After having studied the Cards of Truth course by Ernst Wilhelm some years ago and dabbled in this topic back and forth over the last years I kind of feel now I get the meanings of the cards or at least the chronology of their meanings.
I would thus like to share with you my take on the symbolic meanings of the 52 – playing cards that is also used in the Egyptian astrology system and is supposed to describe the nature of life.
These meanings can be used not only with regular poker cards but also with the Tarot cards. Unfortunately these meanings does not suit well in my opinion with the “traditional” imagery of the raider-waite tarot but it works very well with the again in my opinion more accurate marseille type of tarot decks.
Before I get into the meanings I want to explain the elements(suits) to you:
Fire is Shown by the Spades(Wands in Tarot), Water corresponds to Cups/hearts/fruit, Clubs are corresponding to the Air element (Leaves/Swords) and lastly the Diamonds are Pentacles/Coin – the Earth element.
Spades are about the initial survival as manifesting spirit into flesh; the fire of the digestive system and hunger of the belly. Meaning it is mostly about the self, ones consciousness/psychology and immediate survival of the physical body(which is a manifested vehicle for the soul during our journey into the physical realm). It is connected to seeds and spring time – the shooting out of new growth(spirit manifesting into physical – new life).
Hearts are about our relationships and the “fruits” or the sweetness of being alive. It can be associated with being able to bond with others and the joy of co-creating.
The heart suit is connected to berries and fruit – everything that gives a feeling of love/pleasure/happiness. It is connected to summer time.
Clubs are about solving problems because there is a need of different ways of achieving meaning/ bond with others/or have health of the physical /psychological body.
It is a very inspirational- and inventive- driven, mental element – “listening to the winds” by taking down the “thoughts” and/or inspiration from the heavens to try incorporating them on earth(with the purpose of solving a problem).
A metaphor for this could be like when the leaves on the tree is absorbing the Sun’s light incorporating it to form chlorophyll. The club element is connected to autumn/fall.
Diamonds are about the riches, worthwhile resources or worthwhile value. It can be minerals, the soil/lands(holding lots of minerals developed throughout hundreds and thousands of years), it can be beauty/strength or something physical that has with time and “crystallization” become of value. Like a City. Like a country. Like money – even about skills!! It is is about physical matter that is affecting many people and that is worthwhile. It holds value more than that of the immediate nature ,like the spades, that is mostly concerned with the immediate survival(present). It is also about being secured(for the future). It is connected to the winter.
The Astrological association to the Numbers ( the correct association)
´The Numbers 1-9 are the numbers of ; Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu, Ketu( in that given order). Number 10 is both the beginning of something new and elevation card(the ecliptic).
(The order of the planets follow the week days – Sunday(1) – to Saturday(7) which makes at least for me a lot of sense since in other languages the weekdays names resemble the names of the planets like for instance Mercredi in french means Wednesday which accurately is the day of Mercury and Mardi is the name for Tuesday which accurately is the day of Mars.)
The Jacks, Queens and Kings are representing the forces of 1-3 Brahma(Knight/Uranus/Mutable(initiating)), 4-6 Vishnu (Queen/Neptune/Fixed(truth)) and 7-9 Siva (King/Pluto/Dual(purifying)).
So now when we are settled – let´s start!
The Minor Arcana/ Playing Cards (In the accurate order)
Ace of Spades(Ace of Wands) – Something being born, initiated and arriving. Life manifesting and coming in. Spiritual realization. Consciousness. It can be a new start(psychologically/physically) or a new baby. A seed.
Two of Spades – Recieving and having something that is emmediately needed for the body or mind like medicine or Food.
Three of Spades – Moving for survival. Like hunting or like building a shelter.
Four of Spades – Being Safe, matured, having shelter (roof over the head). Pausing. Having things organized for the emmediate survival.
Five of Spades – Being wise with the body and survival – even sometimes be careful and avoiding. Keeping that fire alive while moving carefully forward. Expanding options for the life but also recognizing that somethings are not meant to work out. Could indicate processes like going through a detox according to Carmina Amza.
Six of Spades – Pleasure and comfort. Even celebration and dance. It can show the physical pleasure of sex. This is when new support have been coming in and it is time to celebrate the hard work that has been done( even the maturation of the body – thus showing the sex-aspect that the body is ready to procreate).
Seven of Spades – When the survival is seriously threatened. Like having a disease, being ill or when the village is overtaking by the enemy and you are at mercy of the enemy. Thinking of it as the fire of life is flickering and the need is only to persevere and pray for mercy. It can also show death of the physical body.
Eight of Spades – Being imprisoned. Incubation or even pregnancy. Learning to accept ones fate and meditating or doing inner journey work. Being stuck in motion.
Nine of Spades – Surrendering to ones life purpose. Being okey with ones destiny and letting go. Yogic.
Ten of Spades – Having reached a new higher consciousness and the birth of a new consciousness of living.
Jack of Spades – Soldier, Thief or Orphan (like the dandelion pushing through the asfalt) – doing anything to push through to live.
Queen of Spades – Widow. Being independent/ self sufficient. Doing anything it takes for one self to remain alive – even if it means burning down the forest to rejuvenate the ground…
King of Spades – Destroyer or Conqueror. The most deadly and boundary crushing of the Kings. It can be about life and death but it can also be just the breakdown of barriers of any kind that totally sets a new tone for everything – which can be needed at times in life.
Ace of Hearts( Ace of Cups) – Being in love, falling in love. A new love has arrived. It can be a crush or just an overall feeling of being pleased and having a new loving attitude.
Two of Hearts – Intimate love/bonding. Like two love birds. Coming together with love. Physical intimacy. Cuddling.
Three of Hearts– Being independent in relationships. Being single. Flirting and having fun. Not being tied in any relationship. Just following the passion regardless consequences.
Four of Hearts – Being organized in love and relationships in order to have security relationship-wise. Like making a connection official in order to be able to hold on to that connection. It could show marriage or at least an engagement. Finding a safe bonding. Safe intimacy.
Five of Hearts – Being wise in relationships. Proving our devotion to our relationship in order to make it grow. Abundance comes as we accept the ride – everything in relationship might not be meant to work out or to be smooth – the difference though is our attitude to the reality of the hardships in relationships. Surviving them can give a much higher potential for fulfillment and love. Also a card that has been associated with Children ( jupiter/5 is the karka of children)
Six of Hearts – Wedding or celebration of love. Receiving validation from and for the connection. Beautiful relationships and happy family card. Very watery card. Wedding gifts. Joy and comfort in relationships. Fulfilling relationships.
Seven of Hearts – Heartbreak or losing a loved one. It can be a loved one that has passed on or just show there is crisis in a relationship where there is only one way out and that is tearing down the connection. Break ups and Grief. One might be feeling like a victim of love/affection.
Eight of Hearts – Learning to accept the nature of love and to be forgiving. Soothing, sympathy. Heart healing activities.
Nine of Hearts– Surrendering to higher love through true empathy. Associated to the devotion of the monk, priest or saint.
Ten of Hearts – Reaching a new level of love and popularity in case of fame. Whole new recognition of emotions and the creative potential of emotions.
Jack of Hearts – The Pollinator or the Lover
Queen of Hearts – Mother, loving nurturer
King of Hearts – Father, Priest. Being able to surrender and sacrifice one self for unconditional love.
Ace of Clubs( Ace of Swords) – Receiving a new Idea or inspiration/calling.
Two of Clubs – Cooperation. Bonding to others within the calling ( exchange information or ideas).
Three of Clubs – Thinking for oneself and reaching ones own conclusions or theories. Being an independant thinker having own solutions to a problem.
Four of Clubs – Putting down Ideas or solutions to paper, Structured solutions and or theories. Planning ideas or project to make it secured having a foundation(like school) to jump off from.
Five of Clubs – Changing ideas and being wise in your calling. Being able to not stick only to one idea if it does not work out being open to another wind taking the lead. Accepting all ideas(leaves) are not going to fly.
Six of Clubs – Validation for inspired work or the project. Celebrating how far one has coming and getting recognition for it from others. Diplomas.
Seven of Clubs – Feeling bored and uninspired. Creative draught. Time to let go of the project letting it die off. Being fired or quitting ones job. The easiest seven card( Saturn is exhalted in air sign).
Eight of Clubs – Taking off travelling for reawakening ones inspiration or gather new ideas / or needing to have a totally new perspective on things. Moving in stillness(like in a plane).
Nine of Clubs – Surrender to inspiration. Professor, teacher doctor etc. Reaching higher inspiration and solutions through sometimes lonely work.
Ten of Clubs – Reaching a higher level of calling and pursuit. Being able to operate from a whole new higher standpoint or philosophy.
Jack of Clubs – Entrepreneur, Journalist
Queen of Clubs – Translator, only inspired actions
King of Clubs – Professor, Scientist, Astrologer, Highest Knowledgeable in theoretical fields
Ace of Diamonds( Ace of pentacles) – New resource/-s arrives. A new land/city/workplace or a new skill is manifested. Or finding something valuable with potential of increasing ones’ abundance.
Two of Diamonds – Having a tool and/or relating(bonding) with a new skill/resource or receiving(having) something of value that is worthwhile.
Three of Diamonds – Technical skill being used and developed. Moving for value both literary and metaphorically. Developing your skills and thus your value. Directing energy and the will with patience, concentration and focus.
Four of Diamonds – Secured wealth, assets, value or skill. For example opening a bank account to protect your money or using your skills in a more structured way. Organized usage of a land. Making a working concept out of the potential that is about to give wealth or value worthwhile. It could also be buying a house(the house is of worthwhile inherent value – like a storage box for your wealth)
Five of Diamonds – Expanding assets through investments that can go either way. Trying to make wise investments for it to pay off in the long run. Being very materially minded/oriented. Materialistic slave.
Six of Diamonds – Recognition and validation from your assets and investments. Celebrations or pay off received. Beauty and luxury. Rewards. Your value/valuable is seen and appreciated.
Seven of Diamond – Persevering during tough times materially. Persevering through period of poverty. Potential of becoming a millionaire. Mining.
Eight of Diamonds – Feeling worthy and self worth. The worth you created you rightfully can be proud of. Going with the abundance – ripening of the diamond.
Nine of Diamonds – Being wealthy, surrendering to ones brilliance and being generous with ones assets. Abundance is all around. Making value out of anything.
Ten of Diamonds – Reaching a new higher level of charitibility, skill or wealth. A new plane to work from and abundance being granted.
Jack of Diamonds – Salesman
Queen of Diamonds – Manager
King of Diamonds – Santa Claus. Boss. Surrendering to worthwhile values. Sacrificing/giving/sharing ones riches for the value of all – being charitable and generous. The “king” in traditional sense.
Hope this helps and that you find use for these meanings. Please Share or comment if you liked this article.