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List of Deities Associated With Major & Minor Tarot Cards

The Major Arcana of the tarot is a tapestry rich with symbolism and archetypal energies. Each card not only represents a stage in the journey of life but also connects deeply with various deities across different cultures and mythologies.

Here we explore the deities associated with each of the Major Arcana cards, offering a glimpse into their symbolic and spiritual significance.

Table of contents:

  1. The Fool
  2. The Magician
  3. The High Priestess
  4. The Empress
  5. The Emperor
  6. The Hierophant
  7. The Lovers
  8. The Chariot
  9. Strength
  10. The Hermit
  11. Wheel of Fortune
  12. Justice
  13. The Hanged Man
  14. Death
  15. Temperance
  16. The Devil
  17. The Tower
  18. The Star
  19. The Moon
  20. The Sun
  21. Judgement
  22. The World
  23. Cups
  24. Pentacles
  25. Swords
  26. Wands

0 – The Fool: Dionysus and Inari

Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, festivity, and ecstasy, embodies The Fool’s spirit of adventure and the joy of living in the moment. Dionysus’ association with the unexpected and the unconventional mirrors The Fool’s journey into the unknown. Similarly, Inari, the Shinto deity of fertility and rice, also reflects The Fool’s energy through themes of prosperity, abundance, and the potential for new beginnings. Inari’s shape-shifting nature and role as a protector on journeys further align with The Fool’s adventurous essence.

I – The Magician: Hermes and Thoth

Hermes, the Greek messenger god, and Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom and writing, both resonate with The Magician. Hermes’ attributes as a communicator and a guide of souls connect with The Magician’s role as a bridge between the divine and the earthly. Thoth’s association with knowledge and magic aligns with The Magician’s symbolism of transformation and manifestation of will.

II – The High Priestess: Selene and Hecate

Selene, the Greek goddess of the moon, shares The High Priestess’s connection to intuition and the subconscious. Selene’s influence over emotions and the inner mind echoes The High Priestess’s role as the guardian of hidden knowledge. Hecate, the goddess of magic and crossroads, represents the deeper, mystical aspects of The High Priestess, embodying wisdom, protection, and transformation.

III – The Empress: Demeter and Freyja

Demeter, the Greek goddess of the harvest, reflects The Empress’s themes of fertility, nurturing, and abundance. Demeter’s maternal energy aligns with The Empress’s role as a symbol of life-giving and creation. Freyja, the Norse goddess of love, fertility, and beauty, also embodies The Empress’s aspects of sensuality and earthy power, reinforcing the card’s connection to the natural world and the senses.

IV – The Emperor: Zeus and Odin

Zeus, the king of the Greek gods, represents authority, structure, and control, echoing The Emperor’s themes of power and leadership. His role as a protector and ruler aligns with The Emperor’s symbolism of stability and order. Odin, the Allfather in Norse mythology, also embodies The Emperor’s wisdom, authority, and paternal qualities, bringing a dimension of knowledge and sacrifice to the card’s interpretation.

V – The Hierophant: Pope and Vedic Brahman

The Hierophant’s association with tradition and spiritual authority is mirrored in the figure of the Pope, the Catholic Church’s spiritual leader. The Pope represents the conventional aspects of spirituality and the transmission of sacred knowledge. Similarly, the Vedic Brahman, a Hindu concept of a supreme, universal spirit, aligns with The Hierophant’s themes of spiritual wisdom and guidance, emphasizing the connection between the divine and the mundane.

VI – The Lovers: Aphrodite and Rati

Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, reflects The Lovers’ themes of harmony, relationships, and choices made from the heart. Her influence in matters of love and attraction echoes the card’s focus on partnership and moral decisions. Rati, the Hindu goddess of love and desire, also resonates with The Lovers, symbolizing passion, romantic love, and emotional fulfillment in relationships.

VII – The Chariot: Ares and Freyr

Ares, the Greek god of war, embodies The Chariot’s themes of conquest, determination, and control. His martial prowess and ability to overcome obstacles align with The Chariot’s message of triumph and willpower. Freyr, a Norse god associated with kingship, peace, and prosperity, brings a dimension of nobility and mastery to The Chariot, emphasizing the card’s association with victory and achievement.

VIII – Strength: Durga and Sekhmet

Durga, a Hindu warrior goddess, exemplifies Strength’s themes of courage, resilience, and moral fortitude. Her triumphs against evil reflect Strength’s message of overcoming challenges through inner power and compassion. Sekhmet, the Egyptian lioness goddess, embodies the fierce and protective aspects of Strength, symbolizing the controlled use of power and the protection of the innocent.

IX – The Hermit: Cronus and Buddha

Cronus, the Greek Titan god of time, echoes The Hermit’s themes of introspection and the passage of time. His reign during the Golden Age aligns with The Hermit’s wisdom and the search for truth. Buddha, in his quest for enlightenment, represents The Hermit’s journey inward for understanding and the importance of solitude and self-reflection.

X – Wheel of Fortune: Fortuna and Lakshmi

Fortuna, the Roman goddess of luck and fate, perfectly embodies the Wheel of Fortune’s fluctuating nature. Her control over fortune’s rise and fall mirrors the card’s message of cycles and change. Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity, also aligns with the Wheel of Fortune, representing the ebb and flow of life’s fortunes and the grace that comes with abundance and loss.

XI – Justice: Themis and Ma’at

Themis, the Greek Titaness of divine law and order, embodies Justice’s themes of balance, fairness, and truth. Her role in maintaining cosmic order aligns with Justice’s message of karmic balance and ethical action. Ma’at, the Egyptian goddess of truth and balance, also reflects Justice’s principles, symbolizing the universal order and the moral integrity required to maintain it.

XII – The Hanged Man: Odin and Quetzalcoatl

Odin, particularly in his quest for wisdom on Yggdrasil, mirrors The Hanged Man’s themes of sacrifice and enlightenment. His willingness to endure pain for knowledge aligns with The Hanged Man’s message of looking at things from a new perspective. Quetzalcoatl, the Mesoamerican feathered serpent deity, represents the transformation and renewal aspects of The Hanged Man, emphasizing the card’s theme of letting go and evolving.

XIII – Death: Hades and Kali

Hades, the Greek god of the underworld, aligns with Death’s themes of endings, transitions, and the subconscious. His domain over the afterlife reflects the card’s message of transformation and the inevitability of change. Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction and rebirth, embodies Death’s aspects of clearing away the old to make way for the new, symbolizing the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

XIV – Temperance: Iris and He Xiangu

Iris, the Greek goddess of the rainbow and messenger of the gods, represents Temperance’s themes of balance, moderation, and harmony. Her role as a bridge between heaven and earth aligns with Temperance’s message of finding the middle path. He Xiangu, one of the Eight Immortals in Chinese mythology, embodies the harmony and equilibrium of Temperance, symbolizing spiritual ascension and the blending of dualities.

XV – The Devil: Pan and Loki

Pan, the Greek god of the wild, reflects The Devil’s themes of materialism, desire, and the shadow self. His association with nature’s untamed aspects aligns with The Devil’s message of understanding and integrating one’s primal desires. Loki, the Norse trickster god, embodies The Devil’s aspects of temptation, illusion, and the need to confront one’s own trickery and deceit.

XVI – The Tower: Zeus and Shiva

Zeus, particularly in his role as the god who wields lightning, mirrors The Tower’s themes of sudden change and upheaval. His power to disrupt aligns with The Tower’s message of destruction as a precursor to renewal. Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction and transformation, represents The Tower’s catastrophic yet cleansing energy, emphasizing the card’s theme of breaking down structures to rebuild anew.

XVII – The Star: Asteria and Nüwa

Asteria, the Greek Titaness of falling stars and nighttime prophecies, reflects The Star’s themes of hope, inspiration, and guidance. Her connection to the stars aligns with The Star’s message of renewal and the light that guides through darkness. Nüwa, the Chinese creator goddess associated with the sky, embodies The Star’s aspects of restoration and hope, symbolizing the healing and rejuvenation that follows turmoil.

XVIII – The Moon: Artemis and Tsukuyomi

Artemis, the Greek goddess of the moon and the hunt, embodies The Moon’s themes of intuition, the subconscious, and the hidden. Her domain over the night aligns with The Moon’s message of exploring the depths of the subconscious and navigating through uncertainty. Tsukuyomi, the Shinto god of the moon, represents The Moon’s aspects of mystery, illusion, and the complexity of perception.

XIX – The Sun: Apollo and Amaterasu

Apollo, the Greek god of the sun, music, and prophecy, reflects The Sun’s themes of vitality, success, and clarity. His bright and shining nature aligns with The Sun’s message of positivity, joy, and enlightenment. Amaterasu, the Shinto sun goddess, embodies The Sun’s life-giving energy, symbolizing happiness, prosperity, and the dispelling of shadows.

XX – Judgement: Gabriel and Yama

Gabriel, the Abrahamic angel of revelation, represents Judgement’s themes of awakening, renewal, and higher calling. His role in delivering divine messages aligns with Judgement’s theme of rebirth and answering one’s life purpose. Yama, the Hindu and Buddhist god of death, mirrors Judgement’s aspect of karmic reckoning, symbolizing the evaluation of one’s actions and the transition to a new phase of existence.

XXI – The World: Gaia and Vishnu

Gaia, the Greek personification of the Earth, embodies The World’s themes of completion, unity, and fulfillment. Her representation of the nurturing earth aligns with The World’s message of wholeness and the successful culmination of a journey. Vishnu, the Hindu preserver god, reflects The World’s encompassing energy of maintenance and balance, symbolizing the harmony of the universe and the achievement of cosmic order.

Major Arcana CardAssociated Deities
0 – The FoolDionysus (Greek), Inari (Shinto)
I – The MagicianHermes (Greek), Thoth (Egyptian)
II – The High PriestessSelene (Greek), Hecate (Greek)
III – The EmpressDemeter (Greek), Freyja (Norse)
IV – The EmperorZeus (Greek), Odin (Norse)
V – The HierophantPope (Christianity), Vedic Brahman (Hindu)
VI – The LoversAphrodite (Greek), Rati (Hindu)
VII – The ChariotAres (Greek), Freyr (Norse)
VIII – StrengthDurga (Hindu), Sekhmet (Egyptian)
IX – The HermitCronus (Greek), Buddha (Buddhism)
X – Wheel of FortuneFortuna (Roman), Lakshmi (Hindu)
XI – JusticeThemis (Greek), Ma’at (Egyptian)
XII – The Hanged ManOdin (Norse), Quetzalcoatl (Mesoamerican)
XIII – DeathHades (Greek), Kali (Hindu)
XIV – TemperanceIris (Greek), He Xiangu (Chinese)
XV – The DevilPan (Greek), Loki (Norse)
XVI – The TowerZeus (Greek), Shiva (Hindu)
XVII – The StarAsteria (Greek), Nüwa (Chinese)
XVIII – The MoonArtemis (Greek), Tsukuyomi (Shinto)
XIX – The SunApollo (Greek), Amaterasu (Shinto)
XX – JudgementGabriel (Abrahamic), Yama (Hindu/Buddhist)
XXI – The WorldGaia (Greek), Vishnu (Hindu)

Deities Associated with the Minor Arcana in Tarot

The Minor Arcana of the tarot deck, while often seen as less grandiose than the Major Arcana, hold deep symbolic meanings and connections to various deities across different mythologies.

In this exploration, we’ll delve into the deities linked with each suit of the Minor Arcana – Cups, Pentacles, Swords, and Wands – and discover the rich tapestry of divine symbolism they encompass.

Cups: Aphrodite and Yemaya

Deities of Emotion and Intuition

  • The suit of Cups, associated with the element of water, is connected to the realm of emotions, relationships, and intuition. Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, embodies the Cups’ themes of emotional depth, romantic connections, and the joys and sorrows of love. Her influence is evident in the nurturing and healing aspects of the Cups.
  • Yemaya, the Yoruba goddess of the ocean and motherhood, also aligns with the Cups’ energy. Her dominion over the seas symbolizes the depth of emotions and the unconscious, reflecting the intuitive and empathetic qualities of this suit.

Pentacles: Demeter and Cernunnos

Deities of Materiality and Nature

  • The Pentacles are linked to the element of Earth and symbolize material aspects of life such as wealth, health, and nature. Demeter, the Greek goddess of the harvest, resonates with the Pentacles’ themes of abundance, nourishment, and care for the physical body and the earth.
  • Cernunnos, the Celtic horned god of nature, embodies the Pentacles’ connection to the physical world, reflecting themes of natural cycles, prosperity, and earthly wisdom. His presence in the Pentacles speaks to our deep connection with the land and the need to live in harmony with the natural world.

Swords: Athena and Oya

Deities of Intellect and Change

  • The Swords, representing the element of Air, deal with the realm of the mind, including intellect, communication, and conflict. Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and strategic warfare, perfectly embodies the Swords’ attributes of mental clarity, strategy, and the pursuit of truth.
  • Oya, the Yoruba Orisha of winds, tempests, and transformation, reflects the dynamic and sometimes tumultuous nature of the Swords. She symbolizes the power of change, the necessity of challenges for growth, and the swift nature of thought and communication.

Wands: Brigid and Surya

Deities of Creativity and Vitality

  • The suit of Wands, linked to the element of Fire, represents creativity, action, and ambition. Brigid, the Celtic goddess of the hearth, smithing, and poetry, captures the essence of the Wands’ fiery energy. Her association with creativity, inspiration, and the forge parallels the themes of personal power and creation found in the Wands.
  • Surya, the Hindu sun god, also resonates with the Wands’ vibrancy. His energy symbolizes vitality, clarity of purpose, and the life-giving force of the sun, echoing the themes of ambition, enthusiasm, and the drive to action that characterize the Wands.
Minor Arcana SuitAssociated Deities
CupsAphrodite (Greek), Yemaya (Yoruba)
PentaclesDemeter (Greek), Cernunnos (Celtic)
SwordsAthena (Greek), Oya (Yoruba)
WandsBrigid (Celtic), Surya (Hindu)

Each Minor Arcana suit’s connection with specific deities deepens our understanding of their meanings, providing a rich narrative framework for interpreting the cards in a reading.

These divine associations offer insights into our daily lives, reflecting the interplay of spiritual influences in our emotional, material, mental, and creative endeavors.

Understanding these connections can enhance both the reading experience and our personal journey, linking the wisdom of the tarot with the timeless stories and lessons of these powerful deities.