card meanings & reading

By Stefan Stenudd
Stefan Stenudd, Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction.
About me
I'm a Swedish author. In addition to fiction, I've written books about the Tarot, Taoism, astrology and other metaphysical traditions. I'm also an historian of ideas, researching ancient thought and mythology. My personal website: stenudd.com

Tarot Online Reading
Free Celtic Cross card reading.

Major Arcana
The 22 Tarot trump cards and their meanings.

Minor Arcana
The 56 suited Tarot cards and their meanings.

The Celtic Cross
The most famous and used Tarot card divination spread explained.

Tarot Card Decks
Some of the Tarot designs through the centuries.

The Rider-Waite Tarot
The most famous Tarot card deck.

Tarot vs. Playing Cards
The same ancestry but evolving for different purposes.

What to Make of It
Is Tarot divination accurate, and if so - how?

Tarot Archetypes
The symbolic ingredients in the cards.

Tarot Speaks to You
The cards mean what they mean to you.

Tarot Copyright
The Tarot in the public domain.

Tarot Unfolded
My book on the Tarot and its symbolic imagery.

How to get in touch with me.

Major Arcana
Click the image to get the card reading.

The Fool Tarot Card The Magician Tarot Card The High Priestess Tarot Card The Empress Tarot Card The Emperor Tarot Card The Hierophant Tarot Card The Lovers Tarot Card The Chariot Tarot Card Strength Tarot Card The Hermit Tarot Card Wheel of Fortune Tarot Card Justice Tarot Card The Hanged Man Tarot Card Death Tarot Card Temperance Tarot Card The Devil Tarot Card The Tower Tarot Card The Star Tarot Card The Moon Tarot Card The Sun Tarot Card Judgement Tarot Card The World Tarot Card

Complete Horoscope
How predictions are done by classical astrology and the full horoscope chart, with many examples.

I Ching Online
The 64 hexagrams of the Chinese classic I Ching and what they mean in divination. Try it online for free.

Taoism, the old Chinese philosophy of life, based on Tao, the Way. Also, the complete Tao Te Ching translated and explained.

Book by Stefan Stenudd:

Your Health in Your Horoscope. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

Your Health in Your Horoscope
What your horoscope says about your health, according to the old tradition of medical astrology. You learn what the planets, the Zodiac signs and the other ingredients of the horoscope reveal about many health issues. Click the image to see the book (and Kindle ebook) at Amazon.

Life Energy Encyclopedia. Book by Stefan Stenudd.
Life Energy Encyclopedia
Qi, prana, spirit, ruach, pneuma, and many other life forces around the world explained and compared. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

Tarot Minor Arcana

The four Aces of the Tarot Suits.

The Four Suits of the Tarot Card Deck and Their Meaning

The Tarot card deck consists of two parts - the Major Arcana (also called Trumps) with 22 cards and the Minor Arcana with the remaning 56 cards in four suits: Wands, Pentacles, Cups, and Swords. Here the four suits are presented, with links to all their cards and what they mean in divination.

     The Minor Arcana is close to regular playing card decks, but with one card extra in each suit: the Page. So, each suit has 14 cards from Ace to King. Also, each suit represents its own perspective on life, indicated by the symbol of that suit.

     The four suits of the Tarot differ from regular playing cards in one more way: they deviate slightly in names, although they are historically connected. Wands of the Tarot are Clubs in the normal deck of playing cards, Pentacles are Diamonds, Cups are Hearts and Swords are Spades. Their similarities are still evident, also in the symbols used for them.

     In playing card decks, only the court cards have images whereas the pip cards only have the appropriate number of the symbol of the suit. That's actually true for most of the historical Tarot card decks as well. But for the last hundred years or so, many Tarot card decks have images on all the cards. So does the Rider-Waite deck that I use on this website. The images are symbolic representations of what the cards mean in divination.

     Here are the four suits and what they mean in Tarot card divination:

Ace of Wands


Wands correspond to Clubs in a regular deck of cards. Their Greek element is earth. They stand for everything earth-bound and concrete. In the four classes of feudal society, this suit is linked to that of agriculture, the peasants.

     When a Wands card appears in a reading, its message is concrete: something to do or something done, work and struggle but also their reward in palpable results.

Read about the 14 cards in the Wands suit here.

Ace of Pentacles


Pentacles correspond to Diamonds in a regular deck of cards. Their Greek element is air. They stand for monetary matters, everything about economy, but also thought, communication and other things of the mind. In the four classes of feudal society, this suit is linked to that of trade, merchants and businessmen.

     When a Pentacles card appears in a reading, its message regards matters of economy, but also thoughts, study, plans - anything abastract, present in the mind but not yet in one's hands, either not yet or because of its nature never.

Read about the 14 cards in the Pentacles suit here.

Ace of Cups


Cups correspond to Hearts in a regular deck of cards. Their Greek element is water. They stand for everything emotional - what we feel, whether or not we actually live it. In the four classes of feudal society, this suit is linked to that of the clergy, since the church and religion is all about emotions.

     When a Cups card appears in a reading, its message is always about things of an emotional nature: Worries, delights, temptations, hopes, affections, disappointments, and so on. Events or situations that primarily affect the heart.

Read about the 14 cards in the Cups suit here.

Ace of Swords


Swords correspond to Spades in a regular deck of cards. Their Greek element is fire. They stand for forceful action, power, and firm decision. In the four classes of feudal society, this suit is linked to that of the aristocracy, the warriors and rulers.

     When a Swords card appears in a reading, its message is about action needed or already commenced, drastic change because of necessity or circumstance, ambition, competition, defense, and other things that demand resolve and bold activity.

Read about the 14 cards in the Swords suit here.

The Book

Tarot Unfolded. Book by Stefan Stenudd.
Tarot Unfolded

This book by Stefan Stenudd presents an imaginative reading of the divination cards, i.e. focusing on what impressions the images and their symbols give. Several spreads are introduced, as well as the meanings of all the 78 cards and their pictures. Also, it gives many examples of symbolic and allegorical imagery within and beyond the Tarot. This book will help you find your own intuitive way of making inspired Tarot card readings. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.