The Major Arcana in brief

The first 22 cards in the Tarot are referred to as the Major Arcana, and can provide food for thought, as we spiral along the cyclic journey of life (somewhere between The Fool and The World). Depending on how and when they appear in a reading, cards in the major arcana maybe talking about an aspect of our Self, or alluding to important events or situations in our life. This post provides handy keywords for each of the major arcana cards, along with the Jungian archetype, which can be applied to the card.

When creating  Nine Lives Tarot I drew some inspiration from Carl Jung’s take on the Tarot, where he describes each card as representing an aspect of Self (or archetype). To me it makes perfect sense that the cards can act as an intuitive mirror to the reader’s sub-conscious, while at the same time providing alternate visual suggestions and clues.

  • The Fool – Innocence, new cycle, wonder
    – The Child
  • The Magician – Skill, wisdom, energy, action, resourcefulness
    – The Skilled Master
  • The High Priestess – Intuition, mystery, wisdom, sub-conscious
    – The Secret Keeper
  • The Empress – Fertility, motherhood, creativity, harvest, nurture
    – The Mother
  • The Emperor – Leadership, control, discipline, foundation
    – The Father, Hero
  • The Hierophant – Spiritual, higher consciousness, guidance
    – The Wise old Man
  • The Lovers – Love, honour, trust, equality
    – The Soul, Anima & Animus
  • The Chariot – Action, determination, conquer, opposing force, movement
     The Warrior
  • Strength – Strength, courage, compassion
    – Endurance
  • The Hermit – Soul searching, wisdom, reflection
    – Wisdom
  • The Wheel of Fortune – Destiny, cyclic, chance, continuation, gain or loss
    – Fate & Destiny
  • Justice – Fairness, balance, truth, order, equality
    – Justice
  • The Hanged Man – Spiritual awareness, necessary sacrifice, intuition
    – Sacrifice
  • Death – Endings, transformation, transition, renewal, end of phase
    – Rebirth
  • Temperance – Balance, flow, healing, patience, harmony
    – Balance
  • The Devil – Desire, addiction, lust, illusion, destruction
    – The Shadow
  • The Tower – Traumatic change, chaos, realization, upheaval
    – Chaos
  • The Star – Inspiration, hope, insight, understanding, openness
    – The Spirit
  • The Moon – Emotion, intuition, imagination, illusion, reflection
    – The Unconscious mind, Dreams
  • The Sun – Joy, happiness, pleasure, warmth
    – The Conscious mind, Joy
  • Judgement – Release, forgiveness, liberation, re-birth
    – Evaluation, Reward
  • The World – Fulfilment, integration, new life, completion
    – Wholeness