Common Card Interpretations

Common Card InterpretationsEach card has a variety of symbolic meanings. The many of the interpretations bear striking similarity to philosophy found in the Kabbalah or in Alchemy. These are frequently created by amateur philosophers who believe that they have a new insight into the proper analysis of the texts of Kabbalah and Alchemy. The literature specifies elements which must be present in each card for the deck to be proper Tarot. Artists are free to represent these elements in any they choose, and they usually try to draw the picture in such a way as to reveal a new truth. Each card has several meanings, and the reader determines which meaning to apply based on the card's location in the spread and which cards are turned up around it. Common sense is also used to discard meanings which have no relevance to the question asked.

Minor Arcana
The Minor Arcana closely match Anglo-American playing cards, having Ace-through-Ten and four face cards. The face cards are Page, Knight, Queen, and King. Each suit of the Minors corresponds to one of the four Alchemical Elements. Pentagrams corresponds with Earth, Swords with Air, Wands with Fire and Cups with water. The Face cards also correspond to the Elements. The Page is Earth, the Knight is Air, the Queen is Water, and the King is Fire. This makes the Page of Pentagrams, the Knight of Swords, the Queen of Cups and the King of wands very strong cards.

Major Arcana
The Major Arcana are a set of twenty-two cards, numbered zero to twenty-one, with no suit. There are usually many more elements in the images specified by the literature for this set of cards. These cards are often interpreted as describing the normal progression of a truly holy life, and often tell where a person is along their journey, or if they have strayed. Such an interpretation is called the "Fool's Journey" and it originated with Eden Gray

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