The Major Arcana

 
 
 
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The Fool

A bringer of beginnings, and the purity, open mindedness, and positivity of a child, The Fool needs no number as his journey is present throughout the Major Arcana. A fresh bloomed flower in his hand signifies his innocence, and the feather above his head symbolizes his light, unmarred, worry-free spirit for life. His staff carrying his bag of necessities for his journey is pointed Northwest, symbolizing his heading into the Unknown.

Upright: Innocence, Free Spiritedness, A Fresh Start


Reversed: Recklessness, Disregard for Consequences, Naivety

 

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The Magician

Posed in deftness and in grace, the Magician skillfully shows his mastery of the power over all four symbols of the Tarot Deck, symbolizing the four elements of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. His red cape symbolizes knowledge, and he is represented by the number One. He connects the spiritual world and the physical world by channeling the power of the Universe through his use of his own body, mind, heart, and soul.


Upright: Talent, Power, Focus


Reversed: Manipulation, Greed, Deception

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The High Priestess

Forever a symbol of knowledge, the High Priestess wears the crown of Isis, showing fertility. She holds the moon in one hand, symbolizing her incredible intuition, and the half-revealed Torah, symbolizing higher knowledge, in the other. The black pedestal she sits on is half covered by her white robe, symbolizing the earth, and the feathers in her hair symbolize her spiritual evolution to a higher plane.


Upright: Deep Intuition, Wisdom, Enlightenment


Reversed: Need for Validation, Lack of Comprehension, Repressed Feelings

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The Empress

Commanding the staff with the penultimate symbol of femininity, the Empress can rightly be called the Earth Mother. Her dress is as red as pomegranates, a symbol of fertility, and she draws peace and energy from the tree she holds. Her crown of white flowers signifies luxury and beauty, two of the many symbols of her ruling planet of Venus.


Upright: Beauty, Fertility/Abundance, Femininity


Reversed: Confusion, Neglecting One's Own Needs, Lack of Harmony

 

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The Emperor

Sitting on his regal, masculine throne, the Emperor conveys authority and commands power. Holding his sword downward, he evokes a sense of wisdom and experience, as he understands the consequences of using it. The staff he holds symbolizes structure, and the circle above his head symbolizes the world he rules over.

Upright: Masculinity, Guidance/Structure, Authority

Reversed: Abuse of Power, Domination, Lack of Self-Control

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The Hierophant

Also known as the Pope, the Hierophant is seen as a religious figure, his right hand raised in benediction. The sphere with the cross he holds symbolizes the power of his belief through religious ideas and institutions. The tripe cross scepter he carries signifies his rule over the Heavens, the Earth, and the Underworld.

Upright: Tradition, Belief, Righteousness

Reversed: Construction, Taboo, Questioning Convention

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The Lovers

The Lovers wrap around each other in desire, as Cupid's arrow points toward their hearts. The white ribbon that holds them together symbolizes harmony and purity, tied together in love.  They face each other, in opposite colors to symbolize choice over two different paths.

Upright: Love, Harmony, Choices

Reversed: Disharmony, Avoiding Responsibility, Imbalance

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The Chariot

A strong symbol of willpower, the Chariot wheels onward adorned with opposite horses, a symbol of the coalition of positive and negative forces that drive it. The spiked wheels symbolize determination, as nothing will get in the Chariot's way of his goal. He wields a magician's staff, hearkening back to parallel the way the Magician hones his willpower in the same way. The 8 pointed star to his left symbolizes the four cardinal and four equal directions, which will guide him to the goal he seeks.

Upright: Physical Willpower, Determination, Conquest

Reversed: Loss of Control, Loss of Confidence, Pressure

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Strength

The lion of Strength lies docile, a symbol of inner strength working alongside external physical power. He is submissive, but not afraid. The infinity symbol above his head represents the infinite amount of potential inside himself to overcome his obstacles.

Upright: Inner Strength, Power, Compassion

Reversed: Emotional/Mental Weakness, Vulnerability, Lack of Courage

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The Hermit

The Hermit holds his shepherd's staff, a symbol of his inner control over his thoughts. The lantern he carries shines the fire of penultimate spirituality and wisdom, and in holding it out, he shows his willing to impart his knowledge to others, while his long, covering cloak symbolizes his willingness to share that knowledge with only those who seek it.

Upright: Wisdom, Introspection, Seeking Truth

Reversed: Inability to Reflect, Isolation, Self-Absorption

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The Wheel of Fortune

Set inside the Wheel of Fortune are the Hebrew letters of YWVH, the unpronounceable name of God, and the English letters TAROT, symbolizing Destiny and Karma, respectively. The sword to the lower right of the Wheel symbolizes the adversity you may face as your life begins to change, and the winged halo to the upper left symbolizes the Universe's Divine Plan for you. In the center of the Wheel sits the symbols of the four elements and ancient building blocks for life - mercury, sulphur, water, and salt.

Upright: Circle of Life, Destiny, Karma

Reversed: Bad Luck, Stressful Changes, Lack of Control

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Justice

Justice holds the scales of balance and law in her left hand, and the sword of justice in her right. Her crown is measured and precise, and she wears a blindfold to signify her impartiality. She seeks only the truth, and her black cloak serves as a backdrop for her final, fair, and just decisions.

Upright: Truth, Justice, Impartiality

Reversed: Dishonesty, Poor Judgement, Bias

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The Hanged Man

Uncomfortably suspended upside down, the Hanged Man grips the tree of life of his own volition, showing his willingness to surrender to his fate. A winged halo around his head shows his focus on his greater reward, rather than his current situation.

Upright: Free Will, Self Sacrifice, Willing Surrender

Reversed: Stagnation, Selfishness, Suspension

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Death

With his skeletal face and hands, Death's body symbolizes what survives after the body passes on. He is immortal, and the waning moon above his head reflects the cycles we all ho through as our lives change with time. His scythe faces the Earth, suggesting a burial of old eras to begin anew. The crown, skull, and hand signifies Death's impartiality to status, age, and race.

Upright: Change, Endings, Transformation

Reversed: Resistance to Change, Interference, Stagnation

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Temperance

Temperance is seen balancing two jugs symbolizing opposite elements, uniting them with an equal, moderated, upward flow of water, signifying a focus of energy and control of her decisions. She balances on her tail to show her balanced approach to current obstacles.

Upright: Patience, Balance, Moderation

Reversed: Conflict, Lack of Cooperation, Imbalance

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The Devil

A symbol in himself of raw emotions and desire, the Devil sits cross-legged, levitating above the ground. The fire above his head represents the addiction to the things that are bad for us; material desires, lust, substance abuse. His hands point in opposite directions, one to the heavens, the other to the underworld.

Upright: Giving into Desire, Addiction, Materialism

Reversed: Desire to Break Free, Openness, Willing to Accept Change

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The Tower

Struck by three bolts of lightning at different angles, the Tower is destroyed in chaos and upheaval, suddenly and without warning. The eagle falls headfirst from the Tower, with only enough time to shed a single tear before, left wing broken, h hits the earth, symbolizing a loss of something important to himself, as he can no longer fly without both wings and must not wait for himself to heal. The burning trees represent a spiritual guidance that may on the outside look destructive, but in reality, like fire, is cleansing and allows us to start anew.

Upright: Disaster, Turmoil, Awakening

Reversed: Fear of Change, Delaying the Inevitable, Resistance

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The Star

The Star's chimera represents the inner discovery of new growth and meanings. The snake of his tail sits docile, but attentive, and his body lies on its back, showing openness and willingness to accept the change the star above him will bring. The three smaller stars represent his trust in his own mind, body, and soul.

Upright: Blessings, Hope, Discovery

Reversed: Lack of Inspiration, Discouragement, Negativity

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The Moon

A symbol of uncertainty, he holds the Moon in his hands, using the dim light to try and illuminate what is around him. The path of the Moon's tail ends pointing back to his mind, a reminder to use your intellect and reasoning while making decisions that may seem unclear on the surface.

Upright: Insecurity, Deception, Uncertainty

Reversed: Confusion, Emotional Issues, Lack of Clarity

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The Sun

In opposite form of the Moon, the Sun exudes confidence and clarity. He curls himself in an upright pose, holding the Sun in the center, symbolizing his inner confidence and optimism. His tail points up as a reflection of the direction his life is heading.

Upright: Joy, Success, Confidence

Reversed: Temporary Sadness, Reluctance, Setbacks

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Judgement

A symbol of rebirth, the phoenix of Judgement symbolizes a new self. His trumpet sounds a loud call, waking up the mind and body to begin again. The flames from his tails symbolize the cleansing nature of fire, how one may die but be born again, learning from past transgressions and experiences.

Upright: Judgement, Self-Reflection, Awakening

Reversed: Self-Judgement, Doubt, Unwanted Changes

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The World

Proud of its accomplishments, the World sits balancing the Earth, symbolizing its fulfillment of its quest to find its place in the world. Peacefully set inside an ouroboros, it not only realizes that this means the end of their journey, but also the beginning of a new one. It is surrounded by its own journey - starting out a bright eyed Fool, honing the capabilities of its mind and body through Strength and the Chariot, and overcoming the sometimes very difficult changes Death may bring. The wands on either side represent opportunities and challenges, a reminder to the World that it took advantage of both to succeed in its endeavors.

Upright: Completion, New Beginning, Fulfillment

Reversed: Lack of Achievement, Loss of Focus, Inability to Complete