Today’s little lesson is focused on the four tarot suits in the minor arcana. But we are not focused specifically on the pip cards (i.e. the cards numbered one to ten) or the face cards–just the tarot suits themselves (i.e. pentacles, cups, swords and wands). We will focus on the face cards later on down the road in this series of posts.

Here are some very basic suit correspondences for the minor arcana of the tarot. I am using RWS terminology. You may see “disks” for pentacles or even elemental names in some tarot decks. But, this lesson can be carried over into many other systems and even general cartomancy. I have sometimes seen the seasons and timings switched for the cups and wands. So, you may want to do more research should you carry this lesson over to a different system or style.

These are obviously not all of the relationships that the cards carry. One can also look at cardinal directions, astrology, personality traits, physical characteristics of people and even chakras. It can go on even from there, and it can actually be overwhelming. So, it is good to break things down into small segments of information. I hope, however, that this gets you started. 

Ace of Cups, Tarot de Marseille, Public Domain.
Ace of Cups, Tarot de Marseille.

Cups

Playing Card Suit: hearts
Element: water
Season: summer
Timing: days
Locations: sea, river, lake
Colors: blue, black
Part of the Person: heart
Mantra: I feel
Keywords: emotions, abundance, heart, love, relationships

Ace of Wands, Tarot de Marseille, Public Domain.
Ace of Wands, Tarot de Marseille.

Wands

Playing Card Suit: clubs
Element: fire
Season: spring
Timing: weeks
Locations: desert, warm places
Colors: red, orange, yellow
Part of the Person: soul
Mantra: I want
Keywords: passion, growth, desire, intuition, direction, speed, intensity

Ace of Swords, Tarot de Marseille, Public Domain
Ace of Swords, Tarot de Marseille.

Swords

Playing Card Suit: spades
Element: air
Season: winter 
Timing: months
Locations: mountains, cliffs, skyscrapers, balconies
Colors: metallic colors, grey
Part of the Person: mind
Mantra: I think
Keywords: thoughts, clarity, truth, sharpness, decisions, intelligence

Ace of Pentacles, Tarot de Marseille, Public Domain.
Ace of Pentacles, Tarot de Marseille.

Pentacles

Playing Card Suit: diamonds
Element: earth
Season: fall
Timing: years
Locations: rural areas, farms
Colors: green, brown
Part of the Person: body
Mantra: I have
Keywords: security, material world, wealth, prosperity, harvest, possessions, slow moving, solid