The Ace of Cups Symbolism.
The Ace of Cups symbolizes the start of a loving relationship, not always with a person. The cup symbolizes love and receptivity. The open hand symbolizes the offering of a gift and coming from the cloud tells us it's a divine gift. The white dove symbolizes the purity of the gift. The pond symbolizes the unconscious mind and the five waterfalls symbolizes the five senses, they nourish the lilies on the pond which symbolize the development of our inner emotions.
The Ace of Wands Symbolism.
The Ace of Wands symbolizes new ideas and ventures. The Wand symbolizes artistic energy. The hand emerging from the cloud clasping the wand symbolizes the energy we already possess. The Buds on and around the wand symbolize the budding ideas emerging from our minds. The river symbolizes the life giving forces feeding the the young trees. The hilly terrain tells us it will not be easy to reach our goal, this is symbolized by the castle.
The Ace of Pentacles Symbolism
The Ace of Pentacles symbolizes a new investments or material offers, The Pentacle symbolizes material possessions, the hand offering it symbolizes a windfall or good financial luck. The hedged garden symbolizes protection from the barren land beyond. The wreath forming an opening in the hedge symbolizes our freedom to move on and find the truth, which is symbolized by the mountains beyond, a place for quiet contemplation.
The Ace of Swords Symbolism.
The Ace of Swords symbolizes a new struggle. The upright sword symbolizes true perception and triumph by force. The crown (It's a crown of the material world) symbolizes the authority of the sword. The sword is double edged telling us it can cut two ways, for good or for evil. Here the hand is emerging from the left, the side of inaction, this tells us things will progress without physical action on our part, but we should be ready for action.
The 2 of Cups Symbolism.
The two of Cups symbolizes a partnership blessed in harmony, a happy union. The winged lion, called the "Caduceus of Hermes", symbolizes the fiery nature of spiritual love. The symbol under the lion is the symbol of healing and wisdom, with the lions head they symbolize the binding power behind spiritual love. They're still on the road to the house in the background which symbolizes the couples ultimate goal, lasting happiness.
The 2 of Wands Symbolism.
The two of Wands symbolizes a loss of vision, help needed, waiting, a joint venture. Although he holds the world in his hand the man looks out to sea, this symbolizes him wondering where to go next. The roses are symbolizing his passion and the lilies his purity, together on the cross they symbolize the mans dilemma over his choices. The mountains of enlightenment are shown in the background but the battlement walls symbolize his feelings of entrapment in his struggle the get there. The wand he holds in his left hand symbolizes his many achievements so far but the wand to his right (action) side is tied to the wall symbolizing his inability to move on to even greater achievements.
The 2 of Pentacles Symbolism.
The two of Pentacles symbolizes juggling or balancing ones affairs, being in control and happily harmonizing all aspects of a given situation. The man dances as he juggles symbolizing the happy ease in which he controls his fluctuating affairs. The ships symbolize his fortunes, they're staying on top of the choppy waves which symbolize the turbulence they could be in if he is not careful. The Pentacles are encircled by the symbol of eternity as seen in the Magician.
The 2 of Swords Symbolism.
The two of Swords symbolizes uncertainty about direction, a refusal to acknowledge the right path to be taken. The girl has her arms crossed symbolizing her reluctance to hear others, this tells us the blindfolding is self imposed. She sits with her back to the pool of inner wisdom which symbolizes her reluctance to listen to her heart. The new moon symbolizes an ongoing situation continuing along a different path. She holds the swords in her hands symbolizing her ultimate control of the situation but she is using them as an emotional shield.
The 3 of Cups Symbolism.
The three of Cups symbolizes happy endings, a time for joyous celebrations and family reunions. The garments are white to symbolize purity, red to symbolize the fire within us and yellow to symbolize our intellect. The three cups held high symbolizes a joyous freedom from want. Personal puzzler, notice that intellect and purity are not directly facing their fire counterpart here, intellect is keeping some of the fruits of their labour from the others view and we do not see what purity has in her other hand.
The 3 of Wands Symbolism.
The three of Wands symbolizes a persons need for help, collaboration to progress. He looks forlornly across a dry lake to the mountain of enlightenment, this symbolizes his inability to progress. The upright wand in his action hand symbolizes ideas held, the two wands behind him are symbolizing the hidden ideas that will come through future partners. The sash ties his fire. There are ships that symbolize his imagination but they are stranded on the dry lake bed, they need the life giving energies of water to sail again. ( Note, most Rider Waite cloned tarot cards show these ships on water, I wonder whether the artists could see the significance?)
The 3 of Pentacle Symbolism.
The three of Pentacles symbolizes a step up the ladder, promotion at work and an acknowledgement of skills. The three pentacles in the triangle forming part of the support for the church arch symbolizes the mans skilful work already done. A double bow of secrets hold the triangle up. The apron symbolizes a craftsman while the priest symbolizes spirituality and the man symbolizes acknowledgement. All the duel symbolism of spirituality and a workman's skills are directed to earth by the central water triangle, this symbolizes the spiritual satisfaction we can gain from learning how to do, and doing, a perfect job.
The 3 of swords Symbolism.
The three of Swords symbolizes inner pain, all those events that upset us emotionally. The clouds symbolize darkness and the rain symbolizes gloominess. The Heart symbolizes our inner emotions and the swords symbolize emotional pains.
The swords here are not just piercing or attacking the heart, they're imbedded right inside it. This is telling us not to fight against the mental torment, to come to terms with it we must accept that which torments us into our heart, we must embrace our torments in order to move on.
The 4 of Cups Symbolism.
The four of Cups symbolizes a stubborn person in contemplation, the man guards what he has even though he's unhappy with his situation he refuses to see the potential of what's being offered to him. The mans crossed arms and legs symbolize his blocked emotions. The three cups are symbolizing his possessions/achievements, although these are being watched over they are not held, this is symbolizing his apathy towards them. The cups on the ground are still upright to symbolize ongoing affections.
The 4 of Wands Symbolism.
The four of Wands symbolizes a joyous commitment to a person or venture, the foundation stones have been laid, the harvest has been gathered and now it's time to enjoy the fruits. The couple have turned their backs on the protective walls of the castle and now face the solid but open construction formed by the wands, the symbology here is that coyness between them is no longer needed, the garlands symbolize them celebrating the maturity of their open relationship.
The 4 of Pentacles Symbolism.
The four of Pentacles symbolizes one who is (or needs to be) reluctant to give, a hoarder, hanging on to familiarity. The pentacle on his head symbolizes his preoccupation with material belongings, the pentacle being held symbolizes his inner need to hang on to possessions and the two pentacles under his feet symbolizes his fear of being robbed. He sits on a wall facing away from the city,, hiding his wealth.
Note: This card is a perfect example of the need to take the question and surrounding cards into account when interpreting each card. If there's an abundance of wealth involved the card could be saying there is a need to give, if not then the card could be saying there is a need to stop giving?
The 4 of Swords Symbolism.
The four of Swords symbolizes a need for rest and recuperation, a time for retreating to gather our thoughts before deciding our next move. The window symbolizes a view to how others see things. The three swords above him symbolize his troubles and the sword below him symbolizes his inner knowledge about how to overcome them. He rests as he searches his subconscious until the answers come to his conscious mind. Yellow symbolizes his intellectual activity while he sleeps.
The 5 of Cups Symbolism.
The five of Cups symbolizes loss and disappointment, unhappy endings and self blame. The mans (it could be a woman) bowed head symbolizes his sorrow at the spilt cups which symbolize his past losses. He refuses to turn around and face the upright cups which symbolize his future and possible replacements for his losses. After a period of mourning the man needs to turn away from his losses and pick up the two cups, then head for the bridge which will take him over the river of sorrow to the castle of contentment.
The 5 of Wands Symbolism.
The five of Wands symbolizes competition, disputes and assertiveness. The five men portrayed in this card are fighting in chaos, total jovial mayhem. But their wands are only raised, not striking anyone, their actually enjoying themselves with no real intent to harm anyone. The men are symbolizing the outside forces that confront us constantly. The men are wearing different coloured cloths to symbolize the changing emotions we go through as each day progresses.
The 5 of Pentacles Symbolism.
The five of Pentacles symbolizes material troubles and the bad times in our lives, loneliness. The crutches symbolize a need for support but the head bandage symbolizes hurt pride, that often stops people from accepting or seeking help. The 5 Pentacles are held by a triple cross (As found in the Hierophant, also a No. 5) this is telling them their needs are inside. Although the couple are out in freezing weather they ignore, or aren't aware of, the warmth emanating from window.
The 5 of Swords Symbolism.
The five of Swords symbolizes a dishonourable victory, gloating and humiliation. When reading any of the cards readers should first take the question into account, with is one they should then focus their attentions on either the two figures in the background which symbolize defeat and humiliation, or the figure in the foreground which symbolizes bulling dominance. The two figures head towards the sea of inner knowledge to find the answers, which are hidden in the mountains of enlightenment beyond.
The 6 of Cups Symbolism.
The six of Cups symbolizes nostalgia, it is a card of the the past, happy memories and reunions. The small child symbolizes the past and the taller child symbolizes the future, together they symbolize happy reunions with past friends or lovers. The smaller third figure, middle left, is walking away, this symbolizes our worries leaving us to be locked in the turret. The house symbolizes comfort and security but the barren garden symbolizes the lost happier times of the past , the older child brings loving cups of flowers to bring the garden back to life and rekindle that happiness.
The 6 of Wands Symbolism.
The six of Wands symbolizes a victory and acclamations for our achievements so far, encouragement. The wreath adorning the mans head symbolizes victory, he is thinking only of the latest victory but the wreath on his wand has a hissing serpent on top, the serpent faces right (symbolizing forward movement) which tells of the wisdom of moving quickly onto the next challenge . He also stays seated on his horse, also facing right, which tells us he is ready for further action. (I often think the horse is telling the man to get a move on?)
The 6 of Pentacles Symbolism.
The six of Pentacles symbolizes giving and receiving, helping others, a good heart.
The standing man symbolizes a superior person. He gives to one but holds the scales of justice to other other, this tells us to give only to the needy. The scales also symbolize the need to weigh up that which we can afford to give against the needs of the receiver. The yellow garbed mans bandaged head symbolizes his need, the blue garbed mans pocket is full.
The 6 of Swords Symbolism.
The six swords symbolize our troubles, we bring them with us but they don't sink the boat, we cannot forget them so we learn to live with them. The waters on the right of the boat are rough, the waters on the left are calm symbolizing movement to calmer waters. The sparse vegetation ahead symbolizes a new environment. The black pole symbolizes potential. The shrouded persons head bows down and they do not face the helper, this symbolizes a need for secrecy. (The six swords look like they could be from the ten of swords, but these people are moving on before the worst happens)
The 7 of Cups Symbolism.
The seven of Cups symbolizes multiple choices and making the right decisions, unrealistic expectations. The cups are in the clouds to symbolize our unreachable dreams and wishes, the cups contents symbolize our choices, the bust love, the snake wisdom, castle for security, jewels for wealth, a dragon for fear and the wreath victory. The central cup contains a figure shrouded in white, the color of purity, this symbolizes an unknown wish made with a pure heart. The action color red covering it tells us this is the choice we should go for. The figure in the foreground symbolizes our darker selves.
The 7 of Wands Symbolism.
The seven of Wands symbolizes holding on to what you have, keeping control and never giving in. The man is alone and wears no body armour which symbolizes his fight being mental rather than physical. He wears one boot and one shoe which tells us he is not afraid to show his uniqueness, he will not toe the line. His stand on high ground is symbolizing his position. His green garment tells us his heart is in this fight. His height brings him into a clear sky which symbolizes his clear head, he knows what he's doing and enjoying it.
The 7 of Pentacles Symbolism.
The seven of Pentacles symbolizes a time to reflect on your progress, resting while waiting for new inspirations. The orange garment symbolizes the mans happiness with his achievements. The green plant symbolizes the growth of a project so far, the six pentacles placed on the plant symbolizes the ideas and effort the man has put in. The man looks at his progress but for now he ignores the lone pentacle on the ground, that one symbolizes the extra input needed for further growth. Now he has time to decide what that new input will be.
The 7 of Swords Symbolism.
The seven of Swords symbolizes secrecy and underhanded actions, a need for caution. The figure symbolizes a crafty man taking from his enemies everything he can carry (He may not be actually stealing physical things, it could just be his enemies advantages?) The orange garment symbolizes his enjoyment at his actions. The red hat symbolizes his careful planning before taking action. The tents with flags in the background symbolize a temporary establishment, he can only remove that which has not been secured. (The two swords left behind are stuck in the ground)
The 8 of Cups Symbolism.
The eight of Cups symbolizes leaving a stable position that's not working, sorrow and disappointment with our endeavors or love life. Red is the symbolic color of action. He heads for the mountain of enlightenment. The cups still stand upright which tells us of past happiness. Although nothing has been spilled the cups are piling up without a true pattern, something is missing. The man knows it's time to walk away, he has to seek the missing cups needed to complete a pattern then maybe return. The moon covering the sun symbolizes hidden truths.
The 8 of Wands Symbolism.
The eight of Wands symbolizes speed towards an end, fast forward movement and quick communication to keep an advantage. The flying wands symbolize a desire for expansion. The clear skies symbolize a trouble-free path. The castle on the hill symbolizes the security we gain by getting to the top. The river brings life and energy to our endeavors.
Note: These wands were called the "Arrows of love" by Arthur Waite.
The 8 of Pentacles Symbolism.
The eight of Pentacles symbolizes hard work and self improvement, craftsmanship and enthusiasm. The man concentrating on his work tells us discipline is needed to get things right. The bench symbolizes a simple workspace with no distractions. The hung pentacles are symbolizing his achievements so far. The discarded pentacle on the ground is telling us that practice makes perfect. The man works alone, away from the city and people, but he is out in the open which tells us he's not worrying about others thoughts.
The 8 of Swords Symbolism.
The eight of Swords symbolizes a fear of movement, entrapment and being blinded to possibilities. The blindfold symbolizes her confusion. The muddy waters beneath her symbolizes her emotional humiliation. The fortress on top of the cliff symbolizes the authoritative powers that have bound her. The swords represent that which traps her but they only stop her from going back, the open escape route is forward. Residues from the sea of emotions tickle her feet (Is the tide coming in or going out?) This card begs us to recognize our ignorance.
The 9 of Cups Symbolism.
The nine of Cups symbolizes our wishes and dreams coming true, satisfaction and happiness. The cups symbolize his wishes and dreams, they're behind him which tells us he hasn't secured them yet. He sits, with his arms folded, on a simple bench which symbolizes physical contentment but his red head dress symbolizes an active mind, The yellow background symbolizes the mans mental imagery. Arthur Waite once said the cups are full of wine, are so many wines good for him? :)
The 9 of Wands Symbolism.
The nine of Wands symbolizes resistance and self protection, the burdens we carry and our strengths in opposition. The mans bandaged head symbolizes a psychic injury but he uses one wand to to prop up his self esteem. He stands still on his road but his gaze tells us he's wary of his surroundings and ready for action. The blank base of the card also tells us he has no support. Depending on the question and surrounding cards the wands behind him could be representing either his resources or him leaving his problems behind. The wand pushed to one side symbolizes a way to retreat.
The 9 of Pentacles Symbolism.
The nine of pentacles symbolizes financial desires and security, our satisfaction in knowing the right things to choose and following those choices through. The hooded falcon symbolizes subdued discipline. The pentacles on the grapevine symbolize a fruitful life. The bold snail in the foreground tells us something rotten is in the garden, the woman is accepting it because it reminds her to be proud of who she is, warts, snails and all.
The 9 of Swords Symbolism.
The nine of Swords is said to be the worst card in the deck because it symbolizes mental aguish and our worst fears. The swords hanging in the dark background above symbolize the woman's nightmares, they float without touching her which tells us the fears are not actually affecting her physically. The woman sits up in her bed covering her eyes, this symbolizes her fear of facing the real world, her fears rule her. She refuses the comfort of the blanket which is covered in roses, they symbolize passion which tells us her fears could be for loved ones.
The 10 of Cups Symbolism.
The ten of Cups symbolizes a state of permanence and contentment in all matters pertaining to the heart, a happy marriage. The cups symbolize an abundance of heavenly gifts and the rainbow signifies the end of hard times. The house symbolizes stability and homely comforts. The green garden symbolizes fertility. The river symbolizes a free flow of feelings. The two children bring balance to this relationship. The line crossing the garden symbolizes a boundary which hasn't been crossed, this tells us the couple are celebrating their arrival, they have reached home.
The 10 of Wands Symbolism.
The ten of Wands symbolizes an excess of burdens, physical exhaustion and letting ongoing commitments keep you from fresh goals. The house symbolizes a fresh goal. He holds the wands in a way that blocks him and his view of the house, this symbolizes a self made barrier that keeps him away. The lush growth behind the house symbolizes the fruits he could gain by reaching that goal. The clear skies tell us there is no turmoil involved in his endeavours, if only he would let some of those burdens drop, or ask for help.
The 10 of Pentacles Symbolism.
The ten of Pentacles symbolizes material abundance and financial security. The ten of Cups symbolized an emotionally secure couple but this card shows us a couple whose contentment is brought about by financial success, they celebrate their good fortune outside the comforts and security of the family home. The old man is a wizard symbolizing ancient wisdom. The dogs welcome the man as he and the child pats them but the couple ignore him, this symbolizes the importance of maintaining your home as well as your fortune. The wand left leaning against the arch symbolizes their thoughtless actions. Note: the pentacles form the tree of life.
The 10 of Swords Symbolism.
The ten of Swords simply symbolizes an ending, the worst is over now so its time to move on, new beginnings. Where the Death card symbolized an ending by natural reactions this card tells us of an ending caused by physical forces, the swords systematically piercing the mans back are symbolizing the physical forces that caused the ending. The dark skies above symbolize the gloom of the moment but they are already giving way to the bright sunlit skies rising from the horizon. We also see an easy crossing over calm waters will bring the man to fresh pastures.