Major Arcana Meanings 
Tarot Cards Reading 101


Discover the Major Arcana Meanings, the first step to learn how to read tarot cards.







The Major Arcana or Trump cards represent the milestones in one's life, the major changes and the important events. They are made up of twenty-two cards, numbered from zero to twenty-one and they make the main part of a tarot card deck. Their rich imagery is evocative and filled with symbols that touch our subconscious mind.



Reading with Major Arcana

These cards have such a rich symbolism and deep message that you can do a tarot reading only with Major Arcana, especially if you reckon that the question is especially meaningful.


Major Arcana in a Spread


When a lot of Major Arcana appear in a reading it means that there is an important lesson to be learned and something that requires our full attention. 

The Major Arcana meanings describe a progress through life and a journey of spiritual growth.

The main character in this journey is the Fool, the number zero and the first card of the Major Arcana and each of the following cards represent a step in his development.

On this page you can read more about Major Arcana meanings and the Fool's journey .




Major Arcana Meanings and Reversed Cards


At the side of each card you'll find a quick explanation of the Major Arcana meanings, for an in depth description and interpretation click on each title.

For the meaning of each card you’ll find here the general explanation and the reversed card meaning. Reversed cards are cards that come upside-down in a spread.

You can decide if to just turn them right side up or read them as reversals.

Some tarot reader consider reversed cards as carrying a negative, darker meaning or simply a slowing down of the energies at work in a situation.

Other readers reckon that every card has in itself many layers of meaning and reversals just confuse the reading.

The choice is yours!



0 The Fool


Optimism, innocence, new beginning, spontaneity, serendipity, new start, journey, creativity, confidence.


Reversed

Risk, poor judgment, rushed decision, naiveté, unexpected problems.



1 The Magician


Achiever, ability to take decisions and creative action. Self-confidence. Using knowledge and abilities. Technology user. Adaptation, creativity.


Reversed

Indecision, blocked creativity, frustration, delays. Arrogance, overconfidence. Manipulation.


2 The High Priestess


Intuition. Spiritual power. Hidden influences. Mysteries. Premonitory Dreams. Subconscious knowledge. Sexless love. Changeable moods.

Reversed

Loosing contact with inner needs. Repressed feelings. Hidden enemies. Out of control emotions.


3 The Empress


The mother. Creativity. Nourishment. Nurturing. Fruitful action. Prosperity. Abundance. Comfort. Marriage. Fertility.

Reversed

Blocked creativity. Frustration. Miscarriage, abortion, infertility. Loveless sex. Scarcity. 


4 The Emperor


The father. Power, control, order and stability. Rational thinking. An influential man. A Powerful person. A job promotion. Ambition. Self-control. Material wealth. Leadership. Stability. Logic. Social status.


Reversed

Lack of discipline. Immaturity. Refusal to grow up. Peter Pan complex. Repression. Power abuse.

5 The Hierophant


Tradition. Orthodoxy. Conventional wisdom. Wise counselor or mentor. Spiritual authority. Organized religion. Institutions. Teaching and learning. Religious ceremony, wedding.


Reversed

Dogmatism. Religious extremism. Fanaticism. Religious Fundamentalist. Rebellion against the rules. Bad counseling.


6 The Lovers


Choice. An important decision. Union. Duality. Attraction. Romance and love. Commitment and marriage.

Reversed

Adultery. Wrong choices. Impatience. Infidelity. Difficult relationship. Divorce or separation. Unsolved conflict. Indecision. Jealousy.

7 The Chariot


Determination. Control. Balance of opposites. Focus. Progress. Ambition. Triumph over difficulties. Achievement. Motion. Transportation and vehicles.

Reversed

Lack of direction and ambition. Loss of control. Addiction. Waste of energy. Insecurity. Bossiness. Canceled or delayed travel.

8 Strength


Inner strength, honesty, loyalty and reliability. Self-confidence and discipline. Courage. Energy. Action. Recovery after an illness.

Reversed

Fear, insecurity, weakness. Illness. Self-doubt and lack of confidence.



9 The Hermit


Meditation. Solitude. Contemplation. Patience. Self-discovery. Reassessment and planning. Retreat.

Reversed

Loneliness. Obstinacy and refusal to listen. Self absorption and deception. Rejecting sensible advice.

10 Wheel of Fortune


Twist of fate. Lucky change.  Opportunity. Open door. Ups and downs of fortune. A fortunate event. The end of a phase and the beginning of a new one

Reversed

Unlucky turn. Disappointment. Recession. Downside cycle. Resistance to change.


11 Justice


Balance, equilibrium. Legal affairs. Arbitration. Order. Careful choices. Rationality. Legal agreements.

Reversed

Unfair trial. Delayed justice. False accusations. Difficult negotiations. Failing an exam.

12 The Hanged Man


Suspension. Taking time. See things from a different angle. Sacrifice for a higher good. Wisdom, contemplation. Patience.

Reversed

Meaningless sacrifice. Useless deprivation. A causeless martyr. Apathy. Poor decisions. Inability to make necessary sacrifices. Refusing inevitable change.


13 Death


Transformation. Sudden and unexpected change. Entering a new phase of life. Liberation. Renewal and rebirth. Grieving a loss.

Reversed

Resistance to inevitable change. Inertia. Stagnation. Fear of change. Depression.

14 Temperance


Moderation. Blending. Tolerance. Merging. Balance. Healing. Syntheses. Cooperation. Harmony. Artistic creativity.

Reversed

Extremism. Disagreements. Moodiness. Unleashed passions. Unbalanced emotions. Overindulgence and addictions.

15 The Devil


Greed. Lust. Indulgence and addiction. Obsessions and unchecked passions. Excessive attachment to the material world. Inordinate exuberance.

Reversed

Release. Positive attitude. Freedom from chains. Overcoming fears an phobias. Abuse. Dependency. Exaggerated greed or lust.

16 The Tower


Collapse. Awakening, sudden revelation. Illumination. Shocking and unexpected change. Transformation. Loss of a safe heaven.

Reversed

Upheaval, chaos, disruption. Captivity.


17 The Star


Hope. Optimism. Peace. Inspiration. Harmony. Protection, comfort and relief. Restoration. Healing.


Reversed

Unjustified pessimism, disappointment. Delays. Anxiety. Depression.


18 The Moon


Mystery, secrets. Illusion. Deception. Intuition, imagination and hidden emotions. Dreams.

Reversed

Lunacy. Deception. Depression. Illusions and daydreaming. Hidden motives. Trickery and insincerity. Nightmares.


19 The Sun


Happiness, vitality. Success. Fulfillment. Exuberance, joy and creativity. Friendship. Health. Energy. Marriage and children.

Reversed

Delay. Arrogance. Egotism

20 Judgement


Rebirth, rejuvenation. A transition. Rite of passage. An important choice. Graduation.

Reversed

Delayed decision. Fear of change.

21 The World


Completion, fulfillment. Triumph. Wholeness. Liberation. End of a cycle.

Reversed

Unfinished projects. Frustration.







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