The Structure of a Tarot Deck


Tarot is comprised of 78 cards total with 22 cards called the Major Arcana and 56 cards called the Minor Arcana. Major Arcana means “big secrets” and Minor Arcana means “little secrets”. Everything in tarot is symbolic and is shown through the pictures on each of the cards.

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The Major Arcana represent the 22 personality archetypes, or sets of personality traits. These cards will show major themes in a person’s life and have greater weight when they show up in a reading. These archetypes correspond to the hands.

The Minor Arcana represent 56 cards divided into 4 suits called Wands, Cups, Pentacles and Swords. These suits can be further divided into elements, just like with the hands.
Wands = Fire
Cups = Water
Pentacles = Earth
Swords = Air
The Minor Arcana represent more of the day-to-day issues that we all face. They have less weight in a reading.