Sometimes referred to as the Trump cards, the Major Arcana consists of the first twenty-two cards in a Tarot deck.
Below, we will discuss the next 5 Major Arcana card’s significance and meaning in a reading.
6. The Lovers
Description: The Lovers are usually depicted as a man and woman who stand naked before the Archangel Raphael. This is somewhat reminiscent of Adam and Eve, the first male and female who engaged in a union and go forth to populate the Earth. Oftentimes, this couple is pictured in a fertile setting, which is usually interpreted as the Garden of Eden.
Meaning: The Lovers are representative of union, whether it is on a divine or personal scale. The Lovers encompass all that has to do with unity and formulating relationships. These unions are not necessarily always romantic, but can fall into the platonic or even communal category. In short, it shows a need for joining forces with those of a like mind and soul rather than attempting to assert your independence.
Significance Upright: Oftentimes when the Lovers show up in a reading, it signifies some kind of union taking place. While this may indeed be related to romance, it can also show a strong shared connection on a platonic or even spiritual level. Overall, the lovers are about working together rather than going along independently, so be sure to pay close attention to those who are there for you in your time of need. It is a particularly beneficial time for cultivating romance, as well as for strengthening friendships. Therefore, take the time to express your appreciation and love to the people around you, so they are aware of how much they are needed. The Lovers also signify harmony, so you can expect that things will go relatively smooth for you in regards to your interactions with others.
Just as the Lovers upright signify harmony and love, in the reversed position, it can mean some sort of conflict or disharmony that is affecting your close relationships. Oftentimes, it shows an inevitable separation, whether it be temporary or permanent. Sometimes, the best thing we can do to attempt to fix a conflicted relationship is take a step back and let each individual have their own time apart. Instead of fighting against the dissolution of a union, allow things to take their natural course, and if you are meant to come back together, you will when the time is right.
7. The Chariot
Description: The Chariot shows a warrior riding a chariot that is being pulled in different directions by two horses. Oftentimes, one horse is black and the other white, signifying the duality in ourselves and in nature.
Significance: The Chariot is about movement and opposites. Just as the warrior driving the chariot has charge over the horses pulling it, we are reminded that we are indeed in charge of the pathways we undertake in life. Likewise, we are able to balance the different aspects of ourselves as long as we are careful to keep moving and not remain stagnant.
Meaning Upright: Drawing the Chariot often signifies some sort of conflict, and while this may be on an external level involving another person, most times it represents a quarrel with oneself. The Chariot is all about balancing the light and the dark, so make sure to consider both sides of the situation when making a decision. Sometimes, it can show a need for asserting ourselves, or seizing the proverbial reins over the direction our life is going in. This is not a time for holding back or being shy, as it is very important to clearly communicate your needs if you want to get the results you desire. The Chariot almost always shows a need for movement and forward momentum, so take the steps necessary to go forth with the projects and goals you’ve set for yourself.
Usually this shows an element of stagnation. Perhaps you are feeling as though you are stuck in a rut an unable to make progress, but this is only a temporary situation. If there is a certain project you have been pursuing, the reversed Chariot warns that you may need to take a temporary break, as you have likely reached a spot where you are no longer progressing. It is a good time to reflect upon your own inner motivations before acting, so be sure to allow yourself time to pause and reflect.
Description: This card portrays a woman that is either petting or otherwise embracing a lion. While this giant feline is well-known for its potential ferocity, she shows no fear, knowing that she is safe. This shows us that we are always in control of our destiny and sense of self-worth, even though we may be hesitant to express our true power.
Significance: Strength is exactly what is sounds like, a card that represents the warrior or lion spirit, encouraging confidence, courage and steadfastness in all endeavors. Just as the woman embraces the lion, we too are able to take control over our primal or “animal” instincts, rather than simply being a slave to our impulses. This card is about embracing your power and showing the world that you are a force to be reckoned with. It encourages assertive behavior and solid character, both in yourself and those you interact with.
Meaning Upright: This is a card that you can take at face value. When Strength appears in a reading, it shows a need for standing tall, believing in yourself and having courage. You may find that you are experiencing a troubling time, where your character or reputation might be called into question, but it is very important to stick with what you believe and control your temper. Strength shows that we have the inner resolve to weather through the challenges life throws at us, and also signifies a deep wealth of inner confidence that allows us to proceed with our lives regardless of the opinions of others. Rather than trying to deny our instinctual, animalistic side, Strength teaches us that it is better to embrace and understand it.
This card often shows up reversed when we have suffered some kind of significant setback or crisis. It is very likely that you are feeling as though have failed on some level, and your self-esteem is very likely fragile as a result. It is very important right now that you fight against the urge to feel sorry for yourself, and instead work towards re-establishing faith in your own abilities. Yes, you may have not achieved what you set out to do, but at least you tried, and without putting forth the effort, there can never be any success.
9. The Hermit
Description: Here, we see an elderly man who walks along a path illuminated by the lantern he carries. The lantern signifies wisdom, learning and cerebral knowledge, helping us to find our way through life by seeking the truth.
Significance: The Hermit by definition is an introvert, so he is associated both with solitude as well as wisdom. Sometimes, we must quiet the outside world and retreat within ourselves to get back in touch with what is important. While it is indeed necessary to spend time rejoicing in the company of others, the Hermit reminds us that there is great beauty in enjoying one’s own company.
Meaning Upright: This can be a very spiritual card, signifying some sort of internal quest to find divinity. In any reading where the Hermit shows up, it indicates a need for solitude and withdrawing from the world. Make a point to spend some time by yourself quietly sitting in nature, as you will find that there is immense mental stimulation to be had there. Likewise, the Hermit is somewhat eccentric and a loner by nature, so drawing this card also serves as an affirmation to be confident in your quirkiness, as it is our differences that make us truly remarkable.
The reversed Hermit often shows that we are isolating ourselves too much. Yes, there is beauty in being alone, but if we do not balance our alone time with the company of others, we can fall victim to depression, anxiety and other illnesses. Likewise, it can indicate the other end of the spectrum, where you are not allowing yourself any alone time at all to pause and reflect.
10. The Wheel Of Fortune
Description: This card shows a large wheel that is continuously turning, often with various people or animals attached to it. The perpetual motion serves as a reminder of the passage of time, as well as the inherit cyclical motion in day to day life.
Significance: The Wheel of Fortune represents cycles and change as well as beginnings and endings. It rules over the laws of cause and effect, showing that for every action, there is a corresponding reaction. The ever-shifting movement of the Wheel of Fortune is indicative of the inevitability of change, as we can never be certain of anything staying the same. At times, it also shows the dichotomy between fate and free will.
Meaning Upright: Usually when this card is drawn, it indicates some sort of new beginning or fresh start. It also shows some kind of impending change, as we must keep in mind that the Wheel is forever turning, and nothing stays the same. While change is sometimes intimidating and even outright frightening at times, it also has a cathartic element. If you have been feeling as though you are at a standstill or otherwise stifled, drawing The Wheel of Fortune is a good indicator that you are now in a position to move forward and leave the past behind.
Oftentimes, this shows a stubborn resistance to accepting necessary change. While you may be very comfortable with your role in life, there is always room for improvement, and if you always reject change, you will never progress. Reversed, this card can also warn of a period of bad luck, so avoid making any investments for a period of time.