Major Arcana Meanings – The Mysteries of Tarot’s Trump Cards

Read time: 5 minutes

The Major Arcana, a key component of the tarot deck, consists of 22 trump cards that hold profound meanings and symbolism. In this article, we will explore the history, intriguing facts, myths, and frequently asked questions surrounding the Major Arcana, shedding light on the mystique that surrounds these powerful cards.

the Major Arcana

Major Arcana Meanings

The Fool (0)

Symbolizing innocence and spontaneity, the Fool embarks on a journey, representing a leap of faith into the unknown.

The Magician (I)

Mastery of one’s skills and talents, the Magician channels the power of the elements to manifest desires.

The High Priestess (II)

Intuition and hidden knowledge are embodied in the High Priestess, who guards the mysteries of the subconscious.

The Empress (III)

Fertility, nurturing, and abundance characterize the Empress, representing the creative and maternal aspects of life.

The Emperor (IV)

Authority and structure define the Emperor, symbolizing leadership and a sense of order.

The Hierophant (V)

Representing tradition and spiritual guidance, the Hierophant serves as a link between the divine and the earthly.

The Lovers (VI)

Beyond romantic love, the Lovers card signifies choices, partnerships, and the union of opposites.

The Chariot (VII)

Triumph over challenges, the Chariot represents determination, control, and victory through willpower.

Strength (VIII)

Inner strength and courage are embodied in the Strength tarot card, emphasizing resilience and overcoming adversity.

The Hermit (IX)

A symbol of introspection and solitude, the Hermit represents seeking wisdom through inner reflection.

Wheel of Fortune (X)

Symbolizing cycles and destiny, the Wheel of Fortune tarot card reminds us that life is constantly in flux.

Justice (XI)

Representing fairness and balance, Justice tarot card signifies accountability and the consequences of one’s actions.

The Hanged Man (XII)

Surrender and sacrifice are themes of the Hanged Man tarot card, suggesting a shift in perspective for enlightenment.

Death (XIII)

Often misunderstood, Death tarot card signifies transformation and rebirth, marking the end of one phase and the beginning of another.

Temperance (XIV)

Harmony and balance are key themes of Temperance tarot card, representing moderation and blending opposing forces.

The Devil (XV)

Symbolizing materialism and bondage, the Devil card warns against being enslaved by desires and illusions.

The Tower (XVI)

A card of sudden change and upheaval, the Tower card signifies the breaking down of old structures to make way for new beginnings.

The Star (XVII)

Hope and inspiration shine through the Star tarot card, representing guidance and a sense of renewal.

The Moon (XVIII)

Symbolizing intuition and the subconscious, the Moon card reflects the mysteries hidden beneath the surface.

The Sun (XIX)

Radiating positivity and vitality, the Sun signifies success, joy, and a renewed sense of clarity.

Judgment (XX)

A card of self-evaluation and awakening, Judgment marks a period of reflection and spiritual growth.

The World (XXI)

Completion and fulfillment characterize the World card, representing the achievement of a significant life cycle or goal.

Understanding the meanings of each Major Arcana card provides a foundation for insightful and nuanced tarot readings.

Major Arcana – Myths and Facts

The Major Arcana has been surrounded by various myths and misconceptions throughout history. One common myth is that tarot cards possess supernatural powers, allowing them to predict the future with absolute certainty. In reality, tarot readings are a form of introspection and reflection, offering insights into one’s current path rather than providing fixed predictions. Understanding the distinction between myths and facts is crucial for approaching the Major Arcana with a balanced perspective.

Major Arcana Meanings – FAQ

Can anyone read the Major Arcana, or is it reserved for experienced tarot readers?

While anyone can explore the Major Arcana, developing a deep understanding of each card requires practice and study. Beginners can start with simple spreads and gradually progress to more complex readings.

Do the Major Arcana cards always have the same meanings?

The meanings of Major Arcana cards can vary based on the reader’s intuition, the question asked, and the surrounding cards. There is room for interpretation, allowing for a personalized and dynamic reading experience.

Can the Major Arcana predict the future?

The Major Arcana offers insights and guidance, but it does not predict the future with certainty. Tarot readings are a tool for self-reflection, helping individuals make informed decisions based on the energies surrounding them.

History of the Major Arcana

The history of the Major Arcana dates back to the 15th century, where tarot cards were initially used for playing games. Over time, they evolved into a tool for divination and spiritual exploration. The 22 cards represent a journey through life’s stages, each card telling a unique story. Understanding the historical context adds depth to the interpretation of these cards and enhances the spiritual connection they offer.

Did You Know?

Did you know that the Fool card, often numbered as 0, is both the beginning and the end of the Major Arcana? This card symbolizes innocence, spontaneity, and a leap of faith into the unknown. Another fascinating fact is that each card in the Major Arcana is associated with a specific astrological sign, adding an astrological layer to their meanings. Exploring these lesser-known aspects can provide a richer experience when delving into tarot readings.


Exploring the Major Arcana goes beyond mere divination; it is a journey into self-discovery and spiritual enlightenment. Understanding the history, uncovering intriguing facts, dispelling myths, and addressing frequently asked questions can empower individuals to approach the Major Arcana with a sense of curiosity and openness, unlocking the wisdom that these powerful cards hold.

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