The Minor Arcana and Court Cards

The minor arcana make up forty cards of the tarot and represent the stage in which the healing and growth of the psyche takes place. We only heal and grow through experiencing. The minor arcana represent the experiences.

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The minor arcana is the story of our lives as told by the conscious mind or ego part of the self. This is the self we are familiar with and aware of. If I ask you to tell me about your day, it is your ego telling me the tale. Though because the ego likes approval and to be accepted, it denies aspects of Self and distorts the story to fit its version of what is acceptable.

What is denied or unseen by ego goes into our shadow. The minor arcana may reveal shadow aspects that the ego denies or cannot see for one reason or another. For instance, if you have just gone through a break-up your ego may say, “I’m over him and I don’t love him anymore,” but then you pull the 10 of cups revealing that you still feel deeply in love with him. Being vulnerable and learning to accept ourselves for all we feel and all of who we are is what brings integrative healing.

The Court Cards make up sixteen cards and represent aspects of the personality to develop. These cards may represent another person and if so it is to draw out the character traits in the Self. Four court cards (page, knight, queen, king) represents four elements (water/cups, fire/wands, air/swords, and earth/pentacles). The pages represent childlike qualities of the element, knights represent adolescent/young adulthood qualities of the element, queens represent the embodiment of the element, kings represent the mastery of the element.

The Minor Arcana and Court Cards:

Cups: The healing of the heart and the journey of love. The element of water.

Ace: An experience of the heart opening for the first time in a long time or ever. Raw feelings. An uprising of love guiding you toward healing and love.

Two: An experience of  love in the form of  a strong attraction that may or may not grow into a more lasting relationship.

Three: An experience of love as friendship, pleasure, and joy in the moment.

Four: An experience of lack of love through feeling bored, stagnant and cut off from the heart. A need to focus the heart in a more nourishing direction.

Five: An experience of love as disappointment, sorrow, and loss that needs to be acknowledged, expressed, and released.

Six: An experience of nostalgia or innocence, a longing to return to the past, a loved one from the past returning.

Seven: An experience of emotional confusion and not feeling what to choose, love for more than one person/situation/direction and unclear on what’s most authentic.

Eight: An experience where love calls for a deep emotional letting go because there is nothing else you can do.

Nine: An experience of self love and fulfillment of a long held dream or desire.

Ten: An experience of feeling long lasting permanent true love.

Page: Open-hearted  willingness. Sweet intentions. Transparent feelings. The innocent.

Knight: The romantic idealist. Knight in shining armor. The dreamer.

Queen: Contemplative, introspective, artistic, intuitive, empathic, sensitive and wise. The spiritual healer.

King: Learning to trust the flow of life. Helping others through understanding their souls. Musical. The wounded healer.

Wands: The healing of the will and the journey of creating life. The element of fire. 

Ace: The experience of having a gut feeling and strong instinct. Raw impulse guiding you toward creating.

Two: The experience of doors opening up and being open to walk through with what you desire to create.

Three: The experience of having created a solid foundation that will bring wanted results.

Four: The experience of creating sacred space or sacred relationship and receiving early success.

Five: The experience of facing small difficulties and obstacles in concrete reality that mirrors internal blocks in creative flow. Ego needs to let go here.

Six: The experience of wanting to create victory in your endeavor or situation.

Seven: The experience of battling creative energies within or with another.

Eight: The experience of being in the creative flow of life; synchronicity abounds.

Nine: The experience of needing to protect your creative vision or all you have created.

Ten: The experience of creative achievement that brings with it the burden of heavy responsibility.

Page: Restless, wild, untamed creative energies. The free spirit.

Knight: adventurous, fiery, seductive and bold, experience for experience’s sake. The Don Juan.

Queen: steady, devoted, loyal, creative, determined, friendly, warm. The dedicated artist.

King: visionary, charismatic, leader, gregarious, warm, powerful voice. The teacher.

Swords: The healing of the story and journey of the mind. The element of air.

Ace: The experience of conflict that leads to a quest for truth.

Two: The experience of being torn between two ideas, decisions, or reasons.

Three: The experience of being disappointed and possibly suffering because life is not matching up with your vision, perception or idea of what should be.

Four: The experience of taking time to rest and be alone to clear the mind.

Five: The experience of believing you are a failure and yours is a story of defeat. The need for re-authoring the story to heal is in this card.

Six: The experience of mental clarity and safe journeying. A journey that brings you mental clarity.

Seven: The experience of needing to use tact and diplomacy because you do not feel comfortable or aligned with another or two inner parts of self having this experience.

Eight: The experience of being caught in a mental dilemma with what appears to be no way out. The need for a new perspective.

Nine: The experience of mental anguish and anxiety gripping the mind. The need for healing through letting go of the story.

Ten: The experience of mental anguish that forces you to have a complete mental paradigm shift which brings you back into truth and well-being.

Page: immature thinking, deceptive, secretive, manipulative in a child like way. The gossip.

Knight: making a quick silver sudden shift/decision, aggressive pursuit to get what you want. The opportunist.

Queen: keen, intelligent, tactful, sees both sides, idealistic, witty, sarcastic, bitter, severe. The Diplomat.

King: strategic, wise, detached, aloof, disconnected from feeling, sees the big picture and steps ahead. The wise counselor.

Pentacles: The healing of physical realm and the worldly journey. 

Ace: An experience of a new positive healing and growth oriented beginning.

Two: An experience of temporary fluctuation and instability in the physical environment.

Three: An experience of achieving success in a relationship, work, or venture.

Four: An experience of holding onto money, power, energy. Withholding or hoarding. The need to loosen the grip.

Five: An experience of lack, impoverishment, scarcity in the physical environment or in a relationship that may or may not reflect an inner story of lack.

Six: An experience of giving and receiving in harmony with others.

Seven: An experience of slow and steady movement, tilling the soil and tending to what you are invested in creating.

Eight: An experience of apprenticeship, learning something new, or an experience of karma and lesson to be learned in a relationship.

Nine: An experience of self-worth and self-value actualizing in the physical world. Or the physical world providing a sense of self-worth.

Ten: An experience of long term commitment, marriage, life’s work, legacy, family.

Page: the willingness to try something new, giving or receiving a gift or offer, open and curious. The optimist.

Knight: earnest, loyal, hard worker, ordinary day to day doing, kind, trustworthy, stick in the mud. The good neighbor

Queen: Pragmatic, realistic, sensuous, enjoys luxury and comfort, nurturing, stern, direct, controlling. The mamma bear.

King: Entrepreneurial, provides for others, reaches the top tier of success, cautious and emotionally reserved. The ruler.