Tarot Exercise: Sister Cards

A Tarot deck has 78 cards and each card depicts something different and has a different meaning.


Some cards are very, very similar and I think of these cards as “sister cards”. Let me give you a few examples.

The Sun is a very happy card that’s just oozing positivity. Also oozing happy, good vibes? The Ten of Cups

Dame Darcy Mermaid Tarot

Of course, these cards mean slightly different things, but they both have a similar message.

The Hermit is all about alone time and going within, similar to the Four of Swords.

Dame Darcy Mermaid Tarot

These two don’t have the exact same meaning, but there are some striking similarities.

Now let’s take a look at an unlikely pair of sisters: The Fool and Death

Dame Darcy Mermaid Tarot

While these two may seem to be totally different, their core message is one of renewal, fresh beginnings and starting over.

When sister cards appear in a reading

When two similar cards with a similar message appear in your reading, it’s like your cards have gone from murmuring calmly to shouting maniacally at you!

It’s like your cards are underscoring their message to you and saying “hey, pay attention! I want you to really get this!”

Can you spot the sister cards in the reading below?

Dame Darcy Mermaid Tarot

The Six of Swords, The Chariot and the Eight of Cups are all sister cards in that they all bear the message of “moving on”. The Tower and the Eight of Cups are also sister cards – they are both about losing or walking away from what you’ve worked hard to build up. In fact all four of these cards have the theme of “out with the old, in with the new”.

In other words, the appearance of a sister card strengthens the message and shows you what you need to focus on.

Studying the sister cards gives you a better understanding of Tarot

When you compare and contrast sister cards, you get a new perspective and deeper understanding of the Tarot card meanings.

Let’s take a peek at The Hermit and Four of Swords and I’ll show you what I mean…

Dame Darcy Mermaid Tarot

The Hermit is about sequestering yourself to avoid distractions so that greater self knowledge and peace can be attained – like going to a silent meditation retreat, taking a long walk by yourself or becoming a nun.

The Four of Swords is kind of similar, but less intense. It’s more like calling in sick to work so you can spend the day reading, watching movies and taking naps because you just need a break from the everyday shitshow of life.

Both are peaceful cards, but the Four of Swords is more about rest and recharging your batteries, while The Hermit is more about going deeper into the self.

How many “sisters” can you spot?

There are countless sister card pairings throughout the Tarot. One card can have many sisters. I think Death is a sister to The Fool, The Tower, Ten of Swords and more.

Take a quick gander through your Tarot deck: how many sister cards can you spot? Which pairings really jump out at you?

Share your findings in the comments below 🙂

7 thoughts on “Tarot Exercise: Sister Cards”

  1. Examining the ways different cards relate to each other or show different perspectives on similar themes is one of the things I enjoy most about tarot. A few sister cards that stood out to me on a quick run through of my deck:

    Three of Cups and the Four of Wands. Sister cards that want to get together, share a few drinks, and really just find an excuse to celebrate and have a good time.

    Five of Swords and Seven of Wands. I think these sisters tend to bring out the worst of each other, stirring up feelings of uneasiness and conflict, even in a relative calm.

    The Devil and the Eight of Swords. Maybe one of the more obvious pairs, when these two sisters show up you might feel trapped, walled in on both sides, but as is often the case when these sorts of cards show up, there isn’t actually anything in place to stop you from just marching forward.

  2. Nice one Kate.This places a new angle on comparing cards that look similar.I have just selected two cards from my Cosmic deck which I think are sister cards: The Lovers and the Two of cups.Both cards depict man and woman showing affection. So This gives me the concept of a definite relationship.Relationship cards in other words.
    The Cosmic tarot is featured on Youtube.

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