CardBiblical LinkRevelation LinkChapter
The Fool The beginning, without knowledge and without past. Printed along the lines in the folds of the Fool’s collar are Hebrew letters "Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh", or translated "that which was, is and shall be". This is a reference to "the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End". The Fool represents those who's faith has wilted and will miss out on the kingdom of God Reference to those who have failed to hold onto their faith, "You have forsaken the love you had at first" 2
The Magician Creator of the universe. The word magician or magi stems from the Greek word magos which means a practitioner of astrology, alchemy and other wisdom. This represents the power of the creator "Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water" 14
The High Priestess From the Books of First and Second Kings, in the Old Testament, Boaz and Jachin were the names of two pillars cast from brass and located on the porch of King Solomon’s first Temple at Jerusalem. They represented the balance of light and darkness that must exist among mankind. The white pillar represents the divine man while the dark pillar the earthly man. The veil in Solomon’s Temple hid the holy of holies, the fabled Ark of the Covenant "Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the Ark of his Covenant" 11
The Empress The Empress symbolises the Great Mother or Mother Earth. She represents the life-giving and nurturing aspects of the natural world A reference to mother earth and pagan beliefs "The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls", and later "I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides" 17
The Emperor Sometimes considered to be Father Earth or God, he sits on a throne in judgement over the Earth. His wisdom will guide you to a healthy balance and make you ruler over all aspects of your life. He is likened to Moses, the father of the Jews Reference to Moses, "and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb" 15
The Hierophant The Hierophant represents the established church and God's presence on Earth. The keys at his feet are the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven "And among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest" 1
The Lovers The wings are the wings of protection, both Exodus and Deuteronomy describe how God will rescue the nation of Israel by carrying them and protecting them. He would thereby keep his people safe from the devil and through human descendants of Israel bring rescue to others Reference to the protection of the people, "The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of" 12
The Chariot The Chariot appears in Ezekiel 1 which tells the story of God appearing before the priest Ezekiel “in the land of the Chaldeans” as a fiery chariot surrounded in white light. Before the chariot are four figures, each with the face of a lion, bull, man, and eagle. The figures represent the four directions and four corners of the physical plane that the Chariot traverses The locusts "had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle" 9
Strength In the story of Daniel, an official in the Persian empire under King Darius. Darius had made a decree that no-one was to offer prayers to any god or man except him for a period of thirty days. Daniel continued to pray to God and as a results he was arrested and thrown into a lions' den. However, according to the story he remained unharmed Reference to Jesus as the Lion of Judah, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed" 5
The Hermit Desert theology, a life entirely given to the praise of God through solitude, penance and prayers. Only through study and solitude can he see the light and discover the wisdom of God. Likely to be a reference to St Jerome who is best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin and his commentaries on the Gospels including teachings on morality "You have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy" 3
The Wheel of Fortune The biblical meaning of this card is complex but can be summarised as follows. The serpent is Jesus as he appeared in the Garden of Eden and the devil below the wheel is a warning about being led astray with the clouds representing confusion or clouded judgement. Jesus and the devil are wresting with the wheel in order to determine the right or wrong paths of destiny Reference to the throne in heaven, "in the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back" 4
Justice Justice in the bible is the justice sought by the people of Israel to defeat their enemies (the Romans) and to allow them to live in peace under Jewish law Reference to the Heavenly Warrior who defeats the Beast "With justice he judges and wages war" 19
The Hanged Man This card is a reference to physical and mental suffering. St Peter, when condemned to crucifixion asked to be crucified upside down as a sign of his humility as he felt unworthy to die the same way as Jesus Reference to those who have endured suffering "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation" 7
Death According to the bible death is the result of sin and that everyone is subject to death because everyone has sinned. Jesus also experienced physical death and chose to die as a substitute for sinners. He then showed his power over death and sin by rising from the dead on the third day "And there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death" 6
Temperance The angel in this card represents the The Woman of the Apocalypse who is widely identified as a reference to the Virgin Mary. As such this card is considered one of healing and divine intervention Another "mighty angel" described as "he planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land" 10
The Devil The devil is seen as the opposite of God and a mark of disobedience to God. Many prophecies in the book of Revelations show a great "counterfeit religious figure" who will attempt to turn people away from God and righteousness towards evil and immorality Reference to the devil, "And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads", and further on "Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666" 13
The Tower The tower of Babel in Babylon, legend has it that the tower was constructed so men could climb to heaven. God was so angry that he sent a great wind to blow the tower down and scatter the people to all corners of the Earth. In reality the tower represents any institution that sets itself up against God such as the Roman Empire "With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again" 18
The Star The 7 stars are referenced many times in Revelations, they relate to the "angels" or "messengers" of the 7 churches and it is these churches which provide the hope and optimism to humanity "I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them" 8
The Moon The Moon is the symbol of the Goddess or feminine side of God. The Shekhinah in the Old Testament was to the moon as Yahweh was to the Sun. Both became two sides of the one God which is why God created the 'two Great Lights' to light the earth in Genesis. The Sun embodies the masculine positive self whilst he Moon embodies the feminine negative self Reference to the city of Jerusalem, "the city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light" 21
The Sun Throughout the Old Testament important deeds are done "in the sight of this sun", "before the sun" or "under the sun" revealing the age-old perception of the sun as God’s judge and an instrument of his light "There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light" 22
Judgement Resurrection, the archangel Michael sounds the last trumpet and the dead arise. The books quoted are the records of the deeds of all people. All the dead are judged in view of what is written in the books. This includes both believers and non-believers and thus represents a judgment of all people "And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books" 20
The World God made the earth by his power, he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding. This is a reference to the all-encompassing knowledge of the Bible, the very word of God Reference to the God's wrath with the world he created, "demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty" 16
Updated: 23/11/2023