Category - Tarot Card Meanings



Temperance (XIV), with its red wings of passion and with one foot on the ground and another in the water, balancing water in two cups, seems like a strange follow-up to Death. It has a triangle on her chest, symbolizing balance and a circle on its forehead symbolizing harmony.

Behind Temperance is the road to a crown rising like the sun. The irises on its right symbolize the ideal connection between humanity and the gods. Its right foot is in the water, but not completely. The water symbolizes emotions. Its left food is planted firmly on the ground, symbolizing the practical and material.

It balances on her toes on both the water and the land. Its wings are outspread and red, the color of life and passion, and she wears a white robe, the color of purity. It makes water go from one cup to the other, moving from one to the other. But which way is it going?

If you follow the wisdom of temperance, either way you go will lead to good things, whether they’re riches or spiritual wisdom. When the Temperance card is drawn, it tells the client or querent to find middle ground, to seek wisdom in finding balance and avoiding extremes. Buddha called this the “Middle Way,” the path to wisdom.

The Temperance card can mean that one must not go to extremes of either excess or deprivation. It can also indicate that one is finding harmony, or that they’re putting together what’s needed in order to find peace.

Temperance can also mean that something unbalanced is brought back into balance, that the querent will find harmony again. The querent may also find physical harmony, such as health or beauty. This card can come as a relief if the querent has been ill or out of shape.

However, if it’s the querent’s fault that there’s disharmony or imbalance, things will be made right whether that works out well for the querent. Imbalances of power, especially abuse or exploitation, will come to an end.

This card is especially good for any partnerships, agreements or relationships that require equal work and equal power among parties, as it nearly guarantees that there will be no power struggles or mind games.

When the Temperance card is Reversed:

The Temperance card reversed does mean imbalance at its simplest, but it can mean much more than that. Since humans naturally seek some semblance of balance, or what seems harmonious to us, Temperance reversed can mean that something is totally and fundamentally out of whack and has to be put in order before anything can be fixed.

Temperance reversed may also be a warning that any extreme thoughts or behaviors the querent currently indulges are going to send them over the edge. Any issues like perfectionism, obsession, and addiction have to be addressed, lest they ruin the querent.

Temperance reversed, however, can also indicate inaction due to a fear of becoming imbalanced and thus, doing nothing. This is warning the querent that doing nothing leads to nothing.

In a three-card reading, this card means…

Past: In the past, the querent made wise choices and lived a fairly harmonious life or made balanced decisions. These have had a positive impact on life now.

Present: Right now, the querent is keeping things in check, or things have at least come to an even, serene place. Nothing is one way or the other.

Future: In the future, the querent can expect things to right themselves in time and for balance and harmony to be restored.


The Devil

Like Death, the Devil (XV) card is misunderstood, but not merely as much. The symbolism can be rather straightforward. This card is actually an inverse or a mockery of the Lovers card.

Instead of an angel, there’s the devil. The devil itself is a satyr, a half-man, half-goat mythical creature that was largely characterized by lustfulness. Yet, it has a lion’s face, bat wings, bird claws, and a (relatively) large belly. The Devil is the seven deadly sins: The large belly is gluttony. The lion’s face is pride. The bat wings are anger. The goat lower body is lust. The bird claws are envy. Crouching on the pillar is sloth. Chaining up the man and woman is greed.

It has the inverted pentagram above its head, symbolizing the elements over the spirit, or the carnal side of life winning.

Instead of two lovers at its sides, there’s a man and a woman chained by the neck to the Devil’s throne. The man casually, almost carelessly, reaches out for the woman who ignores him. They both have tails, horns, and curly red hair, a sign of lust and taking on the Devil’s traits. Her tail is grapes, symbolizes forbidden fruit and too much wine and revelry, and his tail is of fire, which is set alight by the Devil’s torch.

The Devil is the one who sets alight the flames of lust and wanton desire. Those who fall prey are his slaves, right? Do the man and woman have to be chained to him, and who is in control, here? The Devil is just staring and sitting there, and the man and woman are apathetic, doing nothing about their situation.

The Devil is actually powerless. Its facial expression is empty. It’s just a series of images depicting the dark side of humanity, the part we don’t want to face, and our shadow selves.

When a client or querent pulls the Devil card, they’re made to contend with their dark sides, the part of themselves they may disown or pretend doesn’t exist. It may also simply be the carnal side of themselves that they fully accept but don’t attempt to temper or balance out.

The Devil card can also indicate good things, like business acumen, shrewdness, and an understanding of people and what they really want and need. What people really want and need, after all, can often be boiled down to the creature comforts of food and sex.

When the Devil card is Reversed:

The Devil reversed doesn’t necessarily mean goodness or lack of carnality. It can indicate carnality without any control. Likewise, it can indicate a crippling guilt around having normal human desires that causes someone to deny themselves all pleasures.

It can also indicate addiction or weaknesses to certain pleasures or escapes that get in the way of having a meaningful existence with healthy, nurturing relationships with others.

It can also show where a person is entitled or demanding, materialistic but unable or unwilling to do what it takes to get worldly success.

In a three-card reading, this card means…

Past: In the past, the querent was shrewd, worldly, and perhaps successful because of it. However, they may have traded spiritual depth or meaningful relationships for material gain.

Present: Right now, the querent is almost single-mindedly focused on business, lust, or achieving something of material gain, using every trick they have up their sleeves.

Future: In the future, the querent will become ruthless or more cunning in their pursuit of what they want. They may not be afraid to do whatever it takes to get what they want.

The Tower

The Tower

The Tower (XVI) is not just the most unfortunate card in the major arcana, but the most unfortunate one in the entire tarot. Here, a narrow tower is built on the top of a mountain. Thus, it manages to attract lightning, sending the people in it tumbling and fleeing for their lives.

Its like the allegorical Tower of Babel: this tower reaches high into the heavens like a needle piercing the sky, but on supernatural act sends the whole thing to the furnace and the people inside it descending long and hard to Earth. What was once the crown-topped jewel of human invention becomes rubble in a matter of minutes.

The people falling are a commoner and a king, telling that no human has the power to stop the supernatural or to stop the powers of God. Thus, when this card is drawn, the querent knows that something they have built is going to be destroyed.

It’s a natural reaction to fear destruction and living with the rubble. However, like the Tower in the card, the querent’s towers are built on faulty land where it’s vulnerable to falling down. Thus, it was simple a matter of time before the tower would be struck and it would all come falling down.

It won’t seem that way. For the querent, it feels as if the destruction comes out of the blue, like a random act of hatred from the universe. The querent may be left wondering why this had to happen to them, even though, deep down, they know the answer.

The lightening bolt is like a warning from God, divine retribution, or as John Lennon coined “instant karma.” The people in the tower aren’t just awoken at night, but thrown out of bed, just like the querent. They’re going to experience a major upheaval and break down of whom they think they are.

No matter what happens, the Tower card tells the querent to embrace the change and to not cry over spilled milk. The ones who fall gracefully land the lightest, and the sooner they accept the damage, the sooner they can start to build again, wisely this time.

It also means accepting our reactions to grief. The querent must give themselves time and space to mourn loss. The Tower card tells us that the real destruction is within, as shown by the fire. One can withstand tragedy, but being eaten up inside is what really destroys us.

When the Tower card is Reversed:

The Tower reversed doesn’t mean disaster averted. Disaster is still there. It just means that the querent isn’t facing the problem head-on and is probably making it worse. The querent isn’t letting things go and getting ready to rebuild again.

This card reversed means not taking bitter medicine because of the taste, and ignoring the possibility of being wiser and learning through experience. By refusing to face facts, the querent is making something more painful and difficult than it needs to be. There’s no sense in going down with the tower.

In a three-card reading, this card means…

Past: Sometimes heartbreaking and life altering happened to the querent that they have come out of wiser and more mature. They may be more cautious about entering into something similar in the future, however.

Present: Right now, the querent is going through a serious personal upheaval that must happen. They’ll be better for it, but it will hurt, and it will mean making some serious, if unpleasant, changes.

Future: The querent is going to go through a major personal upheaval in the near future. They’re being warned of it now so they can embrace the change, learn, and grow.

The Star

The Star

The Star (XVII) represents hope and renewal. A naked woman kneels with one foot on land and another on the water, both replenishing the water reserves and nourishing the land, creating five rivers. In a tree in the distant right is an ibis bird, representing the Egyptian god Thoth, the god of magic, wisdom, and writing.

It appears to be twilight, and there are eight eight-pointed stars in the sky: seven small ones surrounding a large, golden one. The eight-pointed star represents hope and new beginnings.

The woman, who has nothing but water, gives her water and pours it into a dry lakebed and onto land, where plants begin to grow. Water represents the soul, the emotions, the inner being. This is all she has, and this she gives to the Earth in hopes that it helps to create something much better.

The woman has yellow hair, symbolizing knowledge. The tree of knowledge, from where the ibis watches, symbolizes the magick of pouring your soul into something in order to create something wonderful.

There is great clarity in this card, because it is simple. When there is nothing to lose, there is nothing to hold onto. The only thing left is hope, and hope is for nothing if it’s not shared or invested.

When a client or querent draws the Star card, it shows that the querent is ready to do something with their lives that didn’t previously seem imaginable. They’re hopeful and ready to start over. A star is guiding them, so to speak.

The querent may be very optimistic, and they may actually have nothing to lose if they go forward with whatever plans or dreams they have. They haven’t become children again, but they have made the affirmative decision to be hopeful and open to the gifts the universe gives.

For the querent, there may be contentment or even euphoria, like walking on a cloud, or discovering the beauty of being alive. It may even feel a bit like falling in love with life.

It may also indicate a time where the querent realizes what talents and skills they have and what they have to offer the world. They may be drawn to more humanitarian endeavors, too.

When the Star card is Reversed:

When the Star is reversed, the querent is at a loss for hope, or isn’t sure what they actually want. They’re not in touch with their gut feelings, and what they’re aiming for isn’t really what they’re supposed to do in this life. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re losing, but that they’re stagnating.

The Star reversed can also mean that the querent is uneasy with the decisions they’ve made. It’s possible that they’ve chosen to do something for the sake of others, or because it seems like a good idea.

This card reversed can also indicate a person who has simply lost their zest for life and is going through the motions. They may no idea what they truly want because they’ve ignored their inner voice.

In a three-card reading, this card means…

Past: In the past, the querent was inspired to make lemonade from lemons, and in doing so, created something wonderful from very little. They could do it again if they must.

Present: Right now, the querent is at the cusp of doing something wonderful with their lives. They have hope and faith that this will not only work out, but also lead them in the direction of a fulfilling life.

Future: Whatever the querent is experiencing right now will open up to a time of renewal in which they have faith once again and are inspired to put themselves out in the world and share their unique gifts.

The Moon

The Moon

The Moon (XVIII) is rich with symbolism. The Moon hangs serenely over a mountain range and two towers where a snaking crossroads leads to a river where a crawfish crawls out. A dog and a wolf howl up at the Moon. This is a dreamy and very symbolic card.

The Moon sits between two towers, the right life and the left life. The conventional path or the unconventional path. Beyond them are craggy mountains representing the uncertainty of our journeys. A road leads to them. This is the journey of life.

The journey begins in the water, the cradle of life, and crawling out of it – oddly enough – is a crayfish, representing the birth of consciousness. After all, crayfish live in the water and they can’t breathe on land. Yet, this one not only does that, but also braves walking between two possible predators who might perceive it as a tasty snack.

Perhaps the crayfish’s ignorance of land predators gives it the courage to venture on. If anything in the card represents the querent, it’s that crayfish.

The dog and the wolf represent the tame and wild parts of every person. They co-exist, and one is very much like the other. One starts from the other. One simply cannot be without the other. There would be no domestic dogs without wolves. Here, they howl together like wild animals.

The Moon is a mysterious card. It is both dangerous and promising, depending on who draws it, where, and when. It deals with dreams, illusions, fears, and the wonders of the imagination. The querent is called to look beyond the veil of normal human experience and see what proliferates in the dark of night.

When a client or querent draws The Moon, it means that this person is experiencing a phase confusion, wonder, and possibly irrational fear. They may also have a sense of life being surreal or dream-like, which could be like a pleasant dream or a downright nightmare, depending on who is walking with them, the dog or the wolf.

The Moon card can also indicate a querent who is wandering, groping in the dark, without direction. They may be either following their instincts and not listening to the world, or frightened and desperate for direction. Not all who wander are lost, but those who are lost should wait until daytime to complete their journey.

When the Moon card is Reversed:

The reversed Moon tells of a querent overcome with irrational fear, confusion, and anxiety. This person may also be so lost in fantasy that they lose sight of what is real and what isn’t.

The querent may have such a preference for fantasy that it becomes their life, and the limit their interactions with the real world to preserve their inner life, much to their own detriment.

This can also indicate a querent who, like the crayfish walking on land and embarking on a journey to the mountains, is grossly overestimating their ability or experience to handle what happens next.

In a three-card reading, this card means…

Past: In the past, the querent was either lost in a dream, or lost in reality. Either way, they lived in a fog where they weren’t quite in touch with the rest of the world. They may have discovered some interesting things about themselves they wouldn’t have learned otherwise.

Present: The querent is currently experiencing a sort of alternate reality or dark night of the soul in which they feel lost, uncertain, or deluded in some way. They may not be in touch with reality, which can be good or bad, depending on the situation.

Future: In the future, the querent will experience a time in which the question the things they simply assume are true and test their mental, emotional, and spiritual limits. There may be a crisis of faith or an identity crisis on the way.

The Sun

The Sun

The Sun (XIX) beautiful and bright with tendrils and beams reaching out, looks serenely on as a young child with flowers in his hair rides a white stallion away from a white wall.

The child has triumphed over the white wall. Everything that has happened before is on the other side, where it can’t haunt or hurt the child. This child is not really so young though: this is the spirit born again, renewed and given another shot at life.

The child is naked and has nothing to hide. The child has a feather in his hair, showing that he’s accomplished a certain portion of his life. He doesn’t hold reins or the horse’s mane, and yet he’s in no danger of falling off.

He holds an orange banner, showing triumph over both the limitations of the body and its needs and the limitations of pure thought. He is now ready for action, with all confidence and optimism of a triumphant man.

Behind the boy grows a row of sunflowers. It was once believed that sunflowers grow in the direction of the sun. Here, they don’t grow facing the sun above them, but facing the child, who embodies the purity, vitality, and exuberance of the sun. There are four of them, representing the four suits of the minor arcana: wands, pentacles, cups, and swords.

When a client or querent draws The Sun card, it’s indicative of a triumph or success. It was hard-fought, hard earned, or hard-won, and now the querent can shed the baggage of the previous struggles and start over again in a new direction.

Life is good, even great. It wasn’t handed to the querent on a silver platter, but it is good. There is a sense of well-deserved happiness and prosperity. This card could indicate both personal and financial prosperity, as well as good health, and possibly fertility.

The Sun card could literally mean the arrival of a child, through pregnancy or adoption.

When the Sun card is Reversed:

The Sun card reversed can either mean that a person has gone from so confident and innocent that they’ve chosen to become naïve all over again, or that they can’t trust a good thing when they see it.

If the querent is too confident, they may think this phase of life lasts forever. While they remember to enjoy it, they refuse to see when it’s time to hunker down and be a grown-up again.

On the other hand, if the querent refuses to trust the good times, then all the sweetness of life seems to pass them by, and they have a dark cloud over their head all the time.

The querent may also be experiencing a lack of confidence that doesn’t have a rational basis. They may be afraid of trying new things or making dreams come true, but doesn’t have a reason to fear them. They may be quite good at whatever they wish to do, but just won’t take the next step to put themselves out there in the world.

In a three-card reading, this card means…

Past: The querent has recently experienced a time of great confidence, optimism, and possibly prosperity. They’ve probably surmounted serious obstacles and have come out with a new point-of-view and a desire to take on the world.

Present: Right now, the querent is enjoying a hard-earned bout of self-confidence and good times. They’re accomplishing things and reaping the rewards. They’re also staying positive and hopeful for the future.

Future: In the future, the querent is going to get over whatever obstacles are in their way, making those obstacles a distant memory when they triumph spectacularly. All their troubles will be over, and they can finally relax and walk in the sunshine.

Wheel of Fortune

Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel of Fortune is one of the most mystical cards of the tarot. On the wheel itself are the Hebrew letters for YHWH, or the name of God, and in between those letters are T-A-R-O, or tarot. Inside that are the alchemical symbols for the four elements for fire, water, earth, and air.

The four figures in the corner – the winged man, the eagle, the winged ox, and the winged lion – stand for the writers of the Gospel, Matthew, John, Luke, and Mark, respectively. They also loosely correlate to the fixed signs of the zodiac, Aquarius, Scorpio, Taurus, and Leo. All in all, everything will be okay.

The god of intelligence, Hermes, rises on the right. The god of evil sinks on the left. The sphinx, representing the mysteries of existence, sits on top as if to rule the wheel.

The wheel of Fortune spins. Life is full of ups and downs, and things happen in cycles. If you’ve heard the old adage “sometimes, when a door closes, a window opens,” or “thank God for unanswered prayers,” we understand that “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” and yet, we still get good things. We couldn’t have made them happen with our limited knowledge.

That’s what Hermes rising means. You live, you learn, and you become wiser. Hermes will eventually met the sphinx and think he’s got it all figured out, only to spin down again on the cycle.

The Wheel floats in the air by itself. It’s always falling but never landing, and never crashing. It’s just there, turning forever, like the Earth, the Moon, the planets on the cycles we humans experience as the passing of time.

When the Wheel of Fortune card is drawn, the client or querent is facing circumstances out of their knowledge but not necessarily out their control. Yes, fortunes are about to change, but the querent has to looks where it’s going. This is time when the querent should stay optimistic, especially if they’re experiencing rough times. They should improve, as nothing lasts forever.

When Reversed: The Wheel of Fortune reversed usually means that the querent resists change. They either don’t feel secure enough to move on and embrace change, or they’re still holding onto something long dead. This is a warning to let go of the past or be stuck in it forever. This may also mean that the querent is blaming others for past misfortunes and not accepting responsibility. Even if one is victimized through no fault of their own, one can find a way to grow and learn, if only for their own sake.

This card reversed can also mean change for the bad because the querent is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy by being pessimistic. The lesson here is to figure out the difference between pessimism and realism. While we can’t always shape our reality, we can shape our approach to it and influence the tides of change by embracing them with a positive outlook.

In a three-card reading, this card means…

Past: A past reversal or change of fortune has set the tone for current events. Keep your chin up and hope for the best.

Present: A current upheaval may be upsetting, but it’s for the best. Look on the bright side. Try to find a bright side.

Future: Things are about to change for good or bad, depending on whether the card is right side up or reversed. Don’t despair your current lot in life, because one day, it’ll be a memory.

The Fool

Tarot Card Meaning: The Fool

The Fool stands at the precipice of a cliff, looking up at the sky, his supplies on his back and his companion at his feet, a puppy as young and naïve as the Fool himself. The sun is at his back, and to that he lifts a white rose. The Fool, the rose, and the white puppy all signify the innocence and open-minded spirit of youth.

The Fool also represents inexperience. This card is not a counting number. Zero is empty. It’s nothing. The Fool has nothing really. No riches, no experience, and no wisdom. His cloak is ragged, but he stands tall and proud. He has nothing of material value, but he doesn’t feel loss. He’s as light as the feather in his hat, and he’s ready to fly.

That bag he carries? It may full of supplies for the journey, or it may be empty and waiting to be filled. The Fool is ready to fill up its mind, senses, and life with experiences. It’s newborn, facing the world and ready to take the plunge.

When The Fool card is drawn, it signifies a place where the client or querent is either experiencing something for the first time, or feeling a renewed sense of adventure or wonder. It can also signify a place where the querent is heading without looking or thinking. It’s also the spark of creativity and curiosity through which all else comes to be.

The main feature of The Fool card is that it’s where the querent isn’t afraid. Depending on the situation, it can show where they’re not afraid because they don’t have to be, or that they’re not afraid because they don’t know that they should be afraid.

When this card is thrown, the querent should take pause. This can be an exciting time in a person’s life where they either embark on new journeys or feel like a brand new person. If this card is drawn after a harrowing experience like loss, this may signify that the querent is ready for a change for the better where they shed the baggage of their sorrows. It can also, however, signify a refusal to be beaten down by the world.

When The Fool is Reversed:

The Fool reversed is the dark side of being The Fool. The dark side of being naïve is being exploited. The dark side of being adventurous is risking injury. The dark side of having nothing to lose is never holding onto anything. The sun is at the Fool’s back, which makes The Fool cast a long, dark shadow over everything ahead of it.

The Fool is standing at the edge of a craggy cliff. He’s on the cusp of walking off the cliff or tripping over. The reversed Fool Card shows a possibility of tripping over the edge and falling into the unknown below. After all, The Fool isn’t watching where it’s going. Therefore, when reversed, The Fool card tells the querent to open their eyes, look around, and stop fooling themselves.




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Photos of the Fool