Tarot Treasure Hunt: Little-Noticed Symbols

One of the things I love about the tarot is that no matter how long I study the cards, I’m continually discovering new images, new interpretations, new revelations. It’s been nearly 13 years now of working with the cards, and I always feel a little taken aback when I suddenly see a new facet to a card I thought I knew so well. One part of me is in disbelief: how is it possible that I’ve gone all these years and never noticed that? The other part feels almost ashamed in a way, and ever more committed to taking more time to observe the cards in front of me, rather than simply going “Oh, yep, that one again. X, Y, Z.”

When we get into set routines in our readings and interpretations of the symbols and messages in the cards, that’s when it’s good for us to shake things up a bit. Buy a new deck, read a new book about tarot, or do an in-depth meditation on one particular card, without a reading attached to it. Anything that gets you to have a new approach and see things through beginner’s eyes again will help you deepen and enrich your practice.

So, in this spirit, join me on this tarot treasure hunt for the little-noticed symbols that I’ve recently discovered or that I find many readers have “a-ha” moments when they finally see them for the first time. Some of these are quite obscure, while others might jump out right away so that you’ll know immediately which card they refer to.

Grab your deck and let’s go! For this treasure hunt I’m using the standard Rider-Waite, and I’m limiting the cards to the minor arcana only, in this go-around. My next post will go into my interpretations for each of the symbols below, as well as reveal the cards where they’re found. In future hunts we’ll work with the majors as well.

Where in the tarot minor arcana will you find…

  • Butterflies on a throne?
  • A small snail crawling on the ground?
  • A brown rabbit?
  • Three cards of the same suit with three mountains (some may see as pyramids) in each?
  • Two cards from different suits with stained glass windows?
  • Two cards in which the figure in the card has their hand resting confidently on top of the pentacle?
  • A fish necklace?
  • A figure wearing one shoe and one boot?
  • A wand bolted down?
  • Two cards that have an arched bridge with two arched passages underneath?
  • A patchwork quilt with zodiac signs on it?
  • Two cards of the minor arcana whose figures have their hands forming a blessing similar to The Hierophant?
  • The only knight without a helmet?
  • Two black angels with disproportionately large wings?
  • Circus tents?
  • The moon?
  • Two cards showing balanced scales of justice?
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5 comments

  1. Ha ha! Your comment Spike, made me smile. No seriously it’s so crazy, that’s why I wanted to write this, because honestly I was just reading a new book and some of the comments the author made ended up pointing out things I’d honestly in 12 years never even noticed, and I felt shocked and sort of embarrassed, like, whoa, how did I ever miss that, like EVERY SINGLE TIME? I’m going to post all the “answers” today or tomorrow. 🙂

    • PS The book was “Tarot and The Tree of Life: Finding Everyday Wisdom in the Minor Arcana” by Isabel Radow Kliegman. I’ll probably post a review on it within the next week.

      • Ooh, I’ve had that book on my wishlist for a while now, I look forward to your review, it sounds a great read if it is revealing so much about the cards to you.

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