TL;DRWhat does the High Priestess mean in Tarot? What does the Emperor mean in Tarot? What is the Lovers reversed Tarot meaning? There are many questions surrounding the Major Arcana, but looking at each card’s general symbolism can guide us towards any broader questions we may have.
In this article, you will not only learn about the definitions of each of the Major Arcana Tarot cards, but you will also learn about the significance of each card in relation to various questions or themes that commonly arise in Tarot. Whether you want answers regarding your love life, friendships or career, the Major Arcana gives profound insight into all of these areas and more.
Structure of Tarot
In a Tarot deck, there are 78 cards. Within these 78 cards, there are 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana. The word Arcana simply translates as ‘secret’ or ‘mystery’ in Latin. The Minor Arcana is sometimes referred to as ‘Trump’ cards as Tarot was once used as a card game many centuries ago.
One simple way to set apart the Major and Minor Arcana is by looking at their appearance. Major Arcana cards have a title, i.e. the ‘The Fool’, rather than a number and a symbol, such as the ‘Four of Swords’. The Major Arcana cards also beautifully depict important figures, symbolic structures and celestial bodies that stand alone rather than part of a set or group. In other words, each card from the Major Arcana is unrelated to one another, presenting completely different messages but all representing the main archetypes of life. For this reason, the Major Arcana is seen as more significant in a Tarot reading as they represent profound events, people and situations that shape our lives. The Minor Arcana, on the other hand, represent changing or fluid life events that pass more quickly.
Tarot Major Arcana List
As the name would suggest, the Major Arcana are of major importance in Tarot readings. If you perform a Tarot spread and a large proportion of the cards pulled are from the Major Arcana, then you can feel fairly confident that the cards are trying to signal something important or confirm that the question asked is incredibly significant for the questioner. The cards also follow an order of Roman numerals, with the sequence beginning at 0 (The Fool) and concluding at XXI (The World). The order ascribed to the cards is meant to represent the journey of one’s life - we may want to picture The Fool card as a baby and the World as a card symbolizing the accumulation of knowledge and experience gained throughout a person’s life at their final stage. This thought concept is known as ‘The Fool’s Journey’.
0 - The Fool
What does the Fool card mean in Tarot? Well, the Fool card is a card of new beginnings and journeys. A new relationship or course of action may spark soon but the new opportunity is something not to be rushed into without caution. Regardless, exciting times lay ahead - just remember to look before you leap to avoid making a fool of yourself.
In reverse, the Fool card indicates rash or foolish behavior. There may be infatuations or an inability to control one’s emotions which will cause difficulties down the line. The message with this card is that if a person fails to plan, they plan to fail, so do yourself a favor.
The Fool Tarot Love
In terms of love and relationships, the Fool card wants us to look at love with innocence and wonder. Falling in love can make even the most mature people feel youthful and giddy once again. Of course, this card warns against rushing into love blindly, but it also calls for the questioner to embrace the youthful, exciting delight of falling in love.
The Fool Tarot Career
As an inherently positive card, the Fool card indicates a positive, fresh start when read in the context of careers. Perhaps the questioner is leaving behind a toxic work situation and entering a new phase of personal growth, or else they may have a new job offer lined up that is looking incredibly positive. This person needs to keep their wits about them, but there are good things on the horizon for sure.
I - The Magician
The Magician is a strong and positive card, symbolizing creativity, self-reliance and awareness of one’s own abilities. New business, new ventures and new opportunities are all pointed to here. Being bold and decisive.
In reverse, however, the Magician represents a feeling of being out of control. Talents and resources may be going to waste and the questioner may be unduly influenced by negative people around them. Will-power and self-reliance are all lacking, preventing the achievement of goals.
The Magician Tarot Love
When it comes to love, the Magician card can mean that a significant other is feeling dynamic and may make a bold move to further the relationship. Or otherwise, the bold moves may come from the questioner themselves. Either way, things are going to start moving pretty quickly between the two.
The Magician Tarot Career
As the Magician card is the card of manifestation, you can achieve all the career success you want as long as you put your mind to it. You need to be decisive and take action, but the Magician card reveals that this fire is already beginning to burn inside you.
II - The High Priestess
The High Priestess Tarot meaning is the use of one’s feminine energy regardless of gender. She rules our subconscious, our spirituality and our psychic abilities. She calls for us to trust our instincts more because in this instance it’s correct.
When reversed, this card hints that the questioner is sticking their head in the sand; they may deny the truth because, in this instance, it is too uncomfortable to address head on. They are not listening to the High Priestess’ spiritual intuition which is desperately trying to tell them something very important.
The High Priestess Tarot Love
In terms of someone’s feelings towards you, this card calls for the questioner to remain level-headed and pragmatic, just like the High Priestess herself. It looks as if a positive outcome in love is coming the questioner’s way, but they must be careful to not ruin things by becoming lost in emotion.
The High Priestess Tarot Career
The questioner may be dealing with hidden factors in their career. Perhaps there are situations occurring behind the scenes that they’re not aware of, or someone they trust is not being loyal to them in the workplace. Either way, the High Priestess is sometimes a warning that something isn't right. The cards are always inline with your own intuition.
III - The Empress
The Empress Tarot card represents Mother Earth and abundant fruitfulness. It can even show pregnancy, conception or longing for a child. The Empress is the true essence of motherhood expressed through nurturing and love but also through sexuality and femininity.
When the Empress card is in reverse, there is the desire for self-rebirth for the questioner. Perhaps they want to become more in-touch with their spirituality or feel that they need a personal restart in life. There are definitely feelings of stagnation and an inability to connect with one’s higher self with this card.
The Empress Tarot Love
Since she represents love and abundance, the Empress represents the perfect relationship with both oneself and others. It is a good sign to see this card in a reading if you desire a healthy, fulfilling and harmonious romantic relationship. However, this card isn’t a golden ticket to success - the questioner needs to work on improving themselves in order to reach this state.
The Empress Tarot Career
As the Empress is a creative woman, seeing this card in a career reading calls the questioner to think about the hobbies and passions they may have neglected. Can a career be made of these? If not, can they operate as an effective side-hustle? In short, this card calls a person to think outside the box when it comes to making money.
IV - The Emperor
The Emperor Tarot card is associated with structure, order and responsibility - particularly in reference to male figures. This card can also represent a person who is slightly too controlling, too rigid and not enough of a free spirit, although ultimately has their heart in the right place.
The Emperor in reverse can represent an arrogant bully with aggressive or unpleasant traits. They may lack self-control, discipline or even show complete disregard for authority. This can also show a person who has been weakened either physically or mentally.
The Emperor Tarot Love
In a love reading, the Emperor asks us to use common sense, pragmatism and logic to help relationships and romance thrive. However, the Emperor is a serious man so relationships linked to this card may be rather traditional, even stifling, at times.
The Emperor Tarot Career
This card, in a career reading, usually shows that a person’s career is flourishing due to diligence and an organized approach. The Emperor calls on a person to be disciplined, effective and persistent if they want to keep reaping career rewards. Sometimes this card is linked to a reliable male in a position of authority in your workplace.
V - The Hierophant
This Hierophant tarot card calls the questioner to realize that the path to success lies in following tradition rather than the unconventional. Steadfastness, dependability and conformity are all hallmarks of this card. A mentor or educator is also shown here. It’s a message that it’s time to continue learning.
When reversed, this card can indicate a person who leads a chaotic and unstructured life. It also suggests a longing to live life unconventionally and as a contrarian. This is possibly a person who is happy to reject their background, culture and parental expectations.
The Hierophant Tarot Love
In the context of love and relationships, the Hierophant symbolizes monogamy, commitment and long-term relationships. When this card shows up in a love reading, both partners are likely to be on the same page about almost everything and generally have a healthy, successful partnership.
The Hierophant Tarot Career
When it comes to career readings, the Hierophant card suggests taking the safe route. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but the questioner may be sacrificing their passions in order to prioritize stability. This card can also represent a stable, reliable figure at work who can always be turned to in a fix.
VI - The Lovers
The Lovers card represents a new relationship or love and passion soon to enter one’s life. If already in a relationship, it will show renewed passion. A reunion between lovers is also starred here and relationships in general will go exceedingly well for the time being. At the very least, this card can represent a blossoming friendship or family devotion.
In reverse, however, the Lovers can suggest unrequited love or a relationship that is fading. It can also suggest an unhealthy romantic infatuation that is unlikely to be reciprocated. Break ups and difficult decisions in love are all indicated here.
The Lovers Tarot Love
As THE card of love in the whole Tarot deck, the Lovers is a very positive card to pull in a relationship reading. It represents the joys and excitement we feel at the start of budding romances and therefore often indicates a new love affair is soon to make an appearance.
The Lovers Tarot Career
As the two lovers depicted on the cards represent balance and unity, this is also a very positive card to pull in a career reading. It hints at potential business partnerships that will go exceedly well or even two people coming together to mutually further their career prospects.
VII - The Chariot
The Chariot suggests that while life might be bumpy for a while, the outcome will be well worth the temporary struggle. The road is rough and challenging but the result will be good. Just as a chariot powers on in the face of adversity, the questioner will similarly tackle the difficulties in their personal journey with grace and determination.
In reverse, the Chariot card can suggest that life’s road is to be rocky for some time yet, with no end in sight for present difficulties. It may also indicate problems arising not of the questioner’s choosing but by others. As the Chariot can often concern vehicles, this card can also suggest potential breakdowns and delays.
The Chariot Tarot Love
The Chariot Tarot card urges questioners to take control and be decisive when it comes to love. No good will come from sitting back and wallowing in current love-related issues. Instead, use the motivation from this card to get out there and make a positive change to your current love situation.
The Chariot Tarot Career
As you would expect, the Chariot card is incredibly positive in regards to the topic of career and business. It symbolizes a person with immense willpower who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. These Chariot characters may make formidable colleagues or superiors, but most people will admire their sense of drive.
VIII - Strength
The Strength Tarot card can mean physical or emotional strength in the face of adversity. If a person has been feeling ill, even depressed, this card can indicate a return of health and vitality. Strength is also quiet courage and stoicism - getting on with things and trusting in one’s own strength when times get tough.
In reverse, this card may symbolize a person who is weakened through adversity or recent health issues. It can indicate a person (either the questioner or someone else in their life) who is suffering from depression and needs time to recuperate. This card warns to not let others undermine your strength.
Strength Tarot Love
While the Strength card can indicate strength in a relationship, more often than not it hints at two lovers letting raw emotionality negatively impact their partnership. Like the lion depicted on the card, these lovers may be failing to regulate their emotions and entering into unnecessary, fiery conflict.
Strength Tarot Career
When this card appears in a career reading, it is calling the questioner to channel their animalistic instincts to make big steps forward in their career. They may have to be a little passionate or ruthless if they want to see the success they know they are capable of. This card is the green light to do so.
IX - The Hermit
This card shows the need to spend some time contemplating what is wanted out of life and to start planning ahead. An important decision is looming and the Hermit calmly guides the way forwards. This card also encourages us all to follow a spiritual path and learn to trust that the answer to everything is already within.
In reverse, however, the Hermit card can represent loneliness, isolation or obsessive rumination over the past. There may be abandonment issues or a refusal to accept help from others when it is desperately needed. This person likely needs to seek spiritual guidance.
The Hermit Tarot Love
As the Hermit is the card of soul-searching, when it appears in a love reading it can suggest the need for a person to think deeply about their love connection with someone. There may be questions that need mulling over in solitude in order to find the right answer to them. The Hermit asks you not to rush the process.
The Hermit Tarot Career
Similar to a love reading, when it comes to our careers, the Hermit encourages us to take a step back and analyze the situation. Life can rush by so quickly, and with it goes our goals and passions. Make sure to think about what you truly want out of life and how your career can fit into the picture.
X - Wheel of Fortune
The Wheel of Fortune is a complex card that can sometimes be frustrating in a reading for its perceived lack of clarity. It indicates that life is shifting beyond one’s control as a result of a stroke of luck or unusual occurrence that will pop up seemingly out of the blue. Nothing remains the same forever and life is a fluid situation liable to change at any moment.
In reverse, the Wheel of Fortune suggests similar sentiments to above, but with greater negative implications. Perhaps a bad situation has suddenly arisen and has temporarily set the questioner back a few spaces. Or else, the questioner may feel overwhelmed by life’s current unpredictability.
Wheel of Fortune Tarot Love
In a love reading, the Wheel of Fortune points to major shifts occurring, potentially blindsiding the questioner. These shifts can be either incredibly positive or negative, but ultimately are meant to happen for whatever reason. Go with the flow.
Wheel of Fortune Tarot Career
Similar to a love reading, this card hints at major events turning a person’s career on its head. This may be a great stroke of luck for the questioner, or it may temporarily feel like the worst thing that could happen. Either way, the outcome of this event is positive in the long run as everything happens for a reason.
There are many resources at Mysticsense that can guide you with your learning and provide insight for any other questions you may have about the Major Arcana in Tarot. Get started learning more about the Major Arcana at Mysticsense today!
Read Part 2 here - The Major Arcana Meanings List and Explanation, Part Two
We have selected the most relevant psychics for this article, you can connect with any of them and get accurate advice on this subject.