Major Arcana – Abbreviated Meanings

Major Arcana – Abbreviated Meanings

The Fool (O) –  A time to be spontaneous and break with convention. Freedom and adventure. A time to let your inner child out to play. Take a risk, be daring. Strike out on your own. Enjoy life and live in the moment. Jump in! A carefree time. Travel. Acting on the spur of the moment.  Unpredictable. Young. Idealistic. Innocent, immature, childlike. Breaking free of convention. Eccentricity. Having blind faith. Daydreaming, flights of fancy. Following your heart’s desire. Not listening to anyone.

The Magician (I) – Develop or realise your potential. Every thing is in place for you to succeed. Careful planning will get you everywhere. Communicate your ideas to a larger audience. Teach, learn. Travel. A powerful disciplined man. Master of illusion. Trade and commerce. Communication and study. Travel for educational purposes. The right time to start new things. Things well researched. Being very convincing. Look behind the illusion.

The High Priestess (II)– Time to use and trust your intuition.  Pay attention to your dreams. Go within or withdraw from the situation to gain insight. Time for reflection. Psychic development. Sow seeds for the future.  Women’s cycles. Balancing the feminine and masculine. Secrets and mystery. Withdrawn, aloof, mysterious. Counsellor, healer or psychic. Solitude. Wise woman. Pisces if found with the Hanged Man and the Page of Cups

The Empress (III) – Domestic Stability and Harmony. Positive Growth, good health, fertility, Pregnancy. Moving Plans and ideas Forward. Working from home. Mothers and mothering, Creativity and be creative in your approach to the situation.  Indulge and pamper yourself. Enjoying the good things in life.  Nurture yourself and those around you. Be content with life and who you are. Re-connect with nature or your natural side. Domestic Goddess. Possible pregnancy. Putting effort into the house and home. Animal welfare, the environment. Mother Earth. Mature relationship or moving a relationship to the next stage. Passion and sensuality. Positive growth in a relationship. Possible marriage. A time for family and nurturing. Libra if found with the Queen of Pentacles.

The Emperor (IV) – Success through self-discipline, Keep focused on the target. Order and stability, rules and regulations. Fathers and fathering. Structure and boundaries. Practical approach to life. Law and order, authority, courts and judges, discipline, punishment. Be confident and brave. Strike out on your own. Set your own rules. An older man, professional advice. Establishments and organisations. Be fair, analyse the facts before making a decision. Do not let your heart rule your head in this situation. Establish your own empire. Ruling the roost at home and in relationships. Control and possible over-control. The Military. Aries if found with the King of Wands and the Knight of Swords.

The Hierophant (V) – Spiritual Leader. Be responsible for your own spiritual growth. Don’t give your power away to others. Conventions, traditions, organised religion. The church, priests etc. Don’t be so easily led. Examine the facts yourself and don’t take what others say as gospel. Think outside the box.  Think for yourself. Mine is not the only way. You don’t  have to do what everyone else does. Narrow-mindedness, blindly following rules, not thinking for yourself. Old fashioned. The traditional approach to life. Pious. Morals. Spiritual Teacher or Counsellor. A very conventional, traditional and predictable relationship. Doing the right thing or your duty in marriage. Worried about what the neighbours might think.  Taurus if found with the Four and King of Pentacles .Taking vows. Initiations – birth, marriage, death etc. Clubs, organisations, Institutions.


The Lovers (VI) –  Decisions and issues about relationships. Sexuality. Safe to move forward with the situation. The need for communication in all relationships.  Examining what it is you are looking for in a relationship and what draws you to someone. Honesty and openness in relationships.  The onset of a relationship. Young love, heady romantic stage of new love. Secret admirers. Infatuation. Temptations of the flesh. Gemini if found with the Knight of Swords and King of Pentacles.

The Chariot (VII) – Self-control, Self-discipline. Tenacity. Don’t give up, with hard work and determination you will achieve.Victory. Use your logic but take your feelings into account when making decisions. Finish what you start. Don’t commit to anything you may have doubts about being able to complete. Stay calm. Keep in charge of the situation. Torn in two directions. Cooperation, teamwork. Defenses up. Hiding behind your armour. Going into battle.  Journeys, travel, cars. Powerful disciplined and confident man. Cancer if found with The Moon and Queen of Cups.

Strength (VIII)–Your inner strength is being tested. Have courage. You will get through this time. Stay calm and don’t over-react to a situation. Keeping your cool  will save the day. Don’t rise to the bait.  A calm approach may be necessary. Using reason and gentle persuasion to calm a possibly volatile situation. Acknowledging your inner demons or shadow-side. Great power is in your hands. Discovering the power within.You have the inner strength you need to get through this. Others maybe relying on you at the moment.  Courage. Perseverance and endurance. Stand up for yourself.  Where do your personal strengths lie? Are you trying to hide something?  Leo if found with The Sun and Queen of Wands.

The Hermit (IX)–  Time spent alone in reflection is important now. Have you withdrawn from everyday life? Going out on your own. Follow your heart’s desire. Reflecting on your past, present and where you want to go in the future. Leaving behind the mundane. Looking for meaning in your life.  Analysing your life. Maturity. Meditation, counselling, spirit guides. Taking a break from everyday life and people. Leading a solitary life. Possible loneliness. Few friends. Keeping to yourself. Withdrawn in a relationship. Alone in a relationship. An older partner. Possibly coming back into mainstream life after a time spent withdrawn. Virgo if Queen of Swords and Queen of Pentacles present.

The Wheel of Fortune (X) – Change in circumstances for the better. Lady Luck is shining on you. Everything you touch turns to gold. Lots of socialising. Life speeds up. High self-esteem and confidence. Abundance and growth in all areas. Relationships improve and possibly several offers of relationships.  Everyone appears to love you. Good omen for taking a risk. Being in the right place at the right time. Make provisions for possible rainy days ahead. Enjoy this time of abundance but observe how it came about. Cycles, anniversaries. What goes around comes around. The seasons. Past lives and Karma. Good deeds been rewarded.

Justice (XI) –  Things turning out just as they should. Hard work beginning to pay off. A time to account for your actions. Everything in divine order. Getting just what you deserve. Be honest with yourself and others. Are you being judged by others? Legalities and signing of contracts. A settlement in your favour. Court cases, lawsuits. Legal proceedings going in your favour. Honesty in relationships. Taking full responsibility for where your relationship is. Possible marriage if other marriage cards around.  Trying to find balance in your life.  Libra along with the Empress and the Queen of Pentacles.

 The Hanged Man (XII) – Life seems to have slowed down or stopped altogether. Suspended action.  Inactivity, nothing happening right now. Struggle at this time is futile.  Your hands are tied.  View the situation from a different perspective. Sacrifices need to be made.  Surrender to the situation, nothing will be achieved otherwise. Time to Let go and wait to see what will happen. Reflect on why things have turned out this way. Feeling victimised, being made a scapegoat.  Hung out to dry. A time to withdraw from the situation and go within. Inner growth.  Renouncing the material world. Volunteering for a worthy cause. Charity. Pisces if found with the High Priestess and the Page of Cups.

Death (XIII) – Sweeping changes. The death of a situation. Doors closing. End of a chapter, phase or era. Letting go.  Accept these changes and move on. Release all that is unnecessary. Old energy out and new energy in. Change has been sought on a deep level. Relief at the end of a difficult situation. Change coming whether you like it or not. Stop trying to control the outcome. Have faith in life that you will survive this time. Scorpio if found with King of Cups or other Cups Court cards.

Temperance (XIV) – Calm after the storm. Healing. Pouring oil on troubled water. Finding balance and equilibrium in life again. Karmic issues. Your Guardian Angel is watching over you and helping you through this time.  Good timing. Knowing the right thing to do at the right time.  Keep your eye on the bigger picture. Travel, teaching and learning. Harmony and Inner-peace. Sagittarius if found with the Knight of Wands.


The Devil ( XV)– Entrapment, restrictions. Feeling that you have no options in life. Being overly materialistic. Control, dominance. Illusion and deception. Feeling blocked.  Enslavement.  Blaming others for your situation. Knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. Marriage for money, sex for money. Sex without love. Abuse of all kinds. Addictions. What you sought to possess, now possesses you. Corruption. Immoral behaviour.  Capricorn if found with the Knight of Pentacles


The Tower (XVI) – Sudden change, shock, catastrophes.  Clinging onto old negative patterns that have to go. A wake up call. Emotional outbursts or  violence. Your foundations are shaken to the core. Bad news. Too late to avoid what is happening. Mental/brain imbalances or sudden illness. Evictions.  Sudden downfall. Possible huge financial losses.  Collapse of a business or relationship.  A can of worms opened. Dreadful insecurity. Lies, deceit and corruption exposed. A fall from grace. Natural disasters and fires.

The Star (XVII) –  Calm after the storm. Balance, harmony. Inner healing. End of a difficult time. Finding faith in life again. Trusting that the future will be better. Freedom of mind, body and spirit. Clarity of spiritual vision, clairvoyancy. Seeing the bigger picture. Being true to yourself. Following your star. Discovering natural creative talents. Divine inspirational work. Works of art. Let your star shine so that others can see. Karmic relationships. Healthy relationship. Great personal freedom in relationship. Holistic healing. Spirit Guides. Humanitarian issues. Recycling and sharing. Holidays and vacations. A welcome break from stress. Aquarius if found along with the King of Swords.

The Moon (XVIII) – Inner fears  and demons. Deep emotional undercurrents.  Buried issues or memories resurfacing.  Feeling unsettled and emotionally insecure.  Going it alone. Pay attention to your dreams. Reflect on what you are doing and where you are going. A time to listen to your inner voice and not others. Trust your intuition. Even though you may feel you are in the dark at the moment, you will make it through as long as you keep your emotions and imagination under control. Face your fears for it’s now or never. Illusions, deception, underhand behaviour. Look behind the illusion in front of you for everything may not be as it seems. Trust no one but yourself. Secrets, lies, deceit. Clean up your act before you get caught. Mother and mothering.  Hormonal issues. Something lost may be found. Cancer if found with the Chariot and the Queen of Cups.

The Sun (XIX) –  A yes card. Positive. Success. On-going success. Successful outcome. Inner happiness. Content with life. Joy. Rebirth. Great self-esteem, pride and self-expression. Happy in your skin. Free to be yourself. Your day in the sun. A job well done. Brilliant creativity. Passion and enthusiasm. A period of growth and abundance. Celebrations. Working with children or animals. Travel to a warm climate. Father and fathering. Long lasting mature relationship with great fun and happiness. Beginning of a new phase in your life. Leo if found with Strength and the Queen of Wands.

Judgement (XX) – Time to atone for any misdeeds or past actions. Judgement Day. Judges, courts, law Juries. Time for honestly looking back into the past before making decisions for the future. Learning from the past. Transformations, rebirth. Being at a cross roads in life. Life changing experiences. Reinventing oneself. Self-Judgement. Clarity of Judgement.  Spiritual understanding. Understanding the bigger picture.   Vocations. Being called up for a worthy cause. Hearing the inner call.  Enjoying the simple things in life. Karmic relationships. Karmic situations. Finding your true purpose in life. Maturity. Embarking on a new journey or life choice. Re-uniting with those not seen for a long time.

The World (XXI)– Success. Lasting and ongoing success. Awards, promotions, achievements.  Graduation. Personal fulfillment. Achieving your goals. Inner-happiness. Balance. Harmony. Centre of attention. Travel around the world. Partner met while travelling. Mature balanced relationship. International success, humanitarian issues. Positive body image. Self-esteem and confidence. Creating your own world.  The world is your oyster. Finding your place in the world.

The Major Arcana – Part III

Copyright © 2006-2013 Vivien Ní Dhuinn

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