Welcome! My name is Professor Swithun, and I am your new professor of Divination here at Hogwarts is Here. Professor Cattercorn formerly led this course; therefore, you will find references to her in Years Two through Five. You may notice some minor edits here and there, but rest assured that you will not be held responsible for any of these small changes on your assignments and exams. I will strive to keep this transition as cohesive as possible. I have exciting plans for Years Six and Seven! I’m working hard to have Year Six prepared and published as soon as possible.


My lovely group of PAs and I are happy to answer any questions or concerns about the course. If you have a question about grading, please send an owl that includes the grade ID for that assignment and why you are appealing. Please be respectful (and remember that we are all volunteers!)


If you have any areas of interest related to Divination that you’d like to learn more about in the upcoming curriculum, now is your chance to voice your ideas! I love to hear from students, and questions, constructive comments, and suggestions are all welcome. My office door is always open to accept owls.


See you in class!



(updated 01/18/2022)

Lesson 6) The Minor Arcana

As the students enter the room, Professor Cattercorn is not anywhere to be seen.  Her desk is uncharacteristically cleaned and hushed whispers ponder her whereabouts.  Just as the bell chimes for the start of the lesson, Professor Cattercorn comes from the back room, dimming lights as she goes and sits on the edge of her desk.

Welcome, welcome! So lovely to see you all, I do hope you are well! Today we will be discussing the Minor Arcana, quite a misleading name as the Minor Arcana contains 56 cards, many more than the Major Arcana! There are a lot of cards to discuss, but rather than bombard you with a multitude of card meanings, I will instead focus only on a few cards from a single suit. This will mean you will need to research the cards yourself, in your own time. Luckily, today also contains our only research assignment for Divination 201, and your personal research quest will be most beneficial to this assignment. With time and practice I know you will learn all of the cards, however there is no rush! On your desk, you will find a wide representation of these cards, please look, admire and acknowledge the selection you have.

What is the Minor Arcana?
As we have discussed, the Minor Arcana is divided into four suits: wands, swords, cups, and pentacles. The aforementioned suits represent different aspects of everyday life as well as temporary situations. Events represented by these cards in your readings tend to occur or resolve fairly quickly. Below you will find the same chart that was in Lesson Three. Today we will be explaining it in more detail and going in depth into a selection of cards, the rest you will be researching for your homework.


























Wands is a suit that often represents actions, similar to how we use our wands to enact magic. Its associated element and realm help us to remember this by relating back to it. It relates to the fire within all of us that fuels us. Wands are our own personal spirit, the things within us that gives us strength and hope to continue on. This suit often will show us things that give us mental and physical willpower, point that we may need to strengthen our willpower, or show us that we may be facing a test of willpower soon. There are many different possibilities, though, so please remember to always keep an open mind when doing a reading. When in reference to a significator (a card that represents a person), wands tend to represent people born under a fire sign. These are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.

Pentacles is a suit of money and wealth. A trick to remember this is to note the round, coin-like shapes that bring to mind various types of currency from all over the world. If you find your reading is filled with pentacles, this could be pointing to a sudden influx of money, that you are currently facing a time in which you do not have a lot of money, or could even reference that you may find yourself being too greedy. Because of pentacles’ association with money and the Earth, they also often refer to the physical world, or the mundane. Pentacles tend to represent people born under an earth sign. These are Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn.

Cups is a suit of emotion. Emotions ebb and flow like the water of a river or ocean. Your emotions often stem from your heart. Cups is a suit of being in touch with your inner self so that you can truly understand what you are feeling. An abundance of cups may show that you need to get in touch with your emotions more, that you are extremely emotional, or that an emotional situation may be arising soon in your life. Cups tend to represent people born under a water sign. These are Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces.

Swords is a suit of logic. It is often found that cups and swords do not go together well. Swords are the exact opposite of cups. They are a suit of sound facts and thoughts of the mind. People who are guided by swords want to know that when they go into a situation, they have all the facts so that they can be successful in their endeavors. Finding a lot of swords in your reading may mean that you are in a situation in which you must use logic, you are dictated by logic in your everyday lives, or you need to work on building more logical thoughts and reasons for things. Swords tend to represent people born under an air sign. These are Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.

Number and Faces
Each number or court card (page, king, etc.) also holds a certain type of meaning across the four suits. Aces or ones often represent a beginning, the start of something new or the start of a journey. It is the first card in the suit and thus it is the beginning of the suit.Twos represent unease and restlessness. Things are happening and you want to be out there in them, even though you may find yourself unable to be. Threes represent strength you already have. Sometimes this can be strength you may not realize you have but having to call upon it. Fours are cards of harmony and togetherness. Things are running smoothly. Fives are the opposite, being cards of strife and discord. Sixes, however, are cards of great victory and things overcome. Sevens represent obstacles that may be coming your way. Eights are the card of activity, be it mental or physical, yourself or those around you. Nines are cards of recuperation and taking time to yourself. Tens are cards of burden and things being put upon you that you may not want. Pages (also known as Knaves) are receivers of messages, often secret and important. Knights are defenders, naturally, but can also speed you on your journeys. Queens embody emotional maturity, self-control (as well as controlling events around you), and composure. Finally, the kings of the deck imply intensity, leadership, and the final say.

The Suit of Pentacles
For the rest of class, we will be looking at a suit in particular -- pentacles in this case -- and examining how the general meaning and implications of pentacles meshes with the general meanings ascribed to various numbers and faces of the deck to create much more detailed, nuanced readings. Before we do so, we will have a quick refresher on pentacles to get you in the mindset, as well as cover a few more details and connections common to this suit.

Pentacles: A Deeper Look
Located within the Minor Arcana, many believe the suit of pentacles is representative of money. Also known as the suit of coins, each card usually includes the image of a pentacle (that is a five pointed star) on the card face, however in some decks no pentacle is present. Despite the connection to money and wealth, the suit of pentacles is actually representative of prosperity and the search for monetary well being, not just increasing your balance at Gringotts!  Whilst prosperity is the most important aspect associated with the cards that comprise the suit, we can also see a connection to ideas of physical comfort, security, stability, and growth in one’s situation. In some circumstances, this stability and security may be mistaken for boredom at the monotony of life. Overall, I see the suit of pentacles as representative of a life of stability be it financial, spiritual, or emotional, and a means by which to live a life to its absolute potential. Ultimately, the suit of pentacles is associated with the element of earth, a very common element in many divinatory methods.

As with the other suits, the suit of pentacles contains fourteen cards. As stated earlier, each card usually includes an image of a pentacle somewhere on the card face and is typically the focal point of the image. Whilst the depiction of the suit of pentacles on the handout includes visual representations, it must be reiterated that tarot decks differ in artistic representations though not in meaning. For example, our handout shows the two of pentacles as two floating balls bearing pentacles whereas the following card clearly depicts hands outstretched, offering them up. Therefore, I suggest familiarising yourself with a range of tarot decks until you find one which feels like a part of you, like another eye if you will.

Now, looking at your handout you can see a very basic explanation for each of our cards in the suit of pentacles. This is not an accident, I wish for you to research the suit yourself to better understand the various meanings attributed to each card. If I was to detail each card during class, we would be here past suppertime and obviously, this is not acceptable. Therefore, I will select my favourite five cards from the suit of pentacles to show you the level of research I will expect in your assignment for this lesson.  

The Ace of Pentacles:  
I personally like this card due to the fact it represents a new opportunity when in its upright state. This new professorship is a new opportunity, which is why it is no surprise that it turned up in a reading I did several weeks ago! In its reversed form -- remember, as we discussed in Lesson Three, “reversed” means that it is drawn upside down, and can have a multitude of implications for the card’s meaning -- the card represents a lack of thinking about the future or a missed opportunity.

The Three of Pentacles:

This card appeals to me due to the assigned meaning of working hard and being appreciated for it. This may mean achieving a mastery or perfection in a given field. In the reversed form, the three of pentacles represents a delay to achieving mastery or a delay in appreciation for work completed. Also, the reversed card may represent a disregard for the ability or teamwork involved in completing a task.


The Eight of Pentacles:

I consider this my teaching card. The eight of pentacles is known to represent an engagement in one’s education and possibly job opportunities to come. However, when reversed the eight of pentacles is representative of perfectionism or a lack of focus in education and life pursuits.

The Ten of Pentacles:

If you are looking for a card to show a new beginning, this is the card for you! The ten of pentacles represents the idea of a new beginning being good for your wellbeing. Be it a new financial endeavour, a new member of a family or a new job, seeing the ten of pentacles in a spread is quite a good omen. However when in a reversed state, the ten of pentacles depicts a weaker success, or at worst, financial loss or abandonment from the family unit.

The Queen of Pentacles:

The most motherly of the suit of pentacles, this card represents a “down-to-earth” nature and security in a situation. Though the queen of pentacles represents luxury, it also suggests the sharing of wealth. In a reversed state, the queen of pentacles shows imbalance in a family or work situation, often through neglecting assigned duties.

Closing Time

Before you all go for the day, I’m sure you will have noticed that we only talked about one suit today, when there are four others! I have done this because you really don’t need me to stand over you and give you a lecture on every single card meaning. As has been touched on earlier, tarot decks frequently come with guidebooks. These guidebooks, though they differ in terms of nuances of meaning, are excellent resources. You can find an abbreviated guidebook here. This “cheat sheet” is from the Rider-Waite deck, which is  is the most common deck in the tarot world because it is so approachable for beginners, as I mentioned earlier in the year. If you use a different deck, that is absolutely fine, and please simply use your own guidebook, but if you do not have one, this can be a substitute! Use it well!

That concludes today's class. I hope you have enjoyed this look further into the world of tarot. Next lesson we will move on from looking at individual card meanings and instead look at other necessities of doing a reading. In closing, you have two assignments this week: a ten question quiz and a research project where I am asking you to research another selection of cards from the Minor Arcana. Do not fret, it is not as hard as it seems!

Original lesson written by Professor Jessica Marrow
Image credits here


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