The Major arcana makes up the first 22 cards in a tarot deck. Each of the Major Arcana cards has a meaning or life lesson, but these tarot card meanings are up for interpretation. However, each card has an upright and reversed meaning.

Generally, major arcana cards are considered to represent major events in your life, this could mean the card’s story lasts a long term in your life as opposed to the minor arcana card which symbolises a short temporary event. 

We begin with card zero, the fool who is considered to be the protagonist of the story and often represents yourself. The major arcana story often is centred around the fool. Each of the remaining 21 numbered cards represents the journey the fool goes on.

Tarot Card Meanings Upright & Reversed

0. The Fool Meaning

Upright: Adventure, Beginning the cycle, the protagonist of the story, a new life chapter, Blind to reality, a free spirit, self-focused, optimistic, a gambler, someone who doesn’t look before they leap.

1. The Magician Meaning

Upright: The magician tarot card indicates the call to adventure, the power of magic, confidence, and faith in your ability

2. The High Priestess Meaning

Upright: Prayer, spirituality, knowledge, deep thought, occult, astrology, the mind, at one with the universe, a reminder to take a look at your emotions and inner wisdom. 

3. The Empress Meaning 

Upright: For women the Empress important card it can have meanings such as pregnancy indicating children and being a mother, as well as positive signals associated with love life. For mean it can mean, wealth, material or financial wealth.

4. The Emporer Meaning

Upright: The Emporer symbolises, authority, faith, power, a father figure, taking control, and discipline, which can represent an elderly figure in your life. The Emporer is who you look for practical and steady guidance.

5. The Hierophant Meaning

Upright: The Hierophant is the card of commitment, ceremony, commitment to a job, religion, marriage, following the rules, moral code and moral character. 

6. The Lover’s Meaning

Upright: The Lovers tarot card is associated with a new romantic life, marriage plans, relationships, meeting a new partner, good energy, and having love for your profession, friendship or job.

7. The Chariot Meaning

Upright: Professional success, focus, dedication duty responsibility, direction, control, willpower. The chariot is all about taking action and tackling problems.

8. The Strength Meaning

Upright: Mental, Emotional or Physical Strength, bravery, compassion, focus, inner strength to overcome obstacles, surviving through adversity.

9. The Hermit Meaning

Upright: The Hermit is the card of solitude and withdrawal, associated with mindful thinking, deep retrospection, spiritual guidance, and the search for truth.

10. The Wheel of Fortune’s Meaning

Upright: Sometimes known as the gambler. The Wheel of Fortune is associated with luck and fate. A lesson about not being able to always control the outcome.

11. The Justice Meaning

Upright: The justice tarot card is associated with being out of balance and highlights the consequences of behaviour. The outcomes are associated with fairness and the universe correcting things in harmony.

12. The Hanged Man Meaning

Upright: The hanged man tarot card represents accepting a situation, not being sad or struggling in a situation but accepting it. A card of perspective.

13. Death Meaning

Upright: Often misunderstood the death card is often associated with rebirth and transitions into a new aspect of your life. Often represents sacrifice, decisions and choice.

14. Temperance Meaning

Upright: The temperance card is associated with peace and comfort and your life is in perfect balance. A reminder that renewal and rejuvenation are coming. Associated with calmness and stillness.

15. The Devil Meaning

Upright: The devil card is associated with temptation, and warning you against obsessive and potentially addictive, greedy or mischievous behaviour. Could even be a calling for a need for you to indulge in some personal desires.

16. The Tower Meaning

Upright: The Tower card represents a drastic change. Something you can’t prepare for but a change in direction. The is no turning back a problem to tackle. Associated with broken pride and sudden upheaval.

17. The Star Meaning

Upright: The star card represents the guidance form above, and tells you that everything is going to be okay. It is a reassuring card that is associated with hope, peace and a successful journey.

18. The Moon Meaning

Upright: The moon points out that things may not be exactly as they seem. Has archetypal themes of intuition, keeping one eye open and proceeding with caution. Follow your intuition.

19. The Sun Meaning

Upright: The Sun card has possible meanings connected to honouring growth and celebrating your success with positivity.

20. The Judgement Meaning

Upright: The Judgement tarot card may indicate that you can no longer hide from the truth. You have been awakened and should put lessons into practice.

21. The World Meaning

Upright: The World is the last card in the major arcana. This card represents closure and lessons and themes ending and embarking on a new journey.

How to interpret the Major Arcana Tarot cards?

Major Arcana cards are associated with long-term events in your life, however, each card should be interpreted differently depending on your life circumstances. A good tarot reader will be able to explain what each card means to you, so you can apply it moving forward.

What does it mean when a tarot reading is mostly major Arcana Cards?

When Major Arcana cards are being pulled from the deck more often, this could indicate that there are numerous external factors having an effect on your life. It’s important to use your own intuition and work out how each of the cards applies to you.

Is a reversed tarot card bad?

A reversed tarot card is not always a bad thing, it could highlight an area of your life you need to embrace or focus on to improve your circumstances. It could mean that the querent is experiencing the opposite of what the card represents, or it could be a warning to be aware of the negative aspects of the card’s meaning. It could also indicate that the querent needs to work on the issue represented by the card.

What’s the difference between minor arcana and major arcana tarot cards?

The main difference between minor and major arcana cards is that Minor Arcana are associated with short occasional life events whilst Major Arcana are associated with long-term events in your life.