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Tarot card meanings

Major Arcana

The Major Arcana, or “trumps” of the tarot deck are the numbered cards that are not divided into the suits (cups, wands, pentacles, swords). The Major Arcana are considered by many to represent the “bigger picture” issues in a reading, while the Minor Arcana represent the smaller, more mundane and specific parts of life. I differ from many readers in that I only read the cards of the Major Arcana. In early readings, I attempted to integrate both sets of cards, but noticed that I was being lead to use only the Major Arcana cards, and so I became comfortable using just this part of the deck. Because I read only the Majors, I tend to read the cards both for themselves, and in conjunction with other cards, to provide a more complete picture of what is going on that the questioner may not be aware of, or able to acknowledge. For this reason, the meanings I note in the following pages may not be the same as you might read elsewhere, and the meaning I attach to the various cards in your reading may differ from what I’ve written here. For me, the cards are fluid and living sources of information, and not fixed to a specific meaning. However, there are some basic elements of each Major Arcana card that I can explain.

0 - The Fool
1 - The Magician
2 - The High Priestess
3 - The Empress
4 - The Emperor
5 - The Hierophant
6 - The Lovers
7 - The Chariot
8 - Strength
9 - The Hermit
10 - The Wheel of Fortune

The Second Half of the Major Arcana

The first 11 cards are usually considered to be the cards of the physical- specific people and things that suggest concrete situations and influences. The second half of the deck, however, is more focused on the spiritual or non-concrete, ideas and concepts and abstractions that move us and change us.

11 - Justice
12 - The Hanged Man
13 - Death
14 - Temperance
15 - The Devil
16 - The Tower
17 - The Star
18 - The Moon
19 - The Sun
20 - Judgement
21 - The World