Major Arcana

Definition of Major Arcana

The major arcana makes up one of the two main segments of a deck of tarot cards. These cards are also known as trump cards. There are 78 tarot cards in a deck, and 22 of these are the major arcana. They represent archetypal images and energies, and tell the story of the Fool, as he starts at number 0 and travels through all of life’s experiences, ending with the World card at number 21.

The imagery on the trump cards is taken from a myriad of traditions and cultures, and not all of these pictures are pretty or peaceful. Some of them are disturbing — but then some facts of life are disturbing, too, and the major arcana cards reflect life and the situations faced. The trump cards in a tarot reading signify an area of importance, and ask that particular attention be paid to this issue.

TERM OF THE DAY

Ephemeris

An ephemeris is a map of the planets. Because the planets are in constant motion, that map is going to change constantly. Ephemerides come in either midnight or noon versions, and show you where the planets are (or were for a date in the past or will be for a date in the future) at either midnight or noon GMT.

Read the full Ephemeris definition