Tarot Card Meanings - Major Arcana
There are currently 22 names in this directory
00 The Fool
The Fool is the first card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number zero to indicate that it is the very beginning—before everything. Many people misinterpret the Fool, believing its message to signify absurdity or moronic behavior. On the contrary, the Fool is a symbol of the Creator, the “All That Is”, or however you envision deity. He symbolizes the trickster aspect of divinity: God’s sense of humor, if you will. The Fool seems to be stepping off a cliff to certain doom. He turns his face and eyes upward, not noticing the fate that awaits. In his satchel, he has what little he needs for his journey. His companion, a little white dog, runs along at his heels. The dog can be seen as humanity’s most extreme attitudes toward divinity: either seen as following blindly along, or lacking the firmness of belief necessary to take the step the Fool is about to make, and therefore, trying to hold him back. The real message here is one of optimism. You must make a leap of faith, taking only the baggage that benefits you, with the ultimate trust that you will make it alright. The Fool encourages you to go beyond your boundaries, to work past your fears, and to believe that anything is possible. We are ready to move forward and know what is right for us. At the same time we must not sacrifice our freedom for the sake of conventions or peer pressure. The laws of the universe call upon us to live out of our imagination -not out of our memory. The Fool is a card that sends a clear message: it calls upon us to re-examine our lives and ask ourselves – are we really free? We need to put our freedom at the top of our priorities – the freedom to live based on our own beliefs. Until we do so we will not be able to fulfill the goals we had set. The card indicates that we know what is right for us and should insist on our path despite other’s misgivings. We must trust our gut feeling to be our only true guide. The card might often indicate that due to conventions and peer pressure we are about to give up on something which is paramount to us. We therefore must let go of our past which is binding us via memories of that which once was. Instead, we have to live out of our imagination of that which still may be –new beginnings that will lead to everything that is right and true in our lives. The spiritual lesson: there is no price for freedom! If we find ourselves at a place in life where we continuously suffer, then no compensation, material or other, can match our happiness once we set ourselves free. Supportive Obtrusive Relationships Flowing well and open for propositions. We like freedom and don’t want to commit, we do not persist nor put in the effort, miscommunication. Career We have goof ides and can think outside the box. We do as we please and cannot accept authority, lack discipline, tend to be irresponsible, lazy, aloof. Please note that this card, just like the High Priestess and the Moon, does not provide a clear and definite answer. Areas of particular relevance: Freedom, new beginnings, breaking free of our chains
01 The Magician
The Magician is the second card of the Major Arcana, and is given the number one to indicate the power that resides within each living being: the power of the self. He has mastered the tools of the Tarot: the pentacle, cup, sword, and wand, which symbolize the four physical elements of earth, water, air, and fire. With one hand aiming skyward and one pointing at the ground, the Magician is the symbol of manifestation, of bringing things from the spiritual or psychological realm into the physical one. The power flowing through him is the power of creation, which is symbolized by the flowers and other growing things around him. The Magician’s lesson is awareness: watch what you bring into your life as well as what you give to others. You have to walk your talk: decide what you want and take action to make your dreams a reality. You alone have the power within you—you need only to concentrate on channeling it to your best advantage. Our intuition, ideas and plans are correct. The laws of the universe call upon us to execute them and bring them into being. We have to overcome our misgivings and act decisively – otherwise our plans will never take form. The Magician indicates that we know what we want and have full knowledge, ability and potential to achieve it. We are aware of our intuition and have solid inner knowledge. We are well connected to the here-and-now yet are fully aware, alert and ready for anything that might come our way. And we know how to use all of these abilities to create something where nothing existing before – and reach our goal. Yet, we need also remember that this is a Major Tarot card, so it indicates insights and theories rather than results. In order for things to materialize we need to bring our ideas down to earth. And most importantly: we need to act – otherwise nothing will ever happen. We should not be wary of using our power or doing what we want. Thoughts such as “what will happen if…” or “I don’t feel comfortable to do it” are not relevant and might in themselves represent the problem we need to overcome. We need, and should, be the magicians of our lives! Supportive Obtrusive Relationships We are being captivating, charming, act as an excellent suitor and serve as someone it is easy to fall for. We are acting erratically, tend to think only of ourselves, tend to disappear when being needed. Career We are hard-working, offer good ideas and deliver results. We focus only on our own interests, tend to be too aggressive, promote ideas we do not believe in, probably are overqualified for the job. Areas of particular relevance: Interpersonal communication, sales, manipulations
02 The High Priestess
The High Priestess is the third card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number two to indicate the polarity inherent in all things. She sits between the pillars of light and darkness, mercy and severity, positive and negative. She has withdrawn from outside influences, going deep within to gain knowledge from behind the veil of consciousness. The scroll in her lap is labeled “TORA”, the name of the Hebrew holy book, indicating her link to divinity. Behind her, the eternal ocean of emotions and intuition ebbs and flows, and she is the key to its mysteries. The High Priestess indicates that you are seeking more esoteric knowledge, experiencing a spiritual awakening. The attainment of such wisdom requires discipline. She also reminds you to look for the subtle meanings beyond everyday events. You must listen to your inner voice to hear the truth that lies beyond the shallow, mundane world. Trust your instincts. The laws of the universe suggest that in life we cannot only go after sure things. What is important is not the results we get but the lesson we learn. We cannot be afraid of the unknown -we need to take a chance, dive in and follow what life brings us. The High Priestess, like the Fool, cannot provide a definite answer. This is a card with a moral that calls upon us to get down deep and explore our darkest parts –those hidden areas that we usually avoid out of habits, fears and concerns. Coping with these parts and what they might reveal will not be easy but, at the end of the process, we will learn our lesson. When the High Priestess appears the card indicates uncertainty and mystery. There are unclear things in our life and we feel that we are walking on the edge of an abyss, that nothing is safe. But it is important to understand that in life we should not always seek the safe route but also open the door for mystery and uncertainty in our lives. When the card shows up we need to take a chance and let life lead us to the unknown so we can learn the lesson that will help us grow. A lesson that will lead to enlightenment! Supportive Obtrusive Relationships _ Fear to begin relationships, moodiness, rapid ups-and-downs, send mixed signals, tendency to disappear. Career _ Instability at work, tendency to pulsate between active and passive states. Please note that this card, just like the Moon, does not provide a clear and definite answer. Areas of particular relevance: Mysticism, psychology, secrets.
03 The Empress
The Empress is the fourth card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number three to signify many forms of fertility, including the reproduction that comes from human partnership. She, like the planet Venus whose symbol adorns her, rules love. The gentleness and emotional sides of motherhood are her domain. Growth is embodied in the fields of grain beneath her feet. The grain sustains and supports human life. The Empress is, in this way, an expression of mother Earth. In some instances, she can indicate a pending marriage, or herald the arrival of motherhood. The Empress teaches you to use loving, caring ways to accomplish your goals without losing your power. You must put your heart and soul into your undertakings, and cultivate your talents, but retain your control over the situation. Do not let yourself become either too easily swayed or too inflexible. Above all, you are the best barometer of what is right for you. Use your judgement. e are close to reaching success, but in order to realize it we need to obey the laws of the universe stating that we need to give in order to receive. We have to give from ourselves and help others without expecting a reward. Fertility is a guiding principle in our lives. When we are fertile we are connecting to the energy of prosperity, success and happiness and through it we can better ourselves and our surroundings. The spiritual lesson of the Empress deals with our duty of empowering those around us so they can maximize their true potential. We achieve this via our support, our feedback, as well as through intellectual and spiritual stimuli. When we give from ourselves without knowing when, and if, we are rewarded it will help us connect to abundance and fertility in our own lives. When the Empress shows up it is only natural to give from ourselves to others. But, at the same time we need to pay attention to instances when we find it hard to give and investigate why and where is it coming from. Supportive Obtrusive Relationships Love, giving, devotion, abundance, readiness for a relationship. _ Career Devotion, caring, giving, supporting others in their personal growth. _ Areas of particular relevance: Fertility, pregnancy, womanhood, mother and motherhood, beauty
04 The Emporer
The Emperor is the fifth card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number four to indicate order and structure in the material sense, much like the four lines that create a square. He indicates an authority figure who is practical in his dealings. The rams on his throne are the symbols of Aries, the first sign of the Zodiac. Aries is ruled by Mars, the planet of war. His garments are red, the color most often associated with Mars, and symbolize passion, vitality, and aggressive actions. His sceptre, symbol of his power and dominance, is aimed upward, indicating aspiration and readiness. The mountains behind him denote solidity and immobility. The Emperor teaches you to rely on reason and logic to tackle the situation. To gain control, you must exhibit responsibility, maturity, and other leadership capabilities. This is a good time to review your strategy, examine your options, consider your actions, and make sure they are in line with your personal code of ethics. The laws of the universe call upon us to build a solid material foundation as basis for our journey. But we also need to verify that we are acting out of the right motives and not trying to fulfill social expectations. The Emperor represents an important principle: in order to be successful in the spiritual world we must first succeed and establish ourselves in the material world. But at the same time it is important to verify that our goal truly represent our wants and needs and not those of our environment. The card deals with order, stability, organization, management and authority. It represents material success, professional prosperity, management abilities and a natural knack for handling money and wealth. Although we know how to control the material world, it is also important for us to learn to express ourselves and speak truly -from the heart. It is especially important in relationships where we tend to escape to the familiar place of trying to manage the other party. What we really need to do is simply express our wants and needs. Supportive Obtrusive Relationships We are looking for long-term relationship stability The card also represents a female attraction to a male (the Emperor). We do not express feelings, we try to manage the other side. Career An excellent employee and exceptional manager, we know how to delegate and get result. Lacking patience, being a perfectionist, unwilling to compromise. Areas of particular relevance: Management, career, business, money, law, father
05 The Hierophant
The Hierophant is the sixth card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number five to indicate transformation and flux. He imparts his knowledge to those who are willing to listen, kneeling before him to receive the gift of his wisdom. He blesses them, with his upright hand forming the sign of benediction. His sceptre and crown denote his position of absolute authority. He symbolizes organized religions and the inner teacher, both guides along the path that leads to deity, hence the two crossed keys at his feet. Those who seek his guidance learn that they must also look within for answers. If your situation involves your career, the Hierophant indicates employment in a large corporation with strict requirements and expectations. The Hierophant symbolizes a knowledge of rules, regulations, customs, and the acceptable methods used in the situation - but does not restrict you to those traditional answers. You may have to go outside of the standards when it is in your own best interest to do so. he laws of the universe instruct us to act according to our inner truth. Once we do so we will get help and guidance from our environment. Out inner truth is so important that if we do not act accordingly nature’s opposing forces will rise and act to trip us. The High Priest calls upon us to deal with what is authentic for us, our inner truth. It is important that we listen to our heart and walk the right path – enabling everything else to fall into place. The card indicates that this is a good time to start executing our ideas. Once we do so we will receive support from those around us. And we need to remember that only when we believe in ourselves will others follow. It is important to understand that we have no choice but follow our inner truth because otherwise opposing forces, materializing as the devil, will start to act against us. It is important for us to utilize others around us to guide and counsel us, enabling us to view the situation from several angles, and this in turn will strengthen us. At the same time it is important to remember that only we know what is right for us. Although it is important to consult with others the final decision and the associated responsibility falls squarely upon our own shoulders. No one else can make our decision for us. Supportive Obtrusive Relationships The card represents true love and call upon us to follow our heart, our environment is supportive of our true love. We are afraid to take the next step and advance to the next level. Career We like to work hard –especially when challenged, help out, support our environment in their own quest for self improvement. We might be afraid of making hard decisions and implementing changes when needed. Areas of particular relevance: Religion and faith, religious institutions, getting the truth out into the open, medicine
06 The Lovers
The Lovers is the seventh card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number six to indicate balance. It signifies the three realms of the mind: the conscious, the subconscious, and the superconscious, embodied in the male, female, and the androgynous angelic figure above them. The man and woman are naked, symbolizing their honesty with each other as well as their physical accessibility. They represent that which is revealed. The winged figure above is clothed in robes, indicating the unknown, or that which is yet to be revealed...a mystery. Combined, these three elements form a complete whole. The Lovers card symbolizes relationships, and harmonious interaction - both within the self and without. Love is playing a crucial role in your life right now, and a decision may be weighing heavily on your mind. The angel is thought to be Raphael, bringing healing to the situation. This symbolizes a need to mend fences, or heal yourself from a relationship that cannot be salvaged. Look to your heart, and decide what it is you truly desire—what you need to make yourself whole. The laws of the universe dictate that we cannot progress regarding the issue at hand because our lives are too busy. We must first clear out what is unneeded, excessive, and that which is overburdening or delaying us. We then must then act with all our might to promote this issue. One of the reasons we find it so hard to listen to ourselves is that our lives are simply too busy. We must, therefore, clear out everything that is not right for us. From this perspective anything can stand in our way -even if not directly related to the issue at hand. Only when everything in our lives finds its balance can we make the right choice regarding the issue at hand. Many times the card indicates that we are facing a dilemma – such as if to enter a new relationship. Initially, it seems that we are too confused and do not know what do but just like in the Two of Coins, deep inside we know what is right for us. We therefore must ignore our fears and others’ opinions and simply follow our inner voice. Supportive Obtrusive Relationships If we listen to our heart we will find love. Hesitation, fear of entering a relationship, fear of commitment, indecisiveness. Career _ We are overburdened, we find it hard to complete our tasks, we make compromises in our work. Areas of particular relevance: Dating several people in parallel, contemplations, difficulty in picking a partner
07 The Chariot
The Chariot is the eighth card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number 7, whose Qaballistic significance is victory. The number seven is also commonly associated with good luck. An armored man stands in an elaborate chariot, drawn by two sphinxes. One black, one white, they symbolize the positive and negative forces the charioteer has learned to balance and integrate. Above his head, a canopy of stars, indicating his travels beyond the mundane world. The crescent moons on his shoulders—one smiling, one frowning—denote that he has done the same with the gamut of his emotions. His armor shows that he is ready for physical challenges and his sceptre symbolizes his status and control. The Chariot denotes victory over the extremes in your life through balance, self-control, and the enforcement of your True Will. It can indicate success in the battle against old patterns and vices. By grounding and centering yourself, you can get a handle on your situation. Mentally take the reins. Utilizing the power of your mind, you can chart the course to your goals.
Strength is the ninth card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number eight, which is a number of great good fortune in Eastern traditions. This card is often associated with the Zodiac sign Leo, which is ruled by the Sun, and eight is the number of solar festivals celebrated by many Earth-centered religions. A gentle looking woman, robed in white for purity, cradles a fierce lion’s head in her tender hands. She appears to be soothing the beast, closing its japing jaws. The red lion symbolizes anger, rage, and violence. The symbol over the woman’s head is the sign of infinity, reminiscent of a halo, and denotes her spirituality and her enlightened mind. You may imagine the two figures on the card as the two sides of yourself: the woman is your superego, and the lion is your id. The Strength card encourages you to get control over your anger through an understanding of where it comes from. This card can indicate a need to change your approach to difficulties and issues with others as well. By seeking first to understand and accept the more negative aspects of yourself and others, your situation can be managed more effectively, and with more beneficial results for everyone involved.
08 The Hermit
The Hermit is the Tenth card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number nine to indicate the pinnacle of enlightenment. He stands atop a cold, snowy mountain peak, at the end of a journey he has made alone. He holds a lantern and gazes down the way he has traveled, leading any other seekers to what he has attained. The lantern is rich in symbolism; it denotes both his enlightenment and his willingness to aid others to it. It contains a six-pointed star, which is comprised of two triangles pointing in opposite directions: one up, one down. This shape reveals more of the Hermit’s message: the journey has been inner as well as outer, and his seeking has been within as well as without. He leans on his staff, which is a symbol of his power, making practical use of what he has come to know and master. His grey cloak indicates that he has synthesized the light and dark aspects of himself for his own benefit. The Hermit signifies guidance. This may be your own “Higher Self” speaking to you, or it may be advice given to you by a trusted friend, or a seasoned professional. It is wise to listen to the wisdom offered, and to your own gut feelings, in the present situation. Those who speak from experience may be able to give you some much-needed perspective, as they have been down the path you are currently following. The Hermit can also indicate a need to withdraw from the outer world to focus on your innermost self.
10 The Wheel of Fortune
The Wheel of Fortune is the eleventh card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number ten, which corresponds to the number of sephiroth in the Tree of Life. The Wheel spins in the midway point of the Major Arcana, indicating a crucial turning point. It is a metaphor for Karma, Fate, and Destiny. The creatures pictured in the corners of the card symbolize the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, just as the Pentacles, Swords, Wands, and Cups of the Tarot do. The letters on the great Wheel can be arranged to form many different words that each have meaning: ROTA, the Latin word meaning wheel; ORAT, the Latin word meaning speaks; TARO, the phonetic pronunciation of Tarot, TORA, the Hebrew holy book and the word seen on the scroll of the High Priestess; and ATOR, thought to be another name for Hathor, an Egyptian Goddess. The snake on the Wheel has long been associated with evil, but is also an important symbol of transformation. The jackal-headed man is a representation of Anubis, an Egyptian God who is the guardian of the Underworld. The sphinx is attributed to Horus, associated with resurrection. In these three figures, the Wheel’s course of life, death, and rebirth is embodied. Only when you step back from the daily events in your life can you see the greater patterns—the Wheel itself in motion. The Wheel of Fortune indicates situations in your life that are coming to a close, as well as new opportunities coming to replace them. Major life decisions and milestones are coming, and some have just passed. Things you set in motion some time ago are beginning to bear fruit. Seeds you plant now will be sprouting when the Wheel comes full circle again. When you step back and examine the cause and effect of your present situation, you can adjust your actions accordingly to produce a better outcome.
Justice is the twelfth card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number eleven, which is considered a “master” number in numerology. Though the most familiar image of justice is that of a blindfolded woman, this image stares directly at us, unhindered...much more intimidating! Marking the halfway point in the Major Arcana, she symbolizes an equality between the past and the future—and the importance of the present to them both. She holds a set of balanced scales, and a sword, upright, ready for action. With her scales, she weighs all sides evenly, and with her sword, she cuts through the many layers of illusion and lies to the deeper truth. Her crown is a symbol of her status, gained through fair dealings, and her red robes indicate her power, passion, and vitality. With one foot visible, she is poised, ready to spring forth at any time to defend and act on the judgements she decrees. Justice urges you to examine your past, and how the actions of your past have brought you to your present. In doing this, you realize how what you do right now will influence who you become in the future. You must accept that your present situation is one you helped create. In doing so, you can cut through the illusion of events to the wisdom you should be gaining from them. You can then begin to consciously take action to manifest better situations in your future. The Justice card often appears to signal that people are getting what they deserve. If the situation in question has legal ramifications, it can indicate a fair trial, a settlement, or winning in any general legal battle...the honest side will triumph.
12 The Hanged Man
The Hanged Man is the thirteenth card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number 12 to indicate the combination of the Magician’s (1) mastery over the elements with the High Priestess’ (2) intuition and devotion to the search for esoteric knowledge. A man hangs by his ankle from a T shaped tree. The calm expression on his face and the fact that his hands are hidden behind his back indicate that he is not struggling; he has chosen to do this to gain enlightenment, symbolized by the halo around his head. Many religions contain tales of sacrifice leading to the betterment of humankind. The Hanged Man, like Odin or Christ, willingly gives up his mundane existence to attain a greater understanding that will benefit not only himself, but also his people. The Hanged Man signifies that your situation may best be improved by letting go. This can involve a sacrifice of something you love in favor of your best interest, or it may mean that your struggle to manipulate and control things has made your situation worse. The action you should take in this case is to choose to be passive. When you relax and let events unfold, rather than second-guessing others and their motivations, you discover the true meaning behind the scenario. The Hanged Man can indicate that you should do the opposite of what you would typically do, or what would be expected of you.
Death is the fourteenth card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number 13 for many reasons...both the Death card and the number 13 are widely misunderstood. Most people regard both of them with fear, when in fact they are not cursed or unlucky at all—it is all a matter of your perspective. (That goes for physical death as well, actually.) An armored, skeletal figure rides a pure white horse, symbolic of spirituality and purity of body and soul. Death passes people from all walks of life, and each is effected in different ways that correspond to their viewpoint. The King, who believed that his existence hinged primarily on his status, title, and wealth, is laid low. The Priest, full of faith in a pleasant, rewarding afterlife, faces Death straight on. The young woman turns away out of fear and sadness, but kneels compliantly, albeit regretfully. The child, completely innocent and blissfully ignorant, offers Death the beauty of freshly picked flowers. The flowers, though beautiful, are now also dead. Interestingly enough, a flower appears on the flag Death carries. We should view Death, which essentially symbolizes change, the way the child does. In this way, Death becomes less traumatic, and more the transformation that it truly is meant to be. It is a positive passage, as the sun shining in the distance indicates. Death signifies intense change, and most people do not welcome change. In its most positive guise, Death heralds a chance to start over, a second chance in relationships, or a time of major growth. If viewed with a negative outlook, Death can indicate the unexpected, and deep rooted fears of the unknown. When you accept change as it comes and grow from it, you can release that which has gone before and get on with what is yet to come. Discoveries, opportunities, and new cycles await you. Rather than resisting out of habit, embrace them, and your worries will fade away.
Temperance is the fifteenth card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number 14 to indicate that the Magician (1) has now learned to combine each of the four physical elements (4), to achieve balance. An angelic figure stands with one foot on land and one on the water, pouring liquid at an impossible angle from one cup to another with ease. This entity has integrated the emotional, spiritual, subconscious realm symbolized by the water with the physical, practical, conscious realm symbolized by the earth. The balancing act with the cups and the liquid denotes the ability to juggle situations fluidly, making it look effortless...though others may wonder how it is done! The bright sun in the distance and the planetary sigil for the Sun on the angel’s brow indicate a positive, promising outlook. Temperance indicates a need for moderation in your present situation. To bring things back into balance, you must seek common ground with those involved, and rather than react defensively, act calmly. Speak your truth evenly, without too much anger (fire), without being too wishy-washy (water). Rather than taking off in an uncharted direction that can take you far off course, follow the road through the center. It gives you plenty of choices to bear left or right when necessary, but keeps you close to the safety of the well-worn path. Temperance can be a warning to slow down, or simply to stop. This may include indulgences, vices, and bad habits. Temperance urges you to rethink and re-evaluate your position in the present situation, and reminds you to ground and center yourself.
15 The Devil
The Devil is the sixteenth card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number 15 to indicate the Magician (1) using the (5) elements (earth, air, fire, water, and spirit) for materialistic purposes. Note the Devil’s four fingers and thumb held up (5), while the cudgel (1) aims the power down at the earth...the reverse position of the Magician. The inverted pentagram on the Devil’s forehead is a symbol indicating spirit submerged in and subjugated by matter, or the material world. The Devil presides over a couple from a superior position, in a perversion of the trio on the Lovers card. The couple remain chained to his solid block of stone, though the shackles are loose. They are naked, vulnerable—and yet their faces remain calm. They are entranced by the promises of superficial gain that the belief in the Devil has given them. They remain chained to their worldly desires, believing that only what is concrete and physical is important. When the Devil appears in a reading, it can indicate pettiness, materialism, and base desires. In the Christian faiths, the Devil is the enemy. Like Lucifer, whose vanity and conceit cost him God’s favor, the Devil in the Tarot can be a warning to the selfish and egotistical. Overall, the Devil is a long, hard look at our darker selves, and a reminder that if pushed to the side and allowed to fester in darkness, our dark sides only grow more grotesque, and erupt when we least expect them, or when we just plain lose control. If you fear that you have not fully accepted the parts of yourself you dislike, don’t lock them away. Bring them, slowly and safely, into the light. It will break the chains, and set you free.
16 The Tower
The Tower is the seventeenth card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number 16 to indicate the conscious mind represented by the Magician (1) faced with the breakdown of the unity found in the Lovers (6). Atop a craggy peak, the once-crowned Tower begins to crumble. Fire and Lightning ravage it from within and without. Two people, calling to mind the man and woman in the Lovers card (but clothed, indicating concealment), plunge to an uncertain fate, as flames erupt from the explosion. The destruction is devastating, but there is a purpose behind it. The walls of the Tower have been constructed by the materialistic Ego, and the force of chaos has come to tear them down in the name of spiritual development. The small, tear-shaped flames are symbolic because they resemble YOD, the first letter in the Hebrew name for God. They represent the spark of enlightenment that will brighten even the darkest hour. Right now, you may be experiencing a time of turmoil. The phenomenon that “bad things” happen in threes, or other multiples, is a reality, and you may feel the rug of life being pulled out from under your feet. Like the Tower, you feel you have been struck from out of nowhere. Sometimes, a fire is needed to clear out dead wood, and clear space for the fresh seedlings that will someday be a great forest. If you feel overwhelmed, remember that you can only become stronger by surviving these trials.
17 The Star
The Star is the eighteenth card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number 17 to indicate the conscious mind represented by the Magician (1) opening up to the many directions possible with the control over his Chariot (7). Below one giant yellow star (1), and seven smaller white stars (7), a beautiful woman kneels with one knee on land and one foot on the water. With a jug in each hand, she pours water into both. She is taking inspiration from her creative, intuitive side (water), applying it to her surroundings and daily life (earth), and using the power it gives her to replenish the source of her creativity (water), making a complete cycle. In essence, she is healing herself with water, the source of all life. Her nakedness is symbolic of her purity and honesty, to others as well as to herself. She is in her most natural state, indicating that her task comes with ease, and her calm, serene expression gives her work a meditative quality. The Star represents your hopes and dreams. If you have ever wished that you could do meaningful work that you could actually enjoy, the Star indicates an opportunity. It is time for you to pursue your dream. Go to the source within your mind and heart, and replenish yourself by freeing your spirit. Allow your true self to shine through. Immerse yourself in the things that bring you joy, and inner peace. If your situation indicates health issues, this is a card that indicates a replenishing and healing of the physical body as well.
18 The Moon
The Moon is the nineteenth card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number 18 to indicate the conscious mind represented by the Magician (1) assimilating the wild rage of the lion with the spirituality of the maiden in Strength (8). (Also, in planetary magick, 9 is the number of the Moon, and 1 plus 8 equals 9.) A lobster-like creature rises from the water, as it has been theorized that humankind originally did. It begins to travel a path toward the Moon. The path is flanked by a dog and a wolf—one tame, one wild—two sides of the same coin. In the distance, the path winds between two pillars, obviously manmade. The journey could represent the development of humankind, with the goal being a return to the psychic energy we were created in, embodied here by the Moon. The Moon controls the tide, and also brings out the wilder side in people. It is historically linked with magic and portents, and its mysteries are eternal. It is also associated with illusions, and what is seen by its light is not necessarily real... When the Moon appears in your present, things are not as they seem. Deception of one’s self, or from another, is strongly indicated. Extreme caution when dealing with others is advised. New information comes to you, possibly in dreams or through a vision. In any case, when the truth is exposed, it must be dealt with. Accepting the darker, wilder side can bring peace; denial only brings chaos.
19 The Sun
The Sun is the twentieth card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number 19 to indicate the conscious mind represented by the Magician (1) reaching the self-actualized state of the Hermit (9). A golden-haired child rides bareback on a pure white horse, carrying a red flag. This child is reminiscent of the one who held the flowers up to death, now riding the same white horse of purity, but carrying a red flag instead of a black one, indicating vitality and passion. The child is reborn. The only item the child wears is a headdress, topped with a feather, which symbolizes truth. The Egyptian goddess Ma’at wears a feather on her head—a feather that is used to weigh the souls of the recently deceased to determine if they are worthy to join the Gods in the afterlife. The sunflowers all turn toward the child, denoting that this is truly a child of the Light, as sunflowers are known to turn toward the sun for sustenance. The sun itself shines down on the scene in all its splendor, giving warmth and light to all living things. The Sun signals a personal rebirth. You may feel that light is finally returning to your life. Obstacles have been surmounted, filling you with a new sense of happiness. This card can indicate that some money problems are being solved. The wealth you experience may also be attributed to a new relationship, a new career, or a new feeling of health after a bout with illness. If you are currently in a committed relationship, The Sun can indicate a proposal of marriage. Overall, this card is like the welcome calm after a storm, and indicates a time of pure joy.
Judgement is the twenty-first card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number 20 to indicate the subconscious, intuitive mind of the High Priestess (2) experiencing the vast, pure potential of the Fool (0). The souls of the dead rise up from the darkness of the grave to heed the call of Judgement. Gabriel, the archangel, blows the horn to signal the time when each person will have to answer for his or her deeds. Gabriel’s hair appears like flames, calling to mind images of the phoenix, the mythological creature that rises from its own ashes, reborn. Judgement is the awakening of the souls, and the time to return to the realms of spirit, leaving the physical world behind. The coffins appear to be floating in an ocean, and a strange blue aura covers everything beneath the angel’s horn. This ocean is the subconscious that is only experienced in waves while the spirit resides in the body. When the soul is called forth, it is fully immersed in the collective unconscious. Judgement denotes a milestone in the development of your soul. You have walked through fire, and come out of it transformed, and renewed. You are now liberated from your past, and this card marks your awareness of this freedom. Now is a good time to make the change complete. You may want to honor and mark your change in some way, major or minor. Acknowledging that you have reached this point and releasing any leftover negative reminders from the “old” you are the final steps in the process.
21 The World
The World is the twenty-second card in the Major Arcana, and is given the number 21 to indicate the subconscious mind of the High Priestess (2) uniting completely with the conscious mind of the Magician (1). A figure dances in the center of a giant victory wreath. The creatures that symbolize the four elements have materialized, taking on more realistic forms. The dancer is widely considered a hermaphrodite, symbolizing the unity of the masculine and feminine aspects to form a complete whole. The wreath is adorned with two red sashes, each one forming the sign of infinity. These symbolize the eternal cycle of life, death, and rebirth. The dancer passes through the wreath, entering a new phase of development, holding two wands. These wands channel the energy outward and inward, in an endless flow. The Wheel has come full circle, and the Dance of Life begins again, coiling ever upward toward divinity. The World is a card of unlimited potential put into experienced hands: the opportunity of a lifetime. Its image literally states “the sky’s the limit”. If you have been waiting for your chance, this is IT. You have the tools to accomplish your goal, and the door is open. The World is a card of action. Of all the Major Arcana, only the first (The Fool) and the last (The World) show movement. While The Fool is like the dawn of creation and its promise, the World is like the hallmark of self-actualization. The benefits indicated by this card are truly as limitless as the cosmos it represents.
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