Understanding the Major Arcana: An In-Depth Look

Опубликовано 25.08.2023


The Major Arcana is a significant component of the tarot, constituting 22 out of the total 78 tarot cards in a deck. It’s often seen as the core or the heart of the tarot, representing deep spiritual lessons, life stages, and psychological archetypes. This article explores the meaning of each of the Major Arcana and provides an understanding of what it may signify when all Major Arcana cards appear in a reading.

What Do Each of the Major Arcana Mean?

The Fool (0 or 22): The Fool represents new beginnings, spontaneity, and the unknown. It suggests that you are about to embark on a new journey, either physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

The Magician (I): This card signifies manifestation, resourcefulness, and power. It often points to a time when you have the creative power and energy to create a new life cycle for yourself.

The High Priestess (II): The High Priestess symbolizes intuition, mystery, and unconsciousness. It advises you to trust your intuition and inner voice.

The Empress (III): Representing femininity, fertility, and abundance, The Empress signifies creation, whether it be life, art, or an idea coming to fruition.

The Emperor (IV): The Emperor symbolizes authority, structure, and a father figure. It often indicates a need for order and stability.

The Hierophant (V): This card represents spiritual wisdom, religious beliefs, and traditional values. It might suggest seeking spiritual guidance or adhering to established social structures.

The Lovers (VI): The Lovers represent love, harmony, and relationships. It might indicate a new romance or a powerful, shared bond.

The Chariot (VII): The Chariot signifies determination, control, and willpower. It often encourages you to remain focused on your path and to exert control in a disciplined and focused manner.

Strength (VIII): This card represents courage, patience, and inner strength. It suggests that you need to draw upon deep strength and courage to overcome challenges.

The Hermit (IX): The Hermit symbolizes introspection, solitude, and guidance. It invites you to take a break from the hustle of life and reflect on your personal journey.

Wheel of Fortune (X): This card signifies destiny, karma, and life cycles, suggesting that an important turning point is coming.

Justice (XI): The Justice card represents fairness, truth, and the law. It suggests a time of decision-making, likely involving an understanding of cause and effect.

The Hanged Man (XII): This card symbolizes pause, surrender, and new perspectives. It often indicates the need to release old patterns or to see things from a different angle.

Death (XIII): Despite its intimidating name, the Death card represents transformation, endings, and new beginnings. It signifies that an important aspect of your life is about to change or end to make way for something new.

Temperance (XIV): Temperance signifies balance, moderation, and patience. It often advises you to seek middle ground and to practice patience and adaptability.

The Devil (XV): This card represents bondage, addiction, and materialism. It suggests you may be unconsciously trapped by materialism or struggling with internal demons or fears.

The Tower (XVI): The Tower symbolizes sudden upheaval, chaos, and revelation. It often indicates a significant and sudden change.

The Star (XVII): This card represents hope, faith, and rejuvenation. It brings a message of hope and positivity, suggesting good things are on the horizon.

The Moon (XVIII): The Moon symbolizes illusion, fear, and anxiety. It might indicate that not everything is as it seems and advises you to trust your intuition.

The Sun (XIX): The Sun signifies joy, success, and celebration. It brings a positive energy and indicates success in all areas of your life.

Judgement (XX): This card represents judgment, rebirth, and inner calling. It suggests a time of reflection, self-evaluation, and a signal that it’s time to rise up and act.

The World (XXI): The World signifies completion, accomplishment, and travel. It represents the end of a cycle and the start of a new one.

What Does It Mean When You Get All Major Arcana?

When you get all Major Arcana in a reading, it often signifies that you are experiencing life-changing events that have significant long-term implications. It is a potent message from the universe that you are going through a phase of deep personal growth and spiritual development. You may be called to evaluate your life’s journey, to face large-scale life lessons, or to navigate through the various life stages each card represents.

However, interpreting a reading composed entirely of Major Arcana cards can be complex, as the archetypes these cards represent can interact in nuanced ways. It is often best to seek guidance from an experienced tarot reader or delve deeply into the meanings and interrelationships of the cards yourself.


The Major Arcana is a profound and powerful part of the tarot deck. Understanding the meanings and the implications of each card can provide deep insight into your life’s journey, your personal growth, and your spiritual development. Whether used for introspection, guidance, or divination, the Major Arcana cards are a valuable tool in the world of tarot.