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A tarot deck consists of twenty-two Major Arcana cards and fifty-six Minor Arcana cards. 

 

Major Arcana Cards

These twenty-two cards are the most powerful in the deck. Whenever they show up in a tarot reading, they typically hold the most weight regardless of what position they occupy in the spread. These are sometimes referred to as the “trump cards” in the tarot deck. These cards all contain powerful characters with symbolism that often sheds light on spiritual issues, self-awareness, and important life decisions. These cards are all numbered from zero to twenty-one, although the cards themselves aren’t always labeled with the numbers. The Fool is the first card in the deck, the number zero. This card is often used in witchcraft to represent the witch performing the spell. The Fool is a very positive card in the deck. He symbolizes new beginnings and a “blank slate”.

 

Minor Arcana Cards

The Minor Arcana cards are the remaining fifty-six cards in the deck known as the “Lesser Arcana”. These cards are split into four different suits: pentacles, wands, cups, and swords. There are fourteen cards in each suit. These suits each contain some numbered cards (two through ten), four “court” cards and one “ace” card.

 

The Pentacles Suit

The pentacles suit indicate that an idea or dream is becoming a reality. It is the energy of material things, comfort, reward, money, and the physical experience of being human. Pentacles represent the earth element and the direction of north. 

 

The Wands Suit

The cards in the wands suit are all about creativity, action, new ideas, and enthusiasm. The wands represent the element of fire and the direction of south. 

 

The Cups Suit

The Cups cards deal with emotions, feelings, intuition, and matters of the heart. Partnership and relationships also fall into this suit. The cups represent the element of water and the direction of west.

 

The Swords Suit

This suit represents cold logic, mental clarity, rational thought, strength, responsibility, and authority. The swords are associated with the air element and the direction of east.