It is easier to understand – and remember – the card meanings when you know the underlying patterns and common tarot symbols.
In addition to the symbols of the Four Suits and the Four Elements, there are other common symbols that show up repeatedly on the cards. Like the patterns found in the suits, elements, numbers, and people of the court cards, these symbols can help you remember and read the cards.
Take out your favorite Rider-Waite-Smith-based tarot decks, and search for these symbols in your cards as I go over each one.
Visualizing each of the symbols on your OWN cards will help you see them in a new way, and find connections that you haven’t noticed before.
If you want a visual look at these symbols and how they show up in the cards, check out this video that will walk you through them, one by one.
Not all tarot decks will use all of these symbols, but I think you’re going to be surprised by how common this “symbol language” is within each deck, and between decks that seem different but are based on the same system.
Reading the Common Tarot Symbols
Let’s get started by looking at some common tarot symbols as they show up in The Simple Tarot Deck.
It represents retreating from the world as you create your own path.
It is found on all of the Queen and King court cards as well as The Empress, The Emperor, and The Tower.
It represents purity (especially when white) and rebirth.
It is used as a symbol on The High Priestess, the Two of Swords, and the Eight of Cups.
The symbol is found on The Sun, the four Aces, and other cards, including many of the fiery Wands.
As a symbol, it represents vitality.
It represents illumination and knowledge.
On The Fool and the Ten of Pentacles, they represent faithful companions.
On The Moon, the domesticated dog represents dreams and the feral dog represents fears.
Other pets include the bunny on the Queen of Pentacles, representing abundance and domesticity, and the black cat on the Queen of Wands, representing her shadow side.
It is found on The World, the Seven of Cups, and the Six of Wands.
They represent things being in balance.
It represents eternity and the endless nature of energy, which can’t be created or destroyed.
The Simple Tarot Deck Companion Guidebook goes into each of these symbols and how to read them in more detail.
If you haven’t gotten your copy of the Companion Guidebook yet, you can get one right here. It’s a small, pocket sized quick reference guide for each of the tarot card meanings – as well as the common symbols, patterns, and logic behind them all.
It’s super handy when you’re just starting to learn the cards, or need a quick refresher about their meanings.
If you have any questions about the symbols and how they relate to your tarot cards, come join our private Tarot Facebook Group and ask your questions there. It’s where all the cool kids hang out! 🙂