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Tarot Cards: Minor Arcana
Minor Arcana consists of 56 divinatory cards comprising four suits of 14 cards each. The names of the four suits of cards have Latin origin. There are Cups, Swords, Wands or Batons, and Coins or Pentacles or Disks. All the four suits are associated with the four elements of nature, fire, earth, water and air. Wands are associated with fire, Cups with water, Swords with air and Coins with earth. Some tarot readers deviate from this practice and make different alignments. For example, they associate fire with Swords in place of air.
Each suit of cards has Ace (One), Two to Ten, Page, Knight, Queen and King. The last four cards are associated with King’s court; therefore, they are called Court Cards. Some tarot readers make changes in this arrangement as well. For example, they include princess and prince and remove page and knight.
Minor Arcana play a supportive role in interpretation of the Major Arcana.
While the Major Arcana make the general or universal statements, the Minor Arcana illustrate them with practical examples from day- to- day life. Therefore, the Minor Arcana depict the emotions, feelings, concerns, activities and responses that illustrate and confirm the broader and representative elements in Major Arcana. Here are some details of the four suits:
The suit of Cups is associated with water. Water tends to flow and fill up the gaps in spaces. Cups represent the spiritual side of human personality. They symbolize inner urges, feelings and aspirations. Cups correspond with the yin energy which represents feminine side. Cups or water signify emotions, feeling, compassion, fear, bravery, laughter, happiness, sadness and so on.
Swords are associated with the air element. They symbolize bravery, intelligence and passion. They are used to protect justice, truth and honor. The suit is also associated with state power that quells disharmony and rebellion.
The suit of Wands represents the creative urges that express themselves through action and movement. Wands are associated with the element of fire. Wands symbolize zeal, adventure, risks, entrepreneurship, initiative and confidence. Wands signify masculinity, dynamism, aggressiveness, drive and force.
The suit of Pentacles represents human concerns for security and material prosperity. They are associated with the element of Earth. Pentacles celebrate the beauty and grandeur of nature and its various creations like plants, animals, birds which contribute to our well-being, prosperity and harmony Pentacles or discs or earth represent manifestation, physical expression, creation and so on.
These suits match with the four elemental tools. Minor arcana cards bear numbers starting from ace through 10. Besides them, there are four cards: page, knight, queen and king.
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