Since the original designs focused more on the Major Arcana and the richness of the symbols embedded in each card, I was at a loss for a few months about how to depict the Minor Arcana cards, and initially decided to go with “pips” which are similar in function to Poker cards 2 – 10.
For instance, the 9 of Wands (shown below) has the Roman Numeral for 9 (IX), as well as nine face up triangles representing the element of Fire; in essence, nine wands. At the bottom of the card you can see the Moon in Sagittarius, the planetary / zodiacal pair for the 9 of Wands. however, this led to a large portion of the deck looking very similar and becoming hard to distinguish between. Is this a Wand, is this a Cup? Which way is up?
Since then, I’ve changed the designs of the Minors to focus more on the Pairs associated with them, since each of these is unique. I came up with a system for creating Sigil Mandalas (rotated around a center point) to expound these symbolic pairs in association with the number of the card. Therefore, the 9 of Wands becomes this:
This is easily the most busy card of all 36 small cards, but I liked the way that it unfolds like a flower. Every single card now has a unique sigil to embody the pair that is represented in the card, and I found that many of the sigils also seemed to reflect the intuitive meaning of the cards (at least in my eyes, and perhaps in yours as well).