Quick Guide: Tarot (Major Arcana)

PaganGreen Paganism and Witchcraft

This is a quick reference guide for the Major Arcana, the main 22 cards of the Tarot

FOOL – innocence, looking before leaping, foolishness

MAGICIAN – knowledge, skill, magic

HIGH PRIESTESS – mystery, priestess, occult

EMPRESS – mother figure, feminine power, beauty

EMPEROR – father figure, masculine power, leadership

HIEROPHANT – religion, guidance, advice

LOVERS – relationship, love, marriage

CHARIOT – energy, work, driving force

JUSTICE – balance, order, law
HERMIT – isolation, seclusion, loneliness

WHEEL OF FORTUNE – fate, luck, destiny

STRENGTH – strength, forbearance, determination

HANGED MAN – sacrifice, obstacles, insight

DEATH – transformation, sorrow, end

TEMPERANCE – harmony, equilibrium, rejuvenation

DEVIL- materialism, perversion, inner demon

TOWER – crashing down, destruction, ruin
STAR – inspiration, hopes, dreams

MOON – illusion, secrets, darkness

SUN – light, warmth, joy

JUDGEMENT – rebirth, breakthrough, awakening

WORLD – success, cosmic dance, freedom

Basic layout: Five Card Spread


Get your client to shuffle the cards and choose 5 of them, then lay them out 1,2,3,4, 5. The first represents the present, the second the past, the third the future, the fourth the question, and five the outcome.

In depth layout: Celtic Cross

This is more in depth. Get your client to shuffle the cards and choose 10. Your first card is in the middle and represents the person. The second crosses the first and represents the problem. The third is placed below the centre two and represents what is below or has gone before (the reason for asking). The fourth is placed to the side on the left and represents the past. The fifth is placed above the centre cards and represents what is before the client and possibilities. The sixth is placed to the right side of the centre cards and represents the future. The seventh is placed separately in a new line to the right side and represents unknown aspects. The eight card is placed above this one and represents the surroundings, where the enquirer finds themselves. The ninth is placed above this one and represents the hopes and fears and the last one represents the outcome.

Remember that ‘reversed’ cards are read negatively. If you have too many ‘negative’ cards place a significator (another card) at the side. Never hint in any circumstances of physical death. Always try to end the reading positively as much as possible e.g. in a very bad reading try to give a ray of hope to the person!