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Introduction to the Minor Arcana

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1 Introduction to the Minor Arcana on Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:37 pm

The function of the Minor Arcana is to describe the everyday world. It provides both historical and cultural background to the individual’s struggle to come to terms with his or her inner reality in effect, while the Major Arcana explores the spirituality. The Minor Arcana places the individual within the context of society. It is the Minor Arcana which reveals and describes just what that larger world is up to at any given time, and exactly how that will affect you. The four suits of the Minor Arcana originally represented the four main classes of people in Medieval society. Swords represented the Nobility and have come to represent the power and forces of hatred and violence. These cards describe your enemies, whether individuals, organized groups, or impersonal forces, anyone or anything that wants to harm you, or to control you for their own ends. Cups represented the Clergy and has come to represent the power of love and faith. The presence of these cards in a reading indicates that there are individuals, groups, or forces who will work in your favor for no other reason than they care about you. Coins represented the merchant class. They controlled the power of money, and this suit represents the influence, for good or bad, on material wealth in your life. Lowest on the social scale was the peasant or serf class, represented by the wands. Wands in a reading describes the ability or potential to succeed despite tremendous odds. The Minor Arcana divides the mundane world into four main categories: forces that work against you, forces that work for you, influence of material possessions, and the ability and determination to succeed. The four suits of the Minor Arcana also correspond to the four elements: word for fire, cup for water, coin for earth, and wand for air. The pip cards describe events or situations that progress in chronological and coherent order; each one results from the ones before and causes those which follow. The court cards sometimes describe situations as well, but they can also describe specific people who will influence the outcome of a series of events. They give any reading its story line. They explain the nature of the state of affairs in which the querent is involved. For example, if a court card from the suit of cups appeared in a reading, then the emotional reactions to people or events will have the greatest effect on the outcome. Cards which represent people have a much stronger influence on the reading than cards which describe situations. A King is a powerful man who exercises absolute control over the territory he rules. The Queen is the female counterpart of the King. She also personifies the characteristics of her suit and has and absolute monarch’s power over her subjects. A knight is a man or woman who has been elevated to that positon by his monarch because of services he or she performed which benefit the crown. A page is the personal attendant of the royal family.

What follows is a crash course in numerology and number physics: (For more information on numerology, please see the section on Numerology.)


• ONE: Beginnings, original action, and creativity.
• TWO: Unity, imagination, and conception.
• THREE: Expression and self-expression.
• FOUR: Hard work and careful planning.
• FIVE: Movement, excitement and adventure.
• SIX: Harmony, balance / adjustment, quiet circumstances and activities.
• SEVEN: Solitude and soul-searching.
• EIGHT: Energy / efficiency and wisdom.
• NINE: Completeness.
• TEN: Endings and, sometimes, a new beginning.


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