The suit of Wands represents the element of fire and fire represents passion, creativity, raw energy, and sexuality. The Ace of Wands is the purest form of these qualities and often means the very beginning of something new.
If you draw the Ace of Wands it can mean a new idea has formed, a spark of creativity, the beginning of a venture, or an opportunity.


The Two of Wands is about planning. After the initial spark of energy from the Ace, the Two represents taking that idea to another level. There is desire here, but without the confidence of knowing what to do with the increasing energy, there is a sense of dissatisfaction.
If you draw the Two of Wands it means preparations are being made, planning, brainstorming, envisioning the future, wanting something more, speculating, or longing.


The Three Of Wands is about the collective, the formation of a wheel that puts energy in motion. At this stage more than one person would be involved in a transformational process that attempts to create something where nothing existed before.
If you draw the Three Of Wands a process is in motion. There may be some wait time before results appear but know that the plan is moving forward, or the process has been activated in some way.

The cards displayed above are from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot produced by Magic Realist Press. I highly recommend them.


The Four Of Wands is about the excitement of maturation. The number four represents a solid structure with four corners, four walls, a square, a box. Something has been created, something is visible, comprehensive, finally. Though this is still the beginning, it is something tangible to be proud of.
If you draw the Four Of Wands is can mean excitement, establishment, maturation, growth, a first stage of completion, friendship, relationship and/or celebration. It can also mean a momentary stillness or awareness.


The Five Of Wands brings the first signs of trouble relating to a venture whether it be a relationship, an activity within a group, or a personal endeavour. The Five Of Wands represents the struggle to maintain balance and can often indicate conflict, although it is seldom a serious conflict. It can also be a form of sparring undertaken to improve ones personal skills.
If you draw the Five Of Wands effort will be expended to solve problems, correct mistakes, debate, improve upon something, and/or resolve a conflict or argument.


The Six Of Wands is about the recognition of achievement. The card is often represented by an image of a hero returning from battle to accolades from fans, friends and family. The Six Of Wands brings this recognition to some action that has been completed successfully. There is a sense of harmony and balance along with the pride of achievement.
If you draw the Six Of Wands there will be cause for jubilation, good interaction with others, pride, harmony, achievement, and/or cooperation.

These images are from The Gothic Tarot by Joseph Vargo, well known for his Gothic illustrations and music (Nox Arcana).


The Seven of Wands means having confidence in one's self. The number seven is indicative of solitary quests, and with the Seven Of Wands there may be opposition but finding the confidence to overcome it should not be a problem.
If you draw The Seven Of Wands it can mean having an advantage, confidence, a personal challenge, facing difficulty, and/or knowing you can beat the odds.


The Eight Of Wands is about intensity and/or a highly charged situation. There is a lot of energy gathered and focused creating a great deal of heat.
If you draw the Eight Of Wands it indicates action happening quickly and with force. It can sometimes indicate an angry situation or sometimes it is just hot news or a lot of focus on one subject usually involving more than one person.


The Nine Of Wands is about completion, persistence, endurance and experience. The situation is not necessarily over, but a maximum has been reached.
If you draw the Nine Of Wands a project or endeavour has matured, been completed, or there is a willingness to face the future being fully prepared, no surprises.


The Ten Of Wands is about being overwhelmed or overburdened. There is a strong sense of duty associated with this card as in a sense of duty can often be a burden, but must be faced even if its not the most desirable action.
If you draw the Ten Of Wands it can mean a feeling of obligation motivates the situation and it is more than likely with reluctance that any action will be taken.


The Page Of Wands represents the maturing development of the active principle of Wands. Fire, passion, creativity and extroversion are all themes being explored by this young fresh mind.
If you draw the Page Of Wands expect active communication, enthusiastic creativity and/or communication along with some form of naivete or vulnerability.


The Knight Of Wands is the engagement of the active principle of Wands. There is an effective but not yet stable force for change influencing the situation.
If you draw the Knight Of Wands expect an active and charismatic force of passion, assertion, sexual interest, and/or creative flow.


With the Queen Of Wands we see the mature form of the active forces of passion and creativity. A confident and creative state of being is present.
If you draw the Queen Of Wands it can indicate openness, sexuality, grace, warmth, charisma and/or a flair for the dramatic.


The King Of Wands is the mature form of the active principle as with the Queen but expresses itself more assertively.
If you draw the King Of Wands it indicates a person or attitude that is confident, creative, and actively genuine.

The above cards are from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot published by Magic Realist Press.


The Cruel Thing tarot illustrated by Luciano Vecchio is a Spanish deck published by Fournier. It is based on the characters of Vecchio's graphic comic of the same name. It is one of the few tarot decks with limited illustration of the pip cards (minor arcana) where I find the subtle symbolism still informative enough to understand the overall meaning of the cards without the greater use of detail.

Cups represent emotion, the element of water, and overall - love.


The Ace of Cups, in its most literal form, is about love. Commonly, love is associated with attachment, but with the Ace, the love is genuine and without attachment. It is new, fresh and clear. It flows freely as would a spring fed stream. It is without judgment.

The Ace indicates the kind of love felt towards or coming from a child or a puppy dog. It is rare in adults as we often confuse love with sexuality, infatuation, or the fulfillment of our desires.
If you draw the Ace it means the heart opens in enjoyment.


The Two of Cups is the Ace x 2. Literally, it is two people, or a person and another thing, opening their hearts in enjoyment. Complicating the simple spring fed flow though, is the fact that we are complicated. This kind of love flowing between two people or things doesn't last long because we are complex and because love, like water, doesn't stand still for long, at least not effectively, which we shall see in the four.

Generally, the Two of Cups indicates a 'meeting' in love as opposed to a 'lasting' in love. What happens next could be quite different (I was going to remove this last cynicism but after some thought decided it would be best to leave you forewarned, to help break the fall so to say).

If you draw the Two of Cups it indicates the meeting of two hearts. There is a focus on the realization of a similar feeling. It is love reciprocated.


The Three Of Cups represents a container of joy that flows cheerfully among and between a group. It always has the celebratory feel of sharing enjoyment with friends.
If you draw the Three Of Cups it means enjoyment, friendship, sharing, celebration, achievement, flowing and even overflowing with joy.


The Four Of Cups is best explained by thinking about the behaviour of water in a closed container. It stagnates. The four is a solid structure and its stability prevents water from flowing freely which is an essential aspect of emotion. This card always seems a little melancholy because there it represents those emotions that are repressive, such as grudges, resentment, and misery. Because it is still an inexperienced cup having only known joy in the past the danger is usually short lived and the stagnation easily disrupted.
If you draw the Four of Cups it can mean you are holding onto some emotion that is bringing you down. It can also represent disinterest, melancholy, self pity and/or minor depression.


The Five of Cups represents disruption of emotion which often manifests as sadness, grief, loss, longing, self pity, and/or regret.
The five is an imbalance and an abundance that forces a person to grow even though they may not want to as was the case in the four.
If you draw the Five of Cups it represents a feeling of being overwhelmed, sad, or remorseful. It can also mean longing for the past, or being closed to the joys of the present.


The Six of Cups is nostalgic and pleasant. Sixes always represent exchanges and harmony. The two threes together represent a past and present influence and is the beginning of a maturity in the suit. In the English language the word for six is spelled similar to the word sex. Very interesting because there is a strong sexual aspect to the Six of Cups. It often represents the joys of sex and at the same time represents the joyful memories of childhood.
If you draw the Six of Cups it can mean a relationship rekindled, a sexual encounter, harmonious interaction, nostalgic feelings of joy or a willingness to see another point of view.


Sevens represent personal challenges and the Seven of Cups is about choosing what feels right in a situation with multiple choices. It requires digging down into the emotional realm and discerning what is right for you.
If you draw the Seven of Cups it means a choice is at hand, indecision, mixed feelings, being swept away with emotion, or struggling to choose.
*Note - the Seven of Cups is not the choice itself, but represents the struggle to choose.


The Eight of Cups is about making a difficult choice and often that means leaving something behind. After the Seven's difficult struggle to choose, a choice has been made and a sacrifice usually accompanies it.
If you draw the Eight Of Cups it means moving on to something new, trial and tribulation, sacrifice, a decision, determination and/or resignation.


With the Nine of Cups, most of the struggle with emotion is now over and a sense of satisfaction sets in. The Nine Of cups represents achievement of ones goals and the general sense of enjoyment that comes with a job well done.
If you draw the Nine of Cups it means feeling proud of one's self, satisfaction, success, happiness for one's self, or in a negative sense, gloating or smugness.


The Ten of Cups is about emotional fulfillment. The ten represents accomplishment and the Ten of Cups denotes a happiness that is derived from being part of a supportive community. There is balance in giving and receiving.
If you draw the Ten of Cups it can mean being satisfied with one's family and friends, emotional maturity, long term fulfillment of one's dreams, lasting love, friendship and/or family issues.


In the Cruel Thing tarot deck the illustrator has chosen to use the name Jack, but the traditional name of this card is Page. The Page of Cups is the youngest of the court cards and is often represented by a young man or woman with an emotional nature who possesses the qualities of the cups in a naive and vulnerable way.
If you draw the Page of Cups it can mean you are experiencing a situation with a degree of naivete or vulnerability, or it can represent someone or something in your environment. It can also indicate sensitivity, creativity, and emotional immaturity.


Knights represent a dynamic and transformational force in the suits and the Knight of Cups has a turbulent emotional nature as he represents the struggle to communicate emotions without a high level of experience or maturity. Therefore, the Knight of Cups is often depicted as brooding and moody, but he can also represent romantic interest.
If you draw the Knight of cups it can mean you or someone in your environment is experiencing a change in emotion, romantic interest, sultry behaviour, moodiness and/or a general dissatisfaction with the current situation.


The Queen of Cups represents an emotional maturity and a state of being. She is generally passive and loving. She can represent your attitude or position, or another person, man or woman with these qualities.
If you draw the Queen of Cups it can mean love, nurturing, falling in love, being emotional in a negative or positive way, giving or receiving love, or feeling loved.


The King of Cups is often depicted as a man with a small stature. This is because the realm of emotion, or more specifically love, does not naturally gel with the expressive nature of men in general. The King of Cups often sacrifices his own feelings and has a quieter nature than most kings. The King of Cups is often the strong silent type who is almost always offering emotional support by listening more than speaking.
If you draw the King of Cups it can mean your attitude or position or someone in your environment offering moral support, kindness and/or gentleness, wisdom, sacrifice, leadership or protection.

If you would like to check out the Cruel Thing tarot or comic please visit http://www.cruelthing.com/


Swords in general reflect our intellect, thoughts, beliefs, words and ideas. They are depicted here in The Vampire Tarot as Knives.

Ace Of Swords

The Ace of Swords would represent a single, uncluttered idea or truth. The idea of the Ace is best defined as a crack of light piercing the darkness as a blade is sliced through the side of a very dark tent which represents the inside of your mind.If you draw the Ace of Swords it can mean a sudden flash of clarity or clarity in general, truth, honesty, decision, direction, the spoken word, or a new idea.

Two Of Swords

The Two of Swords indicates two opposing ideas held in balance. It therefore goes to suggest that although a balance has been achieved, a resolution is still withstanding. The individual ideas represented by the two swords are usually holding two truths and at this time there is not a clear idea how to integrate them.
If you draw the Two of Swords it can mean a temporary truce is in place, hesitation, delicate balance, mild conflict, misunderstood intentions and/or debate.

Three Of Swords

The Three of Swords represents the first painful clash caused by misunderstandings, conflict of interest, or opposing ideas. Not all truths support each other and sometimes it can hurt to know the truth.
If you draw the Three of Swords it can mean finding out the one you love does not love you, or that although your intentions are good, they are not suitable for the purpose you intended. or betrayal.

Four Of Swords

The Four of Swords represents the mind at rest. It can indicate a calm environment void of distraction or outer influences where the mind finds a harmonious way to contemplate opposing ideas.
If you draw the Four of Swords it means peace of mind, rest, quiet, calm and/or constructive thinking.

Five Of Swords

The Five of Swords is about the struggle of the mind to dominate and prematurely overcome difficulty without fully integrating all the facts. It often indicates a fight or struggle of some sort.
If you draw the Five of Swords it can mean arguments, defeat, hopeless battle, jumping to conclusions, seeing red, or strife and conflict.

Six Of Swords

The Six of Swords is about the mind settling and attempting to integrate facts. It usually means a stretch of time where the mind moves from one point of view to another. There is an ability here to see both sides of an issue or to walk in an others shoes.
If you draw the Six of Swords it can mean taking some time to think about past occurrences and the effects they are having on you now, gaining a new point of view or taking a different position on a subject than you had before, changing one's mind, or changing sides.

Seven Of Swords

The Seven of Swords is about defining one's own path, of taking matters into one's own hands The number seven represents personal quests and the swords deal with matters of academic interest, the intellect, clarity of thought, truth, and personal belief, even if those beliefs stray from commonly held thought. For this reason the Seven of Swords is often associated with thieves..
If you draw the Seven Of Swords it can indicate stealth and/or avoidance, taking the road less traveled, trickery lies subterfuge and dishonesty, defining personal boundaries, or simply making a decision to think act or behave outside the realm of common thought.

Eight Of Swords

The Eight of Swords defines peace taken to an extreme; it represents restriction and limitation, being bound by one's own conviction, being pinned in a corner so to speak. If your thinking limits your ability to function, you've found yourself trapped by the essence of the Eight of Swords.
If you draw the Eight of Swords it can mean limitation, restriction, confusion, stalemate, or critical thinking that defies logic.

Nine Of Swords

The Nine of Swords represents our worst imaginable fears coming to haunt us, literally or figuratively. It is the imagination run amok. Left unchecked the mind will call its worst fears into being. This card is one of the most dreaded of the tarot cards to receive.
If you draw the Nine of Swords it can mean confusion, stress, nightmares, extreme negative thinking or excessive worrying.

Ten Of Swords

The Ten of Swords represents the end of conflict. It also brings with it much grief for letting go is never an easy thing to do. It has a sense of relief embedded within its difficulties and usually indicates a quiet acceptance of loss with a modicum of hope on the horizon.
If you draw the Ten of Swords it can mean loss, grief, sadness, the end, difficult endings, nothing left to lose and/or acceptance, sometimes accompanied by new hope.

Knave (Page) Of Swords

The Knave of Swords is often depicted as having a youthful and fresh outlook combined with lack of confidence. This often manifests in quiet observant behaviour which can be misconstrued as stealth. Sometimes the Knave of Swords is mistrustful or simply overcautious.
If you draw the Knave of Swords it can represent a person with a cautious nature or an attitude of mistrust, being watched, or academic investigation.

Knight Of Swords

The Knight of Swords represents a confidant and often intensely expressive intellect in person or attitude which may be accompanied by rash or righteous outlook. Warriors, activists, zealots, writers and promoters with the essence of this Knight in their characters can be quite persuasive.
If you draw the Knight of Swords it can indicate intensity, activism, persuasion, boldness, innovation, and/or rash judgment.

Queen Of Swords

The Queen of Swords is often considered a wise, yet cold woman. The Queen of Swords can represent man, woman or attitude that possesses quiet resignation, confidence and wisdom. There is little to no emotional nature, but the calmness indicates stability of emotion.
If you draw the Queen of Swords it can mean a person or attitude of a calm and collected nature, mature wisdom, and/or dignity tinged with a touch of bitterness.

King Of Swords

The King of Swords represents a person or attitude that is clear and decisive, possessing good judgment and aloof. The King of Swords is often accused of being too cold and logical but is often depended upon to make a rational decision in an emotionally turbulent atmosphere due to his fairness in judgment.
If you draw the King of Swords it can indicate a man, woman or attitude of fairness, logic, dependability, aloofness, and/or detachment.

The cards depicted above are from The Vampire Tarot by Robert M Place.


The pentacles represent the physical body, the sense of touch, the element of earth, physical labour, money and material objects.

 The Ace Of Pentacles

The Ace of Pentacles is a manifestation of something that has been desired and is sometimes an unexpected gift. Unlike the Ace of Wands, Cups or Swords, which offers news and inspiration of the spirit heart and mind, the Ace of Pentacles adds something tangible and useful to the environment.
If you draw the Ace of Pentacles it can mean getting a new job, a bonus at work or a raise in pay, a gift of money, a clean bill of health, or receiving something needed for one's survival such as food clothing or shelter. It can also mean physical aid such as that given by a health organization or humanitarian group. Whatever the case, your needs will be met.

 The Two Of Pentacles

The Two of Pentacles involves handling and managing new acquisitions. Finding solutions to permanently implement these acquisitions requires innovation and action. The Two of Pentacles is therefore about action and problem solving.
If you draw the Two of Pentacles it can mean learning to cope, developing new strategies, handling a busy schedule, shuffling or juggling time, energy and/or attention, riding a wave of good fortune, making decisions, being active and/or physical activity in general.

The Three Of Pentacles

The Three of Pentacles is about co-operating with a group and generally involves craftsmanship and/or enterprise. Strategies developed in the Two of Pentacles are now in action and the focus is on construction.
If you draw the Three of Pentacles there will be involvement with others, hard work, being recognized for your work, something in process, positive influences, or something taking shape.

The Four Of Pentacles

The Four of Pentacles combines the solidity of earth with the stability of a square structure. It is a dependable and stable position but there is an excess of stability that can lead to hoarding or being stuck in a position that is difficult to get out of.
If you draw the Four of Pentacles it indicates an stable position, wealth, or miserliness.

The Five Of Pentacles

The Five of Pentacles is about physical or social struggle. Fives generally represent the center of a polarity which means the equal of opposites is in balance and there is no clear choice present. Does that sound cryptic? Trying to deal with anything to do with a five is like this.
If you draw the Five of Pentacles you could be facing financial or material hardship or health troubles. It can also indicate social rejection, separation by distance, or the limitations of physics.

The Six Of Pentacles

The Six of Pentacles is about giving and receiving. It is a harmonious flow in the material world representing the balance in nature. Getting what one needs is most often conditional on someone or something else giving it.
If you draw the Six of Pentacles your needs will be met through an interaction that may or may not be visible to you. It can sometimes mean you are the one taking care of someone else's needs.

The Seven Of Pentacles

The Seven of Pentacles can be best represented by the idea of incubation or cultivation. The sevens represent an internal struggle of growth aimed at achievement, such as a garden in midsummer, the process of healing, or a milk product aging towards becoming a cheese.
If you draw the Seven of Pentacles your finances, physical health or social situation will be wrapped up in a process of growth that has likely not concluded. A period of waiting patiently is required before success will be visible.

The Eight Of Pentacles

The Eight of Pentacles denotes action. It is represented by hard work and is often accompanied by learning or much effort.
If you draw the Eight of Pentacles it can mean getting an education, learning a skill or trade, or that physical effort is required.

The Nine Of Pentacles

The Nine of Pentacles is the achievement of physical or social success on a personal level.
If you draw the Nine of Pentacles it can mean success in business, financial independence, or optimum physical health.

The Ten Of Pentacles

The Ten of Pentacles is the achievement of physical or social success on a group level. It is represented by family, friends and colleagues.
If you draw the Ten of Pentacles it can mean success in business that benefits a group, family money, wealth, inheritance, good health, well established and/or long term viability.

The Page Of Pentacles

The Page of Pentacles exhibits a practical and trusting, yet naive nature. The Page of Pentacles wants to help. There is a willing to learn or to be of practical assistance.
If you draw the Page of Pentacles it can represent a person or attitude of kind consideration, practical assistance and aid, or the willingness to learn a new skill.

The Knight Of Pentacles

The Knight of Pentacles is brave, plodding, and cautious in addition to practical as are all the court characters of the Pentacles. He or she is also a pioneer for change, as is representative of all Knights, but this one is of the slow and methodical kind.
If you draw the Knight of Pentacles it can represent a person or attitude of fortitude, valor, reliability, predictability or dependability.

The Queen Of Pentacles

The Queen of Pentacles is the quintessential 'mother earth' character possessing a practical nature combined with a fine nurturing capability. The Queen of Pentacles is also the best sexual partner to have as he or she will care a great deal about your physical fulfillment.
If you draw the Queen of Pentacles it can represent a person or attitude of competence, caring, nurturance, good health, practical ability, sexuality and/or reliability.

The King Of Pentacles

The King of Pentacles is an extremely stolid, predictable, and competent character with no trace of flare or pomp. He or she is the most practical of all the court cards and is an exceptionally skilled governor.
If you draw the King of Pentacles it can represent a person or attitude of persistent reliability, concrete ability, competence, good management, wealth and/or a considerate lover.

The cards depicted above are from The Vampire Tarot Of The Eternal Night by Davide Corsi.