Major Arcana

The Major Arcana

The classic tarot deck is split up into major arcana cards and minor arcana cards. The major arcana are often seen as the best ones to get and are extremely powerful. They include cards like The Fool, The Star, The Magician, and The Tower. There are 22 cards in all, with a variety of different interpretations.

The Fool

The first card in the major arcana, which is actually number 0, is The Fool. The fool card is not a bad card, so don’t worry! This actually represents the start of something new. The fool has more of a childlike demeanor, where he or she takes risks and heads off on an adventure. The fool can also represent someone with more innocence.

If you get the fool in reverse, it might be about being a little too reckless or not thinking through something properly.

The Magician

The official number 1 major arcana is next, which is The Magician. This is THE card for manifesting. If you pull this card, you or the person you are reading for is likely working on their manifestations or dream life. It can also be about desires or creating something.

If the magician is in the reverse, it may represents illusions, as opposed to manifesting something that is desired.

The High Priestess

The High Priestess is a card of feminine energy, nature, spirituality, and intuition. Keep in mind this is about divine feminine energy, not the gender. Tarot does not have genders, it is simply about the energy. Everyone has both a feminine and masculine energy.

If you get this in the reverse, it is the opposite of intuition, so maybe someone feels repressed or like they can’t speak up about something.

The Empress

Another divine feminine tarot card is The Empress. There are a few different interpretations, but it often means fertility (in anything, not just pregnancy), sex, motherhood, nature, and often closely connected to the high priestess.

In the reverse, consider feeling empty, alone, or being smothered as the meanings.

The Emperor

Now for a divine masculine card, The Emperor. Think of this as a divine counterpart for the empress. This is someone who represents a lot of stability, hard work, leadership, and someone who follows the rules. In terms of a love reading, the emperor tells you to be practical and logical as you approach a new partner.

In reverse, the emperor might be about being too rigid or cold.

The Hierophant

This major arcana brings forth feelings of morality and being ethical. It can be related to traditions, having good intuition, and mastering a certain area of your life.

For the reverse, the hierophant might be about being more of a rebel and not following logical steps.

The Lovers

The important thing to remember about the lovers card is that while it can mean a union, depending on other cards it appears with in the spread, it might also be a reminder to consider any challenges in a potential new relationship. It is about being honest and realistic, and making sure communication remains open between two people.

In the reverse, the lovers card might mean there isn’t much harmony in a particular union.

The Chariot

If you get the chariot card, it could be a sign of needing more control or gaining willpower in a situation. It is a reminder that you can achieve anything you want as long as you work hard toward action.

In the reverse, chariot can mean the opposite, where you have no plan or direction.


The strength card is about your inner passions and strength, and really focusing on your own inner balance. Many strength cards show someone with a lion or a similar image on the card, showing that you can achieve anything you put your mind to.

In the reverse, the strength card might mean feeling weak or insecure.

The Hermit

If you get the hermit card, it could be a sign of needing to look inside for the answers. It is not just about spending time alone, though that can be part of it. But it is more about self-reflection and contemplation.

In reverse, the hermit card might be the negative side of this, such as feeling lonely or isolated.

Wheel of Fortune

The wheel of fortune card is tarot is one of the most positive cards. It often signifies a positive change coming up, good fortune, and fate that might be inevitable. It can also be a sign of a cycle coming to an end soon.

If you get this in reverse, consider a loss of control you might have or a string of bad luck.


With the justice card, it is exactly how it sounds; seeking justice and karmic. You might get this card if you are looking for fairness in a situation or seeking to achieve karmic balance. It can also reveal something truthful that has been hidden from you.

On the reverse, the justice card may be warning you of someone being dishonesty or another form of unfairness.

The Hanged Man

With the hanged man, you are looking at a situation that just needs a little more patience. It is not a bad card, but it is one that reminds you sometimes you need to sit things out, take a look around, and wait until the time is right. In some situations, it also represents a release of some kind or a sacrifice.

If you get the hanged man in reverse, it might mean really needing to sacrifice something you aren’t happy about losing.


Don’t freak out if you get the death card – it’s actually a good thing! Death in tarot is simply the end of a cycle. It could be a season of life coming to an end and a new season beginning. In love readings, it might be the end of one relationship and the start of another, or the ending of being single and finding love.

In the reverse, the death card could represent holding on to something when it needs to be let go.


With the temperance card, you are being told to take it easy. It might come up during a stressful situation, or when you are moving too fast and not practicing enough patience.

In the reverse, temperance could be about doing something in excess.

The Devil

There are no bad tarot cards, not even the devil card. Instead, this card is about gentle warnings of being in a relationship that might not be the best for you, or possibly about your own shadow self. It could also be about someone with an addiction who needs to be careful.

In the reverse, it is often about more freedom and gaining control.

The Tower

People are often afraid to get the tower card because it can represent some type of big change or danger, but in many cases, it is a good change. It could be a sudden ending you didn’t see coming, but one that brings about something much better for you.

If you get the tower in reverse, you might see an end of suffering.

The Star

The star card is tarot is about getting inspiration, finding your purpose in life, and leaning on your faith or spiritual awakening.

If you get the star in reverse, you might feel insecure and discouraged about something.

The Moon

The moon is a beautiful card full of wonder, but also one that contains mysteries and reveals hidden truths. There could be someone with an illusion who is hiding their true selves, or a situation that requires being a little more intuitive and looking for the signs.

In reverse, the moon card is often interpreting some type of confusion or fear.

The Sun

The sun is by far one of the best cards in the tarot deck! This is all about luck, fortune, and happiness. If you get the sun card during a love reading, it is very likely that you are going to find the person who makes your soul fill with joy.

It is one of only two tarot cards that has no reverse meaning. No matter what way it shows up, the sun card is a great card.


The judgment card reminds you that there are some decisions that need to be made. You might be headed toward something new after a resurrection in your life, or perhaps being more self-reflective.

The reverse can be feeling a lot of doubt or like you need clarity.

The World

And lastly, there is the world card. Most people also see this as a card with no reversal meanings, though some do read the reversal as something being incomplete. With the world card, a cycle has ended and something new is on the horizon. This is a very good and happy card full of balance and fulfillment. It could be a manifestation that is finally coming true.

There is so much to the Major Arcana of Tarot.   Over time I will be covering each card individually.   Cards have multiple meanings and over time you will learn them.   Or use your intuition to — it really is up to you!

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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