The Lovers Tarot Card and Notebook

The Major and Minor Arcana in Relationship Tarot Readings

Card Meanings for the Minor and Major Arcana in Relationship Tarot Readings - The Lovers Tarot Card and Notebook

Today I thought we would break the structure of the Tarot deck down in a way that gives you the bigger picture in love and relationship Tarot readings. It is always useful to look at the bigger picture first when analysing a Tarot spread, before delving into the specific card/positional and combination meanings.

The Spiritual Journey We Are On

You may already know that the Major Arcana deals primarily with the main spiritual lessons in life and that we all embark on the same Fool’s (or Hero’s) journey, meeting with the Major Arcana archetypes at various stages in life. This typically happens in a non-linear fashion, even though most of us obviously encounter the Mother/Father archetypes early on in life in the shape of the Empress and Emperor etc.

The Majors in Love Tarot Readings

Here are some useful hints about the Majors to bear in mind when you first take in an overview of your love Tarot spread layout:

  • If there are many Majors (3 or more, or more than half in a larger spread), the relationship typically has a fated element which to some extent will limit your freedom of choice. To understand if this harks back to a past life connection/lesson, you want to look out specifically for the Karmic Cards.
  • When a Major Arcana card shows up in a position that describes a current or future lover, this is or will be a key player in your life.
  • A Major Arcana card as the outcome card makes the outcome of the relationship more fixed. However, the choice about how you relate to this outcome is never taken from you and will determine how you progress from there.
  • A Major Arcana card signifying you means that you are learning an important life lesson through the relationship.
  • Understanding a bit about the anima/animus is very helpful and will give you instant insights about the meaning of the presence of the High Priestess and the Magician in a Tarot spread. In a nutshell, it means a greater risk of projection of desired qualities onto your partner.
  • The Empress/Emperor often indicates parental issues contributing to an unhealthy pattern of relating.
  • The Lovers does not always mean the perfect relationship but can often indicate a choice situation and a lesson about not moving forward until your heart and mind are aligned.

Read the Majors in Context

Not even Majors should be read in isolation from other cards. They act as individual glyphs in a Tarot spread. Together with other Major or Minor Arcana glyphs, the sentence spelt by the cards can change drastically. As an example, The Sun with the 5 of Wands (Saturn in Leo) can indicate that ego battles are destroying your chances of relationship happiness rather than the sunny outcome you might expect.

The Minor Arcana

Now, let us shift our focus to the Minor Arcana

Looking at a spread containing many Minors, you will instantly get a picture of where the emphasis lies in any particular relationship you are.


A majority of Wands indicates fiery movement, drive, ambition and motivation. This can relate specifically to your love life because the Wands suit also expresses sex drive. However, for it to describe romantic sexual attraction, you also need the presence of relationship cards such as the 2 of Cups, The Lovers, the 3 of Cups etc.

If all these Wands are found in general reading about the state of the relationship, it could be that one or both of you are currently more interested in furthering yourself career-wise or in terms of other personal goals.


An overabundance of Cups talks about a relationship where both parties are engaging on an emotional level. It can indicate drama and huge disappointment as well as relationship happiness. You would expect to see a Cups card or two in a relationship where the couple is ‘all loved up.’


Lots of Swords usually indicates conflict. It can be verbal or all in the mind. Problem resolution usually becomes the focus of a reading dominated by Swords cards.


Plenty of Pentacles puts the emphasis on money issues, the daily grind, and the health of one or both of you. In terms of the actual relationship, it can indicate greater levels of commitment but only together with cards that speak of emotional affinity/romance. Pentacles is Earth, the slowest of the Elements, so you should not expect quick changes when this suit dominates the reading. If you wish to change your situation, you will have to put your shoulder to the wheel.

I hope you find these tips helpful.


Comments 10

  1. Whoever did this to your web page needs to find another job. I liked your old one. Easy to navigate. I’m giving up. Can’t find what I need. Just meanings of each card in love. It was so basic before. I cannot find what I’m looking for. Sorry Lisa, been a fan for 3 years. Sorry to leave. But hate your web page now 🙁

    1. Post

      Thanks for the feedback, Stephanie, and sorry you feel that way. When I redesigned the website, I did it because I was changing direction with my work. This site is not just about love and relationships (I’m sure you noticed)… BUT did you you know you can download eBooks with all the card meanings, including the love Tarot meanings? That way you can even access them offline too. 🙂 The ones who are meant to follow me on this new Path are all here, so it’s all good. Blessings on yours!

  2. Reblogged this on Kim's Esoteric Tarot Journals and commented:
    Hello my faithful readers. I just read a wonderful blog by Lisa Frideborg of Love Dove Tarot. In this particular blog, Lisa provides insight in to the roles that the Major and Minor arcana tarot cards play in love and relationship readings. Enjoy!

    1. Hi there, Temperance (Sagittarius)could indicate an intense longing to feel free or to create lots of room for a shared vision within the relationship… Think of the arrow of the Archer being pulled back… pulling it back together will take some effort, coordinating muscles… all the focus on your common aim rather than each other.

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