Major Arcana: The 22 cards of the Major Arcana ("Greater Secrets") are also known as the Trumps or Triumphs, and are sometimes referred to by the French atouts or the Italian atutti or trionfi.
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The Major Arcana - The Tarot - The White Goddess

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Saturday, 27 May 2017

The Major Arcana

The Major Arcana

The Tarot - The Major Arcana

Major Arcana Defined

The Tarot archetypes are simply pictures representing life and the stages and experiences we all go through from birth until death. They are symbols of all life cycles The first 22 cards, called the Major Arcana, are also called the "Fool's Journey" It is the story of one's journey through life starting as The Fool: The Beginning, youthful, pure energy in spirit form.

The journey continues in the symbols, depicting events and cycles in one's life. Completion is in 'The World' archetype, the End, and the Fool has traveled to wholeness and completion of the cycle of life. The other 56 cards, the Minor Arcana, describe the people, events, feelings, and circumstances we encounter on our personal 'Fool's Journey'.

Major Arcana = One's Life Journey
Minor Arcana = People and Events along the way (Wands, Pentacles, Swords, Cups in the card decks)
Wands - Fire - Intuition
Swords - Air - Thinking
Cups - Water - Feeling
Pentacles - Earth - Sensing

The cards are laid in a spread to answer a question (a reading) usually on the topics of love, relationships, family, wealth and money, stress, problems, life decisions, health, careers and work, meditation, daily guidance, prayer, and personal growth.

The 22 cards of the Major Arcana ("Greater Secrets") are also known as the Trumps or Triumphs, and are sometimes referred to by the French atouts or the Italian atutti or trionfi. These are the cards containing strong prototypal symbols and meanings. In earlier decks, these were often the only cards specifically illustrated according to meaning. The figures, forces and qualities depicted in the Major Arcana are highly archetypal. The viewer with no previous knowledge of Tarot tradition will immediately get a sense of what each card conveys, though the full richness of meaning will only be gained through study and application.

The Trumps are not merely a collection of 22 individual images: they follow an ordered sequence from I to XXI, with the Fool unnumbered or assigned 0. The Fool is sometimes placed in order before the rest of the Trumps, after them, between XX and XXI, or sometimes no place at all. The sequence is important and can be viewed in many ways; for example, as an allegory of the evolution of the soul.

Certain decks do change the order of the Major Arcana and their names: Arthur Edward Waite transposed Strength and Justice in the Rider-Waite deck, for example. In keeping with his Thelemic system on which his Thoth deck is based, Aleister Crowley changed the names of some of the cards: Justice becoming Adjustment, Strength becoming Lust, Temperance becoming Art, Judgement becoming the Aeon, and the World becoming the Universe.


The most usual ordering and attribution of the Major Arcana is as follows:
Major Cards represent events that are out of the control of the individual.
(Click on a Card for a more detailed interpretation.)

Aeclectic Tarot

Aeclectic Tarot

Aeclectic Tarot

Magical Times Magazine

Magical Times Magazine

Magical Times Magazine

Magic Folk

Magic Folk

Magic Folk