Some of the hardest cards to read for me are the Major Arcana, not inappropriately this name comes from the latin language meaning Big Secrets. I know the basic, broad ideas they evoke, but for some reason, they bring up in me so many subtleties and particularities I most times get lost in them and forget the main basic meaning.
I’ve taken to adding to my own notes on the cards every time I read, because I tend to find new and varied aspects to the cards but they are all part of that main branch that Major Arcana have. Key incidences in everyone’s lives. They are a circle and they repeat themselves in all our lives, over and over.
This is called the Fool’s journey; and I want to write about it today to see if I can finally remember the order of all Major Arcana. You will notice my clear psychodynamic tendencies as I explain the cards how they strike me.
0 The Fool – This is how we all start. Now only just at childbirth, though that is very much the image of our first Fool in the path. I think we all are the Fool from time to time, regarding different subjects. Open to everything, eager and oblivious to dangers and foes. Unknowingly, we are ready to begin tumbling in this wheel that is life.
I The Magician – Consciousness begins and the ‘need to know’, learn and understand everything. Insatiable curiosity with its will to unveil the un-unveilable… This is the child with the building blocks, who can make and unmake everything in his imagination. Unstoppable with its bustle of activity and seemingly endless power.
II The High Priestess – Together with everything the magician represents, comes the opposite. Like a ying and yang, the mere mention of one thing brings about its shadowing opposite. Intuition, emotions and mysteries completely out of reach. Do they really need to be known? Or are we just to accept them as unknown… The unconscious mind is always present, and no matter how much we try to know everything about it, we don’t seem to ever reach the goal.
III The Empress – Our first relation in life and probably the most important one, our Mother. She shapes all our expectations to what a human being should be like for good. It’s about the senses and nature, about being swept away by its caring and goodness, full of patience and nurture.
IV The Emperor – Immediately out of ourselves and the Mother, we find our Father. He is the sense of order and authority. Admired by his leadership and generating a new form of happiness that is doing what you’re told. Acceptance and recognition of the values of society, hard as they seem, give sense and meaning for the budding child.
V The Hierophant – As we progress in life, we come out of the shelter of ourselves and our family and find our Teacher and the first glimpse of society. In a gentle but firm way, we learn to adapt and conform to customs and identify ourselves as part of a group. We find a role model outside of home and start bargaining our place within a bigger circle.
VI The Lovers – Within the bigger social structure, we strive not to lose ourselves. We recognise ourselves in another and cling to that. We rebel with choices and find our own voices and values. We explore sexuality as a means of truly connecting with others and seeing our true selves more easily, or the self that we strive to be. Love is for me a matter of choice. Choosing someone each day, and devoting to this person as much as you devote to your own self.
VII The Chariot – A young adult is full of confidence and assertiveness. Striving forwards unwaveringly and not questioning our decisions, erroneous as some might be. Victory is achieved but this is no end of the line. There’s endless further victories to be achieved and the chariot wheels are unstoppable and under our direct control. Future is in our hands.
VIII The Strength – There are always bumps on our roads. We learn to be strong and we learn how much so by facing setbacks and opposition. This card eases the arrogance of its predecessor. Future is still in our hands, but must be handled with care. It is with delicacy that the hardest obstacles are mastered.
IX The Hermit – It takes both time and energy to let all the lessons life gives sink. It takes insight and introspection to find the light that makes the lantern burn within ourselves. The need to know that once fuelled the magician, comes from some deeper level and the answers sought are others, much harder to find. With or without guidance, the answer may only be found inside.
X The Wheel of Fortune – Only after that withdrawal from distractions, the epiphany of destiny opens up and turn in front of our eyes. After the stillness, the movement and turning point is welcome and it comes at the rightful time. The new perspective of inclusion again fills the individual as the ever-turning movement now becomes evident, we become a conscious part of something bigger.
I will finish with the second half of the Major Arcana next week.
Blessings and Light