Major Arcana
Major Arcana of a Rider Waite Tarot deck.

Tarot used to overwhelm me.   The Major Arcana is probably the most recognizable set of these cards.

78 cards to remember and relate to.   But they break down into manageable portions.   There are so many facets to these cards it is hard to know where to start.   My focus on these talks will always be with the Rider-Waite Tarot cards.   They are the ones that I relate the most to and since they are the most commonly recognized cards there are so many reference materials you can find online.

By no means am I an expert, and as time goes by you may find your own meanings and interpretations of these cards.   Know that is completely acceptable.    Some say you should keep your deck sacred to yourself.   I only allow someone to hold my cards if I am going to do a reading with them.   I have rituals that I use with them and later on, I may share them.   Let’s start with the cards…

What is the Best way to Learn?

The first grouping I want to talk about is the Major Arcana is comprised of 22 cards.   Some suggest that you pull them out and work with them only first.  It is completely dependent on what feels right for you.   Right now I am struggling with the Pentacles so I have been pulling them out and working with them when I can.  You will see all sorts of spreads that you can do for readings.   They may be helpful to you, for me I kinda just go with the flow.   I always seem to know what I need and how to use them.   So it is hard to explain usage.

Today, let’s just focus on very basic meanings of the Major Arcana cards.   When you see cards they can be in the upright or reversed position.     I am going to say focus on them both.   Other people say only deal with the upright.   I found early on that did not work for me to just work with the Major Arcana.   That the reversed position when it appeared made greater sense to me. There are so many aspects to the cards you may want to use the worksheets that I have created to help build your own reference to the cards.

The Major Arcana Cards

  • 0 or 22 – The Fool (Air)
    • Astrological Sign – Uranus
    • upright – innocence
    • reversed – recklessness
  • 1 – The Magician (Air)
    • Astrological Sign -Mercury
    • upright – personal power
    • reversed – missing synchronicities
  • 2 – The High Priestess (Water)
    • Astrological Sign -Moon
    • upright – Higher power
    • reversed – hidden agenda
  • 3 – The Empress (Earth)
    • Astrological Sign -Venus
    • upright – femininity
    • reversed – dependence on others
  • 4 – The Emperor (Fire)
    • Astrological Sign – Aries
    • upright – authority
    • reversed – excessive control
  • 5 – The Hierophant (Earth)
    • Astrological Sign – Taurus
    • upright – conformity
    • reversed – challenging what is accepted
  • 6 – The Lovers (Air)
    • Astrological Sign -Gemini
    • upright – alignment
    • reversed – lack of balance
  • 7 – The Chariot (Water)
    • Astrological Sign -Cancer
    • upright – determination
    • reversed – loss of control
  • 8 – Strength (Fire)
    • Astrological Sign -Leo
    • upright – Patience
    • reversed – doubt of yourself
  • 9 – The Hermit (Earth)
    • Astrological Sign -Virgo
    • upright – inner guidance
    • reversed – withdrawn
  • 10 – Wheel of Fortune (Fire)
    • Astrological Sign –
    • upright – turning point
    • reversed – out of control
  • 11 – Justice (Air)
    • Astrological Sign -Jupiter
    • upright – cause & effect
    • reversed – unfair
  • 12 – The Hanged Man (Water)
    • Astrological Sign -Neptune
    • upright – letting go
    • reversed – delay
  • 13 – Death (Water)
    • Astrological Sign -Scorpion
    • upright – change
    • reversed – unable to move on
  • 14 – Temperance (Fire)
    • Astrological Sign -Sagittarius
    • upright – moderation
    • reversed – lack of balance
  • 15 – The Devil (Earth)
    • Astrological Sign – Capricorn
    • upright – addiction
    • reversed – breaking free
  • 16 – The Tower (Fire)
    • Astrological Sign – Mars
    • upright – upheaval
    • reversed – dodged a bullet
  • 17 – The Star (Air)
    • Astrological Sign – Aquarius
    • upright – Serenity
    • reversed – despair
  • 18 – The Moon (Water)
    • Astrological Sign – Pisces
    • upright – fear
    • reversed – confusion
  • 19 – The Sun (Fire)
    • Astrological Sign – Sun
    • upright – success
    • reversed- temporary depression
  • 20 – Judgement (Fire)
    • Astrological Sign – Pluto
    • upright – judgment
    • reversed – self-doubt
  • 21 – The World (Earth)
    • Astrological Sign -Saturn
    • upright – accomplishment
    • reversed – lack of closure

These are my most basic associations for each card in the Major Arcana, they have so many levels and meanings.   It is a place to start if you have never used them.   It is a way to start.   Again, they may not resonate with you and you may be completely turned off by them.  It is ok.   The Tarot then is not your thing.   Just like the Cloak of Levitation found Dr. Strange, so too will the tools that you will best work with.

Rev. Colleen Irwin
Reverend Colleen Irwin is a Spiritual being having a human experience as a Blogger, Wife, Mother, Mentor, Healer and Public Speaker living in Rochester New York. Colleen, a Natural Born Medium, teaches, lectures and serves Spirit when called upon. She remembers speaking with Spirit as a child and learning how to share this knowledge with others has been an adventure that she captured in her book “Discovering Your Stream”. Colleen has been mentored by Reverend Jack Rudy, and ordained as a Priest in the Order of Melchizedek by the Reverend Dan Chesboro through the Sanctuary of the Beloved. When she is not doing her Spiritual work she is a volunteer docent sharing Susan B. Anthony's history to visitors of the Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester. Her trust in Spirit gave her a new title – PREVIVOR. She now uses her platform to educate others about the BRCA genetic mutation and how one can take control of their health and well-being.
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