Intriguing Symbols: Major Arcana Tarot Cards And Their Meanings


Sometimes we all find ourselves in various pursuits to make sense of ourselves, or to try to shape our lives in the direction we want. Fortune-telling and prophecy methods offer a mysterious yet enjoyable discovery chance to us in this regard. As one of these methods, Tarot cartomancy is an interesting and mysterious fortune-telling method that helps us look at things in our lives from different perspectives. 

Evoking interest with unique and characteristic drawings on cards, Tarot is thought to have emerged at the end of the Middle Age. Although there are many different schools of thought regarding this topic. Some say it was born in Italy, some say India, and some even claim Ancient Egypt. 

No matter where it came from, it has been attracting the attention of many people around the world since old times. If you want to learn more about tarot fortune-telling, you can find a lot of interesting information about it in the rest of the article!

A Mysterious Discovery: What Is Tarot?

Tarot is a fortune-telling method that uses a specific deck of cards that have certain meanings to interpret the events that occurred or predict the future. It is a method of cartomancy, and it is believed to have some kind of energy transfer between the person who does the reading and the person who receives the reading.

  • There are 78 tarot cards in total. 
  • These cards are separated into two main groups as “Minor Arcana” and “Major Arcana”. Major Arcana means “major secrets/mysteries”, Minor Arcana means “minor secrets/mysteries”. 
  • There are 22 cards in the Major Arcana group, and 56 in Minor Arcana. 
  • Minor Arcana cards are divided into two categories. Out of the 56 cards, 16 are court cards, and 40 are suits cards. 
  • Minor Arcana cards are used to interpret the short-term events, while the Major Arcana is used to interpret situations with deeper understandings, such as the relationships or the inner world of the individual. 

So, can everyone read tarot cards? What are the things to pay attention to during tarot fortune-telling? Let’s discover!

How To Do Fortune-Telling With Tarot Cards?

Tarot fortune-telling is done by people who know the cards as well as their meanings. It is quite important that these are people with high intuition, strong judgment, and the ability to understand the relations between events. These types of people can have private sessions with people who wish to have tarot fortune-telling. Other points to consider in tarot fortune-telling are as follows: 

  • The person who wishes to have the reading must have a specific purpose. Because the fortune-telling will be done on the basis of this purpose. 
  • After the purpose or the wish has been determined four cards are picked from the pack. The cards will have different meanings depending on if they come up straight or upside down. 
  • While the cards are shuffled, any card that falls out of the deck is not put back in. This phenomenon is interpreted as the cards do not want to be picked. 
  • There can be candles, quilts, natural stones or other similar objects in the room during the tarot reading. 
  • The importance of intuition is quite high in tarot. For this reason, it is desirable to have an energy transfer between the fortune-teller and the tarot cards. The fortune-telller must “feel” the cards. 
  • In order to keep the energy transfer pure and stable, nobody other than the fortune-teller should touch the cards. 

Moreover, it is known that there are many different tarot decks around the world. Although the drawings on the cards can change depending on the age or the year, there has not been any change in the 22-card deck Major Arcana, which is based on mythological foundations. While doing the reading, the fortune-teller reads this deck separately from the Minor Arcana. On top of that, to be able to interpret the cards completely and successfully, the fortune-teller must know the common elements of all tarot cards. At this point, it would be better to talk about these 4 elements and their meanings, before the meanings of the cards. 

Four Elements That Shape the Fortune-Telling

There are four main elements in tarot fortune-telling. Each of these elements has its own energy, as well as a symbolic meaning. They each represent a suit of cards. 

Air Element (Suit of Swords)

Air is intangible and invisible. Always on the move and also pretty strong. The air element in the tarot is connected with the suit of swords. It has meanings such as power, ambition, courage, oppression, and conflict.

The suit of swords deals with the level of awareness of one’s thoughts and behaviors. It symbolizes the thin line between intelligence and strength, as well as how these two features can be used for both good and evil. For this reason, it is desirable for swords to be balanced with spirit (wand) and feelings (cup). Among the aspects of the suit of swords are anger, judgment, accusation and lack of compassion. 

Water Element (Suit of Cups) 

Water is very strong, yet fluid and agile. For this reason, the water element represents emotional transitions, intuition, healing, and feminine energy. Water is symbolized with the suit of cups in tarot. This suit shows you that you depend on your heart the most while making decisions. It is also associated with features such as creativity, romanticism, and imagination. Inability to express oneself, suppressed emotions or lack of creativity can be among the negative aspects of the suit of hearts. 

Fire Element (Suit of Wands) 

Fire has a warm, energetic, and surprising nature. On one hand, it can be used in cooking or heating, while, on the other hand, it can cause catastrophes such as forest fires. It can be very destructive. Fire element is masculine, and as a result, it reflects the power of masculine energy.  

Fire in the tarot is associated with suit of wands. It indicates inspiration, spirituality, strength, determination, ambition, and intuition. The suit of wands deals with the spiritual level of consciousness that mobilizes us at the core of our existence. The negative aspects of the suit of wands are selfishness, lack of purpose, and impulsiveness.

Earth Element (Suit of Pentacles)

Earth is solid, worldy, and tangible. It is the foundation on which the planet grows and develops. It is also stable, rich, and fruitful. The element of earth in the tarot is symbolized with the suit of pentacles. It indicates work, commerce, hardworking, money, or other material elements of life.  

The suit of pentacles gives hints about self-fulfillment and well-being. What’s more, these cards are related to the level of external consciousness. Meaning that can reflect your business, income, or health. The suit of pentacles is also associated with how you transform and improve what you have, via interacting with the external environment. Among its negative aspects are characteristics such as extreme materialism, a greedy attitude, and excessive focus on career. 

Now that we have covered all of the 4 elements in the tarot, it is time to talk about the meanings of the cards in Major Arcana, which has not been changed at all!

What Do Tarot Cards Mean?

There are two different meanings hidden in the same tarot card. Meaning the same card has different meanings if you draw it upright, and another meaning if you draw it reversed, or upside down. The values that are contained within these two meanings are also the opposite of each other. 

  1. The Fool

Upright: Inspiration, adventure, freedom, and renewed energy

Reversed: Uncertainty, indecision, laziness, waste of time, and vicious circle

2. The Magician

Upright: Communication, creativity, leadership, directing the energy to the right area, and an important event that affects the course of life

Reversed: Lack of motivation, lack of communication, need for innovation, failure to realize potential

3. The High Priestess 

Upright: Calmness, easy-going, nurturing, passive, patient, pacific, intuitive

Reversed: Uncertainty, indecision, confusion, inconsistency, wrong advices

4. The Hierophant

Upright: Conscience, customs, loyalty to the old/past, the closing of all the ways out, advice from someone important

Reversed: Rejecting old ways, gaining freedom, accepting change, adopting innovations

5. The Empress

Upright: Inspiration, fertility, good news, breeding and reproduction, artistic developments, progress towards improvement 

Reversed: Inefficiency, lack of love, lack of inspiration, unlucky period 

6. The Emperor

Upright: Achieving the aim, getting to the top, sensuality, love, an emotional man

Reversed: Being cheated on, being rejected, an untrustworthy person, falling off the top, losing in love

7. The Lovers

Upright:  Love, partnership, agreement, harmony, reunion, removal of an obstacle

Reversed: Procrastination, dissatisfaction, parting ways, being a prisoner of emotions, not receiving the expected support

8. The Chariot

Upright: Negotiation, determination, the harmony of opposites, maintaining balance, taking control, situation assessment

Reversed: Separation, indecisiveness, uncontrolled power, being at a crossroads, failure to reach an agreement

9.Strength Card

Upright: A lucky period, self-confidence, courage, overcoming fears, taking risks, passing danger

Reversed: Loss of control, being defeated by the enemy, weakness, succumbing to fears, unnecessary use of power

10. The Hermit

Upright: An inner pursuit, concentration, wisdom, getting to the top, the need to be alone

Reversed: Becoming introverted, looking for a solution in the wrong place, ignoring the facts, delaying the solution of problems

11. Wheel of Fortune

Upright: Opportunity, inevitable change, making an important decision, moving forward, change, new options, an active period

Reversed: Unluckiness, bad progress, obstacles in business, the closing of all exits, going backwards instead of forward

12. Justice Card

Upright: Equality, karma, divine justice, balance, conclusion of any event, hearing the news expected

Reversed: Being wronged, the disturbance of balance, failing to reach an agreement, getting stuck because of an obstacle, not learning from mistakes

13. The Hanged Man

Upright: Calmness, illness, submission, halting of work, feeling helpless 

Reversed: Approaching result, the failure of all the efforts, the removal of an obstacle, normalization process

14. Death Card

Upright: Separation, destruction, hitting rock bottom, renewal, farewell, painful change, faltering

Reversed: Resisting change, post-end darkness, clinging to the past, denial

15. Temperance Card

Upright: Temperance, suppressed emotions, finding middle ground, unshed tears, a problem occupying the mind

Reversed: Restlessness, excessiveness, going to extremes, getting rid of a problem, controlling emotions, acceptance

16. The Devil

Upright: Addiction, forbidden love, being in the dark, restriction of freedom, overindulgence in substance and money

Reversed: Being free, getting out of the dark, getting rid of addiction, ignoring the truth, removing barriers

17. The Tower

Upright: Sudden loss, shock, disaster, hitting rock bottom, sudden change

Reversed: Insecurity, not taking risks, fear of change, not removing the unnecessary thing from one’s life, making radical decisions

18. The Star

Upright: Inspiration, hope, acceptance, renewed energy, finding peace, purification, relief from pain

Reversed: Pessimism, unspoken words, a need to cry, denial of facts, a subconscious problem

19. The Moon

Upright: Fear, subconscious, uncertainty, pessimism, restlessness, facing fears

Reversed: Overcoming fears, overcoming a challenge, restoring trust, removal of an obstacle, optimism

20. The Sun

Upright: Joy, success, warmth, happiness, positive thoughts, getting out of the dark, ending uncertainty

Reversed: Procrastination, depression, pessimism, restlessness, misconceptions, negative thoughts, failure

21. Judgment Card

 Upright: Inspiration, awakening, news, release, rebirth, removal of obstacles

 Reversed: Captivity, ignorance, obstacles, endless waiting

22. The World

Upright: Peace, success, beginnings, happy ending, finish line, completion 

Reversed: Blockage, procrastination, failure, vicious circle, disappointment, lack of concentration

You have learned the steps of tarot fortune-telling along with many kinds of information about the meanings of tarot cards. Now you can do your own tarot reading by following these steps and paying attention to the meanings of the cards. Don’t forget to follow the guidelines!

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