3 major arcana cards (the empress, the magician and the emperor) laid out side by side

The Major Arcana in Tarot: Understanding the Most Powerful Cards

Out of the 78 Tarot cards that come in a deck, 22 of those cards, numbered 0-21 are the Major Arcana. The Major Arcana represent the major themes and patterns in our lives, such as love, career, and spiritual growth.

The Major Arcana cards are often considered the most powerful cards in the Tarot deck. They represent the major archetypes and universal themes of life, such as the Fool, representing new beginnings and the potential for change, or the Tower, representing upheaval and sudden change.

Unlike the Minor Arcana, the cards of the Major Arcana stand alone- they are major themes, not everyday themes.

Basic Meanings of the Major Arcana cards:

the first 10 major arcana rider waite tarot cards laid out


  • The Fool: new beginnings, spontaneity, potential for change.
  • The Magician: creativity, manifestation, power of the will.
  • The High Priestess: intuition, secrets, subconscious mind.
  • The Empress: motherhood, fertility, nurturing.
  • The Emperor: authority, stability, leadership.
  • The Hierophant: tradition, spirituality, guidance.
  • The Lovers: love, relationships, union of souls.
  • The Chariot: determination, willpower, control.
  • Strength: courage, inner strength, self-control.
  • The Hermit: introspection, inner wisdom, solitude. 

 last 12 major arcana rider waite tarot cards laid out

  • The Wheel of Fortune: change, fate, destiny.
  • Justice: fairness, balance, truth.
  • The Hanged Man: patience, sacrifice, new perspective.
  • Death: transformation, change, new beginnings.
  • Temperance: balance, harmony, moderation.
  • The Devil: materialism, addiction, temptation.
  • The Tower: upheaval, sudden change, chaos.
  • The Star: hope, inspiration, faith.
  • The Moon: emotions, intuition, subconscious mind.
  • The Sun: vitality, energy, success.
  • Judgement: judgement, rebirth, redemption.
  • The World: completion, wholeness, accomplishment.

It is important to remember that these are simply basic meanings and that Tarot cards can have multiple interpretations depending on the context of the reading and the individual reader. It's important to study the Tarot and gain a deeper understanding of the cards and their meanings.

 If you have anything to add, let us know in the comments section!

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