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Meaning of the Tarot Suits
Tarot Meanings
Written by Paul   
Wednesday, 12 December 2007


The Tarot Suits are four in number and have an obvious correspondence to the Four Elements and other classical Quaternaries. Not all Tarot scholars agree on the elements assigned to each Tarot Suit. We offer the elements-correspondences that are most well-known and well-established in Tarot de Marseille scholarship.
Once the reader understands the Meaning of the Tarot Suits, this understanding can be combined with the Meaning of the Tarot Number, as well as consider the Context of the Question in order to derive a tailor-fit meaning to any Minor Arcana card... 

 Suit of Swords

Suit of Swords

Les épées

Air, Intellectual, Psychology, Problem-solving, Politics, Legal, Government,   Paperwork, Studies 

 Tarot: The World Tarot of Marseille: Suit of cups

Suit of Cups

Les Coupes 

Water, Emotions,  Family, Relationships, Ceremony, Spirituality 

 Tarot: Suit of coins

Suit of Coins

Les Deniers

Earth, Materiality, Money,  Property, Practicality, Business, Body/Aesthetics, Health (cells), Time (clocks)

 Tarot: Suit of wands

Suit of Wands

Les Bâtons 

Fire, Creativity, Work, Projects, Sexuality, Networking Social Milieus. 

Tarot swords The Sword (L’épée) is an old instrument of battle, enforcement, authority, problem-solving and management.

The sword cuts through the Air. In our modern world, most of our common battles take place with the intellect, on paper, and by working through “the system” through rational discussions and politics. The Sword stands for the Intellect, the Mind, and Psychology at its very basic level and the application of thought to solve problems. Higher studies would be indicated by the Sword. 

Tarot cupsThe Cup (Le Coupe) is round, open, receptive, and filled with liquid, wine or perhaps blood.
The Cup is filled with liquid, and thus Water is an apropos element. The Cups stands for the emotions, family, and special friends.The Cup is a time worn symbol of social interactions and ceremony.  We share wine with our closer relations and commemorate special events; a Cup is used at Mass; ceremonies of honor often use a Cup as a symbol or trophy. The Cup stands for Emotions at its very basic level and symbolizes (the initiation into) special groups, such as  family and spirituality.

  Tarot coins

The Coin (Le Denier) is solid, material, and is a currency of exchange.

The Coin is made with earth, minerals, and metals. All property and business transactions are ultimately made with the almighty Coin behind them, or they would be worthless. The Coin is shaped like a clock, and thus it is said, “Time is money”. The Coin stands for material and business matters at its very basic level and aesthetics. The Coin is the element Earth, the human body, and our health, as it looks like a human cell.                     

  Tarot wands
The Wand (Le Bâton) is natural and must be either crafted into something useful or used as fuel for a fire.
The fire in Medieval Times was the center of every creative and work activity. The fire was inextricably linked with The Job, whether in the home, the field, or the cathedral. The Wands stand for creative projects, our work/employment, our passions, and sexuality. Whether we like our jobs or not, it is there that the fire must burn, where we must apply our energy. As we gather around modern fires for socializing, they may also signify our social networking for projects, rather than the more intimate relationships of the Cups. The Wand’s phallic nature is obvious, and the fiery element of sexuality and passion is unmistakable.
 Tarot of Marseille Sword  

Tarot cups


Tarot coins


Tarot wands


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