Learning tarot card meanings usually begins with the Major Arcana. Most likely you will learn one or two tarot keywords to help you become familiar with the deck.
Introducing Tarot Cards and Their Meanings is a complete list of all the posts I’ve written related to the keywords of the tarot, and explains why I prefer to use keywords.
When you’re ready, you will learn a few more tarot card meanings and keywords, and expand your vocabulary. When you do, oftentimes you just want a quick reference guide to refresh your memory or give you new ideas about each tarot card.
And that’s where this handy guide comes in – great for all levels of experience, new and more advanced.
At the end of this post you will find links to the tarot card meanings and keywords for the Minor Arcana, suit by suit, and also links to the more comprehensive tarot card meanings and keywords of the Court Cards, grouped by their rank.
0 – Fool
Numerologically related to: All of the Major Arcana
Keywords: New beginnings, spontaneity, adventure, innocence, potential, faith, fearlessness, a leap of faith, originality, freedom from constraints, purity of action, acting without malice.
Reversed: Folly, stupidity, not thinking through plans properly, chaos, lack of direction, poor judgement, being gullible, naivety.
1 – Magician
Numerologically related to: 10 – Wheel of Fortune, 19 – Sun
Keywords: Creativity, action, power, manifestation, skill, communication – oral, written & electronic, magic, work, self-employment, a smooth talker, having the gift of the gab, will-power, directing your will.
Reversed: deceit, con artist, liar, communication blocks, abuse of power, creative stagnation, ill intentions, manipulation.
2 – High Priestess
Numerologically related to: 11 – Justice, 20 – Judgement
Keywords: Mystery, intuition, inner-knowing, self trust, spiritual insight, emotional stability, divination, esoteric wisdom/knowledge, things yet to be revealed, your higher-self, spirit guides, discovering your own truth.
Reversed: information withheld, secrets, misusing spiritual gifts, not trusting your intuition, being lied to, not listening.
3 – Empress
Numerologically related to: 12 – Hanged Man, 21 – World
Keywords: Nurturing, abundance, fertility, mothering, your mother, love, beauty, a businesswoman, mother earth, a multi-tasker, pregnancy, creativity, solving problems creatively, fulfilling your potential, a successful business or opportunity.
Reversed: laziness, creative and/or business stagnation, lack of co-ordination, wasting resources, financial difficulties, problems within the home.
4 – Emperor
Numerologically related to: 13 – Death
Keywords: Authority, order, structure, authority, your boss, leadership, your father, the establishment, promotion to a senior role, asserting yourself, ambition, law and order, taking a stand, firmness with others & yourself.
Reversed: an autocrat, control freak, a weak man, a cruel man, an underachiever, support withdrawn, laziness, abuse of power, lack of discipline, lawlessness.
5 – Hierophant
Numerologically related to: 14 – Temperance
Keywords: Group identity, large institutions, education, teaching, learning, tradition, orthodoxy, the status quo, religion, a guru or teacher, spiritual guidance, occult or mystical groups, divine laws, seeking counsel and advice.
Reversed: cults, false gods/gurus, abuse of position and/or power, extremism, the closing of schools, hospitals & social services, withdrawal of education services, rejection of religion, breakdown of crisis talks.
6 – Lovers
Numerologically related to: 15 – Devil
Keywords: Love, choices, partnerships, affection, being at a crossroads, togetherness, going into business with another, being duty bound, a love affair, falling in love, commitment, an engagement, choosing between two lovers, harmony, trust.
Reversed: a broken love affair or relationship, fear of commitment, infidelity, relationship issues, a business deal gone awry, a business failing & falling apart, parting or leaving another.
7 – Chariot
Numerologically related to: 16 – Tower
Keywords: Drive, will power, direction, ambition, confidence, victory, success, a journey, transportation, success with little or no support, overcoming obstacles, triumph in the face of adversity, coming to the aid of another.
Reversed: scattered energy, lack of direction, taking the long way round, loss of will, drive & ambition, a cancelled journey or trip, a vehicle breaking down, needing the help of another.
8 – Strength
Numerologically related to: 17 – Star
Keywords: Inner strength, self-assurance, self-control, self-belief, patience, confidence, enjoying power, lust, sex, sexuality, eroticism, heroic acts, strength through personal power & not violence, vitality, virility, potency.
Reversed: weakness, fragility, lack of self-control or patience, lacking courage, needing support, self-doubt, someone who is overbearing, breaking your own moral code, vanity, hedonism.
9 – Hermit
Numerologically related to: 18 – Moon
Keywords: Introspection, contemplation, wanting or finding solitude, private self-reflection, seeking enlightenment & spiritual experiences, meditation, being discreet, privacy, home study, withdrawing from society, patience.
Reversed: withdrawing from loved ones, turning your back on someone, being isolated, feeling out in the cold, self-absorption, a social misfit, loneliness, exile, being silenced, sadness.
10 – Wheel of Fortune
Numerologically related to: 1 – Magician, 19 – Sun
Keywords: Luck, chance, opportunity, changes, a turning point, movement, winning, the cycle of life, ups and downs, fate, destiny, a chance meeting that can change your life, what goes around comes around, winning at a game of chance, a definite yes.
Reversed: a stroke of bad luck, misfortune, mishaps, failure, things not going your way, entering a period of hardship or difficulty, disappointments, unforeseen or unexpected setbacks, a definite no.
11 – Justice
Numerologically related to: 2 – High Priestess, 20 – Judgement
Keywords: Justice, karma, balance and equilibrium, truth, fairness, responsibility, accountability, integrity, dignity, agreements, legal affairs, a court case or tribunal, consulting a lawyer, checking legal documents, seeking fairness through clarity.
Reversed: a miscarriage of justice, injustice and/or unfair treatment, losing your case, an adjournment, being discredited, an imbalance, lies & hypocrisy, being out-maneuvered, not being able to speak your truth, legal flaws, making or receiving the wrong decision, bias.
12 – Hanged Man
Numerologically related to: 3 – Empress
Keywords: Letting go, sacrifice for gain, surrender, breaking patterns, a crisis, delays, seeing from another direction, a fresh perspective, suspension of activity, giving something up, experiencing a metamorphosis, spiritual advancement, a detachment from the material.
Reversed: in limbo, being narrow minded, not seeing from all sides, re-emergence, re-entering life, coming back to life, not letting go, having false motives, inability to release, holding yourself back, holding onto the material.
13 – Death
Numerologically related to: 4 – Emperor
Keywords: Endings, mortality, profound change, letting go of emotional attachments, severing ties, it’s over, the end of an era or cycle, failure, loss. For some; transformation, renewal, rebirth.
Reversed: delayed endings, holding onto to what is decayed, resistance to letting go, a long terminal illness, depression, inertia, living unaware, going through the motions, not believing that change can happen.
14 – Temperance
Numerologically related to: 5 – Hierophant
Keywords: Harmony, balance, synthesis, moderation, blending, synergy, alchemy, being temperate, blending opposites, angel communication, connecting with your guides, merging, looking for divine intervention.
Reversed: imbalance, the onset of illness, tempers flaring, lack of patience between people, angry outbursts, feeling that god/the angels/your spirit guides have forsaken you, always giving & not receiving.
15 – Devil
Numerologically related to: 6 – Lovers
Keywords: Bondage, temptation, enslavement, materialism, addictions to sex/drugs/drink/money, fear & doubt, lies, violence, unhealthy relationships, sexual deviancy/gratification, feeling trapped & without options.
Reversed: breaking free from unhealthy relationships and addictions, divorce, a relationship that becomes less sexual, not submitting to temptation, freedom from restraints.
16 – Tower
Numerologically related to: 7 – Chariot
Keywords: Sudden and unexpected change, upheaval, destruction, ruin, catastrophe, release, revelation, breaking down of old forms, renovation, an accident or damage to the home, bankruptcy, redundancy or loss of work, being overthrown or ousted, house repossession.
Reversed: prolonged and continued upheaval, disruption, obstacles, difficulties, losses but milder, a disruptive person, a volatile situation, fearing the worst, illness, corruption.
17 – Star
Numerologically related to: 8 – Leo
Keywords: Hope, happiness, opportunities, optimism, renewal, spirituality, cosmic blessings, help, beauty, astrology, the heavens, good health and healing, an inspirational person, a period of tranquility.
Reversed: feeling hopeless/hopelessness, feeling unwell, disappointments, missed opportunities, refusing an offer of help, refusing to offer help, failed attempt at renewal/spiritual enlightment.
18 – Moon
Numerologically related to: 9 – Hermit
Keywords: Dreams but also nightmares, illusion, hidden things – particularly enemies, insecurity, mystery, falsehoods, visions, mental confusion, a dark night of the soul, a difficult period, lacking clarity, deception, secrets, increased psychic ability and experiences.
Reversed: secrets being revealed, what was hidden is now becoming visible, deceptions are seen, mysteries unveiled, unusual dreams, psychic insights you may not understand, insomnia or unusual sleeping patterns, irrational thoughts/behaviours.
19 – Sun
Numerologically related to: 1 – Magician, 10 – Wheel of Fortune
Keywords: Life, energy, vitality, joy, enlightenment, warmth, manifestation, happiness, YES! riches, marriage, good times, success, clear thinking, optimism, blessings, good fortune, a good holiday, nice weather.
Reversed: Partial success, sadness, hoping for an improvement, feeling under the weather, reduced vitality, delayed success/happiness, being overly sentimental, things are not as rosy as they seem, false impressions.
20 – Judgement
Numerologically related to: 2 – High Priestess, 11 – Justice
Keywords: Redemption, rebirth, an awakening, a calling – spiritual or career, renewal, spirit led, reincarnation, a realisation, a change that has already occurred, end of an era, a rite of passage, a period of transition, decision making.
Reversed: ignoring a calling, doing what you know is wrong for you, doubting yourself, being lead by your own fear, change that’s coming but is delayed, avoiding making a decision, unhealed karma.
21 – World
Numerologically related to: 3 – Empress
Keywords: Completion, fulfillment, possibilities, outcomes, realisations, wholeness, success, totality, moving – particularly abroad, success and successful conclusions, the journey’s end, goal achievement.
Reversed: plans falling through, house moving interrupted, unfinished business, delayed success, non-movement, stagnation, not finishing your work, being stuck in a rut.
Keywords for the Tarot Suits as a Group
Tarot Court Cards
For more thorough and complex card meanings and divinatory definitions, head over to our growing Tarot Card Meanings section, where you can search and explore card by card. From here, simply click on an individual card to be taken directly to it. Navigate through the Tarot Card Meanings section from there by using the navigation bar and breadcrumb just above the card title. You can of course continue to search the keywords of the other minor arcana suits in their group form using the links above.
Tarot Card Keywords is the new e-book from Catherine that incorporates all the keywords and correspondences here, expands and extends them to include new sections as well as adding relevant blog posts to help you on your tarot journey.
76 pages of keywords and correspondences, printer friendly and available now for $8.95. Instant download.