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The Tarot Card Major Arcana

Updated July 23, 2019 1.5k views22 items

A Tarot deck consists of 78 cards and 21 of those are called the "Major Arcana" by occultists around the globe. Since Tarot cards began being used for divination in the late 18th century, people have been interpreting the beautiful illustrations of these cards for their meaning when performing a reading. Each card has a specific meaning depending on where it is placed, what it is placed beside, and how it is laid down (upright or reversed).

As any occultist will tell you, the specific meanings behind the tarot cards in this list play a huge role in properly reading a client. Knowing exactly what each card represents and how it can be read is imperative in properly determining a person's fate in love, life, and death. This list compiles the Major Arcana cards found in any Tarot Deck across the planet with their associated card number and general meaning, which was found on BiddyTarot.com, a wonderful website for any and all things Tarot.

The images for this list come from the Rider-Waite tarot deck, one of the most popular decks used in the English-speaking world. Each image was beautifully illustrated by Pamela Coleman Smith in 1919 for publication by the Rider Company.

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  • The Fool

    Photo: Pamela Coleman Smith / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Card Number: 0
    Card Associations and Meanings: Upright: Beginnings, innocence, spontaneity, a free spirit; Reversed: Holding back, recklessness, risk-taking

  • The Magician

    Photo: Pamela Coleman Smith / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Card Number: 1
    Card Associations and Meanings: Upright: Manifestation, resourcefulness, power, inspired action; Reversed: Manipulation, poor planning, untapped talents

  • The High Priestess

    Card Number: 2
    Card Associations and Meanings: Upright: Intuition, sacred knowledge, divine feminine, the subconscious mind; Reversed: Secrets, disconnected from intuition, withdrawal and silence

  • The Empress

    Photo: Pamela Coleman Smith / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Card Number: 3
    Card Associations and Meanings: Upright: Femininity, beauty, nature, nurturing, abundance; Reversed: Creative block, dependence on others