“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu

Last week I introduced you to the 22 cards known as the major acana, starting with the first, the Fool. In a way, these cards can be viewed as representing the Fool’s journey. Each marks our passage through life as a newborn, child, adolescent, and finally, as a self-realized person. Each represents a stage of life that we must go through to achieve self-realization. On the journey, the Fool stands alone and above the other cards.

The major arcana are subdivided into 0, or the Fool, and three stages or rows: I–VII, VIII–XIV, and XV–XXI, each made up of seven cards.

I–VII: Principles of Consciousness

VIII–XIV: Laws of the Universe and the Inner Life of Man

XV–XXI: Man’s Seven Stages of Spiritual Enlightenment

Since the best way to learn is by doing, I will briefly list the archetypes connected to the first seven major arcana, then explain the steps involved in a simple one-card throw.

0 The Fool: (Uranus/Element: Air) spontaneity, foolishness, new adventure

I The Magician: (Mercury/Element: Air) transformation, power, realizing potential

II The High Priestess: (Moon/Element: Water) feminine intuition, patience, hidden knowledge, spiritual enlightenment

III The Empress: (Venus/Element: Earth) mother/wife, abundance, nurturing

IV The Emperor: (Aries/Element: Fire) father/husband, leader, protector, provider

V The Hierophant: (Taurus/Element: Earth) tradition, conformity, the status quo, law

VI The Lovers: (Gemini/Element: Air) relationships, choices, sexuality

VII The Chariot: (Cancer/Element: Water) success, conquest, stamina, self-confidence, willpower

Now try a very simple card throw. Separate the major arcana from the deck and shuffle them as long as you like. With your left hand, pull one card, then ask yourself how your day reflects the qualities symbolized by that card.

If you draw the Hierophant, for instance, ask yourself if you’re having a crisis of consciousness. Are you feeling guilty? Are you a follower, or the opposite—a nonconformist? Look at the card and search for characteristics that resonate with you and your situation.

Next week, join me as we look at the next seven cards and continue our Fool’s journey.


Purchase your own tarot deck here

See more in the tarot series:
The Tarot, Revealed
Tarot: The Major Arcana
Tarot: The Major Arcana, 0–VII
Tarot: The Major Arcana, VIII–XIV
Tarot: The Major Arcana, XV–XXI
Tarot: The Oracle Layout