There are 78 cards in a Tarot Deck, divided into the Major Arcana
and the Minor Arcana. The word 'Arcana' comes from the Latin arcanus,
meaning closed or secret. In the context of the Tarot, it means
a secret or a mystery. As guides to inner development, they depict
universal forces within us that are attempting to express through
us. Our higher self may be bringing them to our attention as we
progress in our spiritual journey toward wholeness.
The Major Arcana, or trump suit, consists of 22 cards. Each card
has a different picture that illustrates an action, behaviour or
event. All the cards in the Major Arcana, except one, are numbered,
from one to twenty-one. The Fool, which is the only unnumbered card,
is generally considered to be number zero. In a reading, the Major
Arcana represents 'states of being' - your mental, emotional, spiritual
condition at the time of the reading, or in terms of the situation
being described. The remaining 56 cards in the deck are called the
These are divided into four suits: Pentacles, Cups, Wands and Swords.
Each suit has 14 cards ranging from Ace to Ten, plus four Court
Cards: Page, Knight, Queen, and King. In the reading, the Minor
Arcana describes 'events or situations', and each suit focuses on
a different area of your life. Pentacles for physical/sensual activities,
Cups for feelings, Wands for spirituality/intuition and Swords for
logic/intellect. The 16 Court cards of the Minor Arcana - a page,
knight, queen and king for each suit -represent various stages of
personal or spiritual maturity. The remaining 40 cards depict personal
experiences, gifts and challenges in the areas "governed"
by each suit.