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Meanings of the Major Arcana Cards

The Major Arcana is a set of 22 cards in the Tarot deck that represents significant life lessons, archetypal energies, and transformative experiences throughout your lifelong journey. Each card holds a powerful symbolism and carries deep spiritual and psychological meanings. The cards are numbered from Zero (The Fool) to 21 (The World). Some readers choose to include these numbers into their inerpretation of the card through the principles of numerology. 

Major Arcana Card Meanings by Card

The Fool - 0

UPRIGHT: New beginnings, Spontaneity, Adventure.

REVERSED: Recklessness, Negligence, Distraction.

The Magician - I

UPRIGHT: Manifestation, Resourcefulness, Power.

REVERSED: Manipulation, Poor planning, Untapped talents.

the magician tarot card button
The High Priestess - II

UPRIGHT: Intuition, Mystery, Subconscious.

REVERSED: Confusion, Lack of Intuition, Hidden truths.

The Empress - III

UPRIGHT: Fertility, Creativity, Abundance.

Creative block, Lack of nurturing, Self-neglect.

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The Emperor -IV

UPRIGHT: Authority, structure, leadership.

REVERSED: Lack of authority, imbalance of power, control issues.

the emperor tarot card button
The Hierophant - V

UPRIGHT: Tradition, Religion, Spirituality.

REVERSED: Nonconformity, Rebellion, Unorthodox.

The Lovers - VI

UPRIGHT: Love, Connection, Union.

REVERSED: Disharmony, Conflict, Indecision.

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The Chariot - VII

UPRIGHT: Willpower, Determination, Victory.

REVERSED: Self-doubt, Lack of direction, Inner conflict.

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Strength - VIII

UPRIGHT: Inner strength, Courage, Determination.

REVERSED: Inner doubts, Insecurity, Lack of confidence.

The Hermit - IX

UPRIGHT: Solitude, Reflection, Introspection.

REVERSED: Isolation, Loneliness, Disconnection.

the hermit tarot card button
Wheel of Fortune - X

UPRIGHT: Destiny, cycles, change.

REVERSED: Resistance to change, missed opportunities, stagnant energy.

wheel of fortune tarot card button
Justice - XI

UPRIGHT: Justice, fairness, truth.

REVERSED: Injustice, imbalance, dishonesty.

The Hanged Man - XII

UPRIGHT: Surrender, Letting go, Suspension.

REVERSED: Resistance to change, Stagnation, Delays.

the hanged man tarot card button
Death - XIII

UPRIGHT: Transformation, Endings, Change.

REVERSED: Resistance to change, Fear of transformation, Stagnation.

death tarot card button
Temperance - XIV

UPRIGHT: Balance, Harmony, Integration.

REVERSED: Imbalance, Disharmony, Extremes.

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The Devil - XV

UPRIGHT: Temptation, Materialism, Bondage, Addiction.

REVERSED: Liberation, Breaking free, Self-awareness.

The Tower - XVI

UPRIGHT: Sudden change, upheaval, revelation

REVERSED: Resisting change, avoidance, denial.

The Star - XVII

UPRIGHT: Hope, Inspiration, Renewal.

REVERSED: Disillusionment, Disconnection, Setbacks.

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The Moon - XVIII

UPRIGHT: Intuition, Subconscious, Dreams.

REVERSED: Confusion, Fear, Repressed emotion.

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The Sun - XIX

UPRIGHT: Joy, Success, Celebration, Enlightenment.

REVERSED: Temporary Depression, Delayed Success, Lack of Confidence.

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Judgement - XX

UPRIGHT: Rebirth, Awakening, Redemption.

REVERSED: Self-doubt, Resisting change, Fear of judgment.

Judgement Tarot Card Button
The World - XXI

UPRIGHT: Completion, Wholeness, Fulfillment.

REVERSED: Incompletion, Disconnection, Stagnation.

the word tarot card button

The Fool's Journey Through the Major Arcana

The Fool’s Journey is a concept that describes the symbolic journey of the Fool, the first card of the Major Arcana (if you place ‘0’ at the start), through the 21 subsequent cards. It represents the protagonist’s voyage of self-discovery, growth, and transformation as they navigate the different stages of life. The Fool’s Journey reflects the human experience, illustrating the different stages we go through as we grow, face obstacles, and ultimately find our place in the world. It emphasizes personal development, self-awareness, and the potential for transformation along life’s path.

The Fool begins their journey with innocence, curiosity, and a sense of adventure, embarking on a new chapter without knowing what lies ahead. As they progress through the Major Arcana, the Fool encounters various archetypal characters and experiences, each card representing a different aspect of life’s lessons and challenges.

Throughout the journey, the Fool learns about themselves, gains wisdom, and evolves spiritually. They face trials, confront their fears, and embrace their strengths. Each card represents a pivotal moment or theme in their life, teaching them valuable lessons about love, power, balance, and self-discovery.

What Does A Major Arcana Card Mean In A Tarot Reading?

In a tarot reading, drawing a Major Arcana card can indicate that the situation at hand is significant and requires your attention. These cards often represent significant life events, personal growth, and important choices. They invite you to reflect on deeper aspects of your life and encourage self-exploration. Major Arcana cards may bring clarity, inspiration, or challenges, depending on the specific card and its position in the spread.

As you encounter a Major Arcana card in your tarot reading, pay attention to the imagery, symbolism, and traditional interpretations associated with the card. Reflect on the card’s meaning in relation to your current circumstances, emotions, and aspirations. These cards have the potential to provide profound insights, guiding you towards greater self-awareness, wisdom, and a deeper understanding of life’s mysteries.

Remember, Major Arcana cards are not always literal in their interpretation. Instead, they offer a broader perspective and encourage you to tap into your intuition and connect with your inner wisdom. Embrace the messages of the Major Arcana cards with an open mind and heart, as they have the potential to offer profound guidance and illuminate the path ahead.