Discover the Secrets of the Major Arcana Cards in Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

The world of tarot cards has always been shrouded in mysticism and intrigue. For those who are unfamiliar, it can be an overwhelming experience. The intricate and detailed imagery featured on each card holds layers of symbolic meaning that can take years to fully comprehend. In this article, we will delve into the enigmatic world of tarot and take a closer look at the Major Arcana cards in the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck. These cards are often considered the most powerful in the deck and their meanings have been studied and interpreted by mystics, scholars and curious individuals for centuries. Let’s embark on this fascinating journey into the Major Arcana and see what insights we can glean from them.

Decipher the Riddles of Your Dreams: Select a Tarot Card and Unveil Their Hidden Meanings!
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What are Tarot Cards?

What Are Tarot Cards?
If you’re new to the world of divination, you might be wondering what tarot cards actually are. Tarot cards are a tool that has been used for centuries by mystics and diviners to gain insight into the past, present, and future. Each card in the deck has its own unique meaning and symbolism, which can be interpreted in a variety of ways depending on the question being asked or the context of the reading. Understanding the basics of tarot cards is essential before delving into the world of divination. To learn more about the history of tarot cards, their structure, and how to read them, check out some of our other articles on the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, the Minor Arcana, and the symbolism behind the images. For those looking to utilize the Rider-Waite deck for their readings, it’s important to cleanse and protect your deck beforehand and to keep in mind some helpful tips for reading and how they differ from other decks.

The Major and Minor Arcana

The Tarot is a deck of playing cards originally used in Italy in the 15th century. It was not until the 18th century that Tarot cards were used for divinatory purposes.

The Tarot deck is divided into two main sections: Major Arcana and Minor Arcana, each with its own symbolism and meaning. The Major Arcana, also known as the trump cards, consists of 22 cards that represent significant life events and archetypes. The Minor Arcana, on the other hand, consists of 56 cards divided into four suits (Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles), each with 14 cards, which represent the day-to-day events and challenges of life.

The Major Arcana cards are considered to be more powerful and significant than the Minor Arcana cards because they deal with major life events and lessons. The Minor Arcana, on the other hand, deals with minor events and challenges that one may face in their daily life.

The Major Arcana cards are also often associated with spiritual and personal growth, while the Minor Arcana cards are associated with more practical matters.

It is important to note that there are many different Tarot decks available, each with their own unique artwork and interpretations. The Rider-Waite Tarot deck is one of the most popular and widely used decks, known for its detailed illustrations and rich symbolism. To learn more about the Rider-Waite Tarot deck and how it compares to other Tarot decks, check out our article on Rider-Waite Tarot vs Other Decks.

Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck was first published in 1910 and is one of the most popular and well-known Tarot decks used today. It was created by artist Pamela Colman Smith under the guidance of academic and mystic A.E. Waite. The deck consists of 78 cards, with 22 cards in the Major Arcana and 56 in the Minor Arcana.

The Major Arcana: The Major Arcana cards in the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck depict powerful archetypal images that represent important life lessons and spiritual growth. Each card is numbered and contains a title and symbol that offer insights into its meaning.

The Minor Arcana: The Minor Arcana cards in the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck are divided into four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. Each suit represents a different aspect of life, such as creativity, emotions, intellect, and material wealth. These cards are further divided into four court cards (page, knight, queen, and king) and ten numbered cards.

The illustrations on the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck are known for their complex and detailed symbolism. The cards incorporate traditional Tarot symbolism, such as the use of elements, colors, and numerology, as well as unique imagery created by Pamela Colman Smith.

The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck has been widely used to teach Tarot card reading and is often the deck that beginners start with. The deck is also popular for its clarity and accuracy of readings.

Decipher the Riddles of Your Dreams: Select a Tarot Card and Unveil Their Hidden Meanings!
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Understanding the Major Arcana Cards in Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

As we delve deeper into the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, we come across the Major Arcana cards. These cards represent significant events, people, and archetypes that hold immense spiritual and psychological meaning. Each card encapsulates a unique message, requiring interpretation and understanding to unlock its secrets. In this section, we will explore the Major Arcana cards one by one, unraveling their symbols, meanings, and interpretations. Join us on this journey of discovery, as we embark upon the mystical and enigmatic world of tarot.

The Fool

One of the most iconic cards in the Rider-Waite Tarot deck is The Fool, representing a sense of new beginnings and unlimited potential. Unlike the other cards in the Major Arcana, The Fool is not given a number, as it represents the beginning of the journey rather than a specific stage.

Appearance: In the Rider-Waite deck, The Fool is depicted as a young man standing at the edge of a cliff, with a small bag of belongings on a stick slung over his shoulder. He wears colorful, mismatched clothing and an expression of wonder and naivety on his face.

Symbolism: The Fool represents new beginnings, taking risks, and stepping into the unknown. He is often depicted as carefree and unburdened, suggesting a freedom from past mistakes and experiences. The cliff he stands on may represent the edge of a new chapter in life, while the bag on his stick symbolizes the potential and tools he carries with him on his journey.

Meaning: When The Fool appears in a Tarot reading, it may suggest that the querent is about to embark on a new journey or take a leap of faith into the unknown. The card encourages embracing one’s own sense of adventure and taking risks, even if there is uncertainty about the outcome. However, it also cautions against recklessness and encourages the individual to think carefully before acting.

Reversed: When The Fool appears reversed, it may suggest that the individual is being overly impulsive or naive in their decisions. It can also indicate a fear of taking risks or a refusal to step outside of their comfort zone. This card reminds the querent to balance excitement and courage with careful consideration and planning.

The Magician

When it comes to the Major Arcana Cards in the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck, The Magician is a card that often catches the eye. Depicted as a young man standing behind a table covered in tools and symbols, The Magician holds a wand in one hand and points upward with the other. The card is immersed in symbolism and carries a powerful message when it appears in a tarot spread.

Symbolism of The Magician:

Symbol Meaning
Red robe The physical world, action, and manifestation
White rose in left hand Purity, innocence, and spiritual clarity
Wand in right hand Willpower and creation, transformation of energy
Table with symbols The elements (earth, air, fire, water) and tools used to create reality
Infinity symbol over his head Eternal life, ongoing energy, and unlimited potential

When The Magician appears in a tarot reading, it can signify an individual who is skilled, confident, and creative. This person has the power to manifest their desires and turn their dreams into reality. It can also represent new opportunities, beginnings, and the importance of taking action.

On the other hand, if The Magician appears reversed, it can indicate a lack of direction, manipulation, or misuse of power. It is important to consider the context and surrounding cards when interpreting The Magician in a reading.

The Magician card in the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck is an intriguing and powerful symbol of creation, willpower, and manifestation. Its inclusion in a tarot reading can provide valuable insight and guidance for the querent.

The High Priestess

One of the most enigmatic cards in the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck is the High Priestess. Represented by a strict-looking woman sitting between two pillars, she holds a scroll in her lap marked with the letters “T” and “B” and wears a crescent moon crown atop her head. Here are some key points to keep in mind when interpreting this card:

  1. Intuition: The High Priestess is associated with intuition, secrets and mysterious knowledge beyond our understanding. She invites us to look beneath the surface and trust our instincts.
  2. Passivity: Unlike the Magician or the Chariot, the High Priestess is not a card associated with action or movement. Rather, it suggests a time for reflection and contemplation.
  3. Subconscious: The High Priestess is also linked to the subconscious mind and hidden aspects of ourselves. She encourages us to explore our dreams, desires and fears in order to gain a deeper sense of self-awareness and inner truth.
  4. Feminine Power: The High Priestess represents feminine strength and power. She is often associated with the moon, which has strong ties to feminine energy and the ebb and flow of emotions.

When interpreting the High Priestess card, it is important to consider the context in which it appears. Is it showing up as a warning to trust your instincts and be wary of someone or something? Is it suggesting a need for stillness and reflection before making a major decision? By keeping these key elements in mind and trusting our own inner wisdom, we can better understand the mysterious energy of the High Priestess.

The Empress

One of the most visually stunning and symbolic cards in the Rider-Waite tarot deck is The Empress. This card is the third in the Major Arcana and is associated with fertility, maternal energy, and abundance.

In the card, The Empress is depicted as a woman sitting on a throne in a lush forest, surrounded by nature and beauty. She wears a crown of stars and a flowing dress adorned with pomegranates, which are a symbol of fertility and abundance. The Empress represents the mother archetype and the creative force of nature.

The card is full of symbolism, with the Empress holding a scepter in one hand, representing her power and authority, while the other hand is placed on her swollen belly, representing her fertility and nurturing energy. In front of her, a small stream flows, symbolizing the power and flow of life.

When The Empress appears in a tarot reading, it is a sign of growth, abundance, and feminine energy. This card encourages you to tap into your creative energy and explore new opportunities. It is a reminder to nurture yourself and those around you, and to let your intuition guide you.

To further understand the symbolism and meaning behind The Empress card, refer to the following table:

Symbolism Meaning
The crown of stars The Empress is connected to the divine and is a source of guidance and protection.
The flowing dress adorned with pomegranates A symbol of fertility, abundance, and growth.
The scepter Represents the power and authority The Empress holds over nature and those around her.
The swollen belly Symbolizes fertility, nurturing energy, and abundance.
The lush forest Represents nature, growth, and the abundance of life.
The stream Symbolizes the power and flow of life.

The Empress is a powerful and symbolic card that encourages us to tap into our creative energy, nurture ourselves and those around us, and be open to abundance and growth. When this card appears in a tarot reading, it is a reminder to trust our intuition and let nature guide us towards new opportunities and experiences.

The Emperor

The Emperor is one of the most influential cards in the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck. This card is represented by a powerful man sitting on a throne, wearing a crown, and holding a scepter. He exudes strength, authority, and control.

Symbolism: The Emperor represents order, structure, stability, and discipline. He is a symbol of masculinity, leadership, and action. The scepter in his hand signifies his power and authority. The ram’s head on his throne symbolizes his forceful nature, while the armor he wears suggests the need for protection and security.

Interpretation: When The Emperor appears in a Tarot reading, it suggests that the person is in a position of power and is expected to take charge of their life. This card encourages the individual to establish a sense of order and structure in their life. They should take control of their actions, decisions, and responsibilities. However, this card can also indicate a tendency towards being domineering, controlling, or authoritarian. It is essential to balance strength with compassion and respect for others.

Reversed Meaning: When The Emperor appears reversed in a Tarot reading, it suggests that the person is struggling with authority figures or lacks control over their life. They may be experiencing chaos, instability or lack of direction. This card asks the individual to reflect on their situation and evaluate their behavior towards themselves and others. They should focus on building self-discipline, setting clear boundaries, and finding balance in their life.

To sum it up, The Emperor is a card that represents power, leadership, and control. It encourages individuals to take charge of their lives and establish a sense of structure and discipline. However, it is essential to maintain balance and avoid becoming too domineering or authoritarian.

The Hierophant

The Hierophant is one of the most important cards in the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck, representing traditional values, institutions, and spiritual wisdom. This card is also known as the High Priest or Pope, and its imagery reflects the religious and ceremonial aspects of traditional institutions.

Appearance: The Hierophant is depicted as a religious figure seated on a throne, wearing a traditional religious outfit, including a crown and robes. He is holding a scepter or staff in one hand and making a blessing gesture with the other. Two figures, often perceived as acolytes, are kneeling before him, representing the traditional values and structures of the institution. The background of the card is usually decorated with religious symbols or iconography.

Meaning: The Hierophant embodies traditional values, institutions, and spiritual wisdom. It may signify an idea of conformity or following the rules, and of learning from those who came before. This card can also represent the need for guidance and support from a mentor or an authority figure. In a Tarot reading, it often suggests a period of following doctrine, rules or traditional paths, and seeking wisdom from institutions.

Reversed: The Hierophant reversed can indicate a need for change, innovation, or rebellion against traditional structures. It may suggest a time to question the rules and institutions, breaking free from dogma, or seeking a new direction. However, this symbol may also indicate a lack of guidance, discipline, or authority in one’s life.

The Hierophant represents the need for a balance between traditional structures and the individual’s desire for freedom and creativity. It highlights the importance of seeking guidance from those who have experience and knowledge, but also of questioning the rules and conventions to create a unique path in life.

The Lovers

The Lovers card in the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck is the sixth card in the Major Arcana. It shows a man and a woman standing under a bright sun, with an angel hovering above them. The scene suggests a moment of decision or choice between two paths. The card is associated with the astrological sign of Gemini, the twins, which implies duality and choosing between two options.

When this card appears in a reading, it usually signifies a dilemma involving love, relationships or values. The card doesn’t necessarily indicate a romantic relationship, but rather a choice between two important paths that require consideration of personal values and ethics. The two figures in the card represent aspects of the self, representing a need to integrate and balance opposing parts of one’s character.

Below is a table summarizing the key symbolisms and meanings of The Lovers card:

Symbolism Meaning
The couple represents the need to make a choice based on personal values and ethics
The angel represents guidance from a higher power, suggesting the importance of intuition and spiritual values
The tree of knowledge represents the notion of temptation and discernment
The serpent represents the consequences of choices made, for better or for worse

It is worth noting that The Lovers card does not necessarily suggest an easy choice or a clear outcome, but rather a decision that requires careful deliberation and consideration of the consequences. However, the appearance of this card indicates that the opportunity for growth and development exists as a result of the choice made.

The Chariot

The Chariot card in the Rider-Waite Tarot deck is the seventh card in the Major Arcana. It is often interpreted as a symbol of victory, determination, and control. The card features a powerful individual seated in a chariot pulled by two sphinxes, which represent the balance of opposing forces. The individual is dressed in armor and holds a wand and reins, indicating that he or she is in control of the sphinxes and the situation as a whole.

Symbolism and Interpretation

The imagery of the Chariot card is rich in symbolism, with many details indicating deeper meanings. Here is a table summarizing some of the key symbols found in the card:

Symbol Meaning
The Chariot Victory, control, determination
The Sphinxes Opposing forces, balance, control
The Armor Protection, strength, resilience
The Wand Power, will, action
The Reins Control, direction, focus

When interpreting the Chariot card in a reading, it can indicate that the querent is in a position of power and control, but must remain focused and determined to maintain this position. The sphinxes represent opposing forces that must be balanced, such as logic and intuition, or action and reflection. The armor suggests that the querent is protected and resilient, but must continue to be strong in the face of challenges. The wand and reins indicate that the querent has the power and will to take action and maintain direction.

Reversed Interpretation

When the Chariot card appears upside down or reversed in a reading, it can indicate a lack of control or direction. The querent may be struggling to balance opposing forces or may be feeling overwhelmed by a situation. The reversed Chariot can also suggest a lack of will or determination, or a reluctance to take action. In this case, it is important for the querent to focus on regaining control and direction, and to tap into their inner strength and willpower.


The Chariot card is a powerful symbol of control, determination, and victory in the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. Its rich symbolism can provide deeper insights and interpretations in Tarot readings. When the card appears reversed, it can indicate a lack of control or direction, and the querent may need to focus on regaining their strength and willpower.


One of the twenty-two Major Arcana cards in the Rider-Waite tarot deck is associated with the concept of Strength. This card can be viewed as a continuation of the Fool’s journey of self-discovery, signifying an inner strength that is required to conquer the obstacles in one’s path. The Strength card depicts a woman gently holding open the jaws of a lion, conveying an air of calm and mastery over a wild beast.

At its core, Strength is a card about resilience and courage. It represents the power we each possess inside to overcome our fears and the challenges we face. The woman’s serene demeanor in the card demonstrates that there is no need for violence or aggression in overcoming obstacles. It is about finding the inner fortitude to face challenges with confidence and determination.

The symbolism of the card:
– The woman represents an individual’s inner strength
– The lion represents the challenges and obstacles the individual must face
– The woman’s white dress symbolizes purity and spiritual strength
– The infinity symbol floating above the woman’s head represents the infinite potential one can achieve by tapping into their inner strength

Interpreting the card:
When the Strength card appears in a tarot reading, it represents a need for the individual to find and utilize their inner strength. It suggests that in order to overcome any obstacles, they must tap into their inner resources and remain calm and collected, no matter what the external situation may be. In some cases, the Strength card may indicate a need for compassion and empathy, especially when dealing with difficult people or situations.

It is essential to note that when this card appears in a tarot reading, the individual is being called to look within themselves for the strength they seek. The Strength card does not necessarily represent a winning hand in a situation but rather the potential for success through perseverance and resilience.

The Strength card in the Rider-Waite tarot deck symbolizes the inner fortitude and courage that one can tap into when facing difficult situations. Its overall message is one of resilience and the importance of remaining calm and composed. It reminds us that we all possess an inner strength that can help us overcome any obstacle, no matter how challenging.

The Hermit

The Hermit is the ninth card of the Major Arcana in the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck. It portrays an old and wise man holding a lantern, walking with a staff in one hand and dressed in modest clothing. The card speaks of a need for introspection, solitude, and inner wisdom.

The Symbolism of The Hermit

The card’s symbolism reflects the individual’s journey through life, where they need to seek guidance and knowledge from within. The Hermit’s lantern represents the guiding flame that leads one’s path and brings enlightenment. The staff he holds stands for authority, power, and discipline, leading one through a difficult journey. The cloak on his back signifies the importance of being humble, while the snow on the ground represents a time of inactivity and stillness.

The Meanings of The Hermit Card

The Hermit card represents a deep desire for solitude and seclusion, encouraging introspection and the pursuit of inner knowledge. It speaks of a time when the individual must take a step back from the world to reflect on their choices and regain clarity. This card also represents the need to seek guidance from a wise mentor or spiritual leader.

When The Hermit appears in a reading, it may indicate that an individual needs to seek wisdom from within, take some time off to reflect, and focus on their spiritual growth. This card can also signify that an individual may experience a period of loneliness but assures that they will emerge with greater understanding and maturity after this journey.

The Lessons of The Hermit Card

The Hermit card teaches the importance of self-reflection, introspection, and seeking guidance when needed. This card reminds us that sometimes the best way to find the answers we seek is to look within and take time for ourselves. It also highlights the need for discipline, patience, and humility in our spiritual journey.

The Hermit card of the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck is a powerful symbol of introspection and inner wisdom. It encourages individuals to seek knowledge from within and trust their own intuition. When this card appears in a reading, it prompts us to take a step back from the world and take time for self-reflection, leading to greater spiritual growth.

The Wheel of Fortune

One of the most intriguing cards in the Major Arcana of the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck is The Wheel of Fortune. This tarot card depicts a giant wheel, with several figures riding on it. The design of the card is rich with symbolism, and understanding its meaning is essential to interpreting what The Wheel of Fortune represents in a tarot reading.

The Wheel of Fortune symbolizes the cyclical nature of life and the universe. It speaks to the idea that everything in life is constantly in motion, and that change is inevitable. The wheel is divided into four sections, each representing a different phase of life – birth, growth, decay, and death. The riders on the wheel represent different aspects of human experience, including wealth, poverty, power, and humility.

Upright Meaning: When The Wheel of Fortune appears in an upright position, it signifies a major turning point in one’s life. This may be a stroke of good fortune, where all the pieces fall into place and things begin to move in a positive direction. It could be an opportunity for growth, a time when one is being challenged to rise to the occasion and meet their potential. Alternatively, it could represent a period of change, where one must embrace uncertainty and trust in the universe to guide them through the unknown.

Reversed Meaning: When The Wheel of Fortune appears in a reversed position, it can signify a negative change or difficult circumstances. It could suggest setbacks, delays, or unexpected roadblocks that prevent forward progress. It could also signify the need for increased flexibility and adaptability, as one may need to adjust to shifting circumstances and unexpected opportunities.

Keywords: Change, cycles, opportunity, turning points, ups and downs, uncertainty.

To further understand the meaning of The Wheel of Fortune in a tarot reading, it can be helpful to examine its interactions with other cards in the spread. For example, if it appears alongside The Fool or The Magician, it could suggest a time of new beginnings and fresh starts. If it appears alongside The Hermit or The Tower, it may indicate a time of reckoning or upheaval. Ultimately, the interpretation of The Wheel of Fortune will depend on the querent’s question and the context of the reading.

Upright Reversed
Change Resistance to change
Cycles Breaking cycles
Opportunity Missed opportunities
Turning points Stagnation
Ups and downs Steady progress
Uncertainty Clarity

The Wheel of Fortune is a powerful and multi-faceted symbol in the Major Arcana of the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck. Its appearance in a tarot reading suggests that change is at hand, and that the querent must be prepared to adapt to shifting circumstances. Whether the change is positive or negative depends on the context of the reading and the other cards in the spread.


In the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck, Justice is the 11th major arcana card. It depicts a woman sitting on a throne, holding a sword in one hand and a scale in the other. A veil covers the back of her head, representing the impartiality of justice.

Symbolism Meaning
The sword Represents intellect, rationality, and truth
The scale Represents balance, fairness, and the weighing of options and consequences
The woman’s position Represents a sense of authority and power in decision-making
The veil Represents impartiality and non-bias in decision-making

When Justice appears in a tarot reading, it can suggest a need for balance and fairness in decision-making or actions. It may also indicate legal issues or situations where the truth needs to be revealed.

Overall, Justice can remind us to make decisions based on true and honest evaluations, rather than letting emotions cloud our judgment.

The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man is one of the most intriguing cards in the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck. It depicts a man hanging upside down from a tree by one foot. This card is also known as “The Sacrifice” or “The Martyr”. It signifies surrender, suspension, and letting go. The Hanged Man suggests that in order to move forward, an individual may need to sacrifice something or look at things from a different perspective.

|Symbolism| Interpretation |
|Upside-down Hanging | The card depicts a man hanging upside down. This symbolizes the need to look at things from a different perspective. It suggests that an individual may need to let go of their old ways of thinking and adopt a new approach. |
|The Tree | The Hanged Man is hanging from a tree. The tree symbolizes stability and strength. It suggests that to move forward, an individual needs to have a strong foundation. |
|The Nimbus | The Hanged Man has a yellow halo around his head. This symbolizes enlightenment and spiritual awareness. It suggests that by sacrificing something, an individual can attain a higher level of enlightenment. |
|Crossed Legs | The Hanged Man’s legs are crossed. This symbolizes balance and harmony. It suggests that by letting go and surrendering, an individual can find balance in their life.|
|One Foot Tied | One of the Hanged Man’s feet is tied to the tree. This symbolizes being trapped or restricted. It suggests that in order to move forward, an individual may need to sacrifice something or let go of something that is holding them back.|

The Hanged Man card is a reminder that sometimes, in order to move forward, we need to let go of something that is holding us back. It can be difficult to surrender, but it is essential for personal growth and development. The Hanged Man teaches us to look at things from a different perspective and to embrace change.


One of the most feared Tarot cards in the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck is the card commonly referred to as “Death”. This card is often associated with endings, transformations, and major changes – making people feel uncomfortable and afraid.

But what does Death really signify? Despite its ominous name, the Death card is not necessarily indicative of a physical death. Rather, it represents the end of a cycle or a major transformation that will bring unexpected changes to one’s life. It is a reminder to let go of the past and embrace the new beginnings that come with change.

The imagery on the Death card is striking and potent. The skeletal figure of Death rides a white horse, depicting the end of the journey. In the background, a rising sun brings forth new beginnings. The figures in the foreground represent people from different social classes, symbolism for the idea that death is the great equalizer.

So how can one interpret the Death card in a Tarot reading? Its presence may signal that a significant change is coming, which might be painful, but necessary for the person’s growth and evolution. This change could be in the form of a serious relationship ending, a job loss, or even personal beliefs shifting dramatically. The card is an invitation for the person to re-evaluate their life and release what no longer serves them.

It can be hard for someone to cope with the prospect of change and the unknown that comes with it. But the Death card serves as a comforting reminder that endings are not necessarily bad, and that the transformation that follows can be an opportunity for a new and better beginning.

While the Death card is often misunderstood as a sign of literal death, it is really an omen of change and transformation. The card urges people to embrace change and open themselves to new beginnings, no matter how difficult it may initially seem. Understanding this card can help people approach changes in their lives with a fresh perspective and a renewed sense of purpose.


In the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, the card labeled Temperance is the fourteenth card in the Major Arcana. This card is often associated with balance, harmony, and moderation.

The Temperance card depicts an angel or divine figure pouring water from one cup into another. This symbolizes the blending and balancing of opposites: hot and cold, positive and negative, and so on. The card also features the infinity symbol above the figure’s head, which suggests that the balance and harmony being achieved are eternal and ongoing.

Symbolism in the Temperance Card

The imagery in the Temperance card is rich with symbolism that provides insight into its meaning. Here are some of the key symbols in this card:

Symbol Meaning
Angel Divine guidance and intervention
Water Purification and balance
Cups The blending of opposites
Infinity symbol Eternal balance and harmony

Interpreting the Temperance Card

When this card appears in a reading, it often suggests a need for balance and moderation in one’s life. This might apply to a specific situation or to one’s overall approach to life. It can also suggest the need to find harmony between opposing forces, such as work and leisure or logic and intuition.

The Temperance card is often associated with patience and self-control, as well as divine intervention and guidance. It may indicate that the querent should seek spiritual or emotional guidance to find a sense of balance and harmony.

The Temperance card invites us to reflect on our lives and seek out the areas where balance and harmony are needed. By striving for moderation and embracing the guidance of a higher power, we can achieve a state of wholeness and well-being.

The Devil

The Devil card is one of the most intriguing cards of the Major Arcana in the Rider-Waite tarot deck. It depicts a powerful figure, portrayed as a horned demon or satyr, with two naked human figures chained up in front of him. This card is often seen as a symbol of temptation, addiction, and dark desires.


The Devil card is rich in symbolism, and each element has a specific meaning:

The Devil Represents the darker aspects of our nature, such as our fears, vices, and desires.
Horned Head The devil’s horned head is a symbol of an animalistic nature and the primal instincts that drive us.
Chains The chains around the humans’ necks represent their captivity to their own vices and addictions.
Torch The torch held by the devil is a symbol of the flame of desire that burns within us.
Pentagram The pentagram on the devil’s forehead represents the domination of matter over spirit.


The Devil card often signifies an internal struggle with our own dark impulses and addictions. It can also represent external forces, such as manipulative individuals or unhealthy relationships. The card may indicate a warning to avoid the temptation of materialism, negative behaviors, or people who seek to control us.

When the Devil card appears in a reading, it may be important to consider what aspects of our lives are being controlled by our fears and desires. This card is a reminder that we have the power to break the chains and overcome these negative influences, with the help of self-awareness, courage, and discipline.


When the Devil card appears reversed in a reading, it may indicate a release from negative influences or liberation from destructive patterns. It may also suggest a re-evaluation of our values and priorities, and an intention to move towards a more positive and fulfilling direction.

The Devil card is a powerful symbol of temptation, addiction, and inner struggles. It reminds us of the importance of self-awareness and discipline in the face of negative influences, and the need to overcome our own vices to achieve true liberation.

The Tower

The Tower card is one of the most notorious cards in the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck. It is a card of disaster, upheaval, and sudden change. When this card appears in a reading, it often signifies a significant event is going to occur that may bring chaos into your life.

The Tower depicts a tall tower being struck by lightning, with flames bursting out of the windows. The tower’s crown is falling, indicating that everything is in danger of collapsing. The people who were inside are falling, too, which suggests a lack of control and helplessness.

In Tarot interpretation, The Tower signifies the breaking of established structures, the fall of the ego, and the revelation of hidden truths. The Tower represents a period of darkness and upheaval that must happen before the light can emerge. It is a painful card, but it often brings healing and change.

Here’s a table that summarizes the key meanings and interpretations of The Tower card:

Keywords Meanings
Disaster Major change and upheaval are coming, whether you like it or not.
Shocking events Be prepared for the unexpected or a big surprise.
Revelation of hidden truths Truths that have been hidden away from you may suddenly be revealed.
End of an era The end of something that you thought was unshakable or reliable.
Release of repressed energy Build-up of emotions or energy needs to find an outlet, usually in a dramatic or explosive event.
Opportunity for growth The Tower often represents a chance to grow and change, to rebuild yourself after a breakdown.

The Tower is a card that scares many people. However, it’s important to remember that upheaval can lead to growth and transformation. Even though it may be a painful experience, it could lead to a better future.

The Star

The Star is the seventeenth card in the Major Arcana of the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck. It is represented by a nude woman kneeling at the edge of a pond, pouring water out of two jugs. The woman has one foot in the water while the other is on the earth, symbolizing balance and harmony between the physical and spiritual realms.

Here is a closer look at the symbolism and meaning behind The Star Tarot card:

Positive Meanings:

  • The Star is a card of hope, inspiration, and renewal. It represents a time of healing and recovery after a period of hardship or loss.
  • The water symbolizes the subconscious mind and emotions, and the woman’s pouring of the water symbolizes a release of emotions and a willingness to be vulnerable.
  • The six-pointed star in the background represents spiritual connection and enlightenment. It is a reminder to focus on higher consciousness and inner wisdom.
  • The seven smaller stars around the larger star represent the seven chakras, energy centers in the body that must be aligned for optimal health and vitality.

Negative Meanings:

  • The reversed Star Tarot card can indicate a sense of hopelessness or desperation. It may suggest a lack of clarity or direction, and a need to reconnect with one’s inner guidance.
  • In some cases, The Star can represent delusions or illusions. It may suggest a need to separate fantasy from reality and to ground oneself in the present moment.

The Star is a powerful symbol of hope and renewal, reminding us to remain optimistic and to trust in the universe’s plan for our lives. It encourages us to connect with our deepest emotions and to seek spiritual guidance during times of transition and uncertainty.

The Moon

The Moon card is the eighteenth card in the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck, and it is considered one of the most mysterious and esoteric cards in the Major Arcana.

In the card, we see a moonlit scene in which a dog and a wolf are howling at the moon, while a crayfish crawls out of a pond. In the distance, we can see two towers on a hill. The moon itself is shining bright and is surrounded by clouds.

The Moon is a card that represents the realm of the unconscious and the unknown. It signifies the power of intuition and the ability to tap into deeper levels of awareness. It can also indicate a period of confusion or uncertainty, where things are not as they seem, and illusions can cloud our judgment.

In a Tarot reading, The Moon can represent a hidden enemy, deception, or mystery that needs to be solved. It can also reveal hidden fears, emotions, or desires that are lurking beneath the surface. The card advises that the Querent should trust their intuition and face their fears in order to find clarity and overcome obstacles.

The Moon card is associated with the zodiac sign of Pisces, which is known for its emotional sensitivity and intuitive abilities. The card’s astrological symbol is the moon, which represents the cycles of life and the ever-changing nature of the universe.

The Moon is a powerful and enigmatic card that invites us to explore the hidden depths of our psyche and tap into our intuition. It reminds us that sometimes the path to enlightenment is found in darkness, and that we must face our fears in order to reach our full potential.

Card Name The Moon
Number 18
Element Water
Astrology Pisces
Keywords Intuition, mystery, deception, confusion, hidden fears, cycles

The Sun

The Sun is the 19th card in the Rider-Waite Tarot deck’s Major Arcana. It is one of the most positive and joyful cards in the deck, representing success, happiness, and vitality. Its energy is vibrant and radiant, illuminating everything in its path with its warmth and light.

In the Sun card, a naked child rides a white horse in the forefront while holding a red banner. In the background, a brick wall and sunflowers are shown, and the Sun itself shines down on everything from the sky.

The child represents the pure, innocent, and uninhibited joy that comes from living in the present moment. The horse represents strength and freedom, carrying the child wherever they want to go. The red banner symbolizes the vitality and energy that come with living a completely authentic life.

The brick wall represents obstacles and challenges that have been overcome. The sunflowers represent the child’s growth, as they radiate with the Sun’s light and warmth. The Sun itself symbolizes success, enlightenment, and vitality.

The Sun card is a symbol of positivity, happiness, and achievement. It suggests a time of great success, vitality, and self-confidence. It is a reminder that everything is going to be all right and encourages the querent to embrace the present moment with joy and positivity.

| Symbol | Interpretation |
| Naked Child | Pure, innocent, and uninhibited joy |
| White Horse | Strength and freedom |
| Red Banner | Vitality and energy |
| Brick Wall | Overcoming obstacles and challenges |
| Sunflowers | Growth and radiance |
| The Sun | Success, enlightenment, and vitality |


The “Judgement” card in the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck is the 20th card in the Major Arcana. This card is a symbol of rejuvenation, rebirth, and awakening. It portrays an angel blowing a trumpet while people rise from their graves below. The card typically represents a call to action and a chance for redemption.

Interpretation: The “Judgement” card signifies a time of reflection and self-evaluation. It represents a turning point in your life, where you are called upon to question your past decisions and reevaluate your life’s direction. It advises you to embrace a fresh perspective and take responsibility for your choices. This card often indicates a new beginning can arise from this moment of reflection, provided that you accept the things that you cannot change.


– Rebirth: The “Judgement” Tarot card suggests a time of rebirth and regeneration. You are being called upon to leave your old self behind and embrace a new way of life.

– Awakening: This card signifies the awakening of your spirit and a heightened sense of self-awareness. It encourages you to step out of your comfort zone and embrace new ideas.

– Call to action: The “Judgement” card is a call to action, urging you to take charge of your life and make the necessary changes to move forward.

– Redemption: This card can signal the opportunity for redemption, allowing you to make amends for past mistakes and move on to a brighter future.

– Forgiveness: The “Judgement” card is also an invitation to forgive yourself and others, and to let go of any grudges or regrets that may be holding you back.


When the “Judgement” card appears reversed, it can mean that you are resisting change and refusing to take responsibility for your actions. You may be clinging to old patterns of behavior or refusing to confront the challenges that lie ahead. You may need to let go of past regrets to move forward with a fresh start. This card can also indicate a fear of judgment or a lack of self-worth.

The World

The World card is the final card in the Major Arcana, representing completion, fulfillment, and a sense of accomplishment. In the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, the card depicts a naked female figure surrounded by a wreath, holding two wands in her hands. The four fixed signs of the zodiac – Leo, Taurus, Scorpio, and Aquarius are represented in each corner of the card.

The World card is often interpreted as a symbol of reaching one’s goals and the realization of one’s dreams. It signifies a sense of unity and oneness with the world, and the integration of inner and outer selves. The figure in the card is often described as a dancer, representing harmony and balance in all aspects of life.

To further understand the symbolism of The World card in Rider-Waite Tarot deck, let us refer to the following table:

Symbol Meaning
The Naked Female Figure Symbolizes purity, innocence, and enlightenment. It suggests that the seeker has nothing to hide.
The Wreath Represents completion, wholeness, and a sense of unity. It suggests that the seeker will be able to integrate all aspects of their life.
The Two Wands Symbolizes the balance of opposing forces, such as yin and yang, and the seeker’s ability to manifest their desires.
The Four Fixed Signs of the Zodiac in the Corners Symbolizes the four elements – fire, earth, water and air. Together with the figure in the center, they represent a unified, harmonious existence.

The World card in the Rider-Waite Tarot deck represents a sense of completion, fulfillment, and the realization of one’s goals. It is a powerful symbol of unity, balance, and harmony in all aspects of life, suggesting the seeker has integrated all of their experiences into a unified whole.


In conclusion, the Major Arcana cards in the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck are powerful symbols that can offer guidance, insight and healing to those who seek it. Each card represents a unique archetype and carries a particular message, whether it be one of warning, hope, or transformation. As we’ve seen from our analysis of each card, there is a wealth of information and meaning to be found within the Major Arcana. By exploring these cards, we can deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

It is important to remember, however, that the Major Arcana is just one tool among many that can be used for personal growth and spiritual development. Tarot cards should not be relied on as a sole source of guidance, but rather should be used in conjunction with other tools and practices such as meditation, journaling or therapy.

When working with the Major Arcana, it’s also important to approach the cards with an open mind and heart. Try to set aside preconceived notions or judgments about what a card may mean, and allow the symbolism and imagery to speak for itself. Trust your intuition and be willing to explore any insights or messages that may arise from your readings.

Overall, the Major Arcana of the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck offers a powerful and transformative journey that can bring deep insight and self-awareness to those who are willing to embark upon it. By delving into the archetypes and messages of each card, we can gain a greater understanding of ourselves and our place in the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the origin of the tarot cards?

The origin of the tarot is still debated among scholars, but they are believed to have originated in Italy during the 15th century as a card game.

What is the difference between the Major and the Minor Arcana?

The Major Arcana are 22 cards that depict major life events or archetypes, while the Minor Arcana are 56 cards that depict everyday events and situations.

How do the Rider-Waite Tarot cards differ from other tarot decks?

The Rider-Waite Tarot deck is the most popular tarot deck in use today and is known for its particular visual style and symbolism.

Can tarot cards predict the future?

Tarot cards are not meant to predict the future, but rather offer insight and guidance for the present moment based on the energy and symbolism present in the cards.

Do I need to be a psychic to use tarot cards?

No, you do not need to be a psychic in order to use tarot cards. Anyone can learn to read and interpret the cards with guidance and practice.

What is the significance of the number 22 in the Major Arcana?

The number 22 is significant in the Major Arcana because there are 22 cards, each representing a different archetype or stage of life.

What is the meaning of the Fool card?

The Fool card represents new beginnings, taking risks, and trusting in the journey. It can also represent naivety and impulsivity.

What is the meaning of the Death card?

The Death card represents major transformation, letting go of the old and making way for the new. It can also represent the end of a cycle or phase in one’s life.

What is the meaning of the Temperance card?

The Temperance card represents balance, moderation, and self-control. It can also represent the need for patience and harmony in one’s life.

What is the meaning of the World card?

The World card represents completion, fulfillment, and achievement. It can also represent the interconnectedness of all things and the cyclical nature of life.


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