Tarot is a surface where we can reflect on some of life’s most tender questions and pregnancy and family planning are no exception. It is rich with symbolism for both the reader and the querent, drawing from metaphors of agriculture, bounty, and community care. From fertility questions to family expansion support, we are going to take a closer look at some supportive tarot cards to keep an eye out for in the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot deck. We will also establish an understanding of the four suits (Cups, Pentacles, Wands, and Swords) to gain deeper clarity in pregnancy readings and beyond. Whether you are on a family planning journey or simply curious about tarot cards that indicate pregnancy, this will serve as a guide through the land of tarot and fertility in all of its forms.
An Overview of Tarot Suits and Symbols
The Rider-Waite-Smith deck, first published in 1909, provides the foundation for the majority of modern tarot decks. While there are a multitude of other cartomancy systems available, we will be focusing on this beloved 78 card rendition for continuity. The first 22 cards of the tarot are referred to as the major arcana (arcana meaning “mysteries”) and represent essential milestones on the journey toward “becoming.” The remaining 56 cards are divided into four suits each containing 10 numbered minor arcana cards (ace through 10) and four court (or pip) cards (Page, Knight, Queen, and King.)
Suits in the Minor Arcana
- The suit of pentacles represents the physical world, our body, tangible resources, and the element of earth. This suit can relate directly to the physical journey associated with pregnancy.
- The suit of cups represents the emotional world, our intuition, love, and the element of water. This suit can relate to the emotional and intuitive draw to expand your family. It can also represent the psychic connection that we have with our children.
- Pentacles and cups also correspond to feminine, or more preferably lunar, energy.
- The suit of wands represents the creative world, our drive, passion, and the element of fire. This can relate to the passion and willpower to move toward your desire for family expansion. It can also be associated with virility.
- The suit of swords represents the intellectual world, our thoughts, new ideas, and the element of air. This suit can represent the early thoughts of pregnancy or family expansion. It can also relate to the anxieties of the mind that blur our ability to be objective in our pursuit.
- Wands and swords correspond to more masculine leaning, solar energy.
Court Cards in the Suits
Now we will apply our fortified understanding of the suits and their correspondences to the court (or pip cards) within them. Allow your budding understanding of the suits themselves to color your perspective when evaluating court cards in fertility or family expansion readings.
Pages Represent the Beginning of a Journey
Pages are the first twinkle in our eye that fills us with childlike wonder and enthusiasm. When a page card presents itself to you in a pregnancy or family planning reading, our goal is to approach new potentials and possibilities with an open heart and a beginner’s mind. They can also literally represent children, current or future, depending on their position within the spread.
Knights Represent the Pursuit of our Journey
Knights are the personification of momentum toward our goal. When a knight card presents itself to you in a pregnancy or family planning reading, our goal is to foster endurance and sustainable actions in the direction of our most authentic desires.
Queens Represent the Inner Journey
Queens are the epitome of “being” and are often abundant in readings regarding fertility and motherhood. Of course, we would be wise to remember that the journey to parenthood takes many forms and the terms fertility and family are not mutually exclusive. However, when inquiring about literal pregnancy, the queens are often a harbinger of this deeply internal nurturing process. The Queen of Pentacles is an especially promising pregnancy indicator among the queens. You may also consider your own sun sign when seeing yourself within the queens regardless of your gender expression or capacity for literal birth.
- Queen of Pentacles, Earth: Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo.
- Queen of Cups, Water: Scorpio, Cancer, Pisces.
- Queen of Wands, Fire: Leo, Aries, Sagittarius.
- Queen of Swords, Air: Aquarius, Libra, Gemini.
Kings Represent the Outer Journey and Shared Experiences
In their most exalted form Kings represent the distribution of balanced support within the realm of their respective suit. Whether it takes the form of your partner in conception or a call for balance in your outer world, kings deliver messages from the outside in pregnancy and family planning readings.
Tarot Cards that Indicate Fertility and Pregnancy
The Empress is card number three in the major arcana and is the card most arguably associated with pregnancy and motherhood. She corresponds with the planet Venus who oversees abundance and femininity as well as the fertile, generous nature of the earth. The Empress wears a crown of laurel branches and stars and reclines on a throne of cushions surrounded by lush forest, moving water, and shafts of wheat. This connects her to Demeter, the Olympian goddess of agriculture and motherhood in Greek mythology.
The Chariot is number seven in the major arcana and corresponds to the zodiac sign of Cancer. Cancer is the cardinal water sign ruled by the moon, tying this indicator to the true will of our deepest heart. Our charioteer wears a laurel crown with a large star and stands beneath the shade of a star-covered textile, connecting us back to The Empress. It is a card of victory through motion, where we invite the most tender reaches of our heart to drive us forward toward deeper fulfillment. This is an excellent indicator for anyone ready to take action in conception or family expansion.
Strength is number eight in the major arcana and corresponds with the zodiac sign of Leo. Leo is the fixed fire sign ruled by the sun and helps us to channel soft resilience in the face of struggle or doubt. The figure of Strength wears a sash and crown made from living foliage and an infinity symbol floats fixed above her head. Her face is placid and calm despite the snarling lion between her patient hands. The Strength card calls on us to remember our infinite abundance as an antidote to life’s setbacks and challenges. Pregnancy and fertility are not always a linear path, and the Strength card reminds us that sometimes our deepest sources of power live in the space between endurance and gentleness. The woman and the lion in the strength card also speak to the duality of motherhood, which leads us to foster both a deeper sense of compassion and fiercer senses of protection. In parenthood, one is both the person and the lion present in the Strength card.
The ace cards of all four suits (Ace of Pentacles, Ace of Cups, Ace of Wands, and Ace of Swords) are about as close as we can get to yes/no answers in tarot. This makes them immensely helpful in readings of all kinds, and important to look out for in your family planning reading. Simply put, depending on their position in the spread, any of the four aces upright can be considered a “Yes” and any of them reversed (or upside down) can be received as a “No/Not right now” (Please note that not all card reversals in tarot imply the opposite of their upright meanings.)
The Lovers card is number 6 in the major arcana and corresponds with the zodiac sign of Gemini. Gemini’s symbol is the twins, and The Lovers card depicts two figures beneath a blazing sun and the arm span of a guardian angel who oversees the scene. Whenever you are inquiring about twins or multiples and pregnancy, The Lovers is a generous indicator to mirror your intuition on the subject.
The Ten of Cups Indicates Family Expansion
The Ten of Cups is a beautiful indicator to see in readings of fertility and family expansion readings alike. It depicts a family of four in celebration beneath a rainbow. There is a cozy home in the distance and the ten cups that span the rainbow signify the completion of an emotional journey. It corresponds with the planet Mars in the zodiac sign of Pisces. Mars is the planet of war, and Pisces is a sign of extreme emotional experience. This represents creating something of deep love that is worth fighting for. If you are considering pregnancy, adoption, or blending separate families the ten of cups is a favorable omen to see in a reading.
Calling in Community Support with the Three of Pentacles
Sometimes the road to pregnancy and family expansion takes a village. This does not and cannot reduce the validity of your journey toward the family you desire. The Three of Pentacles in a family expansion reading reminds us that no one individual contains all the resources required to nourish a new life. It corresponds to Mars in the zodiac sign of Capricorn. Mars is the planet of war, and Capricorn is a sign of acknowledging boundaries and engaging practical solutions. If you have been struggling to conceive, the Three of Pentacles is a gentle reminder that there is no shame in seeking professional support. This could look like seeking medical assistance to support conception. It can also look like calling in your most pragmatic support systems to help you weave new visions of what your family expansion journey might look like. Because this is a three card, it also corresponds to The Empress in the major arcana. This reminds us that the boundaries (Capricorn) that we sometimes come up against in our fight (Mars) for conception can never diminish your inner Empress. There are a million ways to nurture family expansion, and The Empress’ radical and generous love is abundant enough to hold them all.
Together we have explored a handful of helpful tarot tips for navigating pregnancy and family expansion readings within the 78 card Rider-Waite-Smith system. Please know that this list is not definitive and that all 78 cards hold a depth of wisdom and support to help cradle you on this journey. Each card corresponds to a time period, a sign of the zodiac, and a planetary energy. Allow your knowledge of these timing correspondences to ebb, flow, and expand as you inquire about anything from the birth of your child to important times for rest and reflection. No matter where you are on your journey, the 78 cards of the tarot are ready and willing to support you.
Disclaimer: While a Tarot Reading can provide you with answers and a direction in your life, it is also highly recommended that you seek the advice of a medical professional on all matters related to pregnancy. Tarot and divination cannot replace the support of a licensed medical professional.
Flora is a clairsentient intuitive and nationally certified somatic practitioner. She completed an herbalism apprenticeship in 2014 and has been studying and reading tarot for 16 years. She uses symbolism, world mythology and folklore, animism, astrology, and numerology to nurture her practice.
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