The Major Arcana
The Major Arcana consists of 21 numbered archetypal cards, and card 0, The Fool. The Major Arcana is a story, often referred to as “The Fool’s Journey”, which is a metaphor for the journey of life. The Fool is fresh new and spontaneous, the card of beginnings. The cards of the Major Arcana depict various archetypes and universal themes which are encountered along the way. Some consider this journey a linear path, while others believe that any stage of the journey could happen at any time. In readings, Major Arcana cards deal with the fairly significant aspects of life. They are a big deal. When a Major Arcana card comes up, it is to be listened to.
Suit of Wands
The Suit of Wands (drawn as sticks, pencils, arrows, paint brushes, etc.) are associated with fire and deal with passion, desire, creativity, and ideas. If wands were personified they would be the muse; potential, ideas, and moments of epiphany that fire up creativity within. The Suit of Wands is also the suit of the spirit, primal energy and our core selves. Wands are often trying to tell us what is best for us at the center of our being, our personalities, our driving forces. Wands are pure inspired energy, burning hot in your gut.
Suit of Swords
The Suit of Swords is associated with air. Swords are cards of the mind. They’ve got a seriously cool, calculed, and harsh vibes. The Suite of Swords is driven by thought, and often tends to deal with decision-making, intellectual pursuits, planning, and analyzing. I often think of each sword in a card as a thought, and many of the sword cards are glyphs for overthinking or thoughts in conflict. The Suit of Swords stands in contrast to that of cups, and suggests choices are being made with the head over the heart.
Suit of Cups
The Suit of Cups is associated with water, and the meanings of the cards are associated with emotions, relationships, and connections. Cups are romantic and vibrant, and deal with the full range of emotions, the good and the bad, the intentional and the out of control. Cups are about the heart, displays of feelings, and the roles of emotions in relation to people in your life. Cups also often deal with intuition, as the focus on intuition over logic is a suggestion that you are, or that you should be, making decisions with your heart over your head.
Suit of Pentacles
The Suit of Pentacles (drawn as coins) is associated with earth, and cover the material aspects of life. Pentacle cards tend to deal with career, money, and our material possessions. Pentacles are about our bodies, the solid world, and all the joy and hard work that comes with it. I think of pentacles as the results of the elements brought about by acting upon the elements of the other suits. In other words emotions (cups), thought and action (swords), and spirit (wands) bring about the events and physical manifestations of reality (pentacles). Of course Pentacles do not solely come as the end result, as everything is part of a connected cycle, and our real life circumstances affect all other aspects of our lives as well.