The 56 minor cards that follow the first 22 Major Arcana cards. These 56 minor Arcana cards are also called pips, suit cards, minors, and other terms. Arcanum is singular, Arcana is plural and the term means “secret.” Where the Major Arcana cards are thought of as the “power” cards or big players in a reading, the Minor Arcana serve in supportive roles and augment the reading with further insight and detail of circumstances. They are the little things that happen in our lives that lead unto or influence the big things.
Viewed more eclectically, if the Major Arcana could be described as the primary colours brightly painted on the canvas of our lives, then the Minor Arcana are the various hues and shades that offer enhancement and diversity of our life’s design.
The Minor Arcana brings us clarity and definition. These cards are the supportive role-players to the prime archetypes of the Major Arcana. The stage, setting, and supportive actors in our readings; these cards flesh out the big story of what?s going on in our interpretive experiences.
Each suit tells a story within the elemental/psychological realm of that suit. For instance, the Minor Arcana suit of cups tell the story of its element, water which deals with the realm of emotions. Succinctly, the worlds of emphasis are played out in each suit:
This of course is a broad overview of each suit – just as every world has an infinite array of characteristics, colours, qualities, and aspects – so too does each suit, and these are played out by each of the fourteen individual cards in each realm.
Don’t get the idea that just because these are the Minors they play second fiddle in any reading. On the contrary, the Minor Arcana Tarot card meanings have the ability to drastically transform all readings (and offer personal transformation as you work with the Tarot on a developmental level), and can leave a mark of grand design if soulfully interpreted in a reading.