major arcana cards meanings

The complete list of the 22 major arcana tarot cards & their meanings

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Tarot is a set of 78 cards that are used to help people gain insight into their lives and the potential future. A tarot deck has two parts: the major arcana and the minor arcana. There are 22 cards in the major arcana, and these cards are said to contain the most important teachings of the tarot. They represent pivotal moments and turning points in the story of your life. Each tarot card has its own unique meaning, and together they tell a story that can help you navigate your path through life and the situations that arise along the way. The major arcana cards can be interpreted in different ways, depending on the question you’re asking and the situation you are in. 

In the articles below, I explain the different meanings of each Major Arcana card in great detail and discuss how you can use them in your own life. I hope you find this information helpful!

Major Arcana Card Meaning List

The Fool - Major Arcana 0

  • The Fool is card number 0 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the first major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, The Fool is associated with new beginnings, leaps of faith and loyalty.
  • In the reversed position, The Fool is associated with recklessness, fearlessness, and risks.
  • Numerology: 0
  • Element: Air
  • Ruling planet: Uranus
  • Astrological sign: Aquarius
  • Yes or No card? Yes

The Magician - Major Arcana I

  • The Magician is card number 1 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the second major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, The Magician is associated with manifestation, creation, willpower, and mastery.
  • In the reversed position, The Magician is associated with chaos, scattered energy, and manipulation.
  • Numerology: 1
  • Element: Air, Spirit
  • Ruling planet: Mercury
  • Astrological sign: Gemini & Virgo
  • Yes or No card? Yes

The High Priestess - Major Arcana II

  • The High Priestess is card number 2 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the third major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, The High Priestess is associated with intuition, inner voice, and a higher self.
  • In the reversed position, The High Priestess is associated with repression, feeling lost, and disconnection.
  • Numerology: 2 (II)
  • Element: Water
  • Ruling planet: The Moon
  • Astrological sign: Cancer
  • Yes or No card? Yes

The Empress - Major Arcana III

  • The Empress is card number 3 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the fourth major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, The Empress is associated with abundance, creation, divine feminine power, and nurturing.
  • In the reversed position, The Empress is associated with overbearingness, smothering, insecurity, and instability.
  • Numerology: 3 (III)
  • Element: Earth
  • Ruling planet: Venus
  • Astrological sign: Taurus & Cancer
  • Yes or No card? Yes

The Emperor - Major Arcana IV

  • The Emperor is card number 4 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the fifth major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, The Emperor is associated with authority, discipline, structure, and drive.
  • In the reversed position, The Emperor is associated with rigidness, stubbornness, control issues, and tyranny.
  • Numerology: 4 (IV)
  • Element: Fire
  • Ruling planet: Mars
  • Astrological sign: Aries
  • Yes or No card? Yes

The Hierophant - Major Arcana V

  • The Hierophant is card number 5 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the sixth major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, The Hierophant is associated with tradition, knowledge, education, and institutions.
  • In the reversed position, The Hierophant is associated with unconventionality, rebellion, innovation, and ignorance.
  • Numerology: 5 (V)
  • Element: Earth
  • Ruling planets: Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter due to their correspondences.
  • Astrological sign: Taurus
  • Yes or No card? Neutral

The Lovers - Major Arcana VI

  • The Lovers is card number 6 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the seventh major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, The Lovers is associated with balance, harmony, unity, choices, and partnerships.
  • In the reversed position, The Lovers is associated with disharmony, imbalance, indecision, and bad choices or avoiding choosing.
  • Numerology: 6 (VI)
  • Element: Air
  • Ruling planets: Mercury
  • Astrological sign: Gemini
  • Yes or No card? Yes

The Chariot - Major Arcana VII

  • The Chariot is card number 7 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the eighth major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, The Chariot is associated with direction, willpower, intention, and control.
  • In the reversed position, The Chariot is associated with a lack of direction, a lack of control, and a lack of intention.
  • Numerology: 7 (VII)
  • Element: Water
  • Ruling planets: The Moon
  • Astrological sign: Cancer
  • Yes or No card? Yes

Strength - Major Arcana VIII

  • Strength is card number 8 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the ninth major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, Strength is associated with inner strength, compassion, confidence, overcoming self-doubt, courage, and bravery.
  • In the reversed position, Strength is associated with self-doubt, weakness, lack of confidence, vulnerability, fear, and cowardice.
  • Numerology: 8 (VIII)
  • Element: Fire
  • Ruling planets: Sun
  • Astrological sign: Leo
  • Yes or No card? Yes

The Hermit - Major Arcana IX

  • The Hermit is card number 9 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the tenth major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, The Hermit is associated with searching, solitude, introspection, inner journey, and learning.
  • In the reversed position, The Hermit is associated with loneliness, isolation, exile, withdrawal, and a need for connection.
  • Numerology: 9 (IX)
  • Element: Earth
  • Ruling planets: Mercury
  • Astrological sign: Virgo
  • Yes or No card? No

Wheel of Fortune - Major Arcana X

  • The Wheel of Fortune is card number 10 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the eleventh major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, the Wheel of Fortune is associated with good luck, fate/destiny, fortune, change, and karma.
  • In the reversed position, The Wheel of Fortune is associated with disruption, bad luck, disorder, unwelcome change, and setbacks.
  • Numerology: 10 (X)
  • Element: Fire
  • Ruling planets: Jupiter
  • Astrological sign: N/A but features Taurus, Leo, Scorpio & Aquarius in the traditional imagery, and is sometimes aligned with Pars Fortunae in Astrology.
  • Yes or No card? No

Justice - Major Arcana XI

  • Justice is card number 11 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the twelfth major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, Justice is associated with fairness, truth, balance, and legal matters.
  • In the reversed position, Justice is associated with unfavourable outcomes, stressful legal matters, dishonesty, and unfair treatment.
  • Numerology: 11 (XI)
  • Element: Air
  • Ruling planets: Venus
  • Astrological sign: Libra
  • Yes or No card? Neutral

The Hanged Man - Major Arcana XII

  • The Hanged Man is card number 12 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the thirteenth major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, The Hanged Man is associated with slowing down, putting something on hold, and coming to a halt.
  • In the reversed position, The Hanged Man is associated with losing perspective, spiritual block, and unnecessary sacrifice.
  • Numerology: 12 (XII)
  • Element: Water
  • Ruling planets: Neptune
  • Astrological sign: Pisces
  • Yes or No card? Maybe

Death - Major Arcana XIII

  • Death is card number 13 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the fourteenth major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, Death is associated with transition, embracing change, transformation, new beginnings, and letting go.
  • In the reversed position, Death is associated with fear of change, stagnancy, delayed endings, and repeating negative patterns.
  • Numerology: 13 (XIII)
  • Element: Water
  • Ruling planets: Pluto
  • Astrological sign: Scorpio
  • Yes or No card? No

Temperance - Major Arcana XIV

  • Temperance is card number 14 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the fifteenth major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, Temperance is associated with balance, peace, moderation, patience, and harmony.
  • In the reversed position, Temperance is associated with imbalance, clashing, recklessness, and overindulgence.
  • Numerology: 14 (XIV)
  • Element: Fire
  • Ruling planets: Jupiter
  • Astrological sign: Sagittarius
  • Yes or No card? Yes

The Devil - Major Arcana XV

  • The Devil is card number 15 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the sixteenth major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, The Devil is associated with the shadow self, desire, temptation, manipulation, cruelty, addiction, and restriction.
  • In the reversed position, The Devil is associated with release, freedom, overcoming addiction, and independence.
  • Numerology: 15 (XV)
  • Element: Earth
  • Ruling planets: Saturn
  • Astrological sign: Capricorn
  • Yes or No card? No

The Tower - Major Arcana XVI

  • The Tower is card number 16 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the seventeenth major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, The Tower is associated with trauma, destruction, unexpected change, revelation, chaos, awakening, and warning.
  • In the reversed position, The Tower is associated with delaying the inevitable, fear of change, and resisting change.
  • Numerology: 16 (XVI)
  • Element: Fire
  • Ruling planets: Mars
  • Astrological sign: Aries
  • Yes or No card? No

The Star - Major Arcana XVII

  • The Star is card number 17 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the eighteenth major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, The Star is associated with inspiration, hope, healing, and positivity.
  • In the reversed position, The Star is associated with Monotony, hopelessness, negativity, loss, and failure.
  • Numerology: 17 (XVII)
  • Element: Air
  • Ruling planets: Uranus
  • Astrological sign: Aquarius
  • Yes or No card? Yes

The Moon - Major Arcana XVIII

  • The Moon is card number 18 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the nineteenth major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, The Moon is associated with the unconscious, intuition, and dreams.
  • In the reversed position, The Moon is associated with confusion, fear, and paranoia.
  • Numerology: 18 (XVIII)
  • Element: Water
  • Planetary correspondence: The Moon
  • Astrological sign: Pisces
  • Yes or No card? No

The Sun - Major Arcana XIX

  • The Sun is card number 19 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the twentieth major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, The Sun is associated with positivity, happiness, freedom and vitality.
  • In the reversed position, The Sun is associated with ego, conceitedness, pessimism and unrealistic expectations.
  • Numerology: 19 (XIX)
  • Element: Fire
  • Planetary correspondence: The Sun
  • Astrological sign: Leo
  • Yes or No card? Yes

Judgement - Major Arcana XX

  • Judgement is card number 20 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the twenty-first major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, Judgement is associated with reflection, awakening, rebirth, transition, and decision-making.
  • In the reversed position, Judgement is associated with self-doubt, poor choices, stubbornness, blame, and confusion.
  • Numerology: 20 (XX)
  • Element: Fire
  • Planetary correspondence: Pluto
  • Astrological sign: Sagittarius & Libra
  • Yes or No card? Neutral

The World - Major Arcana XXI

  • The World is card number 21 in modern cartomantic tarot decks and the twenty-second major arcana trump card.
  • In the upright position, The World is associated with success, fulfilment, end of a cycle, positive outcome, and travel.
  • In the reversed position, The World is associated with disappointment, delays, pressure, failure, and incompleteness.
  • Numerology: 21 (XXI)
  • Element: Earth
  • Planetary correspondence: Saturn
  • Astrological sign: N/A
  • Yes or No card? Yes

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