The Major Arcana

The Major Arcana are the 22 tarot cards dealing with the most important aspects of human experience, karmic influences, and important lessons to be learnt. as opposed to the Minor Arcana, which deals with the everyday occurrences in our lives.

These cards are the best known in tarot, and include the Fool, the Magician, the High Priestess, the Lovers and more. In a reading, the Major Arcana often shows the central meaning of the reading.

For the most part, these cards just need to be learnt, but the learning can be made easier by seeing them as stories from our lives. On this page I give the keywords, but I will be building more detailed pages for the Major Arcana in the future.

The Fool from the RWS deck.

The Fool represents beginnings and innocence, but also the foolish mistakes we all make at some time in our lives. Each subsequent card, takes you on a path through the important  parts of our lives. 

The Key Meanings of the Major Arcana

The Fool (0)

New beginnings. Foolishness. The first step. Spontaneity.

The Magician (l)

Action. Skill. Manifestation of goals. Willpower. 

The High Priestess (ll)

Intuition. The Unconscious. Understanding. Wisdom.

The Empress (lll)

Creativity. Abundance. Nature. Giving birth. Prosperity.

The Emperor (lV)

Power. Protection. Stability and structure. Rules and regulations. Control. 

The Hierophant (V)

Tradition. Religion. Teaching. A bridge between the spiritual and everyday life. Faith.

The Lovers (Vl)

Love. Union. Romance. Relationships. Choices.

The Chariot (Vll)

Willpower and focus. Determination. Control. Triumph.

The Chariot from the original RWS deck. Astrologically associated with Cancer.

Strength (Vlll)

Strength. Fortitude. Control. Mastering our animal instincts. Patience.

The Hermit (lX)

Solitude. Reflection. Inner guidance. Inspiration. Knowledge. 

The Wheel of Fortune (X)

Luck. Fortune. Change.

Justice (Xl)

Justice. Truth. Cause and effect. Karma. Balance. 

The Hanged Man (Xll)

Sacrifice. Waiting. Delay. Suspension. New perspectives.

Death (Xlll)

Endings and beginnings. Change. Transformation.

Temperance (XlV)

Moderation. Balance. Calmness. 

The Devil (XV)

Materialism. Attachment. Being bound by ideas. Addiction.

The Tower (XVl)

Disaster. Destruction. Calamity. The breaking down of beliefs or structures.

The Star (XVll)

Hope. Bright prospects. Peace. Faith.

The Moon (XVlll)

Illusion. Deception. The Unconscious. Intuition. Dreams.

The Sun (XlX)

Optimism. Energy. Enthusiasm. Joy. Good fortune. Success. 

Again from the original RWS deck. This card can cast a more positive light on other cards in a reading.

Judgement (XX)

Rebirth. Judgement. Completion and a new beginning. Resolution.

The World (XXl)

Completion. Success. Travel. 

Tarot Card Meanings


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