What Are The 78 Tarot Cards?

Interested in tarot reading or just curious about what the tarot cards are? This short and simple guide is here to help.

In traditional tarot decks, there are 78 cards in total. That might seem like a lot, but the cards are split into two important groups, which makes tarot cards easier to understand and familiarize with.

What Are The 78 Tarot Cards?

Below, we list all 78 tarot cards and provide a simple explanation of what each tarot card signifies, both upright and reversed.

The Major Arcana Tarot Cards

The Major Arcana tarot cards, also referred to as the Greater Secrets, represent different forces of life. There are 22 Major Arcana cards in total, each having a different meaning depending on whether they’re pulled upright or reversed.

The Fool

Upright, The Fool represents unlimited possibility, new beginnings, and free spiritedness. When reversed, The Fool can mean holding back, fear, or high risk (to find out more about reversed Tarot cards, read here).

The Magician

When pulled upright, The Magician can represent power, inspiration, or resourcefulness. Reversed, it can mean poor judgment, untapped potential, manipulation, and a lack of planning.

The High Priestess

Upright, The High Priestess signifies intuition, divinity, or the subconscious. Reversed, it can represent a lack of intuition, repressed feelings, withdrawal, and silence.

The Empress

The Empress signifies femininity, nature, beauty, and abundance when pulled upright. When reversed, it can represent a creative block, smothering, or dependance on others. 

The Emperor

Upright, The Emperor represents authority, structure, and fatherhood. When pulled reversed, it can represent excessive control, domination, and a lack of flexibility.

The Hierophant

When upright, The Hierophant embodies religion, spiritualism, tradition, and belief. Reversed, it can represent personal beliefs, freedom, and challenging the norm.

The Lovers

If pulled upright, The Lovers represents love, harmony, and relationships. In reverse, it can signify selfishness, imbalance, and opposing values.

The Chariot

The Chariot represents success, determination, and action when pulled upright. If reversed, it can mean opposition, a lack of control, or a lack of direction.


Upright, Strength represents mental strength, courage, influence, focus, and compassion. If reversed, it can mean self-doubt, weakness, and insecurity.

The Hermit

The Hermit signifies solitude, soul-searching, and introspection when pulled upright. When reversed, it can represent loneliness, withdrawal, and isolation.

Wheel Of Fortune

When upright, the Wheel of Fortune represents good luck, a turning point, good karma, or destiny. Reversed, it can signify bad luck, bad karma, and a resistance to change.


Upright, Justice represents fairness, truth, or law. Reversed, it can mean dishonesty, a lack of justice, or a lack of accountability.

The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man can mean surrender, letting go, or a new perspective when upright. If reversed, it represents resistance and delay. 


Upright, Death can signify an ending, new beginning, or significant transformation. If pulled reversed, it can represent a resistance to change.


When pulled upright, Temperance represents patience, purpose, or moderation. Reversed, it can mean impatience, imbalance, or excess.

The Devil

The Devil can represent addiction, attachment, or disbelief when pulled upright. If pulled in reverse, it can mean dark/impure thoughts or detachment.

The Tower

If upright, The Tower means revelation, awakening, chaos, or sudden change. If pulled reversed, it can mean fear of change or the averting of sudden danger.

The Star

The Star represents hope, optimism, renewal, and purpose when pulled upright. Reversed, it can mean lack of faith, lack of optimism, or a lack of purpose.

The Moon

What Are The 78 Tarot Cards? (1)

Upright, The Moon represents disillusion, fear, anxiety, and the subconscious. When in reverse, it signifies the release of fear, confusion, or repressed feelings.

The Sun

When upright, The Sun represents warmth, love, growth, success, good health, and positivity. In reverse, it can mean sadness, pessimism, procrastination, or a lack of growth.


Judgment can represent self-reflection, awakening, rebirth, or inner calling when pulled upright. Reversed, it can signify self-doubt, resistance, and fear. 

The World

Upright, The World represents harmony, fulfillment, completion, integration, or travel. When pulled in reverse, it can signify shortcuts, incompletion, or stagnancy. 

The Minor Arcana Tarot Cards

The Minor Arcana tarot cards, also referred to as the Lesser Secrets, consist of 56 cards in total, separated into four suits of 14 cards each.

Much like traditional playing cards, each suit has 10 numbered cards and 4 court cards (a King, Queen, Knight, and Jack).

Unlike the Major Arcana tarot cards, which represent life forces, the Minor Arcana cards represent specific day-to-day events that provide more meaning and context to the Major Arcana cards, based on how many cards of each suit are pulled.

The Minor Arcana Swords

The Suit of Swords represents wisdom and communication, providing insights into one’s thoughts, values, beliefs, and attitude. If many sword cards are pulled, it can mean mental struggles and decision-making.

The Minor Arcana Suit of Swords is associated with the element of air, which signifies action, change, and cleansing. 

The Minor Arcana Wands

The Suit of Wands (also Batons, Rods, or Staves) represents passion and inspiration, highlighting and providing insights into one’s ambition, determination, mental strength, creativity, career, and growth.

The Minor Arcana Suit of Wands is associated with the element of fire, which signifies enthusiasm, passion, energy, and sexuality.

The Minor Arcana Pentacles

The Suit of Pentacles (also Coins or Disks) represents achievement, possessions, and property, highlighting and providing insights into one’s success, health, finances, work, and creativity.

The Minor Arcana Suit of Pentacles is associated with the element of earth, which signifies grounding, growth, and tangibility.

The Minor Arcana Cups

The Suit of Cups (also Goblets) represents emotions and relationships, highlighting and providing insights into one’s feelings, love life, intuition, and connections.

The Minor Arcana Suit of Cups is associated with the element of water, which represents freedom, healing, change, power, and gentleness.

Final Thoughts

And that’s the complete list of all 78 tarot cards, their groups, and what each tarot card signifies.

Whether you are planning to learn tarot card reading or are just interested in knowing what all the tarot cards are, we hope you found this simple beginner’s guide helpful.

Andrea Daehma
Latest posts by Andrea Daehma (see all)