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Major Arcana Tarot Card Guide: Part 1

A complete deck of Tarot cards has 22 Major and 56 Minor Arcana cards that all have different definitions that can reveal situations in a reading. During your reading, a psychic will analyse the symbols and emotional meanings of cards selected to create a sequence that will tell a spiritual story about your future. Major Arcana cards represent significant events and powerful influences that can alter our future. When you receive one of these cards in a reading, it is telling you that you recently have or are about to make a very significant decision in your life that will begin a new chapter. Each Major Arcana card has a Roman numeral at the top starting from 0-21. These numbers symbolise their journey throughout the deck and can also reveal the stage of your life or close relationships. For example, you might receive The Fool which is 0 because it tells the tale of new beginnings and might mean you’re about to start an exciting chapter in your life. Below are all the 22 Major Arcana cards and what they will reveal in a psychic reading. See part two of this series here.

Note:

All Tarot cards shown below are from the Rider-Waite tarot deck, also known as the Rider-Waite-Smith deck.

 

0- The Fool

"RWS Tarot 00 Fool" by Pamela Coleman Smith - a 1909 card scanned by Holly Voley (http://home.comcast.net/~vilex/) for the public domain, and retrieved from http://www.sacred-texts.com/tarot (see note on that page regarding source of images).. Licensed under PD-US via Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:RWS_Tarot_00_Fool.jpg#/media/File:RWS_Tarot_00_Fool.jpg

Key meanings: A new journey, excitement, uncertainty, a divergence.

Symbols: Jester, butterfly, cliff, dog.

The fool pictures as a young jester type individual who is following a butterfly towards the end of a cliff. You will notice that even though a dog is trying to bite his boots to give him a stern warning, he is too distracted by the butterfly’s beauty. He is beginning a fantastic new journey and isn’t afraid of the hazards because he’s hopeful and ready to go. In a reading, this card will tell you that even though you’re looking forward to leaping into something fresh, it’s always best to keep your wits about you. Not looking where you’re going can cause obstacles in the future, so a step-by-step plan could help you progress safely. The card also shows a possibility of joy and romance in your life, but again, it’s not something you should dive into straight away. If you’re drawn towards someone, it’s best to let the relationship blossom naturally instead of rushing.
If this card appears reversed, it is telling you there is a likelihood of poor judgement or advice to occur. If you have different options presented to you at the moment, think carefully about which one you choose. Making rash decisions could result in regret for a better option you didn’t consider.


1- The MagicianRWS_Tarot_01_Magician

Key meanings: Creativity, innovation, projects, success.

Symbols: Infinity, all suits (wands, cups, swords and pentacles).

The Magician pictured in this card is holding a glowing wand, while being surrounded by all suits of the tarot. It tells us that he is taking advantage of all energies the suits give to the world. The infinity sign above his head symbolises a continuous success in spiritual and life goals that will bring great happiness. New beginnings will start well for this character because he’s got everything around him that he needs to succeed. In a reading, this card is telling you that whatever you plan to do next, it will go extremely well. If there has been a new project or job opportunity you would like to explore, now is the perfect time to put plans into place. Dreams can transform into reality, and it’s important that you don’t allow insecurity or doubt stop you from going forward. After you have taken this leap of faith, you will find that your everyday working life will feel like a complete joy instead of a chore.
If this card appears reversed in a reading, it is warning us about someone who is out to trick us. If you receive an offer that is a little too good to be true, make sure you research the facts before making any decision.


2- The High Priestess

RWS_Tarot_02_High_Priestess

Key meanings: Spirituality, intuition, reevaluation, femininity.

Symbols: Pillars, stage, book.

The High Priestess is reading a book while stood on a stage between two pillars. These symbols together tell us that she is between the spiritual realms in the world and is increasing her wisdom. Being able to look beyond the conscious world to reveal hidden meanings heightens intuition and spiritual power. She is feminine and can learn efficiently without many issues occurring along the way. If this card appears in a reading, it is telling you that now is a time where your confidence is improving, and you’re on the right path towards success. If you have a gut feeling about something, it’s important that you follow it instead of brushing it under the rug. You will be able to look past any haze that surrounds your life, which means you will soon have a clear perspective.
When this card appears in it’s reverse position, it means something is hidden away, such as a secret that will shock you when you eventually discover the truth. For example, someone you trusted might show their true colours that shock you and others. It’s vital that you don’t give into any hearsay that might circulate during this time.


 

3- The EmpressRWS_Tarot_03_Empress

Key meanings: Love, maternal instinct, fertility.

Symbols: Venus, apple blossom, shield, orb.

The Empress is the complimentary card for The Emperor. She represents women, fertility and gentleness. The beautiful apple blossom tree is a symbol of fertility and emotional growth while the Eagle shield links to her husband, symbolising unity between two partners. She is a happy, emotionally stable character who is at peace with her surroundings. If this card appears in a reading, it means you will experience a lot of beauty in your life surrounding different areas. For example, your home situation will be full of harmony where little to no disagreements will take place. The character can also mean that a mother-type figure will appear in your life. This person will be able to provide brilliant advice and guidance in areas where you struggle to make the right decisions. If the card is reversed, it means you might experience issues with women in your life. A disagreement with a mother in law or a sister could manifest, creating issues that will be difficult to iron out.


 

4- The EmperorRWS_Tarot_04_Emperor

Key meanings: Power, dominance, action, paternal instinct.

Symbols: Orb, shield, armour, wand.

The Emperor is a good person who likes to lead others to success and makes a great authority figure. His sensible advice will help you look at the smaller details instead of the bigger pictures in life. This information will help you plan better strategies that could lead to accomplishment. At first, you may not be a big fan of how he comes across, especially if he’s someone who prefers old fashioned views instead of modern thinking. This individual likes to practise a routine or a plan that he knows will succeed, instead of doing something in an entirely different way. Even though you might disagree, it could be a better solution for particular goals you’re tackling.
When this card is reversed in a reading, it is showing you that you need to be careful about letting someone control you. There could be a man in your life who always wants the upper hand in situations, making the outcome very unfair. This prompts you to take a step back so you can distance yourself from his negative influence.


 

5. The Hierophant RWS_Tarot_05_Hierophant

Key meanings: Progress, help, wisdom, intelligence.

Symbols: Cross, Priest/Religious figure, right hand.

This card is also known as the Pope, who is raising his right hand while holding a large cross. This character teaches and guides people to make the right decisions in life, and his wisdom means there is a lot of useful information to digest. Pillars appear again which tell you that he is standing between two worlds (earth and heaven) because he is speaking to God yet bringing us the wisdom. If this card appears in a reading, it is telling you that you must take the good advice that you receive. So far, you may have been ignoring someone’s suggestions that will make a positive difference, only if you decide to take it. Don’t ignore what people are telling you because chances are, they will be able to see the situation for what it really is instead of being mixed up in emotions.
If this card is reversed, it can mean someone older than you likes to give an opinion without you seeking it. They could come across as rude and nosey because they seem to know what is right for you without knowing all the facts.


 

6. The LoversRWS_Tarot_06_Lovers

Key meanings: Unity, love, friendship, decision.

Symbols: Cupid, Man, Woman, Roses.

This card symbolises a huge decision that will change a situation in a very positive way. Even though the card symbolises a couple, it can also mean that you’re about to join a partnership with a business or friendship. The two characters are people who are happy and connected to each other in harmony. The Cupid represents the start of this blossoming relationship while the roses symbolise growth meaning that it might be something that takes some time to develop. If this card appears in a reading, it might be telling you to keep your eyes peeled for someone amazing who is about to walk into your life because this partnership will last a very long time, regardless of whether it’s romantic or platonic. You will both come together and decide on something that will change your lives. It could be a marriage or a new business venture that brings you great happiness.
If this card is reversed, it means that one person might back out of an agreement which ends up being highly disappointing. There could be a situation where you’ve planned to move in with a partner, yet they aren’t quite ready. The trick is to be patient during the situation so you can both solve it together in a mature manner.


Make sure you feel a look out for our Major Arcana Tarot Cards Part 2 and 3. If you are curious about which Tarot card you are most like as an individual, take our brilliant quiz and find out today!

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