Take a Tarot Test! (2) Creatures

In a tarot deck, creatures abound. Without looking through your deck, can you make a list of all the cards that have mammals, sea creatures, amphibians, reptiles, insects? How about a snail?

Click “Read the rest” to see which cards in the Rider-Waite deck have these creatures and what they symbolize.

See suggested symbolism below list of cards and animals.

The Fool—dog, and a bird on his sack.
The Magician—Is that a bird on the corner edge of his table?
The Emperor—rams
The Lovers—serpent
Strength—lion
Wheel of Fortune—serpent/snake
Death—horse
The Star—bird
The Moon—dog, wolf, crayfish
The Sun—horse
The World—bull, lion, eagle

Ace of Cups—dove
Two of Cups—caduceus (serpents and lion’s head)
Seven of Cups—serpent
Page of Cups—fish
Knight of Cups—horse, fish
Queen of Cups—fish
King of Cups—fish

Six of Wands—horse
Page of Wands—salamanders
Knight of Wands—horse, salamanders
Queen of Wands—cat, lions
King of Wands—salamanders, lions

Page of Swords—birds
Knight of Swords—horse, birds, butterflies
Queen of Swords—butterflies, bird
King of Swords—butterflies, birds

Nine of Pentacles—falcon, snail
Ten of Pentacles—dogs
Knight of Pentacles—horse
Queen of Pentacles—rabbit, ram
King of Pentacles—bulls

Animal Symbolism

A fantastic book on tarot symbolism is Sandra A. Thomson’s, Pictures from the Heart: A Tarot Dictionary. I also recommend her book, Cloud Nine: A Dreamer’s Dictionary. Another great general resource for studying symbols is Barbara Walker’s book, The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols & Sacred Objects.

bird—freedom, messages (see dove and falcon below)

bull—zodiac sign for Taurus, masculine energy, mastery

butterfly—metamorphosis, transformation, change, psyche/soul

cat—feminine energy, intuition, hidden wisdom, witchcraft

crayfish—subconscious emotions and motivations (in The Moon the subconscious is coming to the surface)

dog—domesticated, tame, protector, companion, loyalty

dove—peace, love, Holy Spirit

eagle—omen, spirit, leadership

falcon—discipline, enlightenment, taming instincts

fish—imagination, spirituality, unconscious, emotions

horse—journey of the soul

lion—sun, strength, leadership, healing, zodiac sign for Leo

rabbit/hare—fertility, earth

ram—zodiac sign for Aries, masculine energy

salamander—fire (Tail-eating salamanders are known as ouroboros and symbolize the coming together of opposites, self-sufficiency, and cycles.)

serpent/snake—temptation, knowledge, transformation

snail—slowly but surely making progress towards a goal, unhurried

wolf—instinct, aggression

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