A look at the symbolism, meanings and associations of the 22 Major Arcana Cards

Tarot is a complex tool. Tarot Card meanings are hard to summarize and each of them holds enough information for a book. Anyone telling you that you will be a fantastic reader in a few weeks is trying to sell you something. But starting with the main meanings of each Tarot card is the best way to go. What we’ve tried to do here is sum up all the main keywords, associations and common readings for the major arcana cards.

Consider this: A deck of Tarot can be considered a journey. It starts with the Fool who goes on his way and meets all the characters of the major arcana: the Empress, Temperance, the Devil etc. Each card tells a story. Each card holds one or two main messages. It’s those main messages we tried to capture in the following pages.

Each card is also linked to one or more star sign, element and topic. When read together, these messages get more and more precise but also more complex. That’s why mastering each card as much as possible will help you give the best, clearest and most helpful readings to others and yourself. 

Always keep in mind that the deck you use can slightly affect the meaning of your card: when in doubt, always follow your first intuition.

hand_directionBeginner’s tip: when studying your cards, cut the deck in 5. The Major arcana, the Wands, Cups, Coins (or Pentacles) and Swords. These 5 little piles will be far less impressive and will help you organize your thoughts and see the logic of the deck.

Learning the meaning of each card and the meaning of associations is crucial, but only practice makes perfect. Read for yourself, friends and family. Read as often as you can.

Click on a card below for more

Fool Tarot Card Meaning

The Fool – new beginnings and youth. Fears and mistakes.

The Magician – skills, knowledge & new starts. Card of work and energy.

The High Priestess – wisdom, feminine knowledge and intuition.

Empress Tarot Card Meaning

The Empress: feminine power and intelligence. A mother, sister or close friend.

Emperor Tarot Card Meaning

The Emperor: the masculine response to the Empress. An important man in your life.

Hierophant Tarot Card Meaning

The Hierophant: an older, wiser, influential man. A father figure or powerful ally.

The Lovers: the card of love but also of choices and hesitations.

Chariot Tarot Card Meaning

The Chariot: taking charge and responsibility. Movement. Victory.

Justice Tarot Card Meaning

Justice: balance and legal matters. Long awaited decisions.

Hermit Tarot Card Meaning

The Hermit: introspection, reflection, knowledge. Solitude and studies.

Wheel Tarot Card Meaning

The Wheel of Fortune: Destiny. Changes. Accomplishment.

Strength Tarot Card Meaning

Strength: reason is stronger than physical force. Intelligence, hard-earned skills.

The Hanged Man: a blockage. Time for a change of perspective.

Death Tarot Card Meaning

Death: endings and new beginnings. Rebirth.

Temperance Tarot Card Meaning

Temperance: Measure, reason and balance. Card of commitment and peace.

Devil Tarot Card Meaning

The Devil: addictions, passions and the material realm. Danger.

Tower Tarot Card Meaning

The Tower: endings, loss. A serious warning. Also, a relief.

Star Tarot Card Meaning

The Star: destiny, cosmic protection, luck and good fortune.

The Moon: feminine energy. Creation, intuition. Rumours, sadness.

Sun Tarot Card Meaning

The Sun: joy, success and achievements. One of the best cards of the deck.

Judgement Tarot Card Meaning

Judgement: a card announcing news. The consequences of past actions.

World Tarot Card Meaning

The World: the best card in the deck, always favourable. Balance, happiness, success.