Major Arcana in the Tarot

The Major Arcana hold the most energy out of all the Tarot cards, and it's essential to understand them to deepen your divination practice.
By Ani

Published: Jun 22, 2022

The First step in learning Tarot Card definitions is understanding the Major Arcana. However, learning them doesn't have to be intimidating. After reading this Tarot Card guide, you'll have a basic understanding of the meanings of the most powerful cards in the deck.

The History of Major Arcana Tarot Cards

Tarot and the Major Arcana date to the 14th Century. Before their mystical association, wealthy Italian nobles and aristocrats used the cards as a form of entertainment. The trump cards in the deck eventually evolved into the Major Arcana we know today.

The Major Arcana Tarot Cards

When you learn how many cards there are in a Tarot deck, you may feel overwhelmed. However, there are only 22 Major Arcana cards to focus on in this article. And luckily, most of the Tarot Card names give you a clue as to what they mean. In this extensive Tarot cards list, you'll discover all the meanings of some of the most powerful cards in the deck.

The Fool card is all about adventure and new beginnings

The Fool Tarot Card Meaning

Full of excitement, he takes his first steps toward an exciting adventure, blissfully unaware of the trials and triumphs that await him. In a reading, this card signals a fresh start as you embark on your adventure, eager to see where it takes you. Enjoy this part of your experience, as the beginning is often the most fun. 

The Magician Tarot Card Meaning

The Magician is a master of all the tools at his disposal. He presents himself once you've spent some time learning and honing your skills. It's easy to forget our inner strength and power. However, this card lets you know that you have all the magic you need within you to manifest your desires.

High Priestess Tarot Card Meaning

The High Priestess represents the divine feminine we all have within us. She appears as a reminder to trust your inner knowledge and gut feelings. It's easy to ignore those subtle messages when your ego wants to call the shots. The High Priestess lets you know when it's time to go within and seek answers from your higher self. 

The Empress Tarot Card Meaning

As an archetype for mother energy, she literally and figuratively represents fertility. She appears when you're ready to birth your ideas and manifestations into the world. Because the Empress also relates to nature and the Earth, this card can encourage you to get inspiration by stepping outside and connecting to the natural abundance around you.

The Emperor Tarot Card Meaning

The Emperor represents paternal energy. This card focuses on structure and stability to have a solid base upon which to build your desires. Dreaming is fun, but you can't make progress with your head in the clouds. The Emperor asks you to be realistic about how you wish to move forward with creating your reality. 

The Hierophant Tarot Card Meaning

Sometimes you need to connect to your roots, and The Hierophant reminds you to do just that. As you build the foundation for what you wish to manifest, you can seek guidance from those who've already walked your path. Talking to a mentor, studying under a teacher, or researching traditions are all recommended with the Hierophant.

The Lovers gives you insights on romance and partnerships.

The Lovers Tarot Card Meaning

Though this card often recalls images of courtship and soul mates, The Lovers is more than a card of romantic relationships. While it can speak to love and affection, it highlights platonic partnership, harmony, and energetic balance. Be sure that you don't act in a way that goes against your values or what you understand to be true for yourself.

The Chariot Tarot Card Meaning

When you pull the Chariot card in your Tarot reading, you're asked to work with your willpower and determination to achieve what you desire. It reminds you that you have a courageous heart and can find success without letting fear get in your way. You can achieve a state of balance and power that allows you to move forward with confidence. 

Strength Tarot Card Meaning

The Strength is your personal power. We all experience fears and doubts that creep into the mind and try to convince us that we won't succeed. The Strength card lets you know that you don't have to give in to these thoughts and emotions. Approach your fears with love and understanding, and you're sure to tame them.

The Hermit Tarot Card Meaning

The Hermit suggests that you'll find the answer if you prioritize solitude and looking inside yourself. A timely idea is to spend time meditating, saying prayers, or doing any other activity that can help you reach a state of tranquility. You may find that your goals and desires shift to better suit your higher purpose.

Wheel of Fortune Tarot Card Meaning

The Wheel of Fortune is all about cycles. If you're feeling low, remember that eventually, the energy will turn in your favor. Conversely, if you're feeling amazing, your energy might fall. Life is a constant cycle, and it's important not to be resistant to change.

Your actions are always weighed fairly by the Justice card.

Justice Tarot Card Meaning

The Justice card is all about cause and effect. If you've acted according to your truth and values, you'll have experiences aligned with your desires. However, if you compromise your truth and act in a way that contradicts your values, you may face uncomfortable situations. This card also presents an opportunity to release the things that don't align with you spiritually or emotionally. 

The Hanged Man Tarot Card Meaning

The Hanged Man appears when it's time to pause so that you can take a moment to view your situation from another perspective. Simply let go, surrender to whatever is happening, and try to find a lesson. Alternatively, it can serve as an invitation to take a break. Once your mind is rested, and your spirit refreshed, you can continue along your journey.

Death Tarot Card Meaning

The Death Tarot meaning doesn't indicate the end of life. Instead, it speaks to transformation and change. When we begin to transform into a new version of ourselves, the older version "dies." Change and transformation are rarely comfortable. But this card reminds you that you're releasing this version of yourself for a reason, and the experience will be well worth it.

Temperance Tarot Card Meaning

In everything, moderation is key. Temperance reminds you to find balance and to have patience with yourself. Instead of charging ahead with little regard for your energy or body, take your time with your energy. Don't rush, and find comfort knowing that you'll eventually reach your goal. Now is the time to prioritize calm, balance, and stability. 

The Devil Tarot Card Meaning

When you pull the Devil card, you might feel trapped or stuck in an undesirable situation. The message here is that you have more power than you realize. The only thing keeping you trapped is you. The solution might not be easy, but you'll be able to find your way out with effort and patience.

Sometimes the Tower predicts unexpected events.

The Tower Tarot Card Meaning

The Tower appears when you're feeling shaken to your core, often when you've been unexpectedly thrown into a new experience or situation. Even though things feel unstable or uncertain, remember that you'll eventually find your footing again. When you do, you'll be able to rebuild your foundation stronger than before.

The Star Tarot Card Meaning

The Star is a signal to find hope and faith no matter what you're going through. You're divinely guided, and everything happens for a reason. This is a welcome message after the chaos of The Tower. Now is the perfect time to reconnect to your sense of purpose and engage in activities that make you feel elevated and uplifted.

The Moon Tarot Card Meaning

When the Moon presents itself, it serves as a warning to not give in to delusions or feelings that aren't realistic. Now is not the time to make rash decisions. Connect with your intuition and follow your inner light to guide you out of any feelings of fogginess or uncertainty. 

The Sun Tarot Card Meaning

The Sun is one of the most joyous cards in the deck. It brings a message from the universe that you are divinely guided in your endeavors. If you've been feeling a lack of confidence, this card signifies that you're supported in your actions. Lean into the feelings of optimism and joy as you welcome abundance and positive experiences.

Judgment Tarot Card Meaning

Judgment signifies a time when you're experiencing a spiritual awakening and up-leveling. You've reached a turning point in your journey, and you need to use your intuition and lessons learned from past experiences to guide you forward. This card also speaks to deep healing and renewal while you step into the highest version of yourself.

The World appears when you've completed a cycle.

The World Tarot Card Meaning

The final Major Arcana Tarot Card. You've completed the journey and can look back at all the lessons, pitfalls, and triumphs. As you integrate what you've learned, remember to celebrate the accomplishments and wisdom you acquired that got you this far. 

The Major Arcana bring to light the big themes and energies in a reading. When you pull one of these cards, pay special attention as they're highlighting something vital for you to know. With this Tarot Card meanings list, you'll be ready to dive into learning one of the most popular divination tools in history.

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