With rich visual imagery and insightful analysis, this page serves as an invaluable resource for anyone interested in tarot card reading or spiritual exploration.
The 22 cards of the Major Arcana provide the spiritual foundation for the deck. Traditionally, the symbolism and archetypal imagery of the trump cards draw their influence throughout the deck. The Major Arcana cards have strong symbolism, elemental aspects, relate to astrology, and the mystical teachings of the Kabbalah.
Many of the Major Arcana cards correspond to zodiac signs, planets, and celestial bodies. These associations can add deeper layers of meaning to each card, enriching the interpretation and understanding of the tarot.
In addition, the Major Arcana corresponds to the Kabbalah which seeks to understand the nature of the divine and the structure of the universe. One of its central symbols in Kabbalah is the Tree of Life, a diagram that represents the divine emanations or sephiroth through which the Creator interacts with the world. The Tree of Life consists of 10 sephiroth and 22 paths that connect them.
Each of the 22 paths corresponds to one of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and these paths can be linked to the 22 Major Arcana cards in the Tarot while the 10 sephiroth are associated with the Minor Arcana suit cards (Ace through Ten) representing various aspects of existence and the divine emanations of the Creator.
From Fool to World, the Major Arcana tells the story of the journey from childlike innocence, The Fool, to the higher perspective of enlightenment, which is The World. It is a journey of the full realization of the Self. Each card represents a new objective, challenge, lesson, and aspect of self-realization that mirrors our self-actualization to reflect on and guide our evolution.
For insight, consider giving yourself a reading called The Fool’s Journey. This reading is conducted by shuffling just the Major Arcana, laying all the cards down, and divining your current stage of personal development, based on where the Fool is placed. Remember, healing is not a linear journey, so return to the Fool’s Journey reading time and again and discover new aspects of your path to becoming who you are meant to be!
While the 22 Major Arcana represents significant spiritual and psychological archetypes and seen as more powerful than the Minor Arcana cards since the Minor Arcana cards deal with mundane and everyday life concerns, the 56 cards of the Suits still contain deep spiritual and psychological themes. There are four suits such as wands, cups, swords, and pentacles which are linked to various astrological and elemental associations, enhancing the understanding of the cards.
The suit of Wands is associated with the fire signs of the zodiac (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius) and represents action, passion, creativity, and inspiration. Wands are linked to the planet Mars, which symbolizes energy, aggression, and drive.
The suit of Cups corresponds to the water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces) and signifies emotions, intuition, relationships, and spiritual connections. Cups are associated with the planet Venus, representing love, beauty, and harmony.
The suit of Swords is connected to the air signs (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius) and symbolizes intellect, communication, conflict, and decision-making. Swords are linked to the planet Mercury, which signifies communication, intellect, and travel.
The suit of Pentacles relates to the earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn) and stands for material wealth, resources, stability, and practical matters. Pentacles are associated with the planet Saturn, representing discipline, structure, and responsibility.
Each suit card has numbered cards from Ace to Ten and court cards such as the Page, Knight, Queen, and King. The suits numbered Ace through Ten correspond to one of the ten sephiroth, representing various aspects of existence. The court cards Page, Knight, Queen, and King represents a different facet of the human experience, as well as a stage of growth and maturity:
Wands are governed by fire and embody the passion, creative will, personal power, chi, and life force energy the element symbolizes. With the rods or staves is where it all begins, the spark of energy meeting the light of ingenuity.
In the shadow, wands can represent egoism, discord, and reckless intention. In the light, wands represent individuality, power, potential, and empowerment. Learn more about the Suit of Wands and the Journey of the Fool.
Cups are governed by water and embody the outpouring, transformation, gentleness, and power the water element symbolizes. The chalice or cups are where we connect with our inner being and the unconscious mind.
In the shadow, cups represent denial, illusion, over-emotionality, and emptiness. In the light, cups represent dreams, romance, emotional expression, and love.
Swords are governed by air and embody the swiftness, power, clarification, and changeability the element symbolizes. With the daggers or swords is where we find the balance between the will of the wands, and heart of the cups.
In shadow, swords represent coldness, detachment, harsh criticism, and negative ruminations. In the light, swords represent wisdom, clarity, inspiration, the power of knowledge, honesty, and integrity.
Pentacles are governed by earth and embody the strength, endurance, fertility, and creativity the element represents. With the coins or disks, we manifest the cumulative result of our will, wands, heart's desire, cups, and ingenuity.
In the shadow, pentacles represent materialism, greed, hedonism, and avarice. In the light, coins represent generational wealth, comfort, generosity, enduring prosperity, and manifestation.