Tarot Card Meanings

Nine Lives Tarot is a colourful and life-affirming deck of cards, freely based on the Rider-Waite-Smith system. Let the characters introduce themselves to you: The descriptions below include keywords and a summary about each card, leaving room for your interpretation & intuition to complete the picture.

The Major Arcana

These cards often relate to BIG to changes, events and phases along the cyclic timeline of life, though can also represent important influences to do with aspects of Self.

Nine Lives Tarot by Annette Abolins

The Minor Arcana

The 56 cards in the Minor Arcana tend to relate more to everyday events; telling stories of the ups and downs in life explored within the four suits:

  • Cups – represent the emotional journey; steeped in water and expressed through heart, soul and emotion.
  • Pentacles – represent the journey of wealth, prosperity and generosity; grounded in earth, home and hearth.
  • Rods – represent our spiritual and creative journey; fuelled by fire and inspired by progress, impulse and new beginnings.
  • Swords – represent the journey of the mind; soaring through air, while gaining clarity, insight and understanding.

Note: There are no reverse meanings included with this deck, however, nothing prevents you from applying traditional reverse meanings, using your own method, or, perhaps consider reverse cards as an indication of a delay or challenge in the card meaning.

The Major Arcana

The Fool

0 The Fool

Youth | Beginnings | Innocence | Free spirit

The Fool dances along with a spring in her step, meeting the world with youthful exuberance and anticipation. In a reading, this card can represent new beginnings, your child persona and innocence. The free spirit of the Fool is all about walking the unmarked path with curious eyes and an open mind, a beckoning to follow your dreams and feel excitement with every step.

The Magician

I The Magician

Awareness | Action | Skill | Resourcefulness

The Magician represents creative power and your abundant ability to realise your desires. With a clear understanding of the laws of nature and the universal elements, the Magician is an encouragement to tap into your full potential: that your talents, capabilities and resources are all available to move towards growth and transformation.

The High Priestess

II The High Priestess

Knowing | Intuitive | Wise | Subconscious

The High Priestess represents inner wisdom, understanding and knowledge. Connected to the powers of ancient secrets and psychic awareness; she guards your subconscious mind with a key. Her role is to encourage you on the path to trusting your intuition and listening to your inner voice.

The Empress

III The Empress

Mother | Femininity | Fertility | Abundance

The Empress represents the creation of life and maternal influence, romance, starting a family and feminine qualities; encouraging you to live life through beauty and pleasure. The Empress is all about love and protecting those she cares for and may appear in a reading to remind you of the power of nurturing.

The Emperor

IV The Emperor

Authority | Foundation | Structure | Wisdom

The Emperor represents inner strength, built on a strong foundation of experience and knowledge. The Emperor’s strategic and analytical approach is about considering all aspects of a situation before jumping ahead. Hard work, discipline and self control govern the Emperor’s approach, invoking leadership and an understanding of rules and boundaries.

The Hierophant

V The Hierophant

Beliefs | Ceremony | Tradition | Knowledge

The Hierophant represents higher knowledge, gained through the understanding of traditions, beliefs and spiritual conformity. This card may appear when you seek guidance or clarity surrounding traditions, rituals and beliefs on your spiritual path.

The Lovers

VI The Lovers

Love | Union | Relationship | Trust

The Lovers represent relationships and choices and may point to a current connection, temptation or sacrifice.  In succumbing to love and passion, uniting fully with another, requires both vulnerability and trust, and no choice should be made ligthly.

The Chariot

VII The Chariot

Action | Driven | Determination | Focus

The Chariot represents skills and determination in overcoming conflict, moving forward and achieving goals. The wise passenger depicted in this card (cat) represents focus. Together they charge forth on the road to victory, with the knowledge that motivation and belief will get them across the line.


VIII Strength

Balance | Strength | Courage | Compassion

Strength represents inner power, courage and perseverance, recognising the need to both tame and accept your wild nature. Harmony and balance is the key for energy to prosper and grow. The symbolic duality of the human and animal self is one of companionship, gentleness and stability.

The Hermit

IX The Hermit

Wisdom | Solitude | Observation |

The Hermit represents the soul-searching aspect of your Self, understanding your need for reflection and contemplation. As you seek that quiet place within; the time to be still and observe will heighten your awareness and help prepare you for the road ahead.

Wheel of Fortune

X The Wheel of Fortune

Destiny | Cyclic | Consequence | Change | Luck

The Wheel of Fortune is a reminder of the cyclic nature (the ups and downs) of life. Enjoy the good times, appreciate them without taking anything for granted. Try to not become discouraged when times are low – as bad times are bound always to change for the better.


XI Justice

Justice | Fairness | Truth | Equality

Justice is about looking to the truth of the matter and striving for fairness in the decisions you make. Representing your ability to examine your conscience with a responsible eye and follow the just path without any illusions.

Hanged Man

XII The Hanged Man

Suspend | In-between | Surrender

The Hanged man encourages you to view your surroundings from a different angle, representing your need to put aside action and just be. To see possibilities and your way forward, sometimes you need to just let go, surrender and accept your current situation.


XIII Death

Endings | Transformation | Beginnings | Transition

Death represents the inevitability of change and transformation. This card does not speak of physical death, instead, it is a reminder of the cyclic laws in nature, where the ending of one phase is followed by a new beginning. Embrace the motion of change and discard what you no longer require before moving on.


XIV Temperance

Balance | Flow | Healing | Connection

Temperance represents the place of tranquil waters where you go to regain balance and find healing. Find time to soothe your inner soul and connect with your natural flow through peace and harmony.

The Devil

XV The Devil

Desire | Addiction | Lust | Illusion

The Devil represents your dark and untamed side, your innermost cravings and desires. This card can be a reminder that those chains are loose, and your perceived loss of freedom is all but an illusion designed to help you find balance in the land of lust and need.

The Tower

XVI The Tower

Change | Upheaval | Revelation

The Tower represents tumult, upheaval and sudden change. Some shifts in life need to be cataclysmic for a new path and direction to eventuate. The destruction of fire brings new growth; guiding you out of your comfort zone as you shed your illusions through a phase of change.

The Star

XVII The Star

Hope | Healing | Rejuvenation | Cleansing

The Star represents your clarity, assurance and rejuvenation. With insight and promise that all will be well; allow yourself to be immersed in harmony while knowing that your needs will be met.

The Moon

XVIII The Moon

Reflection | Emotion | Illusion | Intuition

The Moon represents your shadow persona, reflecting your dreams, memories, fears and anxieties. The Moon’s path of illusion is there when your imagination runs away, encouraging you to listen to your intuition and interpret what is real and what is not.

The Sun

XIX The Sun

Joy | Energy | Clarity | Vibrancy

The Sun represents your positive and vibrant life energy, shining on you with confidence and encouragement to see the bright side of life. Warmth and positivity will inspire and illuminate your path ahead.


XX Judgement

Transformation | Honesty | Re-birth | Absolution

Judgement welcomes you to a time of awakening on your life’s journey; reminding you to be true to yourself and release yourself from past wounds and challenges. Judgement represents your cleansing and self-evaluating aspect, encouraging freedom through awareness.

The World

XXI The World

Fulfilment | Achievement | Value | Integration

The World is your home in the Universe; where everything in the past, present and future comes together. Representing the promise of fulfilment through balance and unity, where beginnings and endings are an integral part of the cyclic nature of life.

The Minor Arcana


Ace of Cups

Ace of Cups

Love | Peace | Harmony | Compassion

Ace of Cups invites you to drink from the cup of emotion and embrace new beginnings of love, happiness and compassion. On the path of emotion, it all begins with love; and this Ace reminds you to consider the power of love and compassion in all aspects of life.

2 of Cups

II of Cups

Union | Communication | Sharing | Attraction

II of Cups represents the unity of two, through mutual respect, love and attraction. Seeking balance and harmony in the realm of emotions; where compromise and cooperation are vital for connections to form and deepen.

3 of Cups

III of Cups

Celebration | Friendship | Joy | Elation

III of Cups represents celebration of friendship and love; dance on the path of emotions and allow yourself to be swept to heights of elation and joy. Succumb to happiness and allow yourself time to be playful.

4 of Cups

IV of Cups

Acceptance | Contemplation | Development

IV of Cups encourages you to look within for acceptance and understanding as you withdraw to contemplate your situation in life. Open your eyes; appreciate and nurture what you have, and see the opportunities available to you.

5 of Cups

V of Cups

Regret | Solitude | Contemplation | Loss

V of Cups looks to the past, representing your regrets and sense of lost opportunities. At times it is hard to let go of the past, yet small steps will help you cross the bridge to a more positive state of mind. Be kind to yourself in this time of reflection; seek understanding and self-forgiveness.

6 of Cups

VI of Cups

Innocence | Trust | Childhood | Nostalgia

VI of Cups represent the trust, openness, generosity and forgiveness you discover as your emotional path turns away from past regrets. Nostalgia and happy childhood memories can remind you of all the things you are grateful for in life.

7 of Cups

VII of Cups

Illusion | Choice | Dreams | Imagination

VII of Cups represents your dreams, hopes and desires; the choices you see in your imagination and the diversification you see around you. A reflection of your sub-conscious potential, presenting you with illusions to free your imagination and see options in a new light.

8 of Cups

VIII of Cups

Direction | Action | Completion | Evolution

VIII of Cups represents the need to take action and move on to the next phase of your emotional journey. The road ahead is mountainous and will present you with challenges; yet the cyclic phases of the moon will guide you and shine a light on what you have already accomplished.

9 of Cups

IX of Cups

Accomplishment | Pleasure | Confidence | Satisfaction

IX of Cups represents your inner confidence, fulfilment and self value. The emotional path you have journeyed along has brought you to a place of integrity, knowledge and satisfaction; having survived and grown stronger through the many challenges you have faced along the way. Enjoy the good things life has to offer.

10 of Cups

X of Cups

Abundance | Whole | Harmony | Stability

X of Cups welcomes you to the stage of your emotional journey when you look back on what you have accomplished and fully enjoy the relationships you have formed with family and friends. This is a time to be happy and allow your heart to be filled with joy.

Page of Cups

Page of Cups

Dreamy | Youthful | Sensitive | Creative

Page of Cups – my carefree personality will inspire you to follow your dreams and believe in love and beauty. My intuitive, caring side will encourage you to dive deep in emotional waters; asking you to explore your feelings, your sensitivity and your artistic nature.

Knight of Cups

Knight of Cups

Perceptive | Charming | Volatile | Romantic

I am the Knight of Cups – my intuition, charm and magnetic personality serve me well on my quest to protect and conquer hearts. Despite my seductive ways, I a firm believer in honesty and emotional intelligence; and encourage you to explore your passionate side and be open to new and creative ideas.

King of Cups

King of Cups

Fatherly | Diplomatic | Communicative | Idealistic

I am the King of Cups – I am a good listener and have a deep emotional understanding of ebb and flow in human nature; confide in me and you will receive sensitive, diplomatic and honest advice. I encourage you to broaden your mind and expand your horizons while maintaining a balance between emotion and intellect.

Queen of Cups

Queen of Cups

Calm | Loving | Artistic | Knowing

Queen of Cups – I rule with instinct in the oceans of love and emotion. I am warm and caring at heart and intuitively understand your inner woes and desires. I encourage you to be compassionate towards those you love and generous with empathy; listen to your intuition and explore your creative nature.


Ace of Pentacles

Ace of Pentacles

Reward | Opportunity | Prosperity | Grounded

Ace of Pentacles represents new beginnings and opportunities in the fields of prosperity. A stable home, good health, financial wealth and improvements in your practical life.

2 of Pentacles

II of Pentacles

Balance | Contemplation | Preparation | Motion

II of Pentacles represents the need to strike a balance and be flexible on the path of prosperity. At the point of new beginnings, try to remain alert and adaptable as you juggle family, friends and your physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Be clear on your priorities and manage your time well.

3 of Pentacles

III of Pentacles

Apprentice | Concentration | Creation | Skill | Study

III of Pentacles represents learning and fulfilment and speaks to you in an encouraging voice about pursuing your dreams and following your
vision, through persistence, determination and effort.

4 of Pentacles

IV of Pentacles

Stability | Possession | Conservative | Hoarding

IV of Pentacles represents the stage on your path to prosperity where you hold fears that your hard earned financial stability may be diminished if you do not keep it close. Keep in mind the universal flow of give and take, where connecting and contributing to those around you will bring its own reward and sense of accomplishment.

5 of Pentacles

V of Pentacles

Isolation | Worry | Enabling | Fortitude

V of Pentacles represents material adversity, and the need for hope and acceptance. A reminder to not focus solely on material values; instead look to your inner values for answers on whether your convictions and beliefs marry with your current path.

6 of Pentacles

VI of Pentacles

Balance | Responsibility | Humanitarian | Sharing

VI of Pentacles may meet with you on your path to prosperity to remind you of the importance of giving and receiving. Strive for balance through your generosity and lending a hand to those less fortunate, yet remember to also ask for help when you are need.

7 of Pentacles

VII of Pentacles

Reflection | Reward | Nurture | Perseverance

VII of Pentacles represents the hard work and time you have invested in achieving long-term rewards. Take some time to reflect on your current situation and appreciate what you have achieved, before making preparations for your path ahead.

8 of Pentacles

VIII of Pentacles

Progress | Creativity | Innovation | Skill

VIII of Pentacles represents creative skill and attention to detail, having honed your skills (III of Pentacles) you are now all about executing your craft with elegance and quality. This card speaks to you about moving forward with purpose and a hard-working attitude, apply yourself and enjoy what you do.

9 of Pentacles

IX of Pentacles

Prosperity | Assurance | Refinement | Confidence

IX of Pentacles represents the self-confidence and freedom you experience at the point where you can truly appreciate and embrace what you have. While the falcons represent your ability to maintain your focus and vision, consider your direction and poise briefly before moving on.

10 of Pentacles

X of Pentacles

Stability | Celebration | Abundance | Loyalty

X of Pentacles represents the fruit of your hard work and achievements along the path of prosperity. A reminder of your commitment, focus and the strong foundations achieved through working together as a community. Enjoy the benefits, while reflecting on changes that will bring harmony and stability.

Page of Pentacles

Page of Pentacles

Innocent | Thoughtful | Resourceful

Page of Pentacles – I am a flower of nature and represent the desire to manifest dreams in the material world. I speak to you from a place of innocence where anything is possible; encouraging you to follow me on the path of study and curiosity. I also remind you of the importance of nurture and staying in touch with the earth.

Knight of Pentacles

Knight of Pentacles

Generous | Steadfast | Hard-working | Protective

Knight of Pentacles – I am fiercely protective and will do whatever it takes to ensure those I guard remain safe. I speak to you about being trustworthy, reliable and completing the task at hand; you can turn to me for advice on commitment and handling responsibility without complaints.

King of Pentacles

King of Pentacles

Security | Control | Discipline | Fatherly

King of Pentacles – I invite you to my kingdom of wealth, which I have achieved through determination and hard work. I speak to you of stability, responsibility and getting down to basics, while reminding you of the importance to fully enjoy the fruits of your efforts.

Queen of Pentacles

Queen of Pentacles

Practical | Nurturing | Motherly | Sensitive

Queen of Pentacles – I am resourceful and financially independent, yet also compassionate and nurturing by nature. I dote on those around me while maintaining a firm grip on the practicalities of life. You can come to me for advice on how to achieve calm and balance in your life.


Ace of Rods

Ace of Rods

Creativity | Direction | Passion | Energy

Ace of Rods speaks to the creative and fiery aspects of your personality, encouraging you to venture forward on your creative path with passion, energy and confidence.

2 of Rods

II of Rods

Progress | Future planning | Insight | Understanding

II of Rods reminds you of what has been, in preparation of what is to come. For knowing the past and understanding what you have in the present, will help you on your road into the future.

3 of Rods

III of Rods

Journey | Preparation | Expansion

III of Rods represents the stage of your spiritual & creative journey where you are expanding your horizons. Keep an open mind, accept advice and prepare for what lies ahead.

4 of Rods

IV of Rods

Growth | Fertility | Youthfulness | Celebration

IV of Rods invites celebration and delight in the moment; where life really is a happy dance. Representing your spontaneous and youthful side where embracing the joy of living is all about seizing the moment.

5 of Rods

V of Rods

Conflict | Action | Assertiveness

V of Rods fuels your passionate ideas and your desire to move ahead. When your creative ideas are in conflict with others, try to voice your opinion with confidence, while striving to find a positive outcome for all.

6 of Rods

VI of Rods

Achievement | Success | Self-confidence

VI of Rods rides home in victory, a representation of your past efforts and the rewards you currently reap. Rembember that while you may be victorious and deserving of your current success, it is wise to be both diplomatic and a good listener in preparation for what lies ahead.

7 of Rods

VII of Rods

Perseverance | Challenge | Courage | Determination

VII of Rods speaks to your courageous side in the face of ongoing challenges. While you cannot make the opposition go away, you can accept that as long as you stand up for yourself and move ahead with self-confidence; not every single battle needs to be won.

8 of Rods

VIII of Rods

Direction | Movement | Change

VIII of Rods stands with you on the path of creativity and spirituality at a point where your way ahead is clear. The struggles you have faced in the past have brought a clearer understanding of ‘where to from here’; revitalised you are ready to take flight.

9 of Rods

IX of Rods

Resilience | Protection | Trust in Self

IX of Rods reminds you that you do have what it takes to move forward. Despite the scars you acquired from the creative and spiritual path being rough at times, you are committed to your dreams and ongoing self-development.

10 of Rods

X of Rods

Achievement | Responsibility | Burden

X of Rods speaks of your achievements and the remarkable effort you have invested in getting to this point as the burden of your creative journey weighs you down. Even experience can be a burden to carry, and this may be the time when you need to retreat and recharge.

Page of Rods

Page of Rods

Intelligent | Adventurous | Resourceful

Page of Rods – I am clever, bright and full of youthful exuberance. I understand your restless nature and encourage you to express yourself and plunge into the adventures of life around you. With me by your side, you will find it hard to resist that creative spark.

Knight of Rods

Knight of Rods

Exuberant | Strong willed | Vibrant | Passionate

Knight of Rods – I charge forth into the world with purpose, passion and boundless energy. I speak to your fearless side, encouraging you to act now and think later. I don’t tend to plan ahead, yet my passionate insistence and charm, along with my impatient nature; promise plenty of excitement and action along the way.

King of Rods

King of Rods

Leader | Vision | Entrepreneur | Compassionate

King of Rods – I am a good listener and a natural leader. I represent your visions and your will to achieve long-term goals. I remind you to avoid distractions and stay focussed on your future direction; seize the opportunities and use your creative and spiritual talents to change the world.

Queen of Rods

Queen of Rods

Warmth | Vibrant | Motherly | Creative

Queen of Rods – strong, independent and highly creative. My energy, confidence and contagious optimism will inspire you. I speak to your warm and motherly side, while urging you to channel your energy, remain focussed, and accomplish what you set out to do.


Ace of Swords

Ace of Swords

Focus | Clarity | Insight | Truth

Ace of Swords represents mental clarity and power of mind, inviting you to open your eyes and see what lies beyond. The realm of the mind leaves no room for illusions, or bias… it only asks that you analyse the facts and honestly seek out the truth.

2 of Swords

II of Swords

Choice | Patience | Flow | Adaptation

II of Swords speaks of patience and trusting in your intuition. At times, the answers we seek lie outside the logical realm and require time, solace and assurance to discover. The blind-fold represents turning inward to find clarity and answers on the decisions you need to make.

3 of Swords

III of Swords

Separation | Rejection | Self-examination | Choice | Truth

III of Swords represents loneliness, rejection and heartache; yet reminds you to look to the heart of the matter. At times heartache comes from the truths we hold back from ourselves. Seek comfort, where pain is your vehicle for re-discovering your centre and moving forward with awareness and a lighter heart.

4 of Swords

IV of Swords

Contemplation | Recuperation | Perspective

IV of Swords represents the need for a time of recuperation and introspection. Follow that inner voice, and, while you rest, your intuition and dreams are set free to roam and broaden your perspective, as your strength is replenished.

5 of Swords

V of Swords

Action | Change | Standing firm | Belief

V of Swords represesnts standing firm and victorious having overcome the mountain of challenges against your beliefs. This card speaks of conquering demons within and without, reminding you of how quiet contemplation (IV Swords), direction and persistence brings you closer to your Self.

6 of Swords

VI of Swords

Motion | Guidance | Reparation | Transition

VI of Swords represents your sense of loss (of what was left behind), urging you to let go and look to the future where a new phase is about to begin. On your journey to calmer waters, a passage between two phases, aim to seek clarity and understanding through contemplating your past without regrets.

7 of Swords

VII of Swords

Choice | Impulsive | Duplicity | Deceptiveness

VII of Swords reminds you that things are not always what they seem and you often need to look in more than one direction, in order to find clarity in your choices and direction. Keep an eye out for the impulsive trickster, who is quick to take advantage of your mind on a whim.

8 of Swords

VIII of Swords

Illusion | Limitation | Confusion

VIII of Swords reminds that your inner sight will guide you on the right track. On the path of the mind at a point when your thoughts are in turmoil; when you are deluded into believing that you do not know the way forward, look within to see how easily those swords will free you from your bindings.

9 of Swords

IX of Swords

Avoidance | Suppression | Fears | Worry

IX of Swords represents the deep dark recesses of your mind, which you would rather not face. When the nightmares and anxieties keep you awake, try to face and understand the cause of your fears in order to ultimately free yourself of them.

10 of Swords

X of Swords

Defeat | Release | Renewal | Understanding

X of Swords represents a sense of defeat, pinned down by the mental challenges faced while travelling though the mind. Look to the dawning sunrise on the horizon, where there is acceptance, understanding and release. Ultimately, the path of the mind is not about conquering through conflict; but accepting and achieving unity with the laws of nature.

Page of Swords

Page of Swords

Insightful | Dreams | Curious | Energetic

Page of Swords – I am grounded yet prone to day-dreaming, and speak to you of the balance between fantasy and reality. I represent clarity and improvement with my perceptiveness and unique grasp on the cyclic laws of renewal in nature.

Knight of Swords

Knight of Swords

Conquering | Headstrong | Communicative

Knight of Swords – I am powerful and bursting with life and energy, I speak to your ambitions, determination and sheer strength to succeed. I make my moves in a calculated manner, enjoying the heat of the moment in both battle and lust. While my personality is headstrong and righteous, my quest is noble, and while on my path I ask you to abandon fear and strike forth.

King of Swords

King of Swords

Retrospective | Analytical | Intellectual | Compassionate

King of Swords – I rule with objectivity and fairness in mind, basing my decisions on logic, intellect, knowledge, and my ability to seek out the truth. I am a pillar of strength. When you turn to me for advice, I ask you to remain detached from the emotional aspects of life as I give you the impartial facts.

Queen of Swords

Queen of Swords

Wise | Analytical | Strong | Independent

Queen of Swords – I welcome you to my dominion of sharp wit and clear intellect. You will find me wise, perceptive, honest, and experienced in the ways of the world. I encourage you to speak your mind with candour and lack of pretence.