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Tarot Card Meanings

Meanings of Tarot Cards

Use this page to find tarot card meanings and traditional interpretations for any tarot card. The tarot interpretations used here include both the upright meaning and reversed meaning for each card in the tarot deck.

NOTE: The visual imagery discussed in these descriptions applies to the classic tarot illustrations by Pamela Colman Smith -- similar to those appearing in the famous Rider Waite deck of tarot cards. While the tarot meanings and archetypal images discussed here are very similar to other tarot decks, smaller visual details and elements may not be the same.

Select any tarot card from the list below. (The major arcana links can be found at the bottom beneath the minor arcana listings).

Interested in a free tarot reading? iFate's free tarot card readings are the best on the web!

Some notes on the tarot meanings above:

Many tarot readers use slightly different names for the tarot suits. For example, among the minor arcana cards the tarot suit of pentacles is often referred to as the "suit of coins". Likewise, the "suit of wands" is often referred to as the "suit of staves". Less common alternatives include the "suit of blades" for the commonly named suit of swords, and the "suit of goblets" for the suit of cups.

Among the major arcana there are also many alternate names used. The most common change-up among the major arcana is the "Hierophant" card which is known as "The Pope" in many tarot books and decks. Likewise, another name for the High Priestess card is the "Papesse", or literally a female version of the Pope / Hierophant.

The names used here are based on the choices made by the Waite tarot and popularized by the Order of the Golden Dawn -- an esoteric society in the late 19th century. Needless to say, the names used are simply references and should have little to no impact on the practical aspects of tarot divination. Whether you adhere to the naming conventions of the Rider Waite tarot deck or any other popular deck, the spiritual journey of the tarot is the same. It is still a journey of the naive "Fool" on a journey of self awareness through the universe of the conscious and subconscious mind towards the enlightenment of the higher self.

A note for tarot students:

If you are just learning the tarot, you may wish to ignore the inverted meanings at first. Simply concentrate on the overt (upright) meaning of each tarot card until you feel comfortable enough to explore the world of inverted cards.

Additionally, you may wish to practice with smaller tarot card spreads (like easy 3 card spreads) until you feel confident enough to attempt larger 10 or 12 card tarot readings. iFate has many different tarot spreads of different difficulties to choose from.

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More ifate logo Tarot:


The Tree of Life

Second in popularity only to the classic Celtic Cross tarot reading, the Tree of Life offers rich and complex insights.

Recommended for advanced tarot readers.




The Tree of Insight

This advanced 10-card spread is a modern take on the popular Tree of Life spread.

This adaptation is useful for understanding complex, usually non-romantic issues.




The Four Elements

This simple and quick tarot reading is perfect for general readings that don't have any specific question or issue associated with them.

Give it a try and tell us what you think!




Our tarot experts drew this card for today!



The Well

According to Norse mythology, the Well of Wyrd (Well of Fate) is where the great Tree of Life draws water. Legends say Odin discovered the runes at the roots of the tree itself.

Use this spread for complex situations and challenges.




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