The Major Arcana depict images, characters that convey deeper meanings,
messages, insights to encourage you to delve deep into your soul, reveal the shadows,
the secret longings or pain, fears as well as hopes, forgotten blessings and joys. It may
even point to possibilities you have never thought of. Tarot also paves the path
to healing of deep wounds suffered in solitude; it helps one in the grieving process.
It is also a helpful meditative tool. And if you are feeling a bit whimsical
and magical, try casting a tarot spell!
What the cards hold for you:
There are 22 cards in the Major Arcana
Part I: Who you are, what you are and the world around you:CARDS I-VII
Before him are the tools he needs on his journey, perhaps minor ones but needed.
Above him is the sign of infinity, a symbol of the Holy Spirit reflecting his Intellect that
gathers all knowledge and pours it out into Life and the attainment of the spirit.
This reflects self-confidence, strong will power, ability to transform ideas into action; he meets life’s crises and dilemma head on, with clear resolve and common sense.
II High Priestess
Described as the great feminine force that controls the very source of life. She gathers all the energy and pours it to the spirit when the time of release is right. At times stands for religion and the church.
She brings about the female creativity, she shows the hidden influences that can be detected by those who seek foresight and insight to try to understand what is to be.
She is the creative and positive side of Nature, with Venus as her symbol; she stands for the aspect of love. Some regard her as a symbol for Occultism, the door to the inner mysteries.
This card stands for strong maternal love, nurturing and supportive. She is eager to participate in productive and creative endeavors. She brings with her abundance and prosperity. She takes initiative and her practical side overshadows the emotion.
Authoritative, dominant, the Emperor exudes all that is powerful, passionate and impetuous in love and war. He stands for the positive masculine. He sees both sides of an issue, resolves conflict with his broad view of the picture, he also stands for mental rulership.
This card reflects maturity, regardless of age. The dominant side is influential in the decision -making process; he is strong-willed and purposeful.
He is the counterpart of the High Priestess.He is the reflective or mystical aspect of the masculine. Whereas the Emperor is a doer, the Hierophant is the thinker. It is thought that this card indicates the hidden guardianship of the Masters. This card offers the chance to go beyond the physical realm, it is possible to stimulate the flow of esoteric forces into the physical plane. It also indicates emotional health.
This card brings out the compassion and sensitive nature of man, a desire to adhere to tradition, respect rituals and the law. There is a strong reliance on intuition and the higher self. Rituals in this respect may indicate marriage or acceptance to an order. It also represents contemplation, endurance and reconciliation.
When Adam and Eve first entered Paradise, they were without fetters. They were inspired, intuitive and free from the shackles of materialism. They are a picture of innocence, virginity and pure love, without lusty desire.
This card that shows the way to human love, truth and life. It is deep love that brings harmony and peace. It points to decisions and choices to be made to bring happiness and contentment. It shows the male figure as the protector, the female secure in his presence although she is strong-willed.
A card that symbolizes the spirit of man in control of mind, body and spirit.The Chariot rises above the cloud of illusion and is able to penetrate the higher realm. He is endowed with the occult energy to overcome evil forces; he is ready to do battle.
This card represents the cyclic rhythm of changes to show that nothing in life is static. He represents the conquest on all planes, mental, physical, scientific and even the process of initiation.
It asks that you open your eyes to the resolution of problems by taking a look at all sides and endeavor to bring about peace and harmony. Even when you have a strong desire to forge ahead and you know you can, self-control is advised. Exercise positive physical and mental attitude in all that you do.
Part II: Forces you encounter along the way, sometimes beyond our control CARDS: VIII-XIV
It is the mastery of the lower self by the higher one. It is the power of the Spirit that gives the strength to subdue and check the rising tide of passion. In its exalted aspect, Strength connects with the Divine; she fosters virtue that applies in all planes.
It suggests that which is steadfast and enduring. With feet solid on the ground, passions is kept in check, do battle for the right reasons. This card brings a strong sense of mental power when faced with adversity. Honor is ultimate with this card.
He is the eternal seeker- the Pilgrim Soul. His beacon of wisdom and knowledge illuminates the world below him as he beckons: “Where I am, you also may be.”
Eternal Spring is in his heart.
Think things over evaluate carefully your options. Sometimes it helps to
Withdraw or retreat from a situation or issue. Being too emotionally involved with the problem may cloud the decision making process. Let a bright light come on to help you gain a better perspective.
X Wheel of Fortune
On the Tree of Life, the Wheel is placed on the Pillar of Mercy. As it revolves, you can see the changing influence of Light and Dark, the steps that eventually lead to liberation. It signifies the perpetual motion of the universe and highlights the continuous changing cycles of human existence. It shows that equilibrium is attainable.
The Wheel stands for the cycles of life, changes that are in store. Man does not stand still, neither does time. Sometimes it calls attention to recurring patterns in your life.
It is may also reflect the laws of Karma, cause and effect. This card may allude to the mystery of life, to seek higher consciousness, to appreciate the essence of being. Look forward to new opportunities, be in sync with the cyclical patterns, at times, it may be the destiny calling.
This card shows the scales of Justice. She has the authority to pass judgment, so that laws are obeyed. She protects law and order and moral principles. It is with enlightenment that she passed judgment.
It depicts the balance that is possible after a stressful time. It requires that Justice will be served according to principles, and dealt with love and compassion. It calls your attention to look at your life. Are you in balance and harmony with the cosmos? Take time to honor yourself, and not give up your personal power.
XII The Hanged Man
This is a card of sacrifice. It speaks of the submission to the material bonds in order to bring out what is sublime in the higher consciousness. This requires a quiet time for contemplation, to emerge stronger .For those who seek higher illumination, the work is never complete thus the recurring visit of the Hanged Man.
Take a rest, give yourself some time alone, after going through tough times New ideas will come forth to help smooth out difficulties, a better perspective, new attitude emerging.
This is a most feared card, feared for the drastic events it may bring. The skeleton survives the destructive power of time, but is the basis for re-structuring. It symbolizes rebirth, renewal, new beginnings.
This card denotes drastic changes lessons learned from past mistakes and failures, the chance to rise from the ashes of destruction. It restores the faith in love, it will conquer the darkness that fear brought. It offers new beginnings. Rarely does the Death card signify actual physical death.
This card projects equilibrium. It calls you to be moderate in every endeavour you pursue. An angel blends fire and water- inspiration and intuition the element Fire evokes and the emotions that Water symbolize.
Temperance encourages you to understand the hidden energies available to you. Exercise moderation in all that you do, to avoid being a slave to life’s excesses. Listen, look deep within, and be in tune with your inner self.
This card indicates one who has learned lessons about patience and living in the moment. It is a realization that moderation in life is necessary, if you are to maintain balance and harmony.
Part III :what is meant to be will be; experience the cosmic influences along the way . Cards :XV-XXI
XV The Devil
The Devil and Death are great controlling forces of the Universe. The destruction and havoc these cards wreak. Clear the way for renewal and rebirth. Nothing is permanent in Life. Sometimes, disintegration clears the fear, it paves the way for you confront these and find renewal, stability and strength after a struggle.
The Devil card opens your eyes to the fears, anger, greed, passions and lusts in your life. Look at your life, ask yourself, what can you change? These are strong powerful and destructive emotions that will bring nothing but more pain and bury you deeper in the mire. This card may represent the pursuit of all that is material, it may be time to re-assess your spiritual self.
XVI The Tower
Lightning strikes a tower with tremendous destructive force. What is toppled is symbolic of the necessity, or possibly the only way to allow the light to emerge from the darkness. It calls your attention to examine the walls you build around your life, what are behind those walls that you must give up to put your life in order, once again.
This card is the “wake-up call” you need to shake yourself out of your false illusions or delusions, living in the edge of disaster, be it personal or financial. You have thrown caution to the wind; this card beckons you to mend your way, with prudence and optimism. Sometimes, a collapse is the only way for you to open your mind, and be in touch with your inner spirit.
XVII The Star
The Star offers a guiding light, opens your heart to love, in all its forms. It lights up your soul. It is an inspiring card-with the promise of ultimate attainment. Enjoy the beauty of the heavens above, feel the gifts of the spirit flow within you.
This card offers great insight, new expectations, dark clouds are clearing. The shining star is a symbol of realization, of hope amid difficult times. It asks you to attune to your higher self, align to a higher purpose. Feel the optimism, enjoy good health as you look at the stars.
XVIII The Moon
Dark shadows lurk in the brightness of the Moon, shadows of unrewarded toils, unrequited love, fear and possible failure. Everything looks still in cool brightness of the Moon- yet intimidating. The moon moves the intellect to follow the reflective light to the far beyond of unknown mysteries, yet to be revealed. It shows the psychic, the unconscious waiting to be reconciled with the conscious.
This card speaks of a need for security and fulfillment. It reflects the illusions and delusions you live with It promotes confusion and lack of clarity. There are unconscious forces within, work with these, do not be fearful, for eventually, you will see the path clearer in full light of the moon.
XIX The Sun
The Sun is a life source, it provides warmth and vitality. Nothing can hide from the brightness of the sun. The sun is a predominant symbol of strength , energy and divine potential. However, it may also bring out the arrogant and disdainful qualities, a scorching sun is unbearable.
This is a good card to turn up in a reading. It offers inspiration as it casts its brightness on your path. Feel its warmth, absorb its radiance, and let it shine through your being. It offers the possibility of great achievement, success and all the trappings of fame.
An angel sounds the trumpet, experience the forces beyond human realm. What is the sum total of your life, your undertakings, your hopes and fears. Have you known the strength, have you felt the power from your higher self? From the power above, man transcends the limitations of his human experience and environment. Feel the wonder and the ecstasy of the summons from above, find the answers deep within.
This card calls for more spiritual outlook, a time for self-redemption. Ride the turbulent tides of your difficulties with a positive attitude, seek the enlightenment from your spirit and behold the transformation that springs from within.
XXI The World
This is the final message of the Major Arcana. It symbolizes the rapture of the universe when it connects with the cosmos, the ultimate power above whose light descends upon the spirit to the physical being. It is the great Mother, the wheel of Life and Death, it includes the elements, the stars shining brightly in the darkness, it is the present, and it is NOW.
Gather all your experience, for good or bad, learn what you can and make yourself whole again as the World offers it hand, as life once again comes full cycle. Be enlightened by it all, walk with faith and confidence, savor the moment of reward and success. Find your balance with the elements and the Universe. Live in the moment and let life flow.
Card 0 The Fool
The Fool is a card unto itself. At every step, there he is, evolving step by step as he walks his path, stumbling at times, then rises, and keeps going till he reaches the final step in his journey. Did he tread along the path that is meant for him, is the destination the ultimate goal, or is it the journey that counts?
The Fool goes on without pretense. He shows no hint of the Divine as he embarks on his journey. He shows no care in the world, he probably forgets that in his “bundle”he carries with him the tools he needs as he goes on his journey. He is surrounded by worldly wisdom held in check by his innocence or naivetë. He walks his path on an early Spring day, taking his steps without caution.
The Fool card shows one with an open mind, full of hopes and dreams and a very vivid imagination. This card indicates inexperience, unrealistic goals and very high hopes. It is a card of happenings, the beginning of all endeavours. Great caution is advised when this card turns up. Decisions are left to chance or to others.
Disaster is not for the cards to tell. Caution is strongly recommended, so is the ability to rise from the pain, from the ashes of a destructive human experience. It opens your eyes to the pitfalls of negative emotions, of fear, greed, anger, apathy, neglect of duties, power struggle and particularly neglect of the spirit. I believe in drawing upon the energy of the “right side -up” card when in reverse it speaks of doom and gloom.
May you find some inspiration, may you eventually be able to walk the path meant for you, as you navigate through the potholes and detours along the way and weather the storms and look forward to the dawn of a new day!
Mystic Secrets of the Tarot- Globe Communications Group
Mastering the Tarot by Eden Gray