Tarot for Life

The Fool

The Magician

High Priestess

The Empress

The Emperor

The Hierophant

The Lovers

The Chariot


The Hermit

Wheel of Fortune


The Hanged Man



The Devil

The Tower

The Star

The Moon

The Sun


The World
 Major Arcana of the Tarot 

The Major Arcana

The Tarot consists of 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana cards. The major arcana  speaks of life's changes or turning points. Everybody knows and loves these cards.  They give a reading drama and bring the story to life.  They represent the major events in the client's life, the major lessons.  It is the events depicted in the major arcana that help us travel through life - learning and growing. It can be described like a man on a journey, he starts on the road as the Fool and encounters all manner of people and events along the way and through these experiences he learns life's lessons and becomes more enlightened and fulfilled by the time he reaches the 22 card the World. It is a physical as well as a spiritual journey. Wherever the major cards fall there is a stronger influence in that area of the inquirers life, than if it were a minor card.

The Fool - 0 - Uranus.  Beginning, innocence, spontaniety, carefree.
New beginnings. Represents spontaneous action. A time to enjoy the day for what it is. Living in the present moment and feeling connected with life as a result. We cannot change the past and an absolutely certain future eludes us, but we can change the present. What we feel and believe at this moment is something over which we have control. The Fool is the unconscious, a seed that has not yet germinated. He is beginning his path towards enlightenment. Trust that life will support you. You want to explore the world and all its secrets.  You are open to new experiences and ideas. 

 The Magician - 1 - Mercury.  Power, skill, concentration, action. 
The time is right to begin new things. Opportunities arise and it is time to initiate action and carry out plans. Success will be achieved through a clear sense of purpose and applying willpower. Be open to new ideas. Choice & action.  You are able to use special skills and talents to achieve your goals.  Put your thoughts into action.

The High Priestess - 2 - Moon.  Intuition, higher power, mystery.
Inner wisdom. A time of withdrawal making time for meditation and inner renewal. A time to rest in order to absorb the lessons that life is teaching us. Reflecting on life's problems. Can indicate an intuitive person with heightened psychic powers or a time of psychic and spiritual development. Let your intuition be your guide as from where you are at this time you cannot see the whole picture.  Trust your inner voice.  Follow your hunches and gut feelings and you will not go far wrong.

The Empress - 3 - Venus.  Femininity, nurture, nature, birth, fertility.
Receiving, abundance and fertility. Harmony and stability on the home front. A time when you can enjoy the fruits of your labour. Moving closer to a goal. A reminder to get back to nature ie spend time out in the country relating to plants and animals or near the seashore. Nurturing and caring for others. Could get pregnant in the next 12 months.

The Emperor - 4 - Aries.  Authority, father-figure, structure, regulation, solid foundation. 
Represents authority, leadership and knowledge. Suggests stability and order. Self discipline and practical efforts brings success. Reliable and devoted. Represents the father figure.  Indicates a need to set things in order, take charge and guide things on their proper course.  You have the ability to be the boss, you can make decisions and take responsibility.  You don't like being told what to do.

The Hierophant - 5 - Taurus. Group indentification, tradition, conformity, religion, orthodoxy.
Represents mystery, psychic awareness, inner wisdom, moral development and the spiritual quest. You are looking for answers within and most likely have already started or will be looking to differing philosophies for your answers. The Hierophant is the kind, generous teacher, mentor and confidant. He could be a person dealing with the psyche ie a priest, counsellor or even a spiritual guide. Be patient. A time to heed conventional wisdom.  Stick to your code of ethics/values.

The Lovers - 6 - Gemini.  Love, relationships, decisions, unions, choices.
Choice, harmony and relationships. It can mean just what it looks like ie that love and romance are coming to the inquirer. Depending on where it falls it could be that the relationship is in the future or one which the inquirer is already in will bloom and deepen. On a lesser note this card could mean friendship and harmony. So if it showed up in a question related to career it could suggest that relationships with work colleagues will be happy and productive. If there has been a parting it can indicate that the partners will be reunited. Another aspect of the Lovers card is choice ie choosing between two people, two courses of action, two jobs or two of anything, and that the action of choosing is going to be important in its outcome. Facing an ethical or moral choice.

The Chariot - 7 - Cancer.  Will power, control, self assertion, single mindedness.
A time of major effort and hard work which could be associated with a struggle and accompanied by the view that it will all pay off in the end. Need for hard work, patience and endurance but the outcome will be good. Controlling a situation through strength of your personality and will.  The ability to keep a clear mind on emotional matters. Possible travel in relation to work. Forge ahead. Don't give up.
Concentrate on your present objectives.  

Strength - 8 - Leo. Courage, patience, moral force, faith, self-confidence.
Courage and inner strength and hope. The ability to overcome future obstacles and have the courage and resolution to cope. Strength is also about confronting one's own ego and pride, and having the courage, strength and discipline to do so. Recognising that spiritual help is at hand. A tactful, diplomatic approach leads to success.  Patience and gentle coaxing is better than screaming and shouting.

The Hermit - 9 - Virgo. Introspection, searching, guidance, contemplation. 
Guidance & wisdom. A time of withdrawal and stillness to meditate and reflect. The Hermits knowledge is of both this world and the next. He is the enlightened teacher who patiently waits for those students who are ready to seek him out. He is the sage to whom others look for advice. He realises that he can never possibly know all there is to know. What he knows is but a drop of water in the vast sea of universal knowledge. It is a time of maturity and sorting out what really matters in your life. A search for self understanding.

The Wheel of Fortune - 10 - Jupiter.  Destiny, turning point, luck, a change for the better. 
Definite change, a turning point. The wheel of Fortune is a reminder that nothing and no one stays on top forever. Destiny that is played out in what appears to us as endings and beginnings, as one door closes, another opens. Starting a new cycle of events the unfolding future   looks good.  Be flexible and alert for new opportunities in order to take advantage of them.  Prepare for ups and downs.

Justice - 11 - Libra.  Being judged, fairness, justice, cause and effect. 
Represents justice, fairness and balance. Taking responsibility for your life. Your decision will be right. If there are legal matters to be dealt with, on the whole it can be taken to mean that the outcome will be good. You must weigh many factors in order to make a reasoned and thoughtful decision.  Deliberate carefully and wisely before reaching any conclusions.

The Hanged Man - 12 - Neptune.   Suspension, surrender, sacrifice, letting go.
Success with a sacrifice. A suspension of affairs followed by a turning point, however the changes are more likely to be in the mental/spiritual rather than a physical event. A growth in character as a result of dealing with problems. There maybe something very good which results from difficult circumstances. Try to rise above the problems and look at them from another angle. No use struggling, be still, this is only a temporary situation, so you may as well use the time wisely. This card can sometimes frighten people, but put simply it shows the need to adapt to changes in order to find inner peace. Look at things from a different angle in order to gain a new perspective.

Death - 13 - Scorpio. Transformation, endings, beginnings, transition. 
Surrender to change and allow it to take place. A situation is coming to an end which will clear the way for a fresh start.  It suggests that the events which cause the changes are not going to be pleasant to begin with, there may be the loss of a friendship or a relationship; or there may be financial losses. The changes may be hard to cope with but in the long run will clear away a certain amount of rubbish from the past and leave the inquirer free to make a new start. There is always a chance to make good.  Death can symbolize a new life, like marriage or birth. Women and men can sometimes be depressed after the birth of a child, as they realise that they have to let go of a phase of their life forever. This card can have a frightening effect when it appears in a reading, but it should not be seen as an actual death but as the death of a situation, sudden change or the resolution of problems. 

Temperance - 14 - Sagittarius.  Moderation, peace, compromise, blending, patience. 
Patience, self control and calm. Foretells peace & harmony. If you have been going through rocky times of late, you will soon be feeling calmer and coping better. Harmony, health and healing in all aspects of life. Don't overdo things. Concentrate on the basics at work and play, do things in moderation. Put your feet up and have a rest. Ability to combine spiritual knowledge and understanding to temper behaviour. Renewal of a relationship. Can signify travel, learning or teaching. Moderation is the key to contentment.  Avoid extremes.

The Devil - 15 - Capricorn. Addictions, materialism, limitations, bondage, ties. 
Entangled in obligations to other people and by your own beliefs and thoughts. Feeling a need to control life, limited view, feeling stuck or powerless over life.  Feeling tied down, against your will. If things are not falling into place, then we should look within for the answer. Be careful of any physical excesses of any kind, excessive materialism and overindulgence. More money may be at your disposal and you must be careful how this is being used. If any business partnerships are made think carefully before making a decision, as this partnership could be very restrictive.  When we live in the present moment we are able to move ahead. When we stop recreating the past with our actions and thoughts, we set ourselves free.  Look within for the answers. Recognise your own devils, face them and break free.

The Tower - 16 - Mars.  Disaster, sudden changes, revelation, disruption, loss. 
Breakdown and awakening. Total change signalled by the end of previous patterns leading to new beginnings. A need to break up the old patterns which no longer serve our highest and best good. This explosion has a liberating potential as it clears a site for a new growth. We cannot build new structures on top of old foundations; the old must be burned away before the new idea can take form. Release the old, flow with change.  A sudden change in livelihood/lifestyle, change in belief, changes from nature or external influences. 

The Star - 17 - Aquarius.  Hope, faith, renewal, inspiration, good fortune. 
The Star of Hope, it brings hope, faith, new opportunities and optimism to any part of the spread where it falls. Indicates that things will go well in the future. illumination and inspiration that when acted upon brings our dreams and wishes to fruition. Any rough patches will smooth out and indicates an improvement in health. In a career reading past efforts will be appreciated and rewarded. Could be pursuing educational or artistic matters. Expansion. Faith in life's possibilities.  Counting your blessings.  Peace of mind.  A Guardian Angel is watching over you.

The Moon - 18 - Pisces.  Illusions, insecurity, mystery, phobias and fears.
Strong emotions, expansion, confusion, strong dreams and an increase in psychic ability.  Your dreams are trying to tell you something, listen. Highly charged emotions possibly to do with relationships, people within this relationship may be muddled, not sure about what they want or where they are going. Best hope would be to avoid making any concrete plans and let things float along for a while. If the Moon appears in other areas of life ie finances or work than deception and trickery could be in the air. On a mundane level even simple plans can go awry when the Moon arrives ie letters going astray, travel plans fouled up etc. On a more positive note the Moon gives the inquirer a chance to use his/her imagination, and this could be beneficially channelled into artistic pursuits. Rely on "gut feelings" in relation to any doubtful situations, as they are going to be far more accurate than reason. You may be entering a period of uncertainty with volatile feeling and unstable moods.

The Sun - 19 - Sun. Warmth, enlightenment, fun, happiness, success.
Rebirth, joy, happiness and success are on the way. The sun is about to shine in the inquirers life. Efforts will be rewarded and trials overcome. A card for the company of good friends and creature comforts. Indications are that a marriage would be successful and happy. There may be children around you, an addition to the family ie grandchildren, or perhaps just the joy and fun of a youthful nature. A ray of sunshine enters your life.  Spontaneous and passionate.  A time of hope, joy, celebration and success.  The pleasure from knowing that life is good. 

Judgement - 20 - Pluto.  Rebirth, appraising, repentance, forgiveness, inner calling.
Clarity of judgement. A phase is coming to an end and the inquirer will soon be able to look back over what they have been doing and make a clear evaluation of past events. This is more a natural conclusion than a sudden end ie rewards, promotions or retirement, the inquirer will feel that he/she have done their duty and have a clear conscious. The end of a project with the chance to start something new however, the inquirer will start out with confidence knowing that they have satisfactorily accomplished the previous project. Rejuvenation, if something in life has been holding you down you will be released with the feeling of starting out afresh. Facing the truth of where you have been and where you are going. If the inquirer is having any legal dealings than indications are that the outcome will be favourable.  Making an honest appraisal.  Forgive and forget.  Releasing guilts and sorrows and feeling sins washed away.

The World - 21 - Saturn.   Achievment, completion, accomplishment, success, abundance, pleasure.
Happiness and a lasting success. If the inquirer is nearing the end of a project, then he will soon be able to survey the work done with a sense of pride and accomplishment. A gradual, happy and satisfactory completion of objectives and goals. Setting of new objectives and goals. Will have the admiration of others and will be feeling proud of achievements. The inquirer is about to gain some insight and a sense of inner peace. Often indicates travel. A hint of new adventures to come.  Everything is falling into place for you and things will come to a successful conclusion.

©2010 Lori Hampson. Nothing herein may be copied, reprinted, or reproduced in any way without permission.


Endorsed Tarot reader for the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI)

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