The Most Common Symbols of the Tarot

symbols of the tarot

Tarot cards are rich with symbolism and understanding the classic symbols that appear throughout the Rider-Waite deck along with other classic tarot decks can help you peel back the layers of meaning and find similarities between the cards. 

With 78 tarot cards in a standard deck, learning to interpret the meaning of each can be overwhelming. A firm understanding of the symbols of the tarot that are scattered throughout the major arcana and minor arcana can make this process easier and enrichen your readings. Look to the numbers, colors, and classic symbols to help you unpack the messages in the tarot cards.

Number Symbols of the Tarot 

Numbers appear throughout the deck and correspond to numerology. You can look to the numbers for insight into the energy of the card. Here’s a guide to the ten numbers that appear in pip cards:

Ones – unity, new beginnings, renewal, awakening

Twos – partnerships, balance, duality

Threes – expansion, creativity, groups

Fours – stability

Fives – change, conflict, growth

Sixes – harmony

Sevens – spiritual growth, hard work, lessons

Eights – abundance, accomplishment

Nines – coming to an end of a cycle

Tens – completion, success, enlightenment 


Another way you can decipher tarot card meanings is to look at the colors being used with the imagery. The colors help create an overall energy of the tarot card and can correspond to the chakras. 

Black – Protection, darkness, negativity, illness, being grounded 

Red – Root chakra, safety, security, grounded, safety, security, passion

Pink – Heart chakra, love, femininity, compassion, forgiveness

Orange – Sacral chakra, joy, happiness, creativity, sexuality, optimism

Yellow – Solar plexus chakra, enthusiasm, confidence, happiness, spontaneity 

Gold – Crown chakra, abundance, self-mastery, divine guidance, spiritual leadership

Green – Heart chakra, healing, unconditional love, self-love, harmony, balance, envy, bitterness

Blue – Throat chakra, communication, boundaries, speaking up, self-expression

Purple – Third eye chakra, intuition, psychic ability, spirituality, awakening

White – Crown chakra, higher self, connection to the divine

Art Symbols of the Tarot

Most common tarot decks use recurring objects and animals that are symbolic beyond their literal interpretation. Some classic symbols that appear through the Rider-Waite tarot deck and other classic decks include:

Angels – Inspiration, guidance on your journey, listen to your inner voice 

Cups – Emotions, feelings, love

Dogs – friendship, companionship, community, loyalty, honesty

Embroidered Robes – wealth, status, royalty

Flags – Pay close attention, caution

Grapes – abundance, fertility

Flowers – abundance, growth, success, luxury, beauty

Hammer – chores, hard work, labor, chipping away at something, progress

Laurels – victory, abundance

Lion – patience, strength, romance, taming

Moon – passage of time, cycles, secrets coming to light, making the darkness light, reflection, femininity

Pentacles – materialism, money, success, vocation 

Swords – truth, clarity, fast-moving action

Thrones – royalty, importance, establishment, luxury

Trees – shelter, protection, growth

Wands – creativity, passion 

Learning the symbolism in tarot can make your readings more succinct and give a greater depth. You may find similarities between the tarot cards that have been overlooked in the past which can enrichen your interpretations. Pulling cards with repetitive symbols could indicate an important message trying to come through. Take note of when you see the same symbols jump out at you. 

While the above is a guide to reading the common symbols of tarot, your interpretation may be personal, For instance, you may find that certain symbols such as a dove remind you of a specific person, or the robes worn by the characters in the tarot resemble the wardrobe of a close friend. Use your intuition to determine what message is trying to come through for you.
Need some answers? Our team of expert tarot readers is ready and willing to help you get clarification on any issue, whether it be love, career, money, or personal development. Browse our readers and contact them via phone call or chat to get the answers you need today.

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