Unlocking the Mystery: What Does Each Tarot Card Symbolize

Tarot cards have been used for centuries as a tool for divination, self-reflection, and spiritual growth. Each of the 78 cards in the tarot deck is rich with symbolism and meaning, representing different archetypes, events, and energies. Understanding the significance of each card can help you tap into your intuition, gain valuable insights, and navigate life’s journey with more clarity and purpose.

The Major Arcana, consisting of 22 cards, represents major life events, while the Minor Arcana, consisting of 56 cards, represents day-to-day experiences. Each of the four suits in the Minor Arcana – cups, wands, swords, and pentacles – represents a different aspect of life, from emotions and creativity to intellect and material possessions. The cards within each suit range from Ace to 10, with an additional court card for each: Page, Knight, Queen, and King.

Whether you’re a seasoned tarot enthusiast or just starting out, delving into the symbolism of each card can be a deeply rewarding and transformative experience. From the Empress, who represents abundance, fertility, and creativity, to the Tower, which signifies sudden change and upheaval, the tarot cards can offer a wealth of guidance, inspiration, and wisdom. So pick up a deck, shuffle the cards, and let the universe speak to you through the magic of the tarot.

The Fool

Of all the tarot cards, The Fool is perhaps the most misunderstood. Many people assume that The Fool represents a lack of awareness or intelligence, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, The Fool represents something much deeper: unlimited potential. This card is all about new beginnings, fresh starts, and the opportunity to embark on a journey of self-discovery.

  • The Fool is depicted as a young, carefree individual who is wandering through life with a backpack on his shoulder. He’s not burdened by any worries or fears, but rather, he’s open to all of the possibilities that life has to offer.
  • At the bottom of the card, we see a small white dog that’s nipping at The Fool’s heels. This dog represents the challenges that we might encounter as we begin our journey, but The Fool isn’t afraid. He’s confident in himself and trusts that he’ll find a way to overcome any obstacles that come his way.
  • The sun is shining bright in the background of the card, which symbolizes the new day that’s dawning for The Fool. This is a time of growth, change, and excitement. It’s a time to let go of the past and embrace the future.

When The Fool shows up in a tarot reading, it’s a sign that you’re at the beginning of a new chapter in your life. This can be both scary and exhilarating, but The Fool encourages you to trust in yourself and embrace the journey. Don’t be afraid to take risks or step outside of your comfort zone. The road ahead might be bumpy, but The Fool reminds us that anything is possible if we’re willing to take that first step into the unknown.

The Magician

The Magician is the first Major Arcana card in the tarot and is represented by the number 1. However, the Magician also symbolizes the number 2 because he represents the dual nature of things, such as the conscious and unconscious mind or the physical and spiritual worlds.

  • The Magician is a master of manifestation. He uses his power of focus and intention to bring his desires to life. When this card appears in a reading, it suggests that the querent has the ability to create what they want through their thoughts and actions.
  • The Magician also represents communication and creativity. He uses his charm and charisma to persuade others, and his ability to think outside the box to come up with innovative solutions. If this card appears in a reading, it may indicate that the querent should tap into their creative side or consider a career in communication or sales.
  • This card can also symbolize the start of a new journey or project. The Magician holds all the tools he needs to succeed, from the wand of fire to the cup of water. When this card appears in a reading, it may signify that the querent has all the resources they need to begin something new or take the next step in their current endeavor.

The Magician is a powerful archetype that represents the potential within each of us to create and manifest our desires.

Here is a table outlining some of the key symbols on The Magician card:

Symbol Meaning
Red cape Passion
White robe Purity
Sais Willpower
Cup Emotions
Pentacle Material wealth
Wand Fire, creativity

Overall, The Magician is a powerful archetype that represents the potential within each of us to create and manifest our desires. When this card appears in a reading, it is a reminder that we have the power to shape our own reality and that we should use our skills and resources to our advantage.

The High Priestess

The High Priestess is the second card in the Major Arcana and is often associated with mystery, intuition, and self-awareness. She represents the feminine energy, the moon, and balance between opposing forces. The High Priestess is known as the keeper of secrets and often promotes inner reflection and contemplation.

The Number 3

In tarot, the number 3 is significant as it represents the balance and harmony between two opposing forces. It is often seen as the number of creativity, growth, and manifestation. In The High Priestess card, the number 3 is represented by the three pillars behind her which symbolize the balancing of the conscious, unconscious, and superconscious mind. The High Priestess encourages individuals to find balance within themselves.

What Each Tarot Card Symbolizes: The High Priestess

  • Intuition: The High Priestess is associated with intuition and encourages individuals to trust their instincts. She symbolizes the power of the mind and encourages meditation and self-reflection to access one’s inner wisdom.
  • Secrets: She represents the keeper of secrets and often promotes inner knowledge and insight that individuals may not be consciously aware of. The High Priestess symbolizes the need for privacy and solitude to access one’s innermost truths.
  • Feminine Energy: The High Priestess represents femininity, wisdom, and intuition. She embodies the divine feminine energy and often represents the archetypal mother figure. She encourages individuals to embrace their feminine side and trust in their intuition.

The Meanings Behind The High Priestess Card

The High Priestess card is a powerful symbol of femininity, intuition, and self-awareness. She represents the ability to access one’s inner wisdom and encourages individuals to trust in their instincts. The High Priestess symbolizes the need for balance and harmony between opposing forces and the integration of the conscious and unconscious mind. She represents a journey of self-discovery, self-reflection, and contemplation.

Symbolism Meaning
The Moon The moon represents the unconscious mind and the power of dreams and intuition. It encourages individuals to embrace their feminine side and trust in their inner knowing.
The Pillars The three pillars behind The High Priestess symbolize the balance between opposing forces and the need for integration of the conscious, unconscious, and superconscious mind. They encourage individuals to find a sense of balance within themselves.
The Book The book represents secret knowledge and the power of the mind. It encourages individuals to access their inner wisdom and trust in their intuition.

Overall, The High Priestess represents the power of the mind, intuition, and self-awareness. She encourages individuals to trust in their instincts and embrace their feminine side. She symbolizes the need for balance and harmony between opposing forces and encourages meditation and self-reflection to access one’s inner wisdom. Embodying The High Priestess energy can lead to a profound journey of self-discovery and contemplation.

The Empress

The Empress card in tarot symbolizes femininity, motherhood, fertility, and abundance. Also known as the Mother Earth card, The Empress represents the embodiment of nature and creation. The Empress is considered as a highly feminine card that indicates nurturing, compassion, and creativity. This card is associated with the number 3, which represents creation, growth, and abundance. Interestingly, the Empress is often depicted as a pregnant woman, symbolizing the potential for growth and new beginnings.

What Does Each Tarot Card Symbolize: The Empress

  • Creativity and abundance
  • Mother figure and nurturing energy
  • Fertility and growth

The Empress and the Number 4

Numerology plays an essential role in tarot reading, and The Empress is associated with the number 4. The number 4 symbolizes stability, order, and structure. The Empress’s connection with the number 4 represents the establishment of a solid foundation, structure, and stability in life. This card indicates that the focus should be on creating a strong foundation to build upon and is a reminder that personal growth is a gradual and steady process.

Additionally, when The Empress card is combined with other cards, it can indicate balance and harmony in various aspects of life, including work, relationships, and health. The energy of The Empress and the number 4 work together to remind us that stability and growth go hand in hand.

The Empress and the Elements

The Empress card is associated with the element of Earth, representing grounding, stability, and material abundance. The Earth element is the foundation for all life, and it symbolizes the connection between our physical bodies and the natural world. The Empress is also linked to the element of Water, indicating emotional fulfillment, intuition, and creativity. The water element symbolizes the emotions, and the Empress reminds us to trust our instincts and connect with our inner selves.

Element Symbolism
Earth Grounding, stability, abundance
Water Emotions, intuition, creativity

In conclusion, The Empress card is a reminder of the divine feminine energy that dwells within us and the importance of nurturing ourselves and those around us. This card is associated with the number 4, which represents stability, order, and structure, and the elements of Earth and Water, indicating grounding, emotional intelligence, and creativity. The Empress encourages us to connect with nature, trust our instincts, and establish a solid foundation for growth and abundance.

The Emperor

The Emperor is the fifth card of the Major Arcana and is represented by the number 4. This card symbolizes authority, power, and structure. The Emperor is a strong and stable figure who has a clear understanding of his goals and knows how to achieve them through discipline and structure.

  • Authority: The Emperor represents a figure of authority in one’s life. He is a natural leader who can guide others towards success and stability. This card encourages the querent to take charge of their own life and become the leader they were meant to be.
  • Power: The Emperor holds the power to make decisions and take action. He is a symbol of strength and determination, and encourages the querent to tap into their own inner power to achieve their goals and aspirations.
  • Structure: The Emperor embodies structure and order. He represents the need for routine and stability in one’s life. This card encourages the querent to create a plan and stick to it, in order to achieve their desired outcomes.

The Emperor is often associated with the astrological sign of Aries, which is known for its strong will, leadership skills, and ability to take charge. This card encourages the querent to tap into their inner Aries and become confident, assertive, and brave.

When The Emperor appears in a tarot reading, it is important to pay attention to the surrounding cards and the querent’s specific situation. This card can represent a literal authority figure in the querent’s life, or it can symbolize the need to tap into one’s own inner strength and assertiveness.

Keywords: Authority, Power, Structure
Element: Fire
Astrological Sign: Aries

The Emperor is a powerful and influential card in the tarot deck. It reminds us to take control of our lives, tap into our inner strength, and create structure and stability. When this card appears in a reading, it is a reminder to take charge and become the leader we were meant to be.

The Hierophant

The Hierophant is the fifth Major Arcana card of the tarot deck, numbered six (VI). This powerful card depicts a religious figure, with symbols that represent religion and tradition. The Hierophant is often associated with the zodiac sign Taurus and represents a connection to tradition, rituals, and spiritual guidance.

  • The number 6 in the tarot deck represents balance and harmony. The Hierophant embodies this balance. He offers a bridge between the physical and spiritual worlds and provides a sense of stability.
  • The Hierophant often signifies that we are in a period of learning, where we are searching for guidance and wisdom. He represents a mentor or spiritual teacher, who can provide knowledge and help us make sense of the world around us.
  • The Hierophant can also represent tradition and convention. He may indicate that it is time to respect and adhere to traditional values and beliefs.

The Hierophant is depicted in a pose that is reminiscent of that of the Pope, with his right hand raised in a gesture of blessing and his left hand holding a staff. This staff is called the “crozier” and represents his role as a spiritual guide. The two followers that can be seen on either side of him represent the spiritual and physical worlds, which the Hierophant bridges.

Symbol Meaning
The keys Symbolize knowledge and the power of the spiritual realm over the physical realm.
The triple crown Represents the Pope’s three roles as leader of the spiritual world, the physical world, and the Church.
The vestments Symbolize the importance of tradition and the role of ritual in religious practice.

The Hierophant represents the need for balance and harmony in our lives. He encourages us to seek spiritual guidance and knowledge and to respect traditional values and beliefs. The Hierophant is a powerful card, offering a sense of stability and guidance, as we navigate the journey of life.

The Lovers

In tarot, The Lovers card represents choices, partnerships, and harmony. The card is the sixth trump card in the deck and is associated with the zodiac sign Gemini. The card is often depicted by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden with the Tree of Knowledge in the background.

  • The number 7: The Lovers card is associated with the number 7 in a tarot deck. In numerology, the number 7 is a spiritual number representing introspection and questioning. The number 7 is often associated with seeking answers, learning, and growth.

The Lovers card can indicate a time of decision-making, where one must choose between two paths. These choices can range from career, relationships, or personal development. The card reminds us that we have the power to make choices, but we must weigh the consequences that come with those choices.

When The Lovers card appears in a tarot spread, it can represent a partnership or union. This partnership can be romantic, professional, or even a close friendship. The card emphasizes the importance of balance and harmony in these relationships, reminding us to make choices that align with our values and beliefs.

The Lovers card offers a reminder that relationships require work and attention to maintain their balance. It serves as a reminder to prioritize communication, compromise, and understanding to ensure healthy relationships.

Keywords: Choices Partnerships Harmony
Element: Air
Zodiac sign: Gemini
Number: 7

Overall, The Lovers card encourages us to be present in the moment, make choices that align with our values, and prioritize relationships that bring balance and harmony into our lives.

The Chariot

The Chariot is the seventh card of the Major Arcana in the tarot deck. It symbolizes control, victory, and overcoming obstacles. The Chariot is often depicted as a warrior riding a chariot pulled by two sphinxes, representing the balance between opposing forces. It is closely associated with the number 7 and the element of water.

The Number 7

The number 7 is a powerful and mystical number that is often associated with spiritual enlightenment and divine wisdom. In the tarot, it is traditionally linked with the Chariot, as well as with the Hermit and the Tower cards. The number 7 is often seen as a sign of completeness, as there are 7 days of the week and 7 major planets in astrology. It is also associated with intuition, inner wisdom, and introspection.

What Does The Chariot Symbolize?

  • Victory
  • Control over one’s life
  • Overcoming obstacles and challenges
  • The balance of opposing forces
  • Personal power and self-mastery

The Symbolism of The Chariot

The Chariot card is rich in symbolism. The warrior’s chariot represents the vehicle by which we can achieve our goals and progress in life. The two sphinxes pulling the chariot represent opposing forces, such as the conscious and unconscious mind, that must be balanced in order to move forward. The armor and helmet worn by the warrior symbolize protection and the need to be prepared for battle. The stars above the warrior’s head represent guidance and inspiration from a higher power.

Symbolism Interpretation
The Chariot Control and direction
The Sphinxes Opposing forces
The Warrior Personal power and self-mastery
The Armor and Helmet Protection and readiness
The Stars Guidance and intuition

In conclusion, The Chariot card in the tarot represents victory, control, and the balance between opposing forces. It is closely associated with the number 7 and the element of water. The symbolism of the card is rich and complex, representing the need for personal power and self-mastery in order to achieve our goals and overcome obstacles in life.


Strength is one of the most powerful and complex cards in the Tarot deck. As its name suggests, this card represents strength, courage, and resilience.

In the Tarot, Strength is represented by the number 9. This number symbolizes spiritual enlightenment, self-awareness, and the power of manifestation. Number 9 also resonates with the concepts of karma and the law of attraction.

What Does the Number 9 Symbolize in Tarot?

  • The number 9 represents spiritual growth and development. It indicates that you have reached a level of evolvement where you are ready to connect with your higher self and your inner wisdom.
  • Number 9 also represents endings and beginnings. This is the number of completion, but it also signifies the start of a new phase in your life.
  • In some Tarot decks, such as the Rider-Waite deck, the number 9 is associated with the Hermit card. This card represents introspection, solitude, and inner guidance.

The Symbolism of the Strength Card

The Strength card depicts a woman taming a lion. This symbolizes the inner strength and courage needed to conquer our fears, doubts, and inner demons. The woman represents our higher self, while the lion represents our primal instincts and ego. Together, they represent the balance between our spiritual and physical selves.

In addition to its symbolism, the Strength card also has a powerful energy that can help you overcome obstacles and face challenges with confidence and determination. When this card appears in a reading, it is a sign that you have the inner strength and resources needed to overcome any obstacle or adversity.

The Meanings of the Strength Card

Positive Meanings Negative Meanings
Strength Weakness
Courage Fear
Resilience Vulnerability
Self-control Impulsiveness
Patience Restlessness

In conclusion, the Strength card is a powerful symbol of inner strength, courage, and resilience. Its energy can help you overcome any obstacle or adversity with grace and dignity. Remember that true strength comes from within and that you have the power to conquer your fears and achieve your goals.

The Hermit

The Hermit card is the tenth card of the Major Arcana in the Tarot deck. It is represented by an old man standing on top of a mountain, holding a lantern in his hand.

  • The Hermit represents introspection, self-reflection, and soul-searching.
  • The number 10 is significant as it represents the completion of a cycle.
  • The Hermit carries a staff, which symbolizes authority, wisdom, and power.

The Hermit invites us to withdraw from the world and reflect on our inner thoughts and emotions. It signifies a time for contemplation and self-discovery, as we try to find our true purpose in life.

It is important to note that The Hermit also reminds us of the importance of seeking solitude in our lives. With so much noise and chaos around us, it is crucial to take some time alone to reflect and recharge. This can help us gain a new perspective on our lives, our relationships, and our goals.

Symbolism Meaning
Old man Wisdom, experience
Mountain Obstacles, challenges
Lantern Illumination, guidance
Staff Authority, power, wisdom

Overall, The Hermit symbolizes self-discovery, contemplation, and introspection. It encourages us to take time to withdraw from the world and seek solitude to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our goals. The number 10 serves as a reminder that this process marks the completion of a cycle, and that we are about to embark on a new journey.

FAQs: What does each tarot card symbolize?

1. What does The Fool tarot card symbolize?

The Fool card symbolizes new beginnings, spontaneity, and taking risks.

2. What does The Magician tarot card symbolize?

The Magician card symbolizes creativity, manifestation, and tapping into one’s own power.

3. What does The High Priestess tarot card symbolize?

The High Priestess card symbolizes intuition, inner knowledge, and feminine energy.

4. What does The Empress tarot card symbolize?

The Empress card symbolizes abundance, fertility, and nurturing energy.

5. What does The Emperor tarot card symbolize?

The Emperor card symbolizes authority, structure, and masculine energy.

6. What does The Lovers tarot card symbolize?

The Lovers card symbolizes love, passion, and making choices with one’s heart.

7. What does The Death tarot card symbolize?

The Death card symbolizes transformation, letting go of the past, and new beginnings.

Closing Thoughts

Thank you for taking the time to learn about what each tarot card symbolizes. Tarot reading can be a powerful tool for gaining insight and understanding into our lives. If you’re interested in learning more about tarot, consider purchasing your own deck and exploring its meaning further. Thanks for reading, and be sure to visit again soon for more helpful articles.