Major and Small Arkana

Major arkana consists of 22 cards with symbols, the small arkana has 56 cards.

Tarot Decks

The tarot deck consists of 78 cards. 22 cards form the Major arkana and 56 cards form the small arkana. The small arcane is comparable to a pack of the Rome card game.

They are divided by 4 distinct sets each consisting of 14 cards. These 10 cards are the numbers or pip cards [1-10] and 4 court cards: the jack, the knight, the queen and the king. Pip card 1 represents the ace as well.

Small Arkana


The 4 sets of the small arkana consist of numbers or pip cards and court cards: cups, coins, batons and swords. Each of them represents one element and defines distinct extent of meaning.                                                                                                                              

The significance of the small arkana is about daily questions, interest and daily problems. They do not show turning points or dramatic changes – only tendencies.

A few fortune tellers avoid them completely but for some reason the numbers prepare considerable development. It is recommended to use the complete set of cards. [78 cards]


The numbers of a few tarot decks do not show any symbols - they represent scenes and men that emphasize the meaning [eg Rider-Waite tarot]. Other decks like Aleister Crowley tarot are signed to emphasize the theme.


  • Cups represent the element of water.
  • The cups symbolize the world of emotions, relationships, instinct and soul.
  • Traditional decks according to the heart. 
  • it promises love, emotion, easing and peace at best.
  • Exceeding sensuousness and flatteries are negative interpretations. 
    Cups in the Fate Tarot


    • Coins are linked to the element of earth.
  • Point to prosperity, money supply, finances, current yield and practical skills
  • Talents, dependability, pleasure, constancy, stability of values and sensuality are represented by coins. 
  • Greed, materialism, extremeness and hedonism are negative interpretation.
  • represented by diamond by means of a deck of cards
    Coins in the Tarot of Fate


  • symbolize the element of air
  • Represent rationality, logic, intellectualism and mind. 
  • Refer to rationality, knowledge, consideration, conscience and accuracy.  
  • Negative interpretation: Excessive ambition, rigidity, know-all manner and control.  
  • They are represented by spades.
    Swords in the Tarot of Fate


  • show the element of fire
  • Concern to levels of creativity and strength
  • Aim at lust for life, vitality, temperament, courage, will and spirit.    
  • Negative aspects: restlessness, agitation and egocentrism.  
  • Traditionally card game represented them by clubs.
    Wands in Tarot of Fate

The Ace Cards in the Fate Tarot:

    • They are assigned to the number <1>. 
      • As well as the Jacks they symbolize <chance> coincidence, luck.
    • This chance is somebody’s affair that is affected. It is dependent on a person’s capability, skill and ability.  

The Court Cards

The 16 court cards consist of the jacks/pages, the knights, the queens and the kings. Gradually importance and meaning of the cards have changed through the history of tarot. If there were more than one court card during laying out the cards people interpreted factual persons that will appear or play an important role in somebody’s life. Today it is less precise and depends on certain people actual situation...

Predominantly Jacks or pages are considered as <luck> or <chance> provided by an impulse from the outside.   


The Jacks/Pages:

    • Lay out a tarot set the jacks symbolize an impulse from the outside or an outstanding person that appear in somebody’s life to provide a stroke of luck - a stroke of fate.  
    • As well they could symbolize an adolescent person during a transition period.  

The Knights:

  • The Knights could have the order to show emotion derived from the corresponding element.
  • Or depending on each element to produce and firm a character.

The Queens:

  • The court card represents a relevant manner of behaving or acting [maybe according to real female persons…]  

The Kings

  • The kings show qualities of characters as well corresponding with each element.  

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