Tarot Card Essentials in Less than 1 Hour

Before we start, get out your Rider Waite Smith deck, the traditional standard for modern tarot decks.  

In this class you will learn the essential concept associated with each card in the 78 card RWS Tarot deck.  This speedy approach is distinguished by use of the number correspondence in addition to the keyword approach.   

The important significance of using the number correspondence along with the key word is the numerical correspondence helps you 1) learn both systems simultaneously which is profoundly helpful in tarot card reading in general, and 2) learn an additional association with the card to help you remember what it means with an even deeper awareness than one key word alone can convey.  

For example, learning the numbers can help you learn how to read tarot time (covered extensively in my book Telling time with Tarot Cards: Tarot Timing Techniques, by Cathleen  Vaune Carr). 

Also, learning the number association also helps give richer insight into readings if the card meaning escapes you, or you just need clearer insight into what it is trying to tell you during a reading. 

Plus, understanding the numbers can help with realizing your own unconventional interpretation of a card or card series in a spread.  Find out about unconventional interpretations of the Tarot in my book Free Style Tarot: Unconventional Interpretations, by Cathleen Vaune Carr.  Both these unusual tarot books are available on Amazon.

Now let’s quickly go over what we will not cover in this concentrated class.  

In this class I will not go over the number definitions separately, as that lesson is covered in a numerology class on the metaphysicslessons.com site. This class will just present the numbers along side the tarot card.  Also, we will not go over tarot structure or other elements of reading the tarot.  If you are a complete newbie, for example, if you do not know the difference between the major or minor arcana or have a RWS deck, this class might not yet be for you. We will only focus on an overview of the entire RWS deck for the purpose of simple beginning association and familiarity.

Okay,… Oh! Right,…follow this website!  There will be many more tutorials coming on this channel, plus the Aquariana Gateway Lessons are only found here.  If you are interested in spiritual growth, spiritual strengthening, self improvement and self transformation, you must check out the AGLs series.  Course 1 is free, the other courses are love donation based for access.

Now, if you have not already done so, get your RWS deck out.  Having each card in hand helps with retaining what you learn by making more immediate connection.

I will start with the 22 cards of the Major Arcana beginning with the Fool.


0 FOOL – Inception, Naivete, beginning, being untested, leap of faith, anticipation, exploring the unknown

1  Magician – Wizard, daring, singular, male active force, practicality, using what you have at hand, will power, self confidence

2 High Priestess – Oracle, Intuition, duality, serenity, self sufficiency, avoidance of emotional entanglements

3 Empress – Creativity, Gestation, material wealth, fertility, abundance, active female energy

4 Emperor –  Sovereign Ruler, stability, The Patriarch / Patriarchy, mature decisions

5 Hierophant – Law, Institutions, Rules and regulations, spiritual expansion or restriction

6 Lovers – Choice, passionate love, sexuality, balancing male and female qualities

7 Chariot – Controlled advance / movement forward, bringing together all one’s resources for the best course of action

8 Strength – Quiet courage, inner strength, cooperative endeavor

9 Hermit – Alone, singular; accumulated wisdom, solitude, quiet contemplation, mentor, guide, teacher

10 /1 Wheel of Fortune – Fate, luck, divine energy working for you, repetition of experience

11 /2 Justice  – Objectivity, rational thinking, important decision, getting to the heart of an issue, balance

12 /3 Hanged Man – Hold up / delay, Different Perspective, indecision, a time to take no action

13 /4 Death – Transformation, metamorphosis, clearing away the old to make room for the new

14 /5 Temperance – Careful control, moderation, sober consideration, patient adjustment

15 /6 Devil – Temptation, addiction, bad habits, unsavory person, self limitation,karmic ties

16 /7 Tower – Unavoidable or abrupt change, calamity, awakening, the unexpected

17/8  Star – Hope, faith, self awareness, ‘as above, so below’, trusting oneself

18 /9 Moon – Hidden, subconscious, emotional, cyclical, illusion

19 /1 Sun – Innocence, happiness, illuminated, carefree, successful culmination

20 / 2 Judgment – Decision, Liberation, judgment, forgiveness

21 / 3 The World – Integration / synthesis, completion and transition to new phase, ecological or global issues

22 / 22  The Fool, again (depending upon the deck number system)



Now we will begin each suit of the minor arcana moving Ace through King, beginning with the wands suit.  The Wands suite is associated with work and business.


Ace of Wands – 23/5 – New idea, strong force, energy, expansion

2 of Wands – 24/6 – Power, potential, conceptualizing

3 of Wands -25/7 –  Waiting, temporary separation, anticipation

4 of wands – 26/8 –  Fundamental structure in place, successful marriage or partnership

5 of Wands – 27/9 – Violence, competition, strife, conflict, quarreling

6 of Wands – 28 /1 – Victory, acclaim, honor, recognition

7 of Wands – 29/11 – Standing your ground, initiation, being attacked, courage

8 of Wands – 30/3 – Swiftness, communication (sending or receiving), taking decisive action

9 of Wands – 31/4 – Surviving, victory over obstacles, immovable force, steadfastness

10 Wands – 32 / 5- Oppression, bearing burdens, heavy workload, blocked vision, endurance

Page of Wands – 33/6 – Message, official notice, communication with deity, hasty news, young person

Knight of Wands – 34/7 – Aggression, willingness to fight, training hard, a spiritual battle, young adult person

Queen of Wands – 35/8 – Someone who is charming, resolute, inspirational, mature person (probably female or brimming with female energy)

King of Wands – 36/9 – A passionate  person in a position of authority, impetuous person, active, fierce energy, mature person, probably male or brimming with male energy)


Next we enter the element of Cups.  Cups are associated with the element of water, which means it concerns itself with the emotions, feelings, love, relationships, matters of the heart


Ace of Cups – 37/1 – Productiveness, common sense, clarity, good fortune, fertility, love

2 of Cups – 38/11 – Reciprocal love, fair exchange, courtship, harmony, romantic love

3 of Cups – 39/3 – Joy, good social times, reunion, reconciliation, celebration

4 of Cups – 40/4 – Blindness to potential, things come easily, neglect, denial, gift from the Divine

5 of Cups – 41/5 – Loss, grief, disappointment, sadness, unstable relationships

6 of Cups – 42/6 – Childhood, friend from the past, past influences, kindness, beginning of gain

7 of Cups – 43/7 – Choices, Illusions, seduction / temptations,visions

8 of Cups – 44/8 – Walking away, new direction, abandoning assured success for an uncertain future

9 of Cups – 45/9 – Contentment, satisfaction, happiness, wishes realized, an event designed for masses of people to enjoy

10 of Cups – 46/1 – Fulfillment, best possible outcome, happy home, sharing joy with others

Page of Cups – 47/11 – Wish fulfillment, a healer, message of an emotional nature, a gentle, dreamy, young person

Knight of Cups – 48/3 – Romantic gesture, an appealing offer or person, a dreamy person, altruism, a kind gesture

Queen of Cups – 49/4 – an imaginative, poetic, magnetic, intuitive, perceptive, kind person, follow your gut

King of Cups – 50/5 – Diplomacy, inebriation, a person with powerful emotions, an emotionally responsible person


Now we enter the element of Swords.  This suit is associated with the element of air, which means it concerns itself with the mind, conflict, and communication.

Ace of Swords –  51/6 – Truth, the power of the intellect, a good idea, sound reasoning

2 of Swords – 52/7 – Stalemate, unchanging situation, waiting calmly, inner tranquility, peace restored, temporary justice

3 of Swords – 53/8 – Heartache, third party situation, sorrow, hurtful separation, weaning from deep attachment, bad times, emotional pain, ruthless introspection

4 of Swords – 54/9 – Meditation, rest, listen to your inner voice, temporary truce, retreat

5 of Swords – 55/1 – Defeat (or having been defeated), win/lose/draw, malice, spite, loss

6 of Swords – 56/11 – Moving, relocating, travel, work requiring consistent effort

7 of Swords -57/3 – Sneakiness, untrustworthy situation or person, stealing, poor planning, stealth

8 of Swords – 58/4 – Restrictions, self imposed limitations, boundaries, traditions, imprisonment of mind or body

9 of Swords – 59/5 – Anxiety, mental anguish, cruelty, sudden upsetting realization, nightmare

10 of Swords – 60/6 – Devastation, annihilation, ruin, nasty ending, death, failure, dreams dashed

Page of Swords – 61/7 – preliminary communication, verbal aggression, immature thoughts or person, youthful idea, a warning

Knight of Swords – 62/8 – Making quick / rash decision, a fight, offensive action, fast action or acting person, impulsiveness

Queen of Swords – 63/9 – A public hearing, independent and resourceful person (probably female), a decisive person, sharp mind, clear thinking

King of Swords -64/1 – Firm and unyielding person, intellectual prowess, a clever person, a domineering person, rational thought, focused attention


Last we present the suit of Pentacles.  This suit is represents the element of earth which is associated with money, finance, materiality.


Ace of Pentacles – 65/11 – Material gain/power/wealth, unexpected money, gifts of the earth (such as plants, metals, fertile soil, precious stones and minerals)

2 of Pentacles – 66/3 – Change, juggling resources, instability, recurring challenge, delicate balance, 

3 of Pentacles – 67/4 – Consultation, in the workplace, work in progress, craft mastery in mind, body and materials 

4 of Pentacles – 68/5 – Possessiveness, greed, control, hoarding, clinging to one’s possessions

5 of Pentacles – 69/6 – Poverty, being left out in the cold, hard times, companionship, moving on

6 of Pentacles – 70/7 – Sharing, exchanging money, passing on of wealth, responding helpfully, paying one’s debts, asking or being asked for money

7 of Pentacles – 71/8 – Waiting for results, not time for reaping, unsatisfactory results, disappointing results

8 of Pentacles – 72 /9 – industriousness, repetitive action, making progress, apprenticeship, job training, practicing

9 of Pentacles – 73/1 – Mastery of one’s life and environment, substantial material gain, inheritance, beautiful/luxurious environment, independence

10 of Pentacles – 74/11 – Wealth, multigenerational wealth, flourishing family life, high standing in the community, clan matters, family traditions

Page of Pentacles – 75/3 – Diligent, generous, persevering young person

Knight of Pentacles – 76/4 – Standstill, offer not yet forthcoming, a lesson about the material or physical world

Queen of Pentacles – 77/5 – A person (probably female) who is generous, excellent homemaker, business manager, concerning home (or business) conditions

King of Pentacles 78/6 – A CEO, an attitude of serious watchfulness / sternness, luxury living/ opulence, a clever, wise and practical master of his/her universe


I hope you found this lesson helpful. If so, please like it!

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