Learning the meaning of each tarot card and getting familiar with the symbols of the tarot Major Arcana is the first step of a voyage of card reading and self-discovery.
The symbols of the Major Arcana tarot cards talk to us with very powerful images that spring from the depths of our collective unconscious mind. Probably this is the reason why we find these pictures so fascinating and evocative.
Try this little experiment, place the cards in order on a table and carefully observe them.
The characters, situations and the meaning of each tarot card seem to tell us a story that can be read as the tale of the Fool’s journey.
This voyage represents also the course of human development or individual growth.
Let’s read the story the tarots are telling us and examine in detail the meaning of each tarot card.
Click on the links to read about the meaning of each tarot card.
This card represents a young men at the beginning of his travel
through life. He is innocent and confident, the world is full of
promises. He is totally unaware of the dangers and faces life armed only
with his courage and naive ignorance.
The fool has learned to exercise his abilities and expertly uses his devices to manipulate the world to his advantage.
The high Priestess represents what is missing in the magician’s
material world, the spiritual side of things that is veiled to the
The fool is now ready to acknowledge his archetypal parents. The
Empress is the mother earth, she is nurturing and the source of all the
riches and unconditional love.
The Emperor is the counterpart of the Mother, the Father. This
card represents authority, power, order and reason but also protection
and love for those who follow the Father’s rules.
The Pope is the guardian of wisdom and religious teaching. With him the fool learns about moral values and traditions.
The voyager is now able to relate to another individual. He will
learn about duality in a romantic relation or in friendship. He
discovers attraction, sex, temptations and choices.
With duality comes conflict. Our hero learns to manage and control opposite forces that move in different directions.
Our hero has now a chance to learn about his capabilities and becomes confident in his own strength and powers.
Meditating and reflecting in solitude helps the voyager to get to know himself and control his energy.
Not everything is under our control and the fool here comes to terms with the ups and downs of life.
Although life is often unpredictable, a form of justice is
detectable in the events of life. All our actions have consequences,
this is the lesson for the fool at this stage.
The symbol of this card is a man suspended upside down. This
picture represents a moment of suspension and the need to see things
from a different perspective.
This card reflects a transition, an important moment of transformation
and the need to abandon our old self in order to learn something new.
The fool has met death, the ultimate change. He has learned to
see the world from a new perspective with equanimity and moderation.
The Devil is an impediment that stops the voyager’s journey. The
fool must face and conquer his personal demons that limit his
A lightning strikes without warning the safe refuge the Fool
built for himself. The destruction leaves the fool homeless but also
free from his ties. Our voyager learns about abrupt life changes and
freedom from the unnecessary.
The Fool is now free and ready for new hope, the stars show him a new path to enlightenment.
The light of the moon is misleading, it shows things under a
deceptive light. The Fool must learn to move among illusion and hidden
Finally after a long night, the Fool sees the light of the day.
Warm, vital forces reinvigorate the voyager and he feels he is finally
close to his achievement.
The trumpets of the Judgment announce resurrection and rebirth for the Fool at the end of his journey.
This card symbolizes the achievement, the reaching of the Fool’s goal and the end of a difficult but propitious travel.
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