The Symbolism of the Tarot: The Major Arcana

tarot-cardsThe Tarot cards are one of the most widely used forms of divination rituals in the present time. The Tarot deck is a beautiful set of cards that have emerged during the early 15th century and was first used as playing cards for the rich in some parts of Europe. It is said that the Tarot deck was born somewhere in Northern Italy but some conclude that the Tarot cards were rooted from earlier times in Ancient Egypt and was said to associated with the Egyptian holy book, the Kabbalah.

The mystery behind the power of the Tarot has perplexed many since its appearance around the year 1425. Beautifully hand painted and crafted for the aristocratic families in Italy, France and Germany, the Tarot deck was a very expensive treasure to own. The Tarot cards were first used as playing cards for the rich but in a century later they became symbols for interpreting fate and destiny.

The Tarot for Divination

A deck of Tarot cards is made up of 78 cards and is divided into two sets for divination: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana signify vital elements in the life of the person who seeks answers. The cards drawn from the Major arcana often reflect issues pertaining to life, love, career, death, health and any other significant points that play in the Querent’s (seeker) life. On the other hand, the Minor Arcana answers questions about passing things which may not be as important. Normally these cards interplay with one another to form a meaning that show the life of the person longing for answers.

The reader then spreads the cards in different ways in order to reflect different aspects of the life or the Querent. Different card spreads may move the cards in different ways which aid the reader into a better understanding of the situation. Normally the cards speak to the reader and the inherent meanings of the cards are used only as guidelines. The psychic’s intuitive abilities give him or her the power to see and make sense of the cards in the spread and how they relate to one another.

The Major Arcana Card Meanings

There are 22 cards that belong in the Major Arcana. The Major Arcana is also known as trump cards. The word “trump” comes from word “triumph which means to win over any other card. Each card can be used for a specific purpose to triumph over other cards.

The Fool

The Fool is a symbol of new beginning and of change. It may mean letting go of something. This may show a change in life aspects such as work and relationships or it may mean emotional change. The fool may also signify freedom. The fool carries a light sack and shows lightness in his step signifying freedom from worry. In some advice spreads, the Fool card can mean for you to let go of fear and worry.

The Magician

The Magician is a card that signifies our own power to create possibilities in our own lives. It shows how our minds can shape the direction of our destinies. The Magician represents your abilities to speak and work well. Having this card in the spread may mean success in career and business. In advice spreads, the Magician card tells you to take action since action will bring about the change that you need. In terms of business and career it may mean being given abilities in negotiation or speaking.

The High Priestess Meaning

The high priestess may mean the ability to have intuition in moments where decision is needed to be done. It shows that you must trust your heart in the feelings it leads you to. But do not confuse wisdom and intuition to overthinking. It may also show that someone will provide good advice which is valuable in creating positivity in your life. When this card comes up, it means to let go and rely on your gut feel. In terms of relationship spreads, the High Priestess card also indicates strong feminine and sexual attributes which makes you attractive. If you are a man, this may also show a distant woman who you like or love.

The Empress

The Empress is the patron of marriage and family. It is a good omen if you are about to get married or planning to have children. This may also mean another member of your family is going to get pregnant. She also symbolizes fertility, abundance both in riches and in artistic influences. Art in the sense of creating things (much like giving birth to new ideas). This card may also signify people who would want to get your comfort and advice.

The Emperor

The Emperor shows leadership or may signify an upward movement in your career. It may also mean the need to be strong in times to come. It may mean you may need to practice temperance over finances and have time for spiritual growth. It may mean that you need to use logic more than your heart. In love, it may signify a love interest with an older man or a good relationship with someone who is older than you like a boss or your dad.

The Hierophant

This card has spiritual bearing. It may mean an inner struggle with religion and spirituality or longing for enlightenment. This may mean that you need to stand up for your own beliefs no matter what the people around you say. In work it may signify that you need to associate with people well but still be yourself. It also shows that you may need some advice from someone. In love, it may however show that the relationship is at a standstill and going a traditional route.

The Lovers

The Symbolism of the TarotThe Lovers card represent difficult choices that may come into your life wherein there is only one path that you can take. For spreads seeking advice to making choices, this card may signify that you must make a choice and the result of the choice you make would either lead to happiness or grief. When relating to the past, it may show that you must move from being too distant to being closer to others.

The Chariot

This signifies a difficult task or journey that you may undertake. You will go through a tough ordeal in order to achieve your dream or goal. It also signifies that you are a determined person that can overcome these difficulties thrown at you. With enough willpower you can be successful. In terms of career, this card will mean that there may be a person pulling you away from your success but do not blow this scope. Be strong. In love, on the other hand this card may mean that you are going on too strong in the relationship and may need to ease up a bit.

Strength

Strength is a very positive card. It indicates your power over something that may be letting you down such as sickness or loneliness. It means that you can overcome that sorrow. In general this card also means to do introspection into your soul and find where you’re true strength lies. It means for you to be calm and collected no matter what the circumstances are. If you are seeing this card in a career spread, it may mean that you are going to find a job you like or will be doing well in the current job. In love, this card signifies that your relationship is doing well and that you are happy together; complementing each other into completion.

The Hermit

The Hermit symbolizes spirituality and the need for introspection. He signifies that one must step back to assess the things that go about around you. In general it signifies for you to let go of the things around you and do not try to control things too much. In terms of work, this may mean that you will receive good things from work because you are doing the right thing with integrity. In love, it may mean a second chance with a past flame. This may mean also reassessment of how your relationship is with someone.

The Wheel of Fortune

This card shows to tell you about change. The Wheel of Fortune is a card that good things are to come but they would be beyond our control. On the other hand if we are already having good Karma, we must never claim it and live in the now because something may change in our situation. In work, this may mean you may need to validate your current job even if it pays well because you might be needing change to improve your psyche. In love, you may need to walk away from a relationship that is being too stagnant or not moving. Generally this is a positive card that tells us that life is filled with changes and that we are to prepare for it and also signifies that all is equal in Karma.

Justice

This card is a call from Karma to find balance and sometimes retribution. If you are good and have suffered, you will receive remuneration for your suffering, but if you are unjust and cruel, you will reap the evil you have sown. This card may also mean that you need to step up to take charge of providing that justice for others. In terms of work, this may mean that you are needing time to give balance to either your work or home life and not one should be above the other. When it comes to love, it may indicate that you need to either really choose to go with the long term commitment or remove the toxicity and move on. For people who are single, it may show that you are to reap what you sow in love, to give will mean you shall be given too, too play with love means you will be hurt as well.

The Hanged Man

There are two meanings that this card give off: one is change and the other is sacrifice. In the first meaning, it means that you are to feel pain or sorrow which would be something you cannot control or change. Or it may mean that this change that hurts you will be for the best. On the other hand, it may mean you must do something for an endeavor greater than yourself; you must let go of who are to create positive change in the cosmos around you. In terms of career, this card may mean that you are getting burned out at work and looking for excitement and change. You may need to be patient for a bit since things are being slow in your job but change will come. In love, this card means letting go. This signifies to let go of a love that is not for you or letting go of too much control.

Death

This card symbolizes permanent change in your life. It may show you a path of new beginnings and the end of the old things such your job, love life, friendship or a big aspect of your life. In this point of your life, you cannot control the things to come and letting go is the best way to go about it. Acceptance is the key. In the aspects of career this normally signify that you are deeply unhappy and dying in your job and you are just staying there because of the pay and eventually, you may be taken out of your job. This may be quiet a painful thing but it will reveal that you are headed towards something brighter. In terms of love, you are probably very unhappy with your current situation and that you are only staying in it for the security it brings. But ultimately change has to come and you need to let go.

Temperance

So as the name goes, this card leads you to find patience in your heart in order to achieve balance and holistic growth in to your relationships. Find a balance in giving yourself what you deserve as well as giving your loved ones the time and effort they need. In work this will mean that you should not overwork yourself to achieve your dreams. In love, you must first deal with your own personal baggage before taking on another’s burdens.

The Devil Card

This is a warning card that tells you that there is an impending situation that may trap you or lead you in a difficult position. It is also a card that tell you that you may already be trapped in a situation. Some people around you may be trapping you into a place where you have no choice but follow them. There may also be things you have put your time and attention to that has lead you to feeling trapped and cannot go on and live happily. If this card appears you must move forward and try to change where you are.

The Tower

The Tower is bad card. This indicates tragedy and turmoil. If the tower appears you must brace yourself for what is to come. You must prepare for this battle. Stock up financially in order to sustain any financial problems. Be careful with romantic fights since it might cause a big rift and tragedy in your relationship. Do so lightly challenge your coworkers or boss. Basically this card warns you of the future pain to come.

The Star

The Star is a card that signifies light despite the darkness you have experienced. It means you will recover from any pain or sorrow. It also mean abundance is on its way. You may be going through a rough patch at work but you will find the fruits of your labor. You may be single and lonely and you will find love. You may be having trouble in your marriage and you will rekindle your love. In art this may mean more creative times.

The Moon

The Moon is a card that signifies confusion. This card may signify that you are going through a time where you need to seek advice from others since your heart and your head cannot reconcile each other. When it comes to work, this card will mean that you are indefinite about your job and where you stand. You feel lost and confused in the day to day things of your job. In you relationship, this card may mean you are confused with your partner or your own self in how the relationship stands. You may need to step back for a bit in order for you not to break what you have.

The Sun

The Sun is a very good card to see in a spread. It means bright things are about to come about in your life and in your love life. You will be able to achieve the goals you have set in your job and you can expect good things in the relationship such as happiness or even marriage. You may also feel good emotions that can come from setting your heart free from vacations and enjoying life.

The Judgment Card

This card is a sign that change is about to come in your life but not from outside sources which you cannot control, but rather from your own personal choices. You will need to be careful about your decisions since it will mean that your life can depend on this decision. In terms of work, it may mean that your work is being examined in order to determine your worth in the company. This means you must give everything you have to impress the people around you. In love, this will be time where your relationship is in the point of being challenged. Your partner is waiting for you to be the person he or she fell in love with or else he or she may leave.

The World

This card means that you have been through a path of burden but your time to shine is about to come. It also means that you are changing into a new person wherein the old one is no longer you but rather you are a new and better person now who is strong and confident. In work, this means that you may be working too obsessively and that this may change who you are sometimes in a positive way or may also be in a negative way. You might need to ground yourself and grow for yourself not for fame. In love, you may meet a new love which will grow or if you are already committed, then it means you will find another spark in your togetherness.

The Major Arcana are the cards that lead the way in a reading. They determine the major parts of the story as the Minor Arcana fills in the gaps of the details. We will talk about more about the symbolism of the other cards in the next articles about the other suits of the Minor Arcana.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarot

http://www.trustedtarot.com/card-meanings/

http://www.psychic-revelation.com/reference/q_t/tarot/tarot_cards/

http://www.ata-tarot.com/resource/cards/

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/tarot/qt/SelectADeck.htm

 

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