upright keywords: Patience, A different Perspective, Unknown Potential, Untapped resources, Illusions. 

Reversed keywords: Inevitability, Unwilling acceptance of what is, Frustration, Delusional feelings.

13. Death

Death, one of the most misunderstood cards of The Tarot. The Waite Smith imagery shows us a King dead on the ground, with the clergyman praying for mercy perhaps? The older child, unable to look at death as they already have an understanding of the fate that awaits them. Then the younger child, full of innocence, holding a bouquet of flowers, offering them to death. In the distance we see the same towers that are depicted in the moon card, showing us that in fact this card is the beginning of a journey. We see in the mid ground of the card a boat upon a body of water, could this be a reference to the boatman who carries the souls of the dead onwards?  

Death in a reading:

As sure as night turns to day & the seasons change, death in a reading indicates transformation. The ending & rebirth of a situation or relationship. It’s usually one of the cards that makes its presence known or felt very clearly. It can give clarity to a reading that is perhaps initially confusing.  Whilst the vast majority of the time this card does not mean physical death, on rare occasions it is an indicator of loss of life. However, I feel duty bound to advise that this should never be indicated to the querent. It could be that a loved one has passed & the card is acknowledging this loss. It could be the loss of a relationship, a job, a role one gains identity from, or a life phase. 

Upright keywords: transformation, rebirth, endings and beginnings, harsh truths, embracing change, emotional depth, intensity.

Reversed keywords: refusal to accept change, living in the past, grief of what was, detached from emotions.

14. Temperance

Temperance is a card of transformation & alchemy. Taking one thing & mixing it with another to create something new. Within the Waite Smith imagery we see an angel pouring a liquid from one cup to another, while one is giving the other is receiving. Let us consider what this liquid is? Is it simply water (sometimes referred to as the elixir of life as we are unable to survive without it)?  Or is it something more? Is it the pool of our unconscious being mixed with our conscious to create something new? We may also consider how this card is one of creation. Whenever we create, it takes time and patience. 

Temperance in a reading:

When this card appears in a reading, we (or our querent) are often in a period of change. fluctuating between what has been & what will be. It’s a card that shows we are moving, on a passage of sorts. This can be a physical, spiritual, emotional or psychological journey. It also indicates that we need to be patient with the process. Yes, we may want everything to happen at a quick pace. However, change happens in it’s own time. No matter how delayed or slow it may feel, know that this is always for a reason. It’s all part of the process. 

Upright keywords: balance, healing, alchemy, finding peace, fire within aligned with purpose.

Reversed keywords: unbalanced, lacklustre, insecure, loss of direction, unable to make commitment to self or others.

15. The Devil

The Devil, one of the cards that has many of the uninitiated in tarot afraid of the practice entirely. The Waite Smith imagery shows the devil upon a plinth with a version of Adam & Eve from the lovers card loosely chained to it. Have the choices that they made led them to being in this position? Notice I say choices because The Devil offers us choices. He is the facilitator of those choices but it is we who decide to partake in them. Temptation is the currency of the devil; it is we who have those hidden desires within us that The Devil exploits & tempts us with. A card that deals with addictions of all kinds, they can cause great loss & suffering as too much of anything unbalances us and those around us. This is not a card of moderation. 

The Devil in a reading:

When The Devil comes out to play in a reading it indicates choices that may lead to addiction, or the acknowledgement that there is an issue with addictions/obsessions within our lives that must be addressed. The surrounding cards can offer a potential solution to breaking the habits, or in some cases the eventual outcome if the addiction is not dealt with. However, sometimes The Devil appears to show us that we need to have more fun and frivolity in our lives, let our hair down a bit. 

Upright keywords: addictions, overindulgence, self-entrapment, sex and seduction, desires of the flesh, co-dependence, attachment issues.

Reversed keywords: Breaking free from addictive behaviours, putting an end to toxic relationships, feeling independent, setting strong boundaries.

16. The Tower

The Tower, a card of destruction & collapse of what we have always known & found comfort in. The Waite Smith imagery shows a tower being struck by lightning with two figures falling into the abyss below. The Tower shows us that lightning can strike at any time in our lives. it comes out of nowhere. Our lives as we know them are turned upside down & we feel a lack of control. It reminds us that something built on an unsteady foundation is doomed to crumble. It offers us the opportunity to rebuild on a more solid foundation. OFten considered to be a representation of the Tower of Babel, we are often left confused during times of chaos. 

The Tower in a reading:

The crashing announcement of The Tower in a reading causes a sharp intake of breath. We think “oh no, what's coming?” or perhaps we give the card a knowing smile as the very reason for consulting the tarot is due to a ‘tower moment’ that has, or is, occurring. It is an acknowledgement of what is unsteady in our lives & gives us a chance to make significant, lasting changes.

Upright keywords: sudden changes, internal & external shocks, loss, collapse, destruction, explosive arguments, surprises. 

Reversed keywords: moving forward, gaining momentum, rebuilding, a new beginning after a painful ending, permission to release, growth, impedance.

17. The Star

The Star is a card of hope and healing. After the struggles we faced in the tower, this card is where the healing journey begins to take place. The Waite Smith imagery shows a naked woman pouring water onto the land and also into the pool which one of her feet is submerged in. She is surrounded by eight, eight-pointed stars. Is she pouring a healing balm onto our wounded souls? The first of the three celestial cards, The Star shows us that our healing can be found in the vulnerability & freedom of our nakedness. By sharing our thoughts and feelings, while shedding layers, we become a conduit of our healing journey. 

The Star in a reading:

When The Star sparkles into a reading there is a sense of hope that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. The healing that we need is found here. It can indicate that the healing may come from a new, innovative practice, previously unknown to you or the querent. With the star being a celestial card it may suggest an interest in astrology and an increasing knowledge in the subject. This could also be seen as a method of healing. Inner peace can be found by having more of an understanding of what we are made of & what has an influence on our behaviour. The more we understand who we are, the more acceptance we offer to our self, the more peace we feel. 

Upright keywords: A new feeling of hope, wishes coming true, restoration of faith, healing, positive mental health, innovations, new technology, a new way in processing thoughts.

Reversed keywords: unfulfilled wishes, resistance to technology, poor mental health, lack of empathy, lack of understanding, depression.

18. The Moon

The Moon is a card of mystery. it illuminates what is hidden within us; the subconscious & our deepest, darkest emotions. In the Waite Smith image, we see the moon eclipsing the setting sun between two towers that were first shown to us on the death card. The dog and the wolf represent our tame & wild sides. The creature crawling up from the abyss of our subconscious mind is representative of where our fears reside, & an exploration of these depths is where the moon can aid our healing. The Path that is depicted is the path into the unknown, according to A.E Waite in the Pictorial Key to the Tarot (1910). 

The Moon in a reading:

When The Moon shimmers into a reading it can represent what is unseen and unknown in regards to the topic being read on. There is a mystery that we are unaware of & emotions are not being acknowledged. However, if we read the surrounding cards we can often find the key to unlocking the emotions, leading to a solution and revelation. The Moon can also indicate that we are ready to undertake a journey into the vast unknown.   


Upright keywords: stirring of emotions, goddess/feminine energy, cycles, unseen dangers, increased water intake, intuition expanding.

Reversed keywords: uncovering a deception, true feelings being shared, forced vulnerability, tidal waves of emotions, lack of intuition.

19. The Sun

The Sun is considered the happiest card in the tarot. Depicted in the Waite Smith deck as a giant orb with its rays reaching out past the edges of the card. A child, naked in their innocence, sits upon a horse & waving a red banner of victory. The sunflowers in the background are in full bloom. The Sun is our life force, the centre of our universe. It is by basking in the light of the sun we find our happiness, a celebration of what we have come through & achieved. We have a true understanding of consciousness, a sense of relief that for now our troubles are behind us, & on the other side of the wall from which we have come. We let our inner light shine.

The Sun in a reading:

The Sun comes blazing into your reading with a message of happiness, warmth, vitality, celebration & good times ahead. The vast majority of the time this message (or a version of it) is portrayed by the sun card. However, there are incidences where the sun can show up to represent a false happiness, perhaps as a mask covering our inner struggles or someone close to us projecting a false light. The darker, more shadowy side of this card can suggest narcissistic and egotistical behaviour in our lives, be that projected towards us by others or perhaps even within ourselves.

Upright keywords: happiness, fulfilment, gods/masculinity, healthy mindset, joy in living, life force.

Reversed keywords: narcissism, toxic positivity,  vanity and arrogance, depression, overuse of antidepressant medication.

20. Judgement

Judgement is the card that depicts the ‘last judgement’. In the Waite Smith depiction the characters are rising from their graves to give thanks to the great angel amongst the clouds. This is the same angel that takes centre stage in the card of Temperance. We see the angel blowing his trumpet. The coffins in which the people arise appear to be floating on a body of water. perhaps the same water we see in the death card? The participants have completed their journey to the afterlife. This card speaks not just of our final resurrection, but of the continual  resurrection of ourselves as we travel through our journey of life.

Judgement in a reading:

As Judgement appears in a reading, it is a card that can often be confused with Justice in its meaning. If we consider Judgement as a card of resurrection and evolution we see it in its true light. It can signify our lack of judgement in some circumstances or that we are being harshly judged by ourselves or others. We are encouraged to look into the depths of ourselves (or that of the client) to find the true meaning in our endeavours. 

Upright keywords: resurrection, chances & changes, a sudden epiphany, restoration of self, emerging from the darkness, a new understanding of life, finding one's purpose. 

Reversed keywords: fear of being judged, judging others or ourselves, over critical, lack of foresight, jumping to the wrong conclusions, fear of change, comfort in darkness.

21. The World

The World is the last card of the Major Arcana. It’s the journey's end & where we say goodbye to all that has been. In the Waite Smith depiction we see again the four characters that represent the fixed signs of the zodiac. It is said they are also linked to the four apostles. Taking centre stage is a woman, naked except for a billowing scarf that swirls around her. Encapsulated within an oval laurel wreath, it is sometimes considered the entry point to life itself & that of the womb. 

The World in a reading:

When The World appears in a reading, it may indicate that there is the ending of a cycle. A time of rest before a rebirth takes place and a new fool's journey begins. It can pertain to a victorious outcome where there will be a celebration with those we hold dear. You could have a spiritual victory, the end of hard lessons learned. Now you are ready to level up, taking what you have learned with you. 

Upright keywords: Successful outcomes, Endings, Beginnings, Victorious, The Beginning of the End of something, Hard Lessons Learned, Down but not Out.

Reversed keywords: Repeating the same cycle, lack of growth and development, Delays, Frustrations, Being Tested over and over again, Lack of Movement, No end in sight.

 The Minor Arcana:

The Suit of Wands:

ace of wands: creativity, inspiration, new beginnings. upright keywords: potential, opportunity, inspiration. reversed keywords: lack of direction, missed opportunity, delays.

two of wands: planning, decisions, progress. upright keywords: future planning, focus, discovery. reversed keywords: lack of planning, fear of unknown, indecision.

three of wands: exploration, foresight, leadership. upright keywords: foresight, expansion, exploration. reversed keywords: lack of foresight, delays, missed opportunities.

four of wands: celebration, harmony, homecoming. upright keywords: celebration, harmony, achievements. reversed keywords: conflict, instability, disarray.

five of wands: competition, conflict, struggle. upright keywords: competition, conflict, rivalry. reversed keywords: inner conflict, avoiding conflict, conflict resolution.

six of wands: victory, success, recognition. upright keywords: victory, success, public recognition. reversed keywords: egotism, temporary setbacks, lack of recognition.

seven of wands: perseverance, challenge, protection. upright keywords: perseverance, challenge, defending beliefs. reversed keywords: giving up, overwhelmed, yielding.

eight of wands: swiftness, movement, progress. upright keywords: swiftness, progress, rapid changes. reversed keywords: delays, frustration, lack of direction.

nine of wands: resilience, persistence, determination. upright keywords: resilience, persistence, strength. reversed keywords: stubbornness, defensive, exhaustion.

ten of wands: burden, responsibility, hard work. upright keywords: burden, responsibility, overextension. reversed keywords: release, delegation, lightening the load.

page of wands: enthusiasm, exploration, free spirit. upright keywords: enthusiasm, exploration, curiosity. reversed keywords: lack of direction, recklessness, immaturity.

knight of wands: action, energy, adventure. upright keywords: action, energy, adventure. reversed keywords: impulsiveness, haste, recklessness.

queen of wands: confidence, independence, leadership. upright keywords: confidence, independence, charisma. reversed keywords: selfishness, jealousy, manipulation.

king of wands: leadership, vision, entrepreneurship. upright keywords: leadership, vision, inspiration. reversed keywords: impulsiveness, aggression, overbearing.


The Suit of Swords:

ace of swords: clarity, truth, mental clarity. upright keywords: mental clarity, truth, new ideas. reversed keywords: confusion, chaos, mental fog.

two of swords: indecision, stalemate, blocked emotions. upright keywords: indecision, stalemate, avoidance. reversed keywords: indecision, impasse, difficult decisions.

three of swords: heartbreak, sorrow, emotional pain. upright keywords: heartbreak, sorrow, betrayal. reversed keywords: healing, forgiveness, moving on.

four of swords: rest, relaxation, recuperation. upright keywords: rest, relaxation, contemplation. reversed keywords: burnout, unrest, overexertion.

five of swords: conflict, defeat, winning at all costs. upright keywords: conflict, defeat, betrayal. reversed keywords: reconciliation, making amends, forgiveness.

six of swords: transition, moving on, mental clarity. upright keywords: transition, moving on, progress. reversed keywords: delays, unresolved issues, stuck in the past.

seven of swords: deception, betrayal, sneakiness. upright keywords: deception, betrayal, sneakiness. reversed keywords: coming clean, facing consequences, honesty.

eight of swords: restriction, imprisonment, self-imposed limitations. upright keywords: restriction, feeling trapped, powerlessness. reversed keywords: self-acceptance, liberation, breaking free.

nine of swords: anxiety, worry, nightmares. upright keywords: anxiety, worry, fear. reversed keywords: inner turmoil, releasing worry, finding peace.

ten of swords: betrayal, endings, rock bottom. upright keywords: betrayal, loss, hitting rock bottom. reversed keywords: recovery, new beginnings, hope.

page of swords: curiosity, new ideas, intellectual pursuits. upright keywords: curiosity, new ideas, exploration. reversed keywords: lack of direction, deceit, manipulation.

knight of swords: action, determination, haste. upright keywords: action, determination, ambition. reversed keywords: recklessness, haste, impulsiveness.

queen of swords: independence, truth, clear communication. upright keywords: independence, truth, logic. reversed keywords: coldness, cruelty, sharp tongue.

king of swords: authority, truth, intellectual power. upright keywords: authority, truth, mental clarity. reversed keywords: abuse of power, manipulation, cruelty.


The Suit of Pentacles:

ace of pentacles: opportunity, prosperity, new financial beginnings. upright keywords: opportunity, prosperity, abundance. reversed keywords: missed opportunity, lack of planning, financial instability.

two of pentacles: balance, adaptability, juggling priorities. upright keywords: balance, flexibility, multitasking. reversed keywords: imbalance, overwhelmed, poor prioritisation.

three of pentacles: teamwork, collaboration, craftsmanship. upright keywords: teamwork, collaboration, skill development. reversed keywords: lack of teamwork, criticism, mediocrity.

four of pentacles: stability, security, conservation. upright keywords: stability, security, saving money. reversed keywords: financial insecurity, greed, clinging to possessions.

five of pentacles: hardship, poverty, financial loss. upright keywords: hardship, poverty, adversity. reversed keywords: recovery, assistance, improving circumstances.

six of pentacles: generosity, charity, sharing wealth. upright keywords: generosity, charity, giving back. reversed keywords: selfishness, greed, financial imbalance.

seven of pentacles: assessment, patience, long-term vision. upright keywords: assessment, patience, investment. reversed keywords: impatience, lack of progress, short-term focus.

eight of pentacles: diligence, craftsmanship, skill development. upright keywords: diligence, craftsmanship, dedication. reversed keywords: lack of focus, perfectionism, low-quality work.

nine of pentacles: luxury, self-sufficiency, financial independence. upright keywords: luxury, self-sufficiency, abundance. reversed keywords: financial dependency, over-reliance, setbacks.

ten of pentacles: wealth, inheritance, legacy. upright keywords: wealth, inheritance, long-term success. reversed keywords: financial loss, instability, broken family ties.

page of pentacles: manifestation, new beginnings, practicality. upright keywords: manifestation, new opportunities, practicality. reversed keywords: lack of progress, missed opportunities, impracticality.

knight of pentacles: hard work, reliability, methodical approach. upright keywords: hard work, reliability, practicality. reversed keywords: laziness, procrastination, lack of progress.

queen of pentacles: nurturing, abundance, practicality. upright keywords: nurturing, abundance, practicality. reversed keywords: dependence, financial insecurity, neglect.

king of pentacles: abundance, success, financial stability. upright keywords: abundance, success, financial security. reversed keywords: greed, materialism, financial instability.


The Suit of Cups:

ace of cups: new beginnings, love, emotional fulfilment. upright keywords: new love, emotional fulfilment, intuition. reversed keywords: blocked emotions, emptiness, emotional loss.

two of cups: partnership, connection, unity. upright keywords: partnership, love, harmony. reversed keywords: imbalance, disharmony, broken relationships.

three of cups: celebration, friendship, joy. upright keywords: celebration, friendship, community. reversed keywords: overindulgence, gossip, shallow friendships.

four of cups: apathy, contemplation, discontent. upright keywords: contemplation, withdrawal, introspection. reversed keywords: boredom, missed opportunities, ignoring blessings.

five of cups: loss, grief, regret. upright keywords: loss, regret, disappointment. reversed keywords: acceptance, moving on, finding silver linings.

six of cups: nostalgia, innocence, childhood memories. upright keywords: nostalgia, childhood memories, innocence. reversed keywords: clinging to the past, inability to move forward, naivety.

seven of cups: choices, illusions, daydreams. upright keywords: choices, imagination, fantasy. reversed keywords: overwhelmed, confusion, lack of focus.

eight of cups: abandonment, walking away, transition. upright keywords: walking away, transition, leaving behind. reversed keywords: fear of change, clinging to the past, emotional baggage.

nine of cups: contentment, satisfaction, emotional fulfilment. upright keywords: contentment, satisfaction, emotional fulfilment. reversed keywords: smugness, dissatisfaction, emotional emptiness.

ten of cups: harmony, happiness, emotional fulfilment. upright keywords: harmony, happiness, family bliss. reversed keywords: family discord, broken relationships, emotional dissatisfaction.

page of cups: creativity, intuition, new experiences. upright keywords: creativity, intuition, new experiences. reversed keywords: emotional immaturity, creative block, missed opportunities.

knight of cups: romance, charm, idealism. upright keywords: romance, charm, dreaminess. reversed keywords: moodiness, unrealistic expectations, manipulation.

queen of cups: compassion, intuition, emotional stability. upright keywords: compassion, intuition, emotional stability. reversed keywords: emotional insecurity, moodiness, over-sensitivity.

king of cups: emotional maturity, compassion, calmness. upright keywords: emotional maturity, compassion, wisdom. reversed keywords: emotional manipulation, moodiness, emotional instability.


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