Exploring the Minor Arcana: The Twos

In this series we'll be diving into the world of the Minor Arcana. Each segment will group the cards by number where we can engage in their themes and differences. For the first insallment on the aces click here.

In contrast to the singularity and power of the aces, twos are all about the themes of duality and connection. One may be the loneliest number, but it's easy to identify. As we move into plurality things quickly become interesting and deliciously complex.

When we look at tarot cards by number their attributes are influenced by their suite. Some suites are complimentary and others are, well, a bit more complicated. For example, the idea of duality is expressed by the suite of cups as one of harmony and coming together. In contrast, the mental prickliness of swords lends a different, more conflicted interpretation. 

The twos are the first depiction of multiple forces in each suite and they ask us to consider what happens when two separate entities come together. This question has a number of outcomes as we all can confirm. Sometimes unions are harmonious, blessed with the magic of instant connection and shared experiences. And sometimes unions are frightening, less between two personalities and more between parts of ourselves. 

Tarot is best understood using narrative. Using this tool we can see what brings us from the clarity and essentialism of the aces to the more complicated numbered cards. That is, what happens when the purity of an idea or energy is put into practice in the messy everyday world?

Explore In-Depth Minor Arcana Meanings

The  Two of Swords shows us how the mental certainty of the ace quickly gets tempered by our own individual thoughts. We see a figure holding two swords crossed in front of their chest. They've blocked the path forward out of a combination of fear and trepidation, instead choosing to retreat inwards thinking about all the reasons why to stay put. In this case, the union of a clear goal or idea and our inner thoughts (in this case doubts and fears) can lead to stagnation.

The Two of Pentacles shows us juggling the realities of making something happen. This is the very tangible challenge of "getting it all done." We're combining an opportunity (the ace) with our real world endeavors. It's not as stable as a pentacle cradled in a hand emerging from a cloud, sure, but it's much more dynamic and real, and with great potential to boot. This card shows the topsy-turvy and, at times, fun part of juggling our daily lives. 

The Two of Wands is an endearing depiction of how the inspiration of the Ace of Wands quickly makes our lives seem stifling when combined with our own ambitions. Wands are not the most patient group of cards, and the Two illustrates our impatience to get things going. Once we've been struck by an idea it's tough to stay in the same place, waiting. What once seemed cozy and comfortable is now nearly intolerable. Luckily, as with all twos, things are just beginning and nearly everything will change as this path unfolds. 

Lastly we arrive at the most peaceful of the four, the romantic and dreamy Two of Cups. It's no surprise that cups work well in the form of a two. Cups are all about connecting, coming together, and collaborating. Like all cards, this two can refer to a personal journey - connecting fruitfully and lovingly with a part of yourself - or an interpersonal one. Yes, the Two of Cups is a very positive card to see in readings about romance. Additionally, they can signify a fruitful union in business, a friendship, or any platonic coming together. In all situations there's a budding sense of harmony, trust, and plenty of room for growth for both parties. 

With twos it's important to remember that harmony and tension can manifest in positive or negative (or ambiguous) ways depending on the situation/surrounding cards. How have twos showed up in your tarot readings? Share your thoughts in the comments below.