Lesser Known Tarot Card Meanings
As promised, I've put together a list of some lesser-known Tarot card meanings. These are meanings that, as far as I know, have been unique to my clients' readings and readings I've done for myself.
This is why it's so important to let your imagination wander, to let your intuition explore the cards. It's also why one-card readings are extremely informative. Beyond the textbook definition of the card, we can use our intuition to explore meanings of colors, symbols, and the composition or layout of a single card, and apply that information to the reading.
For example, this week, I had a client reading where we were exploring two options. For the first option, Ace of Swords turned up in the spread. For the second, Ace of Wands. I had very real 'emotions' about these cards -- The sword felt cold, forceful, and detached, and the wand was warm and friendly. But I also noticed that the clouds were being blown in two different directions. This indicated to me that, the sword scenario had a, "What can YOU give ME?" attitude, and the wand scenario had a "What can I help YOU with?" attitude.
I also have certain emotional connections with cards and, now that I feel my subconscious connects certain themes with certain cards, the meanings have changed slightly. I'm going to list some of my possibly lesser-known card meanings here, as they've been confirmed by clients and in my own life, and maybe they'll add some new meanings to your higher-power library too!
Images of the cards are below, if needed for reference:
- Ten of Wands
In many of my personal readings, this means "You can manage many challenges at once." Let's face it, being overwhelmed (this card's textbook meaning) is just part of life. I have many demands as a mom, wife, Editor, and small business owner. This card has often come up as a promise that I can successfully manage many different appointments and challenges.
- Ten of Swords
This card has come up multiple times when I ask, "How can I improve my health?" I was taken aback to see it at first. It typically means complete defeat. I later learned that, for me, this meant to try acupuncture.
- 5 of Pentacles
Fives are typically cards of loss. These characters appear to be poor and homeless, looking for refuge. But, in my readings this card has come up as a sign of hope. The man is looking upward for guidance, and the church in the background offers a place of refuge. And, in some readings, the client is the one offering help to others.
- 6 of Cups
When I doubt my parenting or feel like a horrible mother, this card often surfaces to remind me of my giving nature. It's come to mean, "a loving parent," in my personal readings. When I can't give my child all of my time, I can at least give her my heart.
- 2 of Wands
This card has come up frequently in readings when a client's partner is looking for something new or "playing the field." It can also mean looking for new work or a big-picture perspective, but paired with other cards (like a Queen facing toward this character), it's usually a good confirmation that the partner isn't as dedicated to the relationship.
- 7 of Swords
Typically, this card means someone or something being taken from you. In recent readings for myself, it has meant that I'm stealing time or being sneaky about how I make time for myself. I'm a mom, so sometimes my grocery shopping involves sitting in the car after a shopping trip just listening to my favorite podcast. Ha!
- 2 of Pentacles
In a recent reading, this meant hanging paintings! The client confirmed that they were re-decorating and putting up photos of their ancestors. It was always important to the man in the photo that the frames were placed a certain way.
- 5 of Cups
This card is often associated with disappointment, loss, and as a positive reminder that there are still 2 cups standing. In a recent reading, it was a sign to me confirming that a friend wasn't pregnant. The red wine spilling reminded me of menstruation.
- Queen of Swords
I like to ask my higher power/the universe to use court cards to symbolize people in my life. As a result, I have some frequent visitors that appear in readings that typically make sense with their personality types. The Queen of Swords is usually my Grandmother (my father's step-mother). She was a warm person but could often be abrupt and cold with her responses. She had a 'cutting' way about her. See below for a court card journal prompt.
- 2 of Swords
Many readers agree that this card has MANY different meanings, from meditation to being torn between two choices. In a recent client reading, the querent related to a meaning of mentally/spiritually preparing for battle, a battle of wits with someone in her family who was causing her stress.
- The Hanged Man
I always read this card as its textbook meaning of "a new perspective," but another reader recently told me that this is a card of "self-sacrifice" -- think of Jesus on the cross. In recent readings, this meaning has added some depth to my discussion with clients, as many querents, me included, can relate to spreading themselves too thin and giving too much to others.
- 4 of Cups
This card has always been my "focusing too much on fantasy" card. I get lost in my own thoughts, and I don't focus enough on my day-to-day life and family. However, in a reading with a friend of mine, she related to this card as simply a new idea which completed her business plan, or almost a promise of divine intervention, that "a-ha" moment she'd been looking for.
I encourage you to take time each day to reflect on your daily card draw and see if the imagery speaks to you in a new way.
Pick 5 of the closest people in your life (friends and/or family), and see which court cards apply to them. Jot them down in your journal. As you do your personal readings, do these characters pop up? If so, this might mean that their personality characteristics may be useful in some situations, or the cards may be giving you specific information about those people that you need to assess. If these cards come up in client readings, your client may have people in their lives who are similar to your close friends' and family members' personalities. In many readings, I've said, "The energy I'm feeling around you reminds me of my sister. Let me tell you a little about her and see if it makes sense to you." Nine times out of ten, it does, and we can relate to similar experiences interacting with this energy type, using the cards to guide us through the process.