Tarot Journal – The Major Arcana As A Journey

August 24th, 2011 by sivodd

The Major Arcana As A Journey

Lesson 3: Intuitive Tarot Certification Course

Welcome to the third installment of my Tarot Journal. I realize there are a few cards missing in the Fool’s journey, but look to the end for a brief overview of the cards in the Major Arcana. (This post is based on homework given)

The Fool is starting a journey, it may be new to him, perhaps a road he has been down before. He first meets The Magician, he learns about power, potential and not to be afraid of what is to come, and how to stay grounded. The Magician shows him how to carry out plans, but be sure that he knows what he wants and stay committed. He also learns to be creative and how to use his talents.

The next stop in the Fools journey is that of The High Priestess, she is opposite of the Magician. She balances what he has learned so far. The fool is learning to look beyond the obvious and delve into his subconscious. He is also learning patience, how to step back and look into things a bit deeper, follow his intuition.

His next stop is with The Empress, she is a vision, she is mothering, she is the earth mother. She teaches him to embrace life and all that it has to offer. It can be anything from human beings, material possessions, as well as taking care of emotional needs. It’s now time to balance what has learned so far.

The Fool comes across The Emperor, he’s not necessarily as appealing as the others. He is a father type, he teaches him about structure and authority. Now there are rules, he must learn discipline. There are some things he can and cannot control. At this stage in his journey he must tie up loose ends before he can move forward.

He now comes across the Hierophant. He reinforces the teachings of the the Emperor, but throws in religion, education and society. Now we have conformity, fitting in at school, in groups, clubs and being loyal to others. The fool needs to learn how to grow and develop in society.

I’ve seen all of these cards play out in my life. As for following them, well that’s a different story. I can relate to the Magician, I’m not afraid of what’s to come. I’m constantly searching and using my creativity, but I tend to put too much on my plate at once. I can relate more to the the High Priestess, I love to use my imagination and intuition. But looking deeper into things, tends to get me in trouble. The Empress, in my case, is something I love, mother nature in all her glory. I love to just follow the natural course of things. Then there’s the Emperor, I’m not a big fan of authority and have a hard time with order, although I do find myself to be disciplined when it comes to any of my crafts. With the Hierophant, I definitely have a problem with conformity. I’m a free spirit and tend to do my own thing. I follow rules, but I also break them, as long as no harm is done. Never been much into groups, obviously, I’m a solitary witch and follow my own path.

I see these cards being the foundation of the great quest. They are the beginning and will be revisited many times again. There are many cycles in our life, and it always comes back to the beginning.

I would have to say the High Priestess is the one card that sticks out to me the most. She’s mysterious. I like to look beyond the obvious, sometimes a little patience is needed to see what is not there, especially when it comes to my art work. When I’m starting a new project, jumping right in is never the answer. I like to find my creativity in a dream world. That place between sleep and awake is where I find the answers.

The Lovers: The Fool has come across an equal, another person to take with on his journey. He’s now establishing  a bond, the relationship may or may not be sexual. There is a feeling of love and/or physical attraction. The Fool has come to a crossroad, he has to look at his morals or ethics.  He is struggling with temptation, trying to figure out right and wrong. At this point he has to figure out where he stands, before making decisions. He’s starting to question the lessons learned thus far, and starts to look into his own personal philosophy. He needs to find out where he stands and stay true to himself.

The Chariot represents the Fools transition into adulthood, no more teachers. He is now determined to reach his goals and be successful, his attitude has become dominant. The fool is self confident and has found faith in himself, he is  disciplined and has much more self control. He has his own identity, his own interests and knows who he is at this stage.

Now that he has become self confident, he needs to learn strength. Strength is not necessarily physical, it can also be emotional. At this point the Fool needs to find patience and compassion. With all that he has accomplished, there maybe setbacks, he needs to be patient and find inner strength. He will have to be strong enough to accept help from others, and maintain his composure. There’s a lot of patience to be had when dealing with downfalls, but he must refuse to get angry and find the strength within himself.

At this stage in my life I can relate to The Hermit in many ways. Lately I’ve been looking for answers that can only come from within. I have found my life going in a new direction and It’s confusing and scary. I need some stillness and alone time to find the answers I’m looking for. Things seem to be coming at me a hundred miles an hour and I need the world to slow down so I can stop and think for a minute.

Even before picking up a Tarot deck, The Death card never bothered me. It’s one of two cards I’ve always been drawn to, Strength being the second one. There are so many misconceptions with this card, most people fear it, thinking it’s the eternal end. I don’t look at it that way, everything in life has an end and a beginning. There are so many stages we go through in a lifetime, whether it be a job, a friendship, a bad TV show and so forth. In the end, there is always something new around the corner. It’s a time of transition, closing one chapter in your life so you can start the next.

Temperance, The Devil & The Tower: (2 Examples of how the three successive cards apply in movies)

In Chasing Amy: Holden meets Amy and is immediately attracted to her. They hit it off immediately and she invites him out to a club. He get’s excited, but there is something he is in the dark about. When he arrives at the club, he gets a big slap in the face. “Turns out, this girl is gay.”

In Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Buffy meets Angel, they fall in love. The relationship goes on for a while. He’s a mystery to her, she knows something is different, but now sure what. The wake up call is, he’s a Vampire.

The Star, The Moon, The Sun: (How the designs reinforce the message on the celestial cards)

The Star (Rider-Waite Deck): The Star card represents hope, inspiration, serenity and generosity. The woman pouring into the stream represents generosity, the ripples show that when we give, we create. The large gold star, (that dominates the scene) shows there is hope, light at the end of the tunnel. It shows that you are on the right path and promises of a better and brighter future. The woman will see the world in a different light, she is inspired to create a new path. It is not necessarily the answer, but it gives her a peace of mind and she is able to relax.

The Moon (Rider-Waite Deck): The Moon card represents fear, bewilderment, Imagination, and illusion. The moon in this scene can represents two possibilities, it holds promise that all you imagine can be yours. It guides you into the unknown, allowing the unusual into your life. At the same time,  it can bring about hidden fears and anxiety, not everything is as what it seems. The dog and wolf could be our animal instinct, just beginning the journey to a higher path. While the towers are the starting point to limitless possibilities, good and evil. This card can inspire insight, as well as bring out fears and confusion.

The Sun (Rider-Waite Deck): The Sun card represents enlightenment, greatness, assurance and vitality.
It follows the Moon card, and in Tarot Readings is a very positive omen. The Sun essentially is a confirmation of what you may already be feeling, all the energy and determination you need to overcome obstacles. It shows that you are on the right path to success and happiness. The baby is rebirth, being taken by a horse on a new phase/cycle in life. It is a feeling of freedom  and honoring oneself, there is a new level of insight. The sun is dominating the scene, shining forth and showing unlimited energy. The light that gives you power, confidence and realizing all that has been accomplished. It’s now time to trust in your abilities and forgive yourself.

Reaching the end of a journey:

The Fool is nearing an end. The journey is almost over, but first he must reach Judgement, as it is necessary. Before moving forward he must look back, be proud of his accomplishments, face his failures, learn from them and put it in the past. It’s a time of cleansing and releasing guilt, he must forgive himself as well as others.

His journey is over, at least this one. The Fool has reached The World, he has a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. He’s experiencing balance and enjoying a peace of mind. The task is complete and a conclusion is reached. It’s time to savor the present, for the journey is a circular one and now he’s back at the beginning. He can now go into the next phase with confidence and a new perspective.

A Brief Overview of the Major Arcana:

The Fool:

  • Is beginning a new journey, nothing is certain, he has unlimited potential.
  • Nothing is familiar, not grounded.
  • Keep faith and  must trust in oneself.
  • Living in the moment, acts on impulses and feelings. Carefree.
  • Tends to take the foolish path.
  • Needs to stay true to himself and recapture innocence.

The Magician:

  • Grounded, Not afraid to act.
  • Realizing potential and what needs to be done.
  • Set things aside in order to get the job done.
  • Committed, make what’s possible real.

The High Priestess:

  • She balances out the masculine of the magician, by showing the mysterious.
  • Looks into the subconscious, beyond the obvious.
  • Follow intuition, dreams and imagination.
  • It’s time to look deeper and in the unseen, and finding a will to create.
  • Carrying out plans, being committed.

The Empress:

  • The Empress and High Priestess are the two halves of the female archetypes.
  • The earth mother, nurturing and caring.
  • Care for others as well as yourself.
  • She nurtures the mind of the Fool.
  • There are lavish rewards and material possessions, embrace life.

The Emperor:

  • He is fathering, shows the Fool structure and authority.
  • It’s time to learn leadership skills and discipline.
  • Loose ends should be tied up, there is a need for organization.
  • Make order out of chaos, there are rules.

The Hierophant:

  • Conformity, education, religion and society.
  • Coexist with others, not just in churches, but teams and groups.
  • A belief system, cultural heritage, knowing ones faith and an increase in understanding.
  • Growing and developing in society.
  • Following rules.

The Lovers:

  • Encounter a partner along the journey. Sexuality, bond, love and union.
  • Open up to another, mentally and physically.
  • Decision making, struggling with temptation.
  • Permanent unions, family ties.

The Chariot:

  • Entering adulthood and free of teachers.
  • Strength through discipline and self determination.
  • Dominance is a factor, beat the competition and reach for goals.
  • Rise above temptation, and have faith in oneself.
  • Learning to Curb impulses and master emotions.
  • Holding in anger, but getting your way.


  • Finding inner strength. Being able to go forward, despite set backs.
  • Patience and compassion, getting angry will only make things worse.
  • Achieving self control.
  • Learn to accept others, be forgiving and kind.
  • Finding perspective and learn to compromise.
  • If pushing too hard, learn to withdraw for a moment.

The Hermit:

  • Focus on inner self.
  • A solitary quest, and a need for time alone.
  • There’s a deeper understanding/truth.
  • Think things over, look within.
  • A desire for a new direction.

The Wheel of Fortune:

  • Unexpected encounters, nothing is set in stone.
  • If you’ve been struggling, you may find the answer you’ve been looking for.
  • Fate, something good may come from an accident.
  • Moving forward in a different direction.
  • A change may show you how everything connects.
  • A greater perspective, discovering a new role or purpose.


  • Ultimately, life is fair and just.
  • An impact from the past will come back, be it good or bad.
  • Accept responsibilities, settle past debts.
  • Make decisions for the future, balance all factors.
  • Karma!

The Hanged Man:

  • Pausing to reflect, letting go and giving up control.
  • Live for the moment.
  • Maybe a set back is in order to move forward.
  • A sacrifice is needed in order to get our own way.
  • Truths are hidden in the opposite.
  • Release, when wanting to be forceful.


  • Not a permanent death, but a time of transition.
  • Might be an important ending, that could trigger great change.
  • Closing one door, to open another.
  • Leave the past behind, start a new chapter.
  • Accepting the inevitable.


  • A need for moderation and balance.
  • Showing moderation, by finding a middle ground.
  • A sense of harmony, bringing opposing parts together.
  • Finding just the right mix.
  • Good health, physically and emotionally.

The Devil:

  • The journey is on hold.
  • Stuck in an unhealthy or unproductive situation.
  • Being in the dark, maybe working from something false.
  • Being negative, lacking faith.
  • A reflection that could make one doubt.

The Tower:

  • A wake up call, something is wrong.
  • A slap in the face.
  • A new direction is forced that causes disruption.
  • Accept the surprise and learn from it.
  • A truth must be realized to get an answer.
  • A downturn of fortune, having things shaken up.

The Star:

  • inspiration, but not the final solution.
  • Being on the right path towards goals and aspirations.
  • Having faith in the future, thinking in a positive light.
  • Finding motivation, realizing inner strength.
  • Finding a peace of mind, holding nothing back.

The Moon:

  • A disconnected feeling, easy to lose your way.
  • Can’t think clearly and losing direction.
  • A guide to the unknown that can allow the unusual into ones life.
  • Chasing after a fantasy, seeing false pictures.
  • Possibly having vivid dreams or visions.
  • Unusual thoughts or fantasies.

The Sun:

  • Seeing clearly finally and being confident.
  • Being sure of yourself, without being cocky.
  • Seeing yourself being successful in all you take on.
  • Experiencing freedom and joy.
  • Forgiving yourself and trusting in your abilities.
  • A new level of insight.


  • Being proud of accomplishments and learning from failures.
  • Leave the past behind and move forward.
  • Looking back and making an honest appraisal.
  • Be open to new possibilities and transforming, making a fresh start.
  • Being able to see everything in a new light.
  • Feeling cleansed and unburdened.
  • Forgiving yourself and others.

The World:

  • The end of a journey.
  • Wholeness and balance, savoring the moment.
  • Realizing goals and seeing dreams come true.
  • One journey is over, but now at a new beginning, with more confidence and a new perspective.

My studies at Sacred Mists have been a great experience, It’s been a positive and challenging change. I have a great teacher that is always there to help and guide me, inside and out of class. I love the new path that I am on, learning the Tarot has helped me open my eyes and find answers in my own life. I’m still searching, and have more questions, but I know with all that I’m learning I’m on my way to finding what I’m looking for.

Feel free to post your thoughts, opinions and comments.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!


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