Major Arcana

The first part of a traditional Tarot deck contains 22 Major Arcana cards. The Major cards illustrate a path through existence to it's pinnicale. Most term this as the Fool's Journey (a great rendition of the Fool's Journey by Joan Bunning). The Occult Scholar seeked a greater understanding of our universe. The Major cards center the deck, each representing some part of the universal human existence and experience.

The Major cards go beyond the narrow archetypes represented by the Minor cards, encompassing a broader range of occurances generally associated with the human experience. Some think these cards cover too general an area, but a broad overview of a situation is offen more useful than sketchy details. While the Major cards give the "bigger picture," they work in unison with the Minor cards, which provide the details.

The Major cards are usually maked with a Roman Numeral to show the path from beginning to acutalization. A typcial Tarot deck in traditional format (meaning 22 Major Arcana, and 4 suits of 14 Minor Arcana) runs in the following order, often with one or two names changed, but rarely the order:

  • The Fool 0

  • The Magician I

  • The High Priestess II

  • The Empress III

  • The Emperor IV

  • The High Priest V

  • The Lovers VI

  • The Chariot VII

  • Justice VIII

  • The Hermit IX

  • Wheel of Fortune X

  • Strength XI

  • The Hanged Man XII

  • Death XIII

  • Temperance XIV

  • The Devil XV

  • The Tower XVI

  • The Star XVII

  • The Moon XVIII

  • The Sun XIX

  • Rejuvenation XX

  • The World/Universe XXI

Some of the cards represent approaches to life, implying by choice, such as the Hermit and the Magician. Others are symbolic of objectst that play a part in our everyday life, The Sun, The Moon, and The Star. Still more depict the major influential energy that one must go through to learn and reach self-actualization; The Tower, Death (which does not always mean physical death, but rather a transformation). Many too give a hint to their meaning in the name itself; Strength, Justice, Rejuvination.