What is the Wisdom of the Major Arcana in Tarot?
Major Arcana Tarot keep many secrets. Many Tarologists are still trying to decipher the meaning of the cards, write scientific works, and make assumptions. But there is still no uniform knowledge about the Major Arcana. Everyone perceives them differently. And this is also no coincidence. It’s just that every person who touches the ancient secret receives his own vibrations. And in this, too, there is the Great Wisdom of the Tarot. Give only the grain that is necessary in this situation. And no more.
So what is the Great Arcana of the Tarot? The Major Arcana of the Tarot are images of the Paths of Life and Death of every person living on this Earth. More precisely, his path from birth to death and a little further. The word “Arcana” comes from the Latin arcanus, meaning unknown.
Major Arcana is a trump suit. Consists of 22 cards. An image on each card illustrates an action, behavior, and event. Each card has its own name and its own number. In predictions, the Major Arcana personify the state of being – the mental, emotional state of a person at the time of divination.
Major Arcana closely intersect with other occult sciences, such as Kabbalah, astrology. Many theologians of the past believed that the Great Wisdom of the Universe was encrypted in the Tarot. Some believe that in the Tarot we can find a solution to the great stories of the past. The leading occultist of the 19th century Eliphas Levi (real name – Alphonse Constant) calls the Tarot system “the sum of all sciences, the key to the answers to all questions”, the greatest creation of the human mind. In its simplicity and strength, he compares it with the architecture of the Egyptian pyramids, which he sees as the reason for its longevity. Curt de Gibelline sees it as a guide to the mysteries of Egypt. PD Uspensky called the Tarot a “philosophical machine”. He wrote that “the Tarot in relation to metaphysics and mysticism is the same as the decimal system is in relation to mathematics. Jung saw in the Tarot two complementary approaches to human realization: introverted and extroverted.
Tarot symbolism is associated with the idea of a threshold, a door through which only initiates can pass, those who have the key. According to a legend, the Tarot contains a grain of universal knowledge given by the Egyptian god of wisdom Thoth for his students in magic. The designs on the cards contain the rich symbolism found in most European and Eastern cultures. But this symbolism is identical on the same card of different decks, which also speaks of the hidden meaning of the symbols.
An excerpt from H. Banzhaf’s book “Tarot, Key Concepts” speaks of deep symbolism:
The world is a found paradise, a break in affection, a complete success. A good event, reaching a goal. The Hanged Man is accepting fate and seeking meaning. Reversal of the system of values. “The symbolism of one of the Major Arcana of the Tarot, which many people think is especially surprising, goes back to the same ancient times: it is the Hanged Man. Its number, 12, means a certain time cycle, as well as other numbers going back to three and four (3 + 4 = 7 – a week, 3×4 = 12 – a year). In the hero’s journey through the 22 Major Arcana, the Hanged Man personifies the lowest, “dead” point, the antithesis of the last, 21st card of the World. The number 12 is 21 in mirror image, and the figure of the Hanged Man itself, as it were, reflects the dancing figure on the 21st card. In his crossed legs, we recognize the four (cross). His arms, shoulders and head are folded into a triangle. Since three is considered a divine number, and four is an earthly number, the Hanged Man’s pose symbolizes suffering, a state before Salvation: the divine is hidden under the earthly. In contrast, the 21st Arcanum is a state of liberation, Salvation: the divine (triangle) is above the earthly (cross). This symbolism consistently follows from the previous, twentieth card of the Court, where the divine (three people) is liberated from the earthly (quadrangular grave). ” So the symbols on the cards are not simple drawings, but deeply thought out and ideally matched symbols.
The order of the cards is also a mystery. Until the beginning of the twentieth century, the order of the cards was the same. It is known that Arthur-Edward Waite, the spiritual father of the most popular Tarot deck today, changed the order of the Major Arcana that existed until the end of the 19th century, swapping the places of the eighth and eleventh cards (Strength and Justice). He himself did not give an explanation for this step, confining himself to the statement that he “had sufficient reasons for this”. But, nevertheless, this sequence took root, but at the same time gave rise to many rumors. Until now, many tarologists argue which order is correct.
So there are really a lot of riddles. Assumptions too. Isn’t thais why the Tarot is of such great interest to this day?
How to consider the Major Arcana in the spread? In my opinion, these are karmic cards, cards that indicate global moments in the spread, what you need to pay attention to first of all. Therefore, when these cards appear, they most often talk about some global, key events, and not about everyday affairs. They represent your main feelings and motivations.
The High Priest is concentration, stifled passion and flesh. The moral of intelligence and wisdom.
The Major Arcana cards are often viewed as a separate deck. There are various diagrams showing how the cards fit together and, when combined, determine the meaning of a situation. These schemes use numerology, astrology, Kabbalah and other esoteric teachings.
Sometimes the Major Arcana is considered as stages of spiritual growth, what is called the Way of the Fool. In such systems, each card symbolizes a certain quality or experience that must be cognized before becoming a whole person. It is a separate school of Tarot based on Jung’s archetype system. In short, it is a path from a person gaining life experience and ascending to the next level of spirituality. Card descriptions are based on key concepts: archetypes.
Major Arcana contains many levels and experience options. These cards cover all stages of growth and all life lessons that may arise during a certain period of life and throughout life. They also describe the entire evolution of the soul. The Major Arcana cards also show that integrity is our nature and our destiny. When we know our true nature, we receive the Universe as a reward. Tarot cards help to hear the inner voice, the guardian angel, the higher self, as you wish. This inner voice is always a part of you. This connection cannot be broken, but it can be ignored. Tarot cards are a way to hear it.
And once again, we will briefly give the meanings of the Major Arcana:
Child. Naivety, gullibility, ability to be surprised, ingenuous perception of the world. Stupidity, senseless cruelty. Irresponsibility and naivety.
Action, energy. Determination. An energetic young man. Magic is an effort to realize desire. Active position. Creativity.
The High Priestess
Intuition, unconsciousness, hidden secrets. Magic, sorcery. Closed, occult knowledge. Virginity. Unawakened sexuality.
Carrying, pregnancy. Caring, motherhood. Down-to-earthness. Fruit, wealth. Hidden, invisible processes. Temptation by earthly affairs.
Strength, power, authority. Stability, order. Power. Father, leader, patriarch. Leader. Power structures. Realized desires.
Change in social status. An appeal to the church. The Church as an Organization. Positioning: Adult-Parent-Child. Social choice.
Moral choice. Emotional stress and instability: love – hate. Flirting, informal relationships. Sexual activity.
Material success. Win, win, triumph. Achievement of the expected result. Drive. Automobile.
Clash with the law. Court. Divorce. Legal problems. Surgery. A quick and cool solution to the problem.
Wisdom, old age, loneliness. Accumulated knowledge. Discretion. Lack of vitality.
Wheel of Fortune
Moving in space, in society, in time. Natural changes. Changing seasons. Everything passes, and this will pass too.
Inner strength. Moral position. Courage, resilience, overcoming temptations. The ability to deal with the vicissitudes of fate and resist Doom.
The Hanged Man
Victim, material loss. Liberation and transition to a new level. Initiatory death. Rejection of the old. Upside down world.
Death. Fast (up to two months) time. Rapid change. Piercing and cutting tools, cold steel. Abrupt intervention.
Slow time. Moderation. Water and other liquids. Alchemy. Late autumn, rainy time. Slow extinction.
Temptation with desire, black magic, radioactive contamination. Invisible danger. Devilish intrigues. Unclean power, unclean deed.
Hit. Downfall, disaster. Defloration, childbirth, the act of creation. Rarely, it’s creation and destruction at the same time. Phallic symbol, weapon, explosion.
Hope, soul, spirituality. Finding enlightenment. Openness. A bright beginning. But it’s also disappointment, illusions, unfulfilled hopes.
Confusion, deception, hesitation, doubt. Unstable, borderline state of mind. Fog, loss of reality. Fear.
Light, warmth, safety. Clarity, certainty. Family, family hearth. The lights. Summer, summer solstice.
Court, trial. Long process. Winter, cold, cold earth. Below the surface of the earth. Afterworld. Karmic problems.
Absolute harmony. Fulfillment of all desires. Most favorable card.