What follows is an introduction into the meaning of each tarot card of The Major Arcana – Part 1
(As you read through the page, you cna click on the symbols' link to get detailed information about the meaning of each card.)
If you are new to tarot, we have tarot card reading instructions to help get you started.
There are 22 cards in the Major Arcana, numbered from 0 (zero) to 21.
The meanings of the tarot cards can be looked at in many different ways and on many levels.
But it is helpful to break them down into smaller groups to better appreciate the inter-relationship between them.
At its heart, the cards of the tarot tell stories, symbolic images that speak to the subconscious and enable our conscious awareness to tap into the archetypal storehouse of wisdom that is available to all.
There is no such thing as a purely 'good' card or a purely 'bad' one. Approached with a degree of awareness and respect, and with disciplined study and humility, the cards have much to teach us about ourselves and the world around us.
For ease of reference, let's start with the first eleven cards, running numerically from 0 to 10.
And to understand the tarot card meanings in sequence, let's consider them in a symbolic journey.
We start as The Fool, with a sense of innocence about the world.
As we immerse ourselves in physical reality, we become The Magician to some degree and exert our will. The next step from this is to realize that our will can only take us so far and that we need to gather and apply knowledge.
The High Priestess shows us that knowledge gained must be judiciously applied.As we do this, those conscious actions bring come to fruition and,
As we do this, those conscious actions bring come to fruition and, as The Empress, we experience the produce of our labors.
There comes a time when we outgrow that environment for all things have their time and place, on the inner and on the outer.
As The Emperor, we have again moved from receptive to active and need to strike that balance between the masculine and feminine within ourselves.
The Hierophant represents a stage where we once again unite with higher spiritual forces and submit to Universal authority.
This reconnection enriches all aspects of our lives and makes the sacred union of The Lovers possible, as an integrated, whole person and within a fully actualized relationship.
This transition literally moves us forward in life, symbolized by the emotional stability and universal protection of The Chariot.
With Strength, we more fully subjugate the baser elements of our nature in favor of the higher values, not because one is somehow better than the other but because we have grown to the point where the ego is no longer our first line of defence.
Arguably, it is the last! We may become a mentor or symbol to others, having made the adjustment.
But this stage can be a lonely time as The Hermit illustrates. For in serving we must make ourselves good servants and be attentive to our task. None of this negates our own karma and that of the people around us.
The Wheel of Fortune may come into play where situations change, relationships end, jobs change or new priorities become clear to us.
And once this happens and we have made our choices, we are called to account for our actions, inactions and justifications though our encounter with Justice.
I hope you enjoyed the introduction to the meaning of each tarot card in The Major Arcana Part 1. Please click on any of the above links for a full page interpretation of the tarot card.
Enjoy reading the meaning of each tarot card - Part 2 of The Major Arcana.
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