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The Major Arcana

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The Major Arcana

(Tarot Course - Lesson 4)

The journey through tarot cards begins with the 0-numbered Fool (Joker) card and culminates with the World card. The Major Arcana signifies major secrets and, in conjunction with the Fool, consists of a total of 22 cards. The Major Arcana cards hold more influence in a spread than the Minor Arcana cards and convey more impactful and profound information. Some Major Arcana cards' influence can be so potent that they might overshadow or diminish the meaning of Minor Arcana cards. For instance, the Sun card in the Major Arcana is so positive and radiant that, if it appears in a spread, it can overshadow the influence of all dark-colored cards, leading to a more positive interpretation.

In the Fool card, there is no inherent knowledge or energy, but this card embarks on a journey through the 21 other Major Arcana cards, starting with the number 1 Magician card, acquiring wisdom and energy from each card along the way. This is why the Major Arcana is also referred to as the "fool's journey."

The 0-numbered Fool card, symbolizing the Fool's journey through the Major Arcana, learns a piece of advice and a fundamental truth about life from each card, progressing to the next one. For instance, the first figure the Fool encounters is the number 1 Magician card. Therefore, the Magician could represent the first male figure in our lives, such as our father, or symbolize a significant beginning as essential as a turning point in life. This is because the 0 represented by the Fool card is a neutral element in mathematics. In essence, 0 is insignificant on its own but gains value when combined with another number.

Represented by the number 0, the Fool card, in his first encounter with the Magician, embodies the starting point of masculine energy. This card signifies a man's initiative and assertiveness. While the number 1 is considered masculine, active, and giving in numerology, the number 2 is feminine, passive, and receptive. As the Fool continues his journey, his second encounter is with a woman, symbolizing his mother. Since the Magician, the first card, precedes the female figure of the High Priestess card, it could also represent the period before entering the maternal womb. Therefore, the Magician can signify not only the representative of the father but also a momentous beginning for us. The reason behind this is that the Fool, symbolizing the number 0, encounters the Magician, symbolizing the number 1, which is masculine and active, even before entering the mother's womb.

Before entering the mother's womb, even with an unconscious soul, the Fool first meets his father. After these initial two encounters, the Fool continues his journey, meeting different people along the way, gradually becoming more integrated into society. When he reaches the number 4 Emperor card, the Fool learns that freedom is not boundless, and there are rules to follow. The Emperor tells him that there were already some rules and laws in place even before he entered the maternal womb, and if he disobeys these rules and laws, he could face consequences.

Continuing his journey, the Fool will even encounter the Devil. It's at this point that he realizes that the world he lives in is not entirely innocent; evil and malevolence exist. The Fool began this journey in innocence, and here, he may lose that innocence. However, instead of surrendering his innocence, he decides to confront the Devil and all the evil he represents. This choice ultimately depends on the Fool. But, interestingly, before encountering the Devil at number 15, the Fool has already learned religious rules and how to distinguish good from evil from the number 5 Hierophant card. Perhaps the Devil he faces is merely a test.

As the Fool travels through these 21 cards, he learns nearly everything about life. Even the Death card teaches him the lesson that everything, including life itself, comes to an end. Here, the Fool says goodbye to someone or something forever and experiences grief. However, despite all these experiences, when he reaches the final card of the Major Arcana, the World card, he will have a happy ending, leaving behind all the hardships and pain.

What the Fool learns from the Major Arcana is, in essence, a life lesson. Throughout this journey, he experiences joy, sorrow, and even love. Each of these cards serves as the Fool's teachers, and after encountering each card, the Fool absorbs the energy and matures. Starting as a complete novice and inexperienced card, the Fool, when he reaches the World card, has become a master of humanity. He has learned what is good and bad, what to do and what not to do.

When we carefully examine the Major Arcana cards and their images, we find that they don't present anything contrary to divine religions. The cards depict angels, devils, figures like Adam and Eve, and even the Day of Judgment and the angel Israfil blowing the trumpet. This shows that tarot can be used as a tool to teach people by portraying right and wrong rather than just being a fortune-telling tool. Especially, the Major Arcana cards contain life lessons.

Major Arcana Cards:

  • The Fool

  • The Magician

  • The High Priestess

  • The Empress

  • The Emperor

  • The Hierophant

  • The Lovers

  • The Chariot

  • Strength

  • The Hermit

  • Wheel of Fortune

  • Justice

  • The Hanged Man

  • Death

  • Temperance

  • The Devil

  • The Tower

  • The Star

  • The Moon

  • The Sun

  • Judgement

  • The World

Next - The Minor Arcana


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