major arcana life path

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The Major Arcana tarot cards show our life path journey


The cards of the Major Arcana are considered to be the heart of a tarot deck, representing the total experience of a humans life path from birth through to death, and our spiritual, intellectual and emotional connections to the universe as we follow that chosen life path

There are many archetypical people represented on the 22 Major Arcana cards: The warm and nurturing mother figure, the strong and commanding authority figure, the mystical personality or traditional religious figure - they're all brilliantly represented and can relate figuratively or actually to a querent at some point in their life path journey - they only need ask

So now, let's  take a look at the final 7 cards in the Major Arcana that we've been covering in these pages : The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement and The World


The Devil Tarot Card  Scary looking guy, The Devil. But did you know that it's one of the most often misunderstood Major Arcana tarot cards in a tarot  spread, just because - well - it's The Devil we're looking at here, depicted as usual on the tarot card as the fabled half man half goat creature of our nightmares with a couple of puny humans at his feet and an inverted star in the background

The Devil tarot card is one of the more difficult cards to get thrown into a tarot card spread because it relies so much on surrounding cards as to how the reader should use it to make an accurate divination for the subject. It can relate to a deep feeling of hopelessness in the querent, or despair at being in bondage to a certain person or situation that features in their life at the time

The Devil tarot card lets the reader know that their subject is possibly materialistic in nature and prone to neglect the spiritual side of their life, and to also have narcissistic tendencies that lead them to focus too much on their physical appearance

All of that is fairly negative, but there are some positives to The Devil tarot card, one of which is that if a marriage or partnership is signified by surrounding cards in the spread it can point to great commitment to the relationship by the subject

If The Devil should show up reversed in the spread, things get even more complicated due to a duality of meanings. It can mean that there's a light at the end of the tunnel if the querent has been involved in a long struggle over a certain situation in their life and that burdens are about to be lifted

Or, depending on surrounding cards it can signify true evil in a person or their situation

All of this makes the Devil tarot card one of the most difficult cards of the Major Arcana to interpret in a meaningful way


the tower tarot card The Tower Tarot Card, number 16 in the Major Arcana is another popular tarot card, typically illustrated as a tall structure being struck by a massive lightning bolt that is bursting apart the roof ( head ?) and scattering the contents (emotions, expectations) to the ground. We've all heard the phrase " I was suddenly struck by the truth/ a feeling/ an idea "  - this is how it happens

The Tower shows that moment of a person being struck by the thunderbolt that lights up their mind, shatters their illusions or firmly held beliefs, and changes a life path for ever - it represents a force so strong that few can resist the power when it strikes

So, with this in mind The Tower symbolizes a sudden change in a subjects life, either by an outburst of emotions such as in divorce or business failure, or even a crisis of faith or questioning of long held beliefs. It can also tell of a falling down - not in a literal sense - but more in a sense of a person being brought down or humbled by circumstances beyond their control - an upheaval on a grand scale

When it shows in a spread, the revelations that The Tower tarot card signify to the subject means that the only thing they can  do is to accept that there's no alternative to a radical re-think of their life and all the soul searching that it entails, before they can rebuild, and head in a new direction with a fresh purpose and open mind

If The Major Arcana Tower card comes up reversed in a tarot spread it can indicate to the reader that their subject maybe had a feeling that circumstances were about to go against their long held beliefs and was already prepared to meet the challenge, and so the collapse would be softened for them


The Star Tarot Card  Well, this is one of the nicest tarot cards of the Major Arcana - The Star - it represents hope and all that is good in the natural world

The Star tarot card should fire the querent with hope and a sense of wellbeing with knowledge of a bright future ahead. In fact the figure depicted on The Star card represents eternal beauty and youth

The Star is number 17 in the Major Arcana, and it's a card that when it shows in a tarot spread it signifies optimism and good health for the querent, along with vigor and confidence in the here and now

If the querent is considering starting a fresh relationship or an enterprise then The Star tarot card is a good omen for them, and it can also show that the person has the ability to inspire and influence others on their life path

Just writing about the Star makes me feel good - even when it shows up reversed in a querent's spread it may show them to have a cynical frame of mind, but the card can still bring luck despite their cynicism

It inspires us with the notion that if life delivers lemons, we should make lemonade!


The Moon Tarot Card  The Moon tarot card is number 18 in The Major Arcana and when it shows up in a querent's spread you can expect emotions to run high

Your querant should be wary and alert to hidden enemies who mean them harm - maybe by exposing details of a clandestine affair to the world at large - but as ever, depending on the surrounding cards in the spread it could prove to be favorable for that relationship to be made public

The Moon tarot card in a querent's spread can signify that they are suffering from depression due to them being unable to see things clearly and may have lost any control of their daily life

When the surrounding cards change - so does the signification of The Moon card - artistic abilities and talents lead to unexpected opportunities for the querent as long as they can adapt to the changing situation and be true to themselves

The moon reversed though, tells you that your querent is in despair and desperate for help, and that they lack the nerve to make the moves that will free them from a bad situation and get them back on their intended life path

The Moon tarot card tells that your subject needs to face up to the situation that they're in, drop all deception, stop day dreaming and fight to regain control of their life


The Sun Tarot Card   The Sun tarot card is number 19 in the major Arcana, and as you'd expect it heralds good things to come in a querent's life and that there's more good stuff to come

I've used the Colman Smith illustration that depicts the sun streaming down from a bright blue sky, bathing a walled garden with verdant life spilling out of it - the sun shown as a benign provider of warmth and life on earth

You're dealing with a contended querent when the sun shows in the tarot reading that you're doing for them, as it's one of the best cards in the tarot deck and portends joy and happy times ahead

Depending on where the sun tarot card falls in the spread it can mean material wealth, success and good times with family and friends, or if the querent is studying or working in the academic arena the card signifies success - especially in the field of science

Even when the sun tarot card shows up reversed in a spread it's not too bad because it still represents success ( but only in minor ways) and the querent should be warned about making rash decisions as they are likely to be feeling over confident and maybe even in a vain and attention seeking mood


Judgement Tarot Card  The Judgement tarot card is number 20 in the Major Arcana, and can signify a period of change and new development in a querent's life

The illustration shows a great angel blowing the trumpet that raises the dead from their graves and shows them facing up to the judgement in a welcoming manner

The Judgement tarot card tells you that your querent should be considering a fresh new phase of their life that will be presented to them in the manner of a decision or project that shouldn't be ignored or rejected

Depending upon surrounding cards in the tarot spread, the Judgement card can signify a good time for the querent to make a career move, or that health problems are about to be resolved -  leading to a new lease of life or rebirth

If the Judgement tarot card should show reversed in the spread it warns you that your querent is prone to indecision or over deliberation, and has a weak character. This could lead to regrets over past actions and behaviour that come back to haunt them

The Judgement card can signify a spiritual awakening, a period of mental clarity, and an acceptance that in the end  a higher power will decide our fate and where our life path will lead


The World Tarot Card  The World tarot card is number 21, the final card in the Major Arcana portion of the tarot card deck, and it's the end of the life path journey for the Fool, so for now the struggles are over

The figure in the picture holds a wand symbolising power on earth and that the world - including the elements depicted in each corner of the card - is at their command

When the World tarot card is drawn in a reading it signifies that your querent has completed their spiritual or current personal journey, and that for now they are at peace and have a feeling of wholeness

But as your querent hasn't reached the end of their life path, the World card in a spread signals just the satisfying ending of a chapter or cycle - with a fresh cycle ready to begin - a time of enjoyment and fulfilment with loved ones lays ahead

The World reversed tells you that you must encourage your subject to work at overcoming challenges that they're experiencing, and not to give up because they are close to winning through.

This could be difficult, as the World reversed in a spread indicates that your subject has a lack of vision and will, and is frustrated at the stagnation and delays that surround them, and yet at the same time they're resistant to change


Well, I hope that this short look at the meanings of the twenty two (remember The Fool is a Zero) cards in the Major Arcana has been fun for you, and encourages you to dig deeper into the fascinating world of Tarot

As you gain experience and practice your craft you'll fine tune your intuition and abilities to explore the many life path variations and interpretations of the Tarot cards

If you'd like to run through the cards again Popular tarot cards basic meanings


Or, you can move on and discover the secrets of The Minor Arcana tarot cards by starting with The suit of swords in the tarot deck


Or keep up to date with what's hot in the world of Tarot reading

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