The Major Arcana
Tarot Card The Empress Two
|There are 78 cards in a complete tarot deck;
22 of which are considered Major Arcana cards. Typically, when you
see a Major Arcana card in your reading, it is representative of a major
life situation, motivating drive and/or feeling, or upcoming
change. It most always points to something quite important and
relevant in the querent's life. Often the Major Arcana cards
accurately predict times of crises and their respective outcomes, as
well as explain and interpret aspects of ourselves on which we need to
The Major Arcana are symbols or archetypes pointing to our selves, people in our lives, situations and feelings, either personal or of a more general nature. As Anthony Louis says in his book Tarot Plain and Simple:
"All of the Major Arcana cards have a specific archetype assigned them, though not all are labeled as being specifically Jungian in the following descriptions. They are approached from a Jungian standpoint by virtue of the concept of archetypes, which Jung referred to as the universal situations, feeling states, and behavior patterns of the collective unconscious. These archetypes are only potential ways of thinking, feeling, and acting. Jung compared the archetypes to a dry river bed that becomes active only when water begins to flow; for us, archetypes become active only when our behavior follows one of their universal forms."
The following are all the Major Arcana cards and their respective meanings, scaled down for brevity's sake:
The Fool - The beginning of a journey. Innocence. Spontaneity. A new chance.
The Magician - Creativity. The ability to realize your goal. The ability to manipulate forces to arrive at your desired destination.
The High Priestess - Spirituality. Intuition. Looking within. Esoteric, mystical and occult knowledge and wisdom. In tune with your inner voice.
The Empress - Motherhood. Material pleasures. Marriage. Womanly sexuality. Fertility.
The Emperor - Fatherhood. Control. Keeping things together. The one with the power.
The Hierophant - Spirituality or a spiritual search. Wisdom. Wise counsel. The Pope. Orthodoxy.
The Lovers - Togetherness. Union. Partnership. Making a choice.
The Chariot - Moving forward. Possible travel. Success. Progress. Upward movement. Ambition.
Strength - Morality. Success due to morality. Inner strength. Knowledge and wisdom. Will power.
The Hermit - Contemplation. Ponderousness. Looking inward. Seeker. Removing oneself from others. Introspection. Time alone. Patience.
Wheel of Fortune - Something good is approaching. A good change. Success.
Justice - What is right will finally be done. Fairness. Legal judgment.
The Hanged Man - Balance. Limbo. Stasis. Mysticism. Inward seeking. Looking at all the options.
Death - Change. Significant shifting, transformation. Freedom. A new time. Marriage. Divorce.
Temperance - Balance. Fairness. Moderation. Unbiased. Discernment.
The Devil - Negativity. Cynicism. Bound by your own anger, hatred. Guilt. Vainglory. Self-absorption. Trapped due to one's own selfishness.
The Tower - A shock. An amazing epiphany. A sudden and drastic change. Crisis. Swift transformation. Jolting news.
The Star - Luck. Aspiration. Hope. Faith. Illumination. Belief. Inner and spiritual success.
The Moon - Intuition. Psychic ability. Animal instincts. Fantasy. Creative output: writing, acting, magician. Also: betrayal. Trickery. Unexpected danger. Unseen forces that may harm. Fear.
The Sun - Progress. Fulfillment. Success. Prosperity. Positivity. Happiness.
Judgment - The end. Time of summation. A decision made. The reckoning. Change in station. Rebirth. An end to one, a beginning to another.
The World - Joy. Elation. The end. The culmination. The reaching of a goal. Expansion.
Continue on to view the meaning of reversed Major Arcana cards.
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