The Psychology of Tarot Decks

Tarot Decks

Some people look to the tarot cards to predict their future. Others may be more skeptical.

A Gallup poll found that over a quarter of Americans believe in some kind of fortune telling.

No matter what you believe, the tarot can help you gain an understanding of yourself.

Tarot decks have been used by psychologists for decades. Psychologist Dr. Carl Jung famously studied tarot and how the cards relate to the subconscious.

Are you a thinker who likes to understand the reasoning and methodology of everything? We’ve broken down the psychology of tarot decks for you.

A tarot reading gives you insight into your subconscious

Are you more of a skeptic when it comes to what tarot decks tell you about the future?

Dr. Carl Jung had an explanation as to why the prediction of the cards so often seems to come true. He said these “coincidences” gave him the “impression that there is a sort of foreknowledge of the coming series of events.” Meaning the cards bring out the subconscious knowledge we already have inside us.

Tarot decks help you learn more about yourself and develop your intuition. Your unconscious mind becomes conscious.

This happens by taking the symbolism in the cards and applying it to our lives.

Tarot decks consist of 78 cards with symbolic pictures

56 of them have “suits,” just like traditional playing cards. These are the Minor Arcana and Pip cards. These suits are:


Wand cards are about energy, passion, ideas, and creativity. These cards ask your subconscious, “what makes me excited?”


Cards in the pentacle suit relate to the material world. Pentacles tap into how you feel about finances and things that can be gained.


Sword cards are all about your inner thoughts. Swords want you to seek the truth within yourself. If you’re worried or confused, swords might show up in a reading.


Cups shed light on your emotional life. They represent partnerships, intuition, dreams, and love.

The remaining 22 cards describe the journey of a person’s life.

The 22 Major Arcana represent archetypes

They are numbered 0-21. Through the cards, you follow the Fool’s journey toward enlightenment.

You can apply these symbols towards the journey of your own life. The cards and their basic meanings are:

0. The Fool

The Fool is on the beginning of his journey. He is going out into the world to gain knowledge. The Fool represents innocence and a free spirit.

1. The Magician

The Magician is all about gaining knowledge through experiences. To have skills you must go out and learn by doing.

2. The High Priestess

The High Priestess in the tarot deck represents feminine wisdom. She asks you to consider your subconscious and intuition.

3. The Empress

The Empress is the card of fertility and abundance. This goddess brings life into the world.

4. The Emperor

The Emperor is a father figure. He is strict and is committed to his duties.

5. The Hierophant

The Hierophant represents religion and tradition. That could mean challenging what’s accepted or questioning beliefs.

6. The Lovers

The Lovers can represent a romantic relationship in your life. It could also be about the love you have for yourself.

7. The Chariot

The Chariot reminds you to consider your will power. To remember consequences if you act out of ego or desire.

8. Strength

Strength is exactly as it sounds. A Strength card in the tarot deck should remind you to have courage and patience.

9. The Hermit

The Hermit stays inside all day. That means you have a lot of time to think. This card asks you to have quiet time with your inner self.

10. The Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel of Fortune is always spinning. Sometimes you’re on top and sometimes you aren’t. This card reminds you of karma, luck, and destiny.

11. Justice

The Justice card in spread reminds you that whatever you put out will come back. For every action, there is a reaction.

12. The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man was executed because of bad actions. Learn from your mistakes and don’t let them be the death of you.

13. Death

Don’t be scared of the Death card! Death is the end of something, which gives birth to a new beginning.

14. Temperance

Temperance is a card that reminds you to have patience. To live consciously and in balance.

15. The Devil

The Devil is scary for a reason. The Devil in your life could be a person or parts of yourself. It’s anyone who brings you to your lower self.

16. The Tower

The Tower card shows an actual tower on fire. This represents sudden change or the fear of change.

17. The Star

The Star, The Moon, and The Sun all are related to the inner, spiritual self. The Star represents hope and tranquility.

18. The Moon

The moon in the sky pulls the ocean creating tides. This card represents the forces inside that push and pulls you.

19. The Sun

The Sun is your personal achievements and fulfillment. Sunshine has finally been brought into your life.

20. Judgement

When you near the end of a journey, you look back on it. This card might mean a stage in your life is ending. You must look back on it and reflect.

21. The World

The World card is the end of your journey. You have reached a natural conclusion that you were meant for.

Did you like what you learned about psychology and tarot?

Looking to learn more about yourself and your future? Get a tarot reading!

We have an entire directory of experienced tarot readers!

Interested in learning more about the metaphysical?

Check out some of our other posts like, “How to Develop and Improve Your Psychic Powers.”

We’d love to help you through your spiritual journey!

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