Tarot: Major Arcana Interpretations by Judyth Sult

The meaning of the card is determined by its position in the layout for the reading. The interpretation of a card in the position of Best Course of Action will be different from the same card in the position of hopes and fears. Before you interpret each card think about your question and then about the position of the card in the reading. Interpret the card with that position in mind. Click here for an interpretation of the card.Major Arcana

0 – Fool: The Fool represents innocence, trust and living in the moment without fear or expectation. He is on a He is willing to take risks because he knows he is protected by spirit. He carries wisdom, lessons from past relationships and his life experiences. The spirit guide is his guardian. The Fool is undertaking a journey with unlimited potential and exciting possibilities.

1 – Magician: The Magician manifests desires in the mundane world by using the elements (air/mental, water/emotional, fire/spiritual, earth/physical) to engage energy from the etheric realm and call it onto this plane. The 1 represents the beginning of a cycle or activities. You are able to initiate changes, be creative and discriminate between the real and illusionary, the important and irrelevant. While the Magician has the ability to use control and will power for things to work out the way he wants, he must b aware of his motives and not abuse his powers.

2 – High Priestess: She represents feminine powers and influence such as intuition, serenity and psychic senses. The High Priestess engages the spiritual rather than the material. The number 2 represents receptiveness, reflection and duality. The High Priestess suggests engaging in works from The Law, that is, the highest moral standard which is above the man made law. She uses intuition, meditation, dreams and knowingness to move through the mysteries and mystical.

3 – Empress: The Empress represents fertility, abundance, nurturing, and compassion. The number 3 symbolizes expansiveness, joy and manifestation. The Empress is pregnant in most decks and indicates a time of gestation, nurturing and planning. In a reading this card suggests coming into a time of abundance and success for new projects.

4 – Emperor: The masculine traits of authority and dominance are represented by the Emperor. An evolved Emperor is benevolent and fair-minded, as well as strong willed and action oriented. The Emperor relies more on his intellect than his intuition. Four represents law and structure and building a foundation for the future of the community. The Emperor in a reading indicates the final decision-maker who must bravely look at all aspects of the issue.

5 – Hierophant: This card represents the translator of specialized rules and language to the masses. This is the energy of the philosopher teacher who calls upon experience and tradition to provide guidance rather than intuition or individual circumstances. The 5 represents adaptation and change and, while the Hierophant is a reminder to honor traditional values around the question, it’s important to be fair and weigh all of the evidence without prejudice.

6 – Lovers: This card represents a choice to be made in a fork in the road of life. It is a once-in-a-life choice. The choice may be about relationships, but not always. The 6 represent harmony, home and family. The Lovers put you on notice that the decision being faced is very significant and must decide if the solution will come by doing things the way they have always done them, or if it is time for a new way of dealing with the question.

7 – Chariot: This card symbolizes one who is in charge and is moving with control and confidence after making a decision. The driver must be careful to stay focused and avoid distractions because the situation is rapidly changing. The 7 represents making choices from many different options. When this card comes up expect rapid changes.

8 – Strength: The Strength card represents power through focus and gentleness. The Strength card shows that you can tame the wildest beast through intuitive grace. The number 8 is about power. When the strength card comes up it is time to stand firmly and with poise, calling upon the strength and fortitude from within.

9 – Hermit: The Hermit represents the mystical power of the sage. The Hermit is a philosopher leading the seeker on a spiritual path. The light represents spirit and the truth from within. The 9 represents integration and humanitarianism. In a reading the Hermit calls on one to seek the light of your own truth. The Hermit needs time and space to discover his truth. He may be called upon to follow his truth even though others reject it.

10 – Wheel of Fortune: Just as the seasons change, this card indicates the inevitable change of cycles. The creative or spiritual self is in the center of the hub. All things change and some aspects are on the ascent while others are on the decent. The Wheel of Fortune is one of the five cards of change and represents the beginning and end of a cycle. The 10 represents beginnings and endings. When the card comes up in a reading it indicates moving towards or away from where you are now.

11 – Justice: Represents the balance of good and evil, conscious and subconscious, material and spiritual world. This card represents a time to consider the consequences of decisions and actions that are being considered. The 11 represents the potential of spiritual enlightenment and reduces to 2 which is about balance and harmony. When this card comes up it suggests an opportunity for a decision that will be made to balance the scales fairly and without prejudice.

12 – Hanged Man: The Hanged Man is in a position to get a new perspective about an issue or situation. It is a time to prepare for enlightenment and initiation. The Hanged Man is one of the five cards that represents change and when the timing is perfect he can release himself and come down from his perch. The number 12 is reduced to 3 which is expansiveness (his enlightenment) and illumination. The Hanged Man is hung by his leg, not his neck, and the bindings are loose and can be released at any time.

13 – Death: Death represents the need for transformation by burying the old to make space for the new. It’s time to release something that has hung on beyond it’s time of usefulness. The energy of the 13 is about purifying, cleansing and release. It’s sometimes called a karmic number. The Death card is one of the five cards that represent change. When this card comes up in a reading it’s time to release a job, relationship, or goal, that no longer serves you.

14 – Temperance: The blending of the elements of earth, air, fire and water represents Temperance. Temperance is the mediator between outer conscious and inner self, the flowing of the past and future. It is the “stew” card and requires a balance of ingredients, or the different aspects of your life. The 14 reduces to 5 which is about adaptation and change and every time the stew is put together there is a slight variation in order to maintain balance. The balance may be between family, work, art, spirit, intellect or whatever.

15 – Devil: Something has put you in bondage and now the time is perfect for you to release yourself from the Devil. When you look, you see the bonds are loose and you can simply lift and release them. The 15 reduces to a 6 which represents harmony and smooth sailing. When the Devil comes up it indicates that the person can free herself from the bondage of greed, addiction, or abuse that has caused the loss of power. It is time to reclaim your freedom.

16 – Tower: Cataclysmic, not catastrophic, change in the basic beliefs or structure in life. The cosmic “kick in the ass” card that forces a move you have been denying or delaying. As the Tower collapses there is a loss of control, there are also sudden moments of enlightenment about the future. The Tower card is one of the five cards of change. The 16 reduces to 7 which is a card that represents a time of choices and decisions. Once the Tower has collapsed and the change is understood you can decide what pieces from your past you want to reintegrate in the new stage of your life.

17 – Star: The Star represents hope and an optimistic future. This card indicates a time of gratitude, blessings and hopes for a brilliant future. Inspirations will come as you pursue your dreams. The 17 reduces to 8 which is about power, and the Star has the power of success. When this card comes up in a reading be inspired to achieve your highest potential.

18 – Moon: The Moon reveals that which is hidden. Just because it is hidden does not mean it’s evil, it’s just hidden. This is another cycle card, but this one calls on you to rely on your subconscious, dreams and intuition. The 18 reduces to 9 which is about integration. When this card comes up be aware of the difference between illusions and reality, and pay attention to your tides of your dreams and feelings.

19 – Sun: Warmth, joy, growth and nurturing. The Sun represents light and the loss of restrictions. The Sun symbolizes life, health and vitality. The 19 reduces to 1 which is new beginnings and to 10 which is about cycles. When the Sun comes up it’s a time of great optimism.

20 – Judgment: Sometimes referred to as the Awakening. There is a shift in your consciousness and you get rewarded for all of the effort you have been putting into your efforts around the question. The Judgment card is one of the cards that represent change. It is the end of a cycle and of moving to the next stage. The 20 reduces to 2 which indicate balance and harmony. T

21 – World: The World card is the last card on the journey of the Tarot. It represents the integration of all of the lessons on the journey. It’s similar to the Wheel of Fortune which is about of completion and the end of a cycle, but this card is full of spontaneity, optimism and celebration. The 21 reduces to 3 which is about expansion and finding joy. When this card comes up in a reading good things are coming into your life.

Minor Arcana

Ones – New beginnings, a gift, seed being planted
Twos – Balance, duality, receptivity
Threes – planning, community, manifestation
Fours – stability, security, building, boundaries
Fives – adaptation, change, challenge
Sixes – community, nurturing, loving
Sevens – focus, analysis, understanding
Eight – money, status, authority
Nine – wishes, integration, wisdom
Ten – completion, wisdom, humanitarianism
Family or Court cards
Page/Sister– least mature, spontaneous, risk taker
Knight/Brother– focus, purpose, courage
Queen/Mother – capable, productive, receptive
Kings/Father – assertive, release, authority


Air/Swords – mental clarity, wit, communication
Water/Cups – emotions, relationship, subconscious
Earth/Pentacles – security, health, material goods
Fire/Wands – spirit, creativity, passion, identity

Queen/Mother – capable, productive, receptive

Kings/Father – assertive, release, authority


Air/Swords – mental clarity, wit, communication Water/Cups – emotions, relationship, subconscious

Earth/Pentacles – security, health, material goods Fire/Wands – spirit, creativity, passion, identity

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