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How do Tarot Cards Correspond with Playing Cards?

I’m fascinated with the correspondences between tarot decks and other items such as playing cards (among other correspondences).  So I put together a brief article specifically about the suits.

I encourage you to check out this embedded video showing the Divine and Play Tarot.  It’s a nice little deck that can be used for tarot readings or for a night of poker. It was originally on Kickstarter and was created by Matt Green for delivery in August 2020. You can see the Kickstarter page here.

YouTube player

I’m a very informal person, so please do let me know in the YouTube comments if the video is TOO informal.  If it is, I would be happy to re-record the video.

I like this deck for several reasons, not the least of which is the size of the cards. They are easy to handle, shuffle, and use. 

After working with this deck, you will be able to perform divination using a regular deck of playing cards.  Of course, you won’t have the Major Arcana, but it is still exceptionally workable.

There isn’t really anything special about the Major Arcana cards in this deck, other than the fact that they are easily identifiable.  They have a thick black border around the image, so it is easy to remove those cards and work exclusively with the Minor Arcana.

As far as the suit correspondences – they make sense if you think about them a bit.

Think about the Suit of Swords, and what a sword actually is.  It is an implement / tool / weapon that has a sharp edge.  It has a specific purpose.  The playing suit correspondence is Spades.  A Spade is essentially a shovel, which is also a tool with a sharp flat edge for cutting into the earth and shoveling.  So that suit is an easy association.

The Suit of Wands – what is a Wand?  It is a magickal implement used for directing energy, usually but not always made of wood.  The corresponding playing card suit would obviously be Clubs.  Clubs are usually also made of wood and are usually used either for protection or as a weapon.  A Club could be defined as a length of wood, or a branch or twig or stick.  It could also be a Baton (which I believe is the corresponding suit in the Marseilles tarot, although I could be mistaken on that). 

The Suit of Cups have to do with emotions and feelings, both of which ebb and flow, depending upon the circumstances at any particular point in time.  Your Heart is the center of your emotions – it feels and fills and sinks and sings.  Your Heart expands and grows, or breaks, or is guarded – it has entirely to do with emotion.  Therefore, it makes sense that the corresponding playing card suit would be Hearts.

Finally, we have the Suit of Pentacles.  In the video, I mention that you may need to make an additional mental leap in order to find the corresponding suit to make sense, but now that I think about it, I’m not sure that’s actually true.  Pentacles are sometimes represented as the Suit of Coins.  Coins have value, are used for currency, are collected and traded.  Diamonds have value, can be used for currency, and are prized possessions that can be either collected for oneself or given as a gift.  So it isn’t as much of a leap as I originally thought to remember that the Suit of Pentacles equates to the Suit of Diamonds.

You can see a list of all of my tarot videos here, along with links to the individual YouTube videos. You may find it interesting to see how different authors illustrate the different suits. Some will make immediate sense, while others may seem like a bit of a stretch.

However, I’m here to help. I’ll be digging into additional information about tarot cards, so stay tuned for future articles!

Correspondence Article Tarot Suit Playing Cards