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The Major Arcana Tarot Cards Meanings

Updated January 7, 2023
The Major Arcana Tarot Cards Meanings

The major arcana tarot cards represent archetypes that hold profound significance. How many major arcana cards exist?

Most tarot decks contain twenty-two major arcana cards numbered zero to twenty-one. The major arcana cards represent life lessons.

The major arcana in tarot consists of a small but significant portion of the deck. The major arcana represent the archetypal Fool’s Journey to wisdom.

By contrast, the minor arcana consists of fifty-six cards divided into four suits. The minor cards depict mundane matters, while the major arcana deals with spiritual growth.

Major arcana zodiac signs overlap as there are twelve signs and twenty-two major arcana cards. A prevalence of major arcana cards denotes a dynamic time of transformation.

0 – The Fool

The Fool Tarot Card Meaning (Wisdom & Carelessness)

The major arcana begins with the Fool, numbered zero. The Fool is sometimes called the Juggler. When this card appears, you head for a spontaneous adventure.

Be open-minded and follow your instincts. The Fool is full of wonder, ready for a quest. The Fool is flexible and creative.

Avoid preconceived ideas when the Fool appears in a reading. A new chapter begins. Be open to new ventures. The major arcana personality of the Fool is youthful and carefree.

I – The Magician

The Magician Tarot Card Meaning (Manifestation & Chaos)

The next major arcana in order is the Magician. The Magician is numbered one and represents willpower and manifestation. Use your creativity to attract what you desire when this card appears.

Keep your mind clear and focused. Avoid distractions and power struggles. The Magician represents the power of alchemy and human potential.

The major arcana meaning of the Magician relates to creative gifts and expertise. The Magician encourages you to combine various talents to accomplish your goals.

II – The High Priestess

The High Priestess Tarot Card Meaning (Spirituality & Insecurity)

The High Priestess is numbered two and represents Divine Feminine energy. Your intuition is strong, and you are empathetic. You can sense what lies beneath the surface when this card appears.

Pay attention to hunches and observe your surroundings. You learn more from reflecting and listening when this card appears. The High Priestess can help guide you on a path to inner wisdom.

The High Priestess can bring out your deeper insights. You can encounter a sensitive, empathic person who gives gentle guidance to help you achieve your goals.

III – The Empress

The Empress Tarot Card Meaning (Fertility & Waste)

While the High Priestess brings subtle guidance, the Empress card represents practical nurturing. The Empress numbered three, is an abundant earth-mother archetype.

When the Empress appears, you succeed in business and career. You manifest wealth and can share generously with others. You can become confident.

The Empress encourages you to ground yourself and nurture others practically. A sensual, generous, and kind woman guides you.

IV – The Emperor

The Emperor Tarot Card Meaning (Authority & Micromanaging)

The Emperor is associated with the number four and represents strength, protection, and territory. The Emperor is a warrior-king who is the archetypal father figure.

A protective and benevolent leader, the Emperor helps you set boundaries and guides you to be vigilant. The Emperor also embodies lessons of confidence and power.

When the Emperor card appears, you learn to manage power and leadership without being heavy-handed. You must overcome insecurities and learn to manage boundaries.

V – The Hierophant

The Hierophant Tarot Card Meaning (Order & Stagnation)

The Hierophant is associated with the number five. This card represents self-discipline and order; structure, tradition, and order are the purview of the Hierophant.

When this card appears, learn from the past and establish ground rules. Establish order and routines when the Hierophant appears.

The Hierophant indicates institutional wisdom. You can learn from following the status quo.

VI – The Lovers

The Lovers Tarot Card Meaning (Romance & Manipulation)

The Lovers card in the tarot is associated with the number six. The lessons of this card include balance and empathy.

Find ways to harmonize with others and find the middle ground with others. Compromise and build a collaboration with a partner.

The Lovers can also be a romantic card. The Lovers portends relationships and cooperation in various kinds of partnerships.

VII – The Chariot

The Chariot Tarot Card Meaning (Focus & Sabotage)

The Chariot tarot card deals with ambivalence and indecision. The card is associated with the number seven.

Follow your ideals and overcome insecurities when this card appears. The Chariot indicates a stalemate on your journey.

Overcome doubts so you can continue your path. The Chariot shows up in a reading when you must focus and work through obstacles.

VIII – Strength

Strength Tarot Card Meaning (Power & Grandiosity)

The Strength card is associated with the number eight and connotes power, stoicism, and determination. The Strength card brings lessons in moderation and self-control.

The Strength card helps you learn the power of stillness and rationality. Leverage mental and physical power.

You can master your instincts and emotions when the Strength card appears in a reading. Logic supersedes emotional reactions.

IX – The Hermit

The Hermit Tarot Card Meaning (Growth & Alienation)

The Hermit is associated with the number nine. Mysticism and spirituality are in focus when the Hermit appears.

Your quest takes you off the beaten path, and you must find your way. The Hermit teaches you to follow your instincts.

Explore esoteric teachings and avoid being influenced by the crowd when the Hermit appears. You find wisdom in unconventional teachings.

X – Wheel of Fortune

Wheel Of Fortune Tarot Card Meaning (Destiny & Interference)

The Wheel of Fortune is considered lucky and represents twists of fate. The Wheel of Fortune is associated with the number ten.

Lucky breaks abound when this card appears. A turning point brings success.

You meet influential people who help promote your success. A dramatic change in status brings advancement.

XI – Justice

Justice Tarot Card Meaning (Karma & Imbalance)

The Justice card is associated with the number eleven. When this card appears, Karma is at work.

Natural consequences can lead to losses or wins depending on your past. Learn from past mistakes when this card appears.

The Justice card sometimes connotes lawsuits or legal issues. Yet the core of the Justice card deals with morality and spiritual balance.

XII – The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man Tarot Card Meaning (Healing & Self-Sabotage)

The Hanged Man is associated with the number twelve. When this card appears, you feel constrained and limited.

You may feel like a martyr or scapegoat. The lesson of the Hanged Man is introspection and a shift in perspective.

You can free yourself from limiting thoughts and negativity when this card appears in a reading. Make the most of stillness; less is more.

XIII – Death

Death Tarot Card Meaning (Transformation & Loss)

Death is one of the most misunderstood of major arcana tarot cards. Associated with the number thirteen, the Death card represents transformation.

A rebirth is underway, and you undergo an initiation. The Death card brings good news related to a fresh start.

Most tarot readers don’t associate the Death card with a literal death. Rather this card connotes an ending and a new cycle beginning.

XIV – Temperance

Temperance Tarot Card Meaning (Colaboration & Stagnation)

The Temperance card is associated with the number fourteen. The Temperance card brings lessons of balance and moderation.

You must use your skills and creativity when this card appears. Temperance is associated with strategies and alchemy.

Collaborate with others, don’t try to achieve success on your own. Temperance reminds you of the importance of cooperation.

XV – The Devil

The Devil Tarot Card Meaning (Obsession & Vice)

The Devil is numerologically and symbolically associated with the Lovers. The Devil is associated with the number fifteen and represents control and codependency.

When the Devil appears, you learn lessons related to hedonism and excess. You may be swayed by a toxic partner.

The Devil brings lessons in boundaries and independence in relationships. Avoid addiction to another person when the Devil appears.

XVI – The Tower

The Tower Tarot Card Meaning (Destruction & Ignorance)

The Tower is associated with the number sixteen. When the Tower card appears, your foundation is shattered.

All you counted on shifts beneath your feet, and you are thrown into a chaotic crisis. The Tower brings lessons on letting go.

The Tower threatens your sense of control and ego investment. When this card appears, you must accept a dramatic change.

XVII – The Star

The Star Tarot Card Meaning (Enlightenment & Impatience)

The Star is associated with the number seventeen. The Star brings hope after the Tower’s dark night of the soul.

The Star represents ideals and optimism. Be patient and follow your inspiration when this card appears.

The Star appears when you are close to achieving a significant goal. Your wishes can come true if you stay the course.

XVIII – The Moon

The Moon Tarot Card Meaning (Illusion & Insecurities)

The Moon is associated with the number eighteen. When the Moon card appears in a reading, trust your intuition.

Things aren’t what they seem when the Moon appears. You may be sensitive but your emotions can also deceive you.

The Moon in a tarot reading teaches you to discern intuition from wishes. Nurture your subconscious desires.

XIX – The Sun

The Sun Tarot Card Meaning (Leadership & Pride)

The Sun is associated with the number nineteen and is considered a card of optimism and success. You reach new heights when this card appears.

The Sun amplifies your strengths and power. You are on the way to advancement and have new inspiration and hope.

When the Sun card appears in a reading, you have a newfound confidence and emerge as a leader. You are empowered, and success is imminent.

XX – Judgement

Judgement Tarot Card Meaning (Discernment & Stagnation)

The Judgement card in the tarot is associated with the number twenty. The symbolism of this card depicts judgement day and resurrection.

When this card appears you must critique your accomplishments. The Judgement card appears when you must refine your plans and release old expectations.

The Judgement card helps you clear the path and complete your journey. Center your efforts and refocus on your highest priorities.

XXI – The World

The World Tarot Card Meaning (Completion & Disappointment)

The World is the last on the major arcana list. The World is associated with the number twenty-one; you reach fulfillment and completion.

The World connotes success, initiation, and graduation. You feel like you are on top of the world, and this apex of success gives way to new opportunities.

The World tarot card indicates you are moving up and advancing. You receive a promotion or gain new recognition when this card appears.