So in the first two parts of this series, I gave a basic understanding of what the tarot is and what it does. In this part I’m going to give a breakdown of the various parts of the tarot. It’s a general overview of what’s to come. I will explain what the tarot is comprised of and a general understanding of its importance to the overall system. No, you don’t actually have to know this to use the tarot in your writing. I’m simply giving this information so you can use it in the future if you like.

Major Arcana

The Major Arcana of any tarot are the heart of the system. Consisting of 22 cards, they speak about life events.

At this point I have to make a distinction. In our lives there are different kinds of events that occur. One type is “life events.” These events are those moments when our lives are at a pivot point. We all have them and we don’t always recognize them because sometimes a life event can be a small, seemingly insignificant, moment. It can be a simple as making a left turn instead of a right and bumping into a friend you haven’t seen in years. These life events cause your life to alter its course and take you in a new direction. They happen all the time and that’s natural.

Major Arcana talk about life events or people that cause life events. These cards have an effect on how the cards around them are read. They impact everything around them.

Minor Arcana

The Minor Arcana are significant in a different way. These cards talk about influences and events that happen around you. Think of them as the supporting cast. When you watch a movie, for example, you never think of who is taking care of the props yet without them the movie would suffer a great deal. The Minor Arcana are similar. These are events and people moving in and around your life in a more subdued way than the Major Arcana. The Minor Arcana are divided into four groups.


The suit of cups talks about emotional issues. It corresponds to the heart and water is its element.


The suit of wands talks of passion and creation. It corresponds to the stomach where your instinct dwells and fire is its element.


The suit of swords is about the intellect, logic and reason. It corresponds to the head and air is its element.


The suit of disks or pentacles, as it’s sometimes called, talks a lot about money. However, it also talks about physical needs and more concrete elements in your life. It corresponds to the root chakra or the base of the spine and its element is earth.

Next time I’ll start to break down the tarot even further. If you wish to have the individual card meanings, then I will recommend some books and websites at the end of this series. For now, this surface level understanding is really all you need to use the tarot in your writing.