Skip to main content

Dreams and the Tarot: Using Tarot Cards to Interpret the Meaning of Dreams

Joanne writes about spirituality, divination, dreams and psychic phenomena.

Learn more about your subconscious through the Major Arcana.

Learn more about your subconscious through the Major Arcana.

Dream Imagery

The core of our dream imagery was the source of the symbols related to the mystical tarot deck. The tarot is closely related to the dream state and offers us a wonderful tool for spiritual and self-development.

The power of the symbolic tarot does not lie with the cards themselves but rather with the reader’s ability to comprehend the relevant messages. Once our psychic abilities have been developed, the tarot can act as a window into the mind, providing clear images of your inner truths, beliefs, character traits and choices that are available to you.

In This Article

  1. How to Use Tarot to Interpret Your Dreams (Step-by-Step)
  2. A Guide to the Major Arcana and Dream Interpretation

How to Use Tarot to Interpret Your Dreams (Step-by-Step)

This step-by-step process is an age-old technique.

  1. Grab a notepad or piece of paper and a pen or pencil.
  2. Create a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted.
  3. Burn some incense or essential oils (aromatherapy).
  4. Light a candle, and if you wish, play some empowering music in the background.
  5. Relax and clear your mind, and be open and receptive to messages and images.
  6. In this intuitive state, focus on the meaning of the cards in relation to your dream/s.
  7. Use only the Major Arcana, as these are the archetypal cards.
  8. Shuffle the deck and focus on the dream, reviewing it in the present tense—in the here and now.
  9. Once you've reviewed and the main points of the dream have been recalled and remembered, cut the deck into three piles, forming a triangle.
  10. Take the pile at the apex of the triangle and turn it over, revealing the bottom card.
  11. Write down what you instantly feel and think upon viewing the card. Look for the intricate details and symbology, and write down the first impressions you are given: your first thoughts and feelings. Describe the imagery.
  12. Use the intuitive messages, feelings, emotions and impulses as a catalyst to unlocking hidden meanings and messages of your dreams.
  13. If you need further details or verification, turn the remaining piles over and view the bottom cards. Repeat the review and writing process above.
The Empress

The Empress

A Guide to the Major Arcana and Dream Interpretation

Use the guide below to learn about the meaning and message of the tarot cards of the Major Arcana.

The Fool

  • Laugh and Loosen Up: The Fool card tells you to ‘loosen up’ and not take life too seriously. It is a message to allow yourself some personal freedoms and look to the funny, lighter side of life. The Fool may be appearing to tell you to get out and/or away from a situation using wit and humour, rather than haste and force. The Fool represents jesters and fools of the royal courts of old. They would relieve tension and pressure by making fun of situations and bringing comic relief to all. The Fool appearing may be suggesting that you give yourself permission to have a good laugh at yourself and your situation. See the brighter, positive side of things.
  • Be Young at Heart: The Fool is also symbolic of babies and children, simplicity and innocence. Children are straightforward and honest in their views. Think of the phrase ‘out of the mouths of babes’—out of their innocence, they speak truths. The Fool appearing may suggest that you not overanalyse things but rather look at them at face value. (The Fool can also be implying that a baby is on the way into the family.)
  • Trust in New Beginnings: The Fool is symbolic of trust and honesty, laughter and happiness. The Fool may be recommending that you welcome and enjoy new beginnings and fresh choices and changes to make. Approach your dream with a fresh view and trust that all will work out for your highest good.

The Magician

  • Remember What You're Capable of: The Magician appearing is a reminder of your own unique magic. We all have abilities and resources to create whatever we desire in our lives. We are powerful, spiritual beings who possess the power of manifesting and manifestation.
  • Make Changes: The Magician indicates a time to make life choices and changes. Mastering your mind and life are at hand. Ensure that you are on the path you wish to be on. If you are not, change direction now.
  • Don't Limit Yourself: The Magician is a reminder that your choices are limitless—therefore, do not put limitations and restrictions upon yourself. Know that all the power and resources, answers and solutions are within you already.

The High Priestess

  • Connect With Your Spirituality: When the High Priestess appears, it indicates that there is a need to feel more spirituality and love in your life.
  • Develop Your Intuition: Bring the feminine side out and connect with your emotions and intuitive promptings. The High Priestess represents a connection to all that is feminine, deep and mysterious. She implies that psychic development and enlightenment are taking place. The High Priestess tells us that your intuition is the key to unlocking your dream.

The Empress

  • Consider the Roots of the Issue: The Empress resonates with fertility and the power behind Mother Nature and all things. The Empress appearing tells us to perceive things that are hidden behind the obvious. Always consider the actions, motivations and intentions behind a situation.
  • Express Your Creativity: The Empress may be suggesting that you are in a very fertile cycle or phase in your life and could be feeling inspired and full of ideas to pursue. Look to new projects, concepts and actions as they will come to fruition. It is time to nurture your ideas into physical form. The Empress represents motherhood, fertility, getting in touch with your feminine side (whether you are male or female) and expressing yourself with creativity and inspiration.
  • Nurture Yourself and Others: The Empress appearing may be suggesting a need for nurturing and/or mothering, for yourself or to extend to others. She tells us that it is a time to connect with our inner selves and follow our intuition. The Empress can indicate a pregnancy, a birth, your mother or the maternal side of the family.

The Emperor

  • Think About Fathers: The Emperor can represent your father, fatherhood or the paternal side of the family.
  • Seek Guidance: The Emperor holds a position of power and authority and suggests that you seek the counsel of a professional or someone ‘in the know’.
  • Take Charge: In regards to a dream symbol, the Emperor portrays one who takes charge of where they are going in their lives and can represent the need to be more powerful, inwardly and outwardly. The Emperor appearing can indicate a positive change in the direction of your life which will have positive, long-term benefits.

The Hierophant

  • Connect to Your Inner Wisdom: The Hierophant appearing suggests that all of your spiritual needs and decisions come from within. You have all that you could ever need. The Hierophant shows a need to connect with your intuition and inner wisdom, rather than outside sources, when seeking answers and solutions. It is time to stop searching for outside approval. Understand and know who you are.
  • Think About Spirituality and Tradition: The Hierophant tells of a time to search for true spiritual meaning and enlightenment. It also speaks of traditions and traditional values. It may be time that you take up study and/or research.
  • Try a New Path: The Hierophant may be indicating that it is time to choose a new path or direction, or a new way of doing things. It is time to reorganize and restructure.

The Lovers

  • Be Open to Connection: The Lovers card tells of love, sexual tension, passion, repression, and independence within a partnership and relationships. The Lovers can indicate a connection to a potential life partner or ‘soulmate’. Be open to receiving warm, loving relationships into your life. The Lovers can be foretelling of a marriage to come.
  • Assess Your Relationships: The Lovers can imply communication difficulties with loved ones. The Lovers appearing may be suggesting that you are not being yourself in order to appease or ‘keep’ a partner or relationship.
  • Give and Receive Love: The Lovers card can indicate a time to regenerate and nurture yourself while still loving and caring for others. It tells of spirituality intermingled with human urges and emotions.

The Chariot

  • Take Action: The Chariot symbolizes our inner drives, ambitions and the need to achieve goals.
  • Push Past Inner Conflict: The Chariot appearing can tell of inner conflicts and opposing views within. Indecision and confusion about important issues are causing frustration and stagnation. It is a message to stop procrastinating in order to achieve the results you desire. Make a decision and follow through.
  • Make a Choice: The Chariot may suggest feeling as though you are being pulled in two separate directions. You are to make firm decisions and take positive action.


  • Consider the Many Forms of Strength: The Strength card suggests inner strength and tenacity, patience, humility, hope and love. Strength comes in many forms. Strength comes not so much from a show of brute force or power—the key to true strength is endurance.
  • Discover Yourself: Strength represents the need for self-discovery. It is a time to get in touch with your true feelings and trust your intuition and inner wisdom.

The Hermit

  • Rest and Look Within: The Hermit indicates that it is time to seek solitude and rest. Create a sacred space or sanctuary for yourself where you won’t be interrupted, and take the time to become silent and peaceful. Take time to reflect and look within. The Hermit may suggest that you need to change your environment in order to find peace and equilibrium in your life.
  • Seek Insight: The Hermit appearing tells of profound insights and intuitive messages. The Hermit may be a message to take the time for solitude, contemplations, study and learning. The Hermit can tell of conferring with those in authoritative positions for professional advice and guidance.

The Wheel of Fortune

  • Be Open to Possibilities: The Wheel of Fortune tells us that anything is possible. Trust that you can make anything of your dream—and your dreams in waking life.
  • Anticipate Change: The Wheel of Fortune suggests solutions and movement, indicating that changes, action and movement are taking place, meaning new opportunities and good luck. The Wheel of Fortune represents the ‘wheels in motion’ and rapid life changes taking place in your life. The Wheel of Fortune can tell of a turn for the better and suggests that you go with the flow of the inevitable changes to achieve a favourable outcome.
Wheel of Fortune, the Star, and the World

Wheel of Fortune, the Star, and the World


  • Act Honourably: Justice is different to everyone, given that we all have individual perspectives, values and ideals. When Justice appears, it suggests that you do the honourable thing in any given situation. Always take the ‘high road’.
  • Trust That Justice Will Be Done: Justice appearing may be indicating that there is an imbalance, and/or you feel that you have been mistreated by others. Justice tells you to deal with it in the most positive ways. Trust that justice will always be done.
  • Consult Someone Who Knows the Rules: Justice appearing may suggest that legal dealings and/or a court case may be on the horizon, if not already in your life. Justice indicates that adjustments will need to be made in order to achieve success. Seek out and trust the advice of someone who knows the rules and procedures.

The Hanged Man

  • Take Action: The Hanged Man appearing suggests that it is time to stop questioning, procrastinating and finding excuses and not making decisions or taking action towards things that are of importance in your life. Get ready to take action.
  • Improve Your Life: The Hanged Man appearing suggests not just taking action, but also bettering your life. It points to the spiritual aspects, yet asks that you live in the material world of experience and lessons.
  • Listen to Your Intuition: The Hanged Man can suggest a dream of prophesy and of future events, and tells of clairvoyant and psychic abilities. Always listen to your intuition.


  • Expect Endings and New Beginnings: The Death card is an important message foretelling of something new entering your life. Whatever situation or circumstance that was bothering you is now drawing to a close with solutions being found. Expect wonderful, life-changing ‘new’.
  • Be Ready for a Rebirth: Death can indicate a birth or rebirth, and is a deep, renewing and cleansing dream symbol. Death means endings and completions, with the promise of new beginnings and starting afresh. Death indicates major life changes that will bring a new and exciting future.


  • Be Kind and Generous: Temperance resonates with renewal, transformation, spirituality, kindness and compassion. Temperance appearing may suggest that it is time to spread some love and kindness towards your fellow man. Do some good deeds for others, and be ready to receive in kind. Giving and receiving in balance is an essential life lesson to learn.
  • Find Balance: Temperance tells of being practical yet spiritual. The balance of two leads to a happy and fulfilled life. Temperance appearing is an important reminder that you need to find balance in all that you do. Temperance tells us that there is a great deal of strength and power in balance and moderation.
  • Accept Divine Guidance: The Temperance card can indicate divine providence and assistance and guidance from the angelic and spiritual realms. Listen to your intuition and follow its direction and instruction.

The Devil

  • Release Your Fears: The Devil card represents a need to release all fears, worries and concerns. Face your problems head-on, with self-confidence and strength of conviction. The Devil appearing tells us not to feel guilty about being who we truly are. Don’t allow fears to hold you back or rule your actions. If your dream was frightening or scary, the Death card appearing may be telling you to be aware to not give your personal power away to others. Stand in your own truths.
  • Embrace Your Passion: The Devil appearing can imply repressed sexual impulses and urges and the need to take time to play and have fun in your life. The Devil can tell of repressing and suppressing your vital life force, and encourages us to get out there and live our lives with passion and enthusiasm.
  • Explore Your Dark Side: The Devil card encourages us to explore and find out more about our ‘dark side’. We all have both positive and negative aspects to our personalities, and to know one, we must know the other. The Devil is a reminder that there are two polarities and you must acknowledge them both.

The Tower

  • Reinvent Your Life: The Tower card appearing can imply that your old beliefs and patterns are to be cast off once and for all. It is time to reinvent yourself and your life. Take a good look at yourself, your life and lifestyle and decide what needs to go.
  • Accept Change: The Tower card is a trigger for intuition and prompts us to make necessary changes in our lives, sometimes with unexpected haste. Once these changes are triggered, there is no going back. The Tower suggests that when opportunity knocks, open the door.

The Star

  • Trust Your Destiny: The Star appearing suggests that you continue along your path, knowing that you are fulfilling your destiny. The Star card suggests that you are quietly and diligently achieving your goals and serving your life purpose. Know that you are loved and appreciated by the Universe.
  • Be Optimistic: The Star appearing implies that clarity, vision and new goals abound. Be enthusiastic and optimistic as doors that were previously closed to you have now opened. Be true to yourself and celebrate your uniqueness.

The Moon

  • Be Wary of Illusions: The Moon appearing may be a suggestion that someone is trying to block you or thwart your efforts. Know that you have enough personal power and conviction to see beyond the manipulation and do your own thing. The person or people trying to drag you down are presenting as ‘tests’. It is up to you to stand in your own truths and follow your own path, regardless of perceived obstacles and hindrances.
  • Consider Duality: The symbolism of the Moon depicts two dogs: one that is wild (the wolf), and one that is tame or domesticated. They represent the ‘wild’ and ‘tame’ sides within all of us.
  • Find Clarity: The Moon card appearing can represent an active dream state full of confusing and conflicting images and messages. It can be a trigger for the imagination and can represent prophetic dreams and those of a psychic nature. The symbol of the Moon can bring clarity and enlightenment.

The Sun

  • Enjoy Your Life: The Sun appearing suggests that it is time to bask in the warm sunshine and light of success of fulfillment. The Sun prompts us to savour the moment. The Sun encourages you to play, have fun, laugh and enjoy your life. The Sun card is also associated with connecting with our ‘inner child’ within.
  • Celebrate Yourself: The Sun appearing asks that you celebrate your successes and achievements and honour who you are. The Sun appearing can suggest that you take time to celebrate yourself and your wonderful achievements and successes. Bask in your own light and warmth and give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it. Honour yourself.


  • Feel a Sense of Renewal: The Judgement Tarot card symbolizes going beyond fears and limitations. It is a message that whatever problems you may be confronting will be overcome and a solution found. Your angels are helping, guiding and encouraging you to stay strong and focused. Judgement can refer to clear focus, analysis, renewal and resurrection. It may indicate that a new spiritual path or direction is opening for you.
  • Believe in Yourself: Judgement is a card of ‘triumph’. It asks you to believe in your own abilities and go beyond and outside of your comfort zone. Know that you have all that you need to achieve your goals, so do not allow false insecurities or other people to hinder you in any way. Judgement appearing may suggest that there is a need to be less critical and more accepting of yourself and others.

The World

  • Make the Most of Your Life: The World tarot card appearing suggests that you work towards making the most of what the world has to offer you. Make a point of seeing the positive side of situations and people, and be grateful for your blessings. The World card appearing suggests that things in your waking life are totally in your control, and it is time to be the master of your own destiny.
  • Accept Differences: The World suggests a need for clear communication, co-operation and co-existence with others, and encourages us to accept and understand the people around us. Remember that it takes all kinds to make up the world. The World appearing in regards to your dream indicates that it is time to accept differences and learn to live with them.

More About Dream Interpretation

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Joanne Sacred Scribes


Linzi on January 24, 2018:

My birthday is 12/12 76 I see double numbers all the time, it's freaky but I know it means something's good to know there is support & people who understand thank u Joanne .I'd love to get more in touch with my inner self.I really need it.

Joanne Sacred Scribes (author) from Victoria, Australia on March 28, 2012:

When it comes to laying out a Tarot spread to interpret your dreams I would suggest that you go with your intuition as your higher self can/will tell you how many to lay, and in what order. Lay the cards as your intuition dictates, then go from there.



MissCollier on March 28, 2012:

I like this article. I dream a lot and also use the Tarot to interpret them. Can you suggest a specific spread to use? Thanks!

stessily on September 09, 2011:

PsychicJoanne: Another timely hub from you! Dreams and their interpretation have been on my mind lately, as well as Tarot, but I was not linking them.

I know very little about Tarot in the context of dream interpretation, so I truly appreciate your clear, thorough yet concise presentation. Thank you!

Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful, interesting

Kind regards, Stessily

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on September 09, 2011:

Thanks for putting this out. It was my first time reading about tarot cards. I found it interesting.