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 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/flames/seeds), Water corresponds to Hearts(Cups/fruits/berries), 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 sugars and chlorophyll. Leaves also creates the oxygen in the air. The club element is connected to autumn/fall.
Diamonds are about the riches, worthwhile resources or worthwhile value. I am thinking a bit of the metaphor of the Pandora box – it only looks like a box BUT it does hold the virtue of hope. 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 gone through “crystallization” and become of long lasting(survival) value. Like a City. Gems, artifacts, Oil, product, excretion/fertilizer( which holds a lot of value and nutrition to the microorganisms of the soil which can ensure abundance of crops) a country or any sources of 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 do that is mostly concerned with the immediate survival(present). It is also about being secured(for the future). It is connected to the winter(snowflakes/crystals/hardening).
The Astrological association to the Numbers ( the correct association)
´The Numbers 1-9 are the numbers of ;
Ketu(perfecting/ divine friendship)
(… in that given order).
The 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. Jeudi is of Thursday (jupiter) and Vendredi( friday) is of Venus.
The Jacks, Queens and Kings are representing the forces of
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, a life force, initiated and arriving. Life manifesting and coming in. Spiritual realization. New Consciousness. It can be a new start(psychologically/physically) or a new baby. A seed or an egg. A light/fire/flame. Being centered in one self and conscious. Confidence in the self and in ones body.
Two of Spades – Receiving/having something that is immediately needed for survival/the body (or mind) like food and water. Initial needs being met. Remedies.
Three of Spades – Moving for survival. Physical action. Pushing through and staying alive by the will. Like hunting, competing, running, fighting or killing. Struggle. Simple weapons.
Four of Spades – Being Safe, having matured and instigated shelter (roof over the head). Pausing. Taking a break. Having things organized for the immediate survival. Planned collecting and gathering.
Five of Spades – Being wise with the body and survival – even sometimes being careful and avoiding. Like holding a candle in the dark moving through the wilderness, keeping that fire alive while moving carefully forward. Expanding options for life but also recognizing that some things are not meant to work out. Could indicate processes like going through a detox or diet improving vitality. Guidance in life. Life saving advices.
Six of Spades – Pleasure and comfort. Even celebration and dance. It can show the physical pleasure of sex. This is when new support has come in and it is time to celebrate rejoice in satisfaction from 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). Simple means of vehicles that enhances comfort in life, like a horse with or without carriage.
Seven of Spades – When the survival(or freedom) 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.
Torture, turmoil and crisis. It can also show death of the physical body. More viciously it can show not being able to overcome victim-hood as if one is alone in the world and the only one that is suffering(not true though). Indulgence in self pity. Can also be Death threats or a Pandemic. Parasite or virus taking over which is lethal. Also Depression which is also serious threat to survival.
Eight of Spades – Being imprisoned or stuck. Incubation or being hidden. Quarantine. A Recovering process. Body and soul healing. It can even show pregnancy( baby is incubated). Learning to accept ones fate. Meditating or doing inner journey work. Being stuck in motion physically but spiritually/consciously moving.
Nine of Spades – Surrendering to ones life purpose. Being okey with ones destiny and letting go. Yogic. Surrendering to the ones true calling and power. Only focusing on following one owns sense of purpose. Can be a lonely road but it is your purpose thus giving a very high sense of satisfaction in life. Giving up one self to god.
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 asphalt) – doing anything to push through to live. Corresponds astrologically to Aries.
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…Corresponds astrologically to Leo.
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 show the breakdown of barriers of any kind that totally sets a new tone for everything – which can be needed at times in life. Corresponds astrologically to Sagittarius.
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. Sweet love. Like two love birds. Coming together with love. Physical intimacy. Cuddling. Emotional bonding between two lovers. On a more negative note it can indicate drowning – a connection that is too ungrounded and is keeping you off shore.
Three of Hearts– Being independent in relationships. Being single. Being short sighted. Short tempered even. Flirting and having fun. Not being tied down in any relationship. Just following the passion regardless consequences. Can show immaturity and Indecision when it comes to relationships. Or just not being ready to commit. Selfish in love or in relationships.
Four of Hearts – Being organized in love and relationships in order to have security relationship-wise. Making a connection official in order to be able to hold on to that connection. It could show an engagement. Finding a safe bonding strategy. Safe intimacy that is working. Negative indications can be misunderstanding or intentional or unintentional lies, lack of proper communication and betrayal. Also it can show illogical structures that is too smothering. Can indicate a Church or house of devotion and music.
Five of Hearts – Being wise in relationships/devotions. Proving our devotion to our relationship in order to make it grow. Abundance comes as we accept the ride – everything in a relationship might not be meant to work out or to be smooth – the difference though is our attitude to the reality of the hardships of 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. Potential for unconditional love. Ecstatic love. Vehicle through the waters(boats). Love being expressed unconditionally through presence and nurturing(being soulfully cared for).
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. Forgiveness. Being incubated with unconditional love.
Nine of Hearts– Surrendering to higher love through true empathy. Associated to the devotion of the monk, priest or saint. Loving unconditionally even sacrificing one self for love(or the feeling of love and devotion).
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. Corresponds to the Zodiac sign of Cancer.
Queen of Hearts – Mother, loving nurturer. Corresponds to the Zodiac sign of Scorpio.
King of Hearts – Father, Priest. Being able to surrender and sacrifice one self for unconditional love. Corresponds to Pisces.
Ace of Clubs( Ace of Swords) – Receiving a new Idea, call, way of thinking or a new source of inspiration(it can be in form of a peer). A new friend arrives.
Reversed meaning would show as a false or mislead calling/manipulation or a cloud(confusion/unclear). Ace of clubs can be too scattered and not grounded/centered so if negatively influenced lack of self confidence and self awareness might be an issue.
Two of Clubs – Having a collaboration and cooperating. Bonding with others through the calling ( exchange information or ideas). Or bonding with a new found friend, having a conversation.
Three of Clubs – Thinking for oneself and reaching ones own conclusions or theories. Being an independent thinker having own solutions to a problem. Could show having a verbal fight or Debate/ not having the same opinions.
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. Paradigms. Records. Manuscript. A School or house of learning.
Five of Clubs – Changing ideas and being wise in your calling. Editing. Being able to not stick only to one idea if it does not work out being open to another wind taking the lead. Accepting that all ideas(leaves) are not going to fly.
Six of Clubs – Validation for inspired work or the project. It can also be happy and fulfilling even healing of friendships. Showing love through humor, travel, communicating or sharing interests. Celebrating how far one has come and getting recognition from others. Diplomas. Publishing. Rejoicing in the inspiration. Flying vehicles like vehicles that comforts the calling of the inspiration like communication devices- phones/ the Internet.
Seven of Clubs – Feeling bored and uninspired. Creative drought. Time to let go of the project letting it die off. A timely and somewhat easy solution to a longheld problem (that has been draining your inspiration for a long time by now) which leads to elimination of the problem. Being fired or quitting a job. A loss that you don´t take personally. It can also show having naturally grown apart from a friend/friend group/workplace or project and just moving on letting it go without thinking too much about it or victimizing anyone for it. 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). Truth.
Nine of Clubs – Surrender to inspiration. Reaching higher inspiration and solutions through sometimes lonely studies/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/ initiating Social interaction/trade etc. Libra.
Queen of Clubs – Translator, lead by only inspired actions. Aquarius.
King of Clubs – Professor. Sacrifice for intellectual work. Gemini.
Ace of Diamonds( Ace of pentacles) – A new resource. A new land/city/workplace or a new skill is manifested. Something with potential of increasing ones’ abundance.
Two of Diamonds – Having a tool and learn a new skill or resource. Receiving(having) something of value that is worthwhile. Groundedness and good intuition. Nurturing of the lands. The rain that produces crops and fruits. Moon exhalted in earth(taurus).
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. Like when drilling or sculpting – working on your techniques and product. Prioritizing your battles saving and directing your focus and energy onto long lasting victories/conquests(Mars in earth- exhalted in capricorn).
Four of Diamonds – Secured wealth, assets, value or skill. For example opening a bank account to protect or store your money. 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). House of Great value(Mercury exhalted in virgo).
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. Negatives can be being a slave of materialism – just seeing wealth, meaning and abundance in materialistic things and suppressing true meaning and wisdom of life(Jupiter debilitated in Capricorn).
Six of Diamonds – Recognition and validation for your assets and investments. Celebrations or pay off received. Beauty and luxury. Rewards. Showing Love in a material way – gifts. Skills are seen and appreciated. Validation from outside. A very valuable or expensive ride/vehicle like a car. On a more negative side It can also represent being bound by conditional love, meaning love is being recognized in material stuff which may be a bit misleading in life( Venus is debilitated in Virgo).
Seven of Diamond – Persevering through tough times materially. Persevering through period of poverty. Potential of becoming a millionaire. Mining. Taking what you have and be determined to make the absolute best out of it, even if you barely have nothing to begin with.
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. Healing and working on self worth.
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. Initiating promotion of a particular product/body of value. Making it of value to self and others – getting it out there. Capricorn.
Queen of Diamonds – Manager. Keeper and manager of the wealth/responsibilities in a company/household/of a land etc. Taurus.
King of Diamonds – Santa Claus or a boss. Surrendering to worthwhile values. Sacrificing, giving and sharing ones riches for the value of all – being charitable and generous. The “king” in traditional sense.
It can also show rewarding people depending on their particular actions – ie. system of conditional love. Corresponds to Zodiac sign Virgo.
Hope this helps and that you find use for these meanings. Please Share or comment if you liked this article. Take Care!