The Major Arcana cards are numbered 0-21, each card telling a story or conveying a message. Major Arcana cards represent more significant events or decisions, practically, emotionally and spiritually in a reading, whilst the Minor Arcana represent the more mundane, everyday aspects or events in a reading.
There is a specific order for the Major Arcana, but some decks deviate from this, for example, the Rider-Waite deck has the Strength card coming before the Justice card, and hence is numbered differently from the list below.
In this list, each card of the Major Arcana is attributed an element, planet or zodiac sign.
0 – The Fool – Air, Uranus
1 – The Magician - Mercury
2 – The High Priestess – Moon
3 – The Empress - Venus
4 – The Emperor - Aries
5 – The Hierophant - Taurus
6 – The Lovers - Gemini
7 – The Chariot - Cancer
8 – Justice – Libra (in the Rider-Waite deck 8 would be Strength)
9 – The Hermit - Virgo
10 – The Wheel of Fortune - Jupiter
11 – Strength – Leo (in the Rider-Waite deck 11 would be Justice)
12 – The Hanged Man – Water, Neptune
13 – Death - Scorpio
14 – Temperance - Sagittarius
15 – The Devil - Capricorn
16 – The Tower - Mars
17 – The Star - Aquarius
18 – The Moon - Pisces
19 – The Sun - Sun
20 – Judgement – Fire, Pluto
21 – The World – Saturn
Often called ‘The Fool’s Journey’, the Major Arcana represents our journey from earliest awareness (The Fool numbered 0), to fulfillment (The World numbered 21). The cards represent the qualities and experiences we must incorporate into our lives before we can realize our full potential - emotionally, spiritually and physically.
The Major Arcana naturally fall into two groups, with the Wheel of Fortune significantly at the mid point - this turning point between one half of life and the other is of critical importance.
We will cover each of the cards in the Major Arcana in more detail in lessons 2 and 3.