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The Minor Arcana Explained

Out of the two arcanum, most people gravitate toward the Major Arcana. It's only 22 cards, with a consecutive story and easily-remembered themes. The Minor Arcana on the other hand is 56 cards that cover A LOT more detail, making it a much more intimidating study. Let's see if I can help make it a little easier for you.

Over the course of many years and many decks, I've devised my own method of understanding and connecting to the Tarot. I call this the "4,3,2,1 Funnel-Down Method." In my opinion, this is the easiest way to digest the complexity of the Minor Arcana.

Queen of prentacles rider waite deck minor arcana
The Minor Arcana Explained

Four Suits & Their Elements

Four is the number of elements associated with each suit. As you get a feel for each element, you'll begin to see patterns emerge.


The element of Earth is usually represented in the Tarot by coins (sometimes represented as pentacles or diamonds). When we think of this suit, we think of the material world: Wealth, hard work, stability, and groundedness.


The element of Water is usually represented by cups,