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Symbol Meanings of the Tarot (S - Z)

Welcome to the continuation of symbol meanings for the Tarot.

Here you will find Tarot symbols beginning with the letters S - Z.

Important Note: The symbols and symbol meanings selected for the creation of these pages were taken from the traditional Rider-Waite Tarot deck (permission notice listed on home page). Other deck renditions (such as the Morgan-Greer which is used to depict the card meanings on this website) may not display the same symbols as the Rider-Waite. For example, the Angel symbol is shown on the Rider-Waite "Wheel" card, but is not shown on the Morgan-Greer rendition.

Other Tarot symbol meanings pages on this site:

Tarot Symbols A - C

Tarot Symbols D - K

Tarot Symbols L - R

The following are symbol meanings of the Tarot beginning with the letters S - Z. Click on the images or links to view cards with these symbols as well as card meanings.


click for a larger view of all cards with the Scale symbol

Scale: As one would guess, scale symbol meanings deal with of equality and balance. It is a perfect visual measure when something is "out of whack." The scale in all its precision shows us which part of our life is out of balance - when the scale is tipped more to one side we know we need to take some corrective action.

Click here to view all Rider-Waite Tarot cards that have the Scale symbol.

Click the links below to go to each of the Tarot card meanings that have an Scale Symbol.

Justice / 6 of Pentacles


click for a larger view of all cards with the Scroll symbol

Scroll: The scroll symbol meanings deal with knowledge that is carried down from era to era. Scrolls are symbols of ancient wisdom and sacred knowledge - usually of a secretive nature. When the scroll flashes at you in a reading it is time to get in touch with the facts that are hidden - get to the source of knowledge and educate yourself about what is going on in the situation pertaining to the reading.

Click here to view all Rider-Waite Tarot cards that have the Scroll symbol.

Click the links below to go to each of the Tarot card meanings that have an Scroll Symbol.

High Priestess


click for a larger view of all cards with the Shield symbol

Shield: Shield symbol meanings deal with defense, protection and covering up. Featured in the Empress card, the shield is an unlikely symbol for a card exhibiting virtues of love and abundance. However, even in the midst of the most happy and abundant times the shield is a message for us to protect ourselves from over-indulgence and is a signal for us to make preparations to shield or protect that which we value most (family, friends, future, etc.).

Click here to view all Rider-Waite Tarot cards that have the Shield symbol.

Click the links below to go to each of the Tarot card meanings that have an Shield Symbol.

Empress


click for a larger view of all cards with the Ship symbol

Ship: Yes, of course ship symbol meanings deal with travel and journey's. However a commonly overlooked factor is the medium upon which they said - water - it deals with the deeper levels of the psyche and the subconscious. When Ships sail across your vision in a reading, take into consideration where your thoughts (psyche) are traveling - what kind of baggage (cargo) are you carrying around, and are you charting (navigating) out the best course for your thoughts and emotions?

Click here to view all Rider-Waite Tarot cards that have the Ship symbol.

Click the links below to go to each of the Tarot card meanings that have an Ship Symbol.

Death / 2 of Pentacles / King of Cups / 3 of Wands


click for a larger view of all cards with the Snail symbol

Snail: Snail symbol meanings deal with steady footing (snails being psuedo pods which actually means "false feet"), and stability. Snails carry their homes upon their backs which is symbolic of carrying our security in our hearts (security and happiness in this case is an inside job). Not only sure of foot snails are also symbols of slow (but steady) progress. Featured in the 9 of Pentacles, we understand that stability and success do not appear overnight. Rather, success usually comes at a snail's pace.

Click here to view all Rider-Waite Tarot cards that have the Snail symbol.

Click the links below to go to each of the Tarot card meanings that have an Snail Symbol.

9 of Pentacles


click for a larger view of all cards with the Snake symbol

Snake: Snake symbol meanings deal with renewal, rebirth and development primarily because they shed their skin during each cycle in growth. Snakes are also cold-blooded which means they depend on their environment for their body temperature. This is a symbolic message that we must be adaptive, flexible and adjust as best we can to our circumstances. When the snake slithers across the cards into our consciousness way may need to ask ourselves if we need to shed a part of ourselves to allow further growth, or perhaps we need to be a little more flexible in situations at work or home.

Click here to view all Rider-Waite Tarot cards that have the Snake symbol.

Click the links below to go to each of the Tarot card meanings that have an Snake Symbol.

Magician / Lovers / Wheel of Fortune / 7 of Cups


click for a larger view of all cards with the Snow symbol

Snow: Featured on the 5 of Pentacles, we can derive from this imagery that snow symbol meanings deal with being "out in the cold," isolation, and exposure to harsh conditions. However, anyone who has stepped outside just after a fresh snow can tell you the beauty is stunning. Clean, crystally, and quiet. These are also symbolic qualities of snow. When the flakes fall on your eyes in a reading, keep in mind the snow is needed in order to have spring flowers. Also remember that tribulation is a matter of perspective - we can either see the snow as isolation or we can see it as a fresh clean blanket - waiting for us to make a few snow angels in it.

Click here to view all Rider-Waite Tarot cards that have the Snow symbol.

Click the links below to go to each of the Tarot card meanings that have an Snow Symbol.

5 of Pentacles


click for a larger view of all cards with the Sphinx symbol

Sphinx: Symbolic meaning of the sphinx deals with guardianship and protection of the secrets of life. Long considered to be a tyrant in myth , the sphinx was said to incessanty provoke passersby with riddles; only those who could answer their riddles were allowed entrance into the gates they guard. The sphinx's physical construct (part man part beast) is also symbolic of the senses. When the sphinx paws its way into our attention in a reading we are called to answer a riddle - using all of our senses and determing the secrets that may be holding us back.

Click here to view all Rider-Waite Tarot cards that have the Sphinx symbol.

Click the links below to go to each of the Tarot card meanings that have an Sphinx Symbol.

Chariot / Wheel of Fortune


click for a larger view of all cards with the Staff symbol

Staff: Here we are recognizing staff's found in the cards that are specifically used for support by the archetypes in the cards. With this parameter in mind, staff symbol meanings deal with support, stability, direction, and single-ness of purpose. The staff is also a symbolic representation of the numeral one, and as such is carries a meaning of new beginnings, first-attempts, and again, single-mindedness in thought as well as deed.

Click here to for full article on staff symbolism in Tarot.

Click the links below to go to each of the Tarot card meanings that have an Staff Symbol.

Magician / Emperor / Chariot / Hermit / 8 of Cups


click for a larger view of all cards with the Stained Glass symbol

Stained Glass: Stained glass is symbolic of perception and how our vision (mental, phsyical and spiritual) can change according to our perception and beliefs. The art of staining glass reaches back to ancient alchemy when certain compounds (i.e.: antimony windows) were mixed with glass to bring about transformational effects upon the viewer. When you seem to be looking through the stained glass windows of your reading, it's a sign to begin getting honest about your perception of the situation. Are you seeing things clearly, or looking at things through "rose colored glasses?"

Click here to view all Rider-Waite Tarot cards that have the Stained Glass symbol.

Click the links below to go to each of the Tarot card meanings that have an Stained Glass Symbol.

5 of Pentacles / 4 of Swords


click for a larger view of all cards with the Star symbol

Star: As long as we have been able to look up at the stars, we have been looking to them for illumination, direction and guidance. Thus the star symbol meanings deal with shedding light on our lives, offering us navigation when we need it, and providing consistency when our lives seem to be topsy-turvey. When the stars in the cards featured below wink at us in a reading you know it is time to look to a higher source for direction, and realize the starry light within our hearts can also illuminate our way.

Click here to view all Rider-Waite Tarot cards that have the Star symbol.

Click the links below to go to each of the Tarot card meanings that have an Star Symbol.

Empress / Chariot / Star


click for a larger view of all cards with the Sun symbol

Sun: So much is dependent upon the existence of the sun, its symbolic meanings are endless. Primarily, the sun is a symbol of expansion, growth, energy, and creativity. When the sun shines upon your consciousness in a reading, pay attention to its position in the sky (setting, mid-day, or rising) as its position is also symbolic. Rising the sun is a symbol of new beginings, setting indicates and ending or transition and mid-day indicates going full force in creative endeavors.

Click here to view all Rider-Waite Tarot cards that have the Sun symbol.

Click the links below to go to each of the Tarot card meanings that have an Sun Symbol.

Death / Temperance / Sun / Fool


click for a larger view of all cards with the Sunflower symbol

Sunflower: If you've ever observed this happy flower, you've noticed that its head always looks to the sun. This is the message of the sunflower "always look to the light" for the answers and guidance you seek. When the sunflower nods at us in a reading it is time to look away from the dark (negativity) and look to the light (positive) side of things. It sounds cliche, but keeping on the "sunny side" as the sunflower does assures a more sunny disposition.

Click here to view all Rider-Waite Tarot cards that have the Sunflower symbol.

Click the links below to go to each of the Tarot card meanings that have an Sunflower Symbol.

Sun / Queen of Wands


click for a larger view of all cards with the Tomb symbol

Tomb: Tomb symbol meanings deal with laying to rest the thoughts and things that no longer serve us. When we see the tomb in our readings we must not misunderstand the message. This symbol has very little to do with physical death. Rather, it deals with coming out of poorly suited mind-sets and freeing ourselves from tomb-like belief systems. Often this period of "coming out" occur after much time of stagnation - another facet of the tomb - where we are once interred or encased for a time, we evolve from our tomb into a new phase of understanding.

Click here to view all Rider-Waite Tarot cards that have the Tomb symbol.

Click the links below to go to each of the Tarot card meanings that have an Tomb Symbol.

Judgment / 4 of Swords


click for a larger view of all cards with the Triangle symbol

Triangle: In Ancient Egypt the Triangle was seen as a symbol of intelligence and indicated the capacity for love. The Buddhists utilze this geometric pattern in the Sri Yantra mandala as a tool to invoke the energy of love. The triangle also deals with the love represented in the mother, father, child union as well as the holy trinity. Additionally, this symbol has long been recognized as a sign of balance and creativity.

Click here to view all Rider-Waite Tarot cards that have the Triangle symbol.

Click the links below to go to each of the Tarot card meanings that have an Triangle Symbol.

Temerpance


click for a larger view of all cards with the Wall symbol

Wall: See also "brick wall" in the symbol meanings (A-C) page. Simply put, walls deal with separating one area from another. When we have a need to keep one area of our lives separate from another, the walls in the cards show themselves to us in a reading. Take a close look at the context of the "wall cards" in relation to the rest of the reading - what are the cards indicating you separate? Walls also deal with the need for privacy, this may be another consideration in your reading.

Click here to view all Rider-Waite Tarot cards that have the Wall symbol.

Click the links below to go to each of the Tarot card meanings that have an Wall Symbol.

King of Pentacles / 2 of Wands


click for a larger view of all cards with the Waterfall symbol

Waterfall: Water is a symbol of emotion and the subconscious. Therefore, waterfalls deal with the constant running and flowing movement of our emotions and the stirring movements of our deeper minds. Observing the nature of waterfalls, we see they typically move at such a rushing speed that they tend to take everything with them in their path - rocks, trees, any debris in the midst of a waterfall is subject to its pull. This is symbolic that we must not let our emotions run away from us. Further, the waterfall leads to a plummeting drop and a crashing end against jagged rocks. This is a lesson that when we are not in control of our emotions and thoughts then they control us - potentially leading us down a rocky demise.

Click here to view all Rider-Waite Tarot cards that have the Waterfall symbol.

Click the links below to go to each of the Tarot card meanings that have an Waterfall Symbol.

High Priestess / Empress / Queen of Swords


click for a larger view of all cards with the Wolf symbol

Wolf: The wolf is a symbol of our primal urges and bears its teeth at our every attempt to be conventional. As a member of the canine family, the wolf is also a symbol of loyalty and intelligence. When the wolf comes howling out of the cards in a reading, it is time to re-focus on our core desires and compare them with our loyalties. Simply put - are we being true to our core self or are we trying to "fit in" or measure up with the image we feel we must sustain in the societal view.

Click here to view all Rider-Waite Tarot cards that have the Wolf symbol.

Click the links below to go to each of the Tarot card meanings that have an Wolf Symbol.

Moon / Wheel of Fortune


click for a larger view of all cards with the Wreath symbol

Wreath: Typically wreaths of laurel are depicted on the various feature cards (listed below). Wreaths of this type have long been a symbol of victory ever since the first ancient games upon mount Olympus where the victor was crowned in laurels (hence the term "resting on his laurels" comes when one relies on his/her credentials rather than further drive/action). A sweet smelling laurel wreath is also a symbol of protection, peace and purification and is associated with the god Apollo. It is a message that the favor of the Gods is upon us, and that we shall be the victor in this stage of our lives.

Click here to view all Rider-Waite Tarot cards that have the Wreath symbol.

Click the links below to go to each of the Tarot card meanings that have an Wreath Symbol.

Fool / World / 6 of Wands / 7 of Cups


This concludes the symbol meanings for symbols beginning with the letter S through Z. Please continue your journey through the symbol meanings by visiting my other symbol pages below referenced.


For other Tarot symbol meanings pages on this site, simply follow these links:


Tarot Symbols A - C


Tarot Symbols D - K


Tarot Symbols L - R



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