Life is messy and untidy. It never follows an orderly path. While we can control some aspects, we are all subject to the whims of fate. One thing we can be sure of as we age is that we will be faced with experiences and lessons that will help us to grow as humans. By the time we reach old age, we should have accumulated a treasure trove of memories, wisdom and love.
The tarot is a system, a chart, a road map, a guide and a mentor. The 40 Minor Arcana cards reflect back to us our physical, emotional, intellectual and inspirational state. The 16 Court Cards are our personality cards, both ourselves and others. Today, we’re going on a spiritual soul journey through the Major Arcana.
The Major Arcana are the stages our soul, our sub-conscious, our inner being encounters throughout life. We may not reach every one; most of us will flail about not understanding some of the soul lessons offered to us.
The Fool’s Journey
To help us learn about the Major Arcana, we often use the analogy of the Fool’s journey. The Fool travels his path coming into contact with each Major Arcana archetype. He learns his lessons and moves on to the next. When he reaches The World (21) he begins all over again on a higher level, progressing in a kind of spiral, deepening his knowledge of himself and the world.
It would be great if life was laid out in such a way that we could also make steady progress. We would finish our time on earth as fully actualized individuals. Instead we have to figure it out as we go along, making mistakes, learning or not learning from them. Repeating them, getting into difficulties, having to solve problems, experiencing love, loneliness, loss and everything in between.
Your Soul Journey
The key to making the most of the lessons of the Major Arcana is knowing how to apply their wisdom to our real life situations. Sometimes, it is obvious which archetype applies, other times, we can leave it up to the tarot to decide for us.
There are three ways to choose a Major Arcana card.
- You already know which card is going to help you, so pick it out.
- Separate the Majors from the rest of the deck, shuffle and draw a card.
- Shuffle the whole deck, cut, then turn the cards one-by-one until you reach the first Major Arcana.
When you have chosen or randomly drawn the card, let it settle on you for a little while. Relax and ask it for an insight. Allow your mind to wander and notice any thoughts that arise. Ask the archetype to show you a sign as you go through your day. Absorb the card’s energy and apply it to your current circumstances. What changes could you make?
Journal about the card. If you feel stuck, simply describe in words every little detail. What the card personally means for you. If it feels like nothing or indifference or meaningless, write that down too.
Carry the card with you for a day or two. Notice how things connected to it show up. Be open to suggestions related to this particular life stage. Choose a word that represents the card, other than its usual title. Have this word as your personal mantra. Let the card show your soul the way.
Here are brief descriptions of the lessons each Major imparts. For a more detailed analysis of the card, click its link.
The Fool is about trust, faith and allowing. It is the essence of knowing all is well, that we are eternal beings here temporarily, and no real harm can ever befall us.
The Magician understands that he creates his reality, not in a controlling way but by being open to opportunities and possibilities.
The High Priestess tells you that many things are mysteries and you need to accept that you can’t always discern the truth. Sometimes, you have to move on and you will understand later.
The Empress nurtures and expresses beauty. She tells you that the world is benign and abundant. Embrace that concept and you will never experience lack.
The Emperor imposes order; makes sense of things. He is structure – the glue which holds societies together. Without his influence, chaos would reign.
The Hierophant represents a guide or mentor. Look around your life; who is your guide? It might be your grandmother, it might be your brand new baby.
The Lovers tells you that you are love. Not the love pushed by the greetings card manufacturers, but the love from which the whole universe is made. Feel love and light pulse through you and spread it around.
The Chariot indicates that it is the right time to control the situation. To take up the reins and move forward. You may find yourself bringing two factions together through negotiation and mediation.
Strength shows you that quiet acceptance is stronger than pushing against. Surrender is more effective than fighting. Try it.
The Hermit advises that introspection and self-knowledge is an essential tool. Know your positives, negatives, strengths and weaknesses. Apply the knowledge wisely.
The Wheel of Fortune takes away the illusion of control given to you by the Chariot. You have none. However you can influence events by remaining serene and calm at the hub of the Wheel.
Justice reflects the concept of ‘as above, so below’. It is karma; we reap what you sow. There is divine balance in everything. What seeds are you sowing today? What thoughts are keeping you away from your desire?
The Hanged Man indicates the power of letting go. Of letting things happen around you. Go with the flow, there’s nothing to do. You will be shown the path in due course, or the situation will resolve itself with no input necessary.
Death indicates a transformation. As physical death of the body returns us to our natural state of oneness with Source, so we will discover that, with each lesson, our very beings are changed. We are not who we were before.
Temperance mixes it up. Your life is made up of so many components, you need to find your equilibrium, your inner balance. If you don’t, then you just won’t feel right. What is out of whack for you?
The Devil represents those habits, behaviors and thought patterns that hold you back. You’re stuck in a rut. Life is very uncomfortable and you have no idea what to do. Take the first tiny step toward freedom. Only you can do this.
The Tower releases energy. It is a rush of pure force that clears out that old sludge. Sometimes it is connected to a life-changing event. Once it is over, life gains clarity.
The Star is where real love shines. It is your pure essence, the light you bring to the world. It says you are worthy, divine and loved by Source. Be at peace.
The Moon is your psychic self. Your subconscious that knows everything. Its where you can tap into the Akashic Records, the river of knowledge. If you can’t do this, then watch you don’t lose your way.
The Sun brings daylight, warmth, positive energy. When you unleash the power of the Sun, everything improves. Life couldn’t be better. Make the most of it.
Judgment calls you. Tells you to rise up because there is something you have to do. Some purpose in life which will revitalize you and bring love to others. Heed the call.
The World is a temporary holding place. You have reached a certain stage of knowledge, achievement and attainment. You are ready to move on. This could be on a mundane or spiritual level. Know that you are ready to begin again.
Hope you enjoyed our breeze through the Major Arcana, may they guide you and help you through the portion of your soul journey that is 2017.
Rider-Waite-Smith images: Public Domain.