Tarot Card Meanings

Quick reference guide to the keywords and card meanings for Rider Waite Smith (RWS) style tarot decks:

The Major Arcana

Number Card Meaning
0 The Fool New beginnings; spontaneity; carefree; enthusiasm; optimism; folly; no worries or fears; restlessness.
1 The Magician Awareness of choices; focusing on achieving a goal; potential; purpose; commitment;  using personal skills (organising, communicating); cleverness; manipulative.
2 High Priestess Inner wisdom; intuition; patience; mysteries; secrets to be unveiled; self-reliance; retreat; receptivity; thinking.
3 The Empress Motherhood; nurturing; abundance; fruitfulness; nature; productive; creative; well-being; self-indulgence.
4 The Emperor Fatherhood; authority; leadership; decision-making; confidence; vision; planning; ambition; stability.
5 The Hierophant Teacher; advisor; ethics; morality; spirituality; tradition; loyalty; guidance; conformity.
6 The Lovers Relationship; choices; combining elements of head and heart; partnership; responsibility; love and its consequences
7 The Chariot Self-control; discipline; tension; struggle; sense of direction; breaking free; making progress; travel; victory.
8 Strength Endurance; conquering fears and obstacles; gentle persuasion; courage; abundance of energy; love and passion; perseverance
9 The Hermit Solitude; withdrawal; prudence; inner searching; patience; observance; silence; simplicity
10 The Wheel of Fortune Cycles and turning points; karma; luck; shift of fortune; changes in circumstances.
11 Justice Balance; harmony; decisions; fairness; objectivity; mediation; equality; legal situation.
12 The Hanged Man Sacrifice; suspended action; stalemate; waiting;  stagnation; loneliness; new perspective
13 Death Renewal; transformation; transition; discarding old patterns or restrictive habits; liberation; potential for new growth; rites of passage; initiation.
14 Temperance Compromise; compatibility; moderation; creating harmony; blending your personal needs with your responsibilities; bringing together opposites; tolerance; healing
15 The Devil Ignorance; bondage; trapped; gullibility; inner limitations; restrictions; apathy; self-importance; taking advantage of others; obsession; temptation.
16 The Tower Radical changes; shock; break-up of habits and structures; humiliation; unexpected change or shock; mental breakdown; erupting emotions; damage.
17 The Star Hope; healing; inspiration; regeneration; cleansing; serenity; insight and truth.
18 The Moon Insecurities; doubts; illusion; fluctuation; mood; instability; confusion; disillusionment; depression; feeling alone; swamped with feelings and emotions; imagination; fantasies.
19 The Sun Joy; happiness; clarity; enlightenment; creativity and personal growth; optimism; good health; confidence; full of energy; enthusiasm.
20 Judgement A review of past actions; coming to a crossroads; self-evaluation; conscience; repentance; apology; atonement; guilt; forgiveness.
21 The World Arrival; achievement; the end of a cycle; success; aware of your limitations; contentment; living comfortably; being established.
If you like a printable PDF version of the complete chart of Tarot card meanings (including Minor Arcana and the Court cards), pop over to the freebies section, where you can get a folder full of Tarot goodies.

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