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A Beginner’s Guide to Tarot and the Hidden Meanings of the Major Arcana


If you’ve ever wondered what those captivating Tarot decks are all about, you’re in the right place. In this beginner’s guide to Tarot, we’ll unravel the mysteries of the Major Arcana and dive into their hidden meanings. So, shuffle your curiosity and prepare to have your mind (and maybe even your future) illuminated!

Now, I know what you might be thinking… “Tarot? Isn’t that the stuff fortune tellers use to predict winning lottery numbers?”

Well, hold your crystal balls for a moment! 

Tarot is so much more than a cosmic lottery ticket dispenser. It’s a centuries-old system of divination, a mirror reflecting the depths of our subconscious, and a tool for personal growth and reflection. Whether you’re a skeptic searching for answers or a curious soul eager to explore the unknown, Tarot has something extraordinary to offer.

In this guide, we’ll focus on the Major Arcana cards, the crème de la crème of the Tarot deck. These 22 cards, adorned with archetypal imagery, hold profound wisdom and represent the pivotal moments and lessons of life. But fear not, dear novice! We’ll demystify each card and reveal their hidden meanings, empowering you to navigate their enigmatic symbolism with confidence and insight.

So, grab your favorite cup of tea, dim the lights, and prepare to embark on a captivating journey through the labyrinth of Tarot. But be warned: once you enter this realm, you might find it difficult to resist the allure and magic that Tarot has to offer. 

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Understanding Tarot Basics

To embark on your journey into the captivating realm of Tarot, it is essential to grasp the fundamentals. In this section, we will delve into the key elements of Tarot, providing you with a solid foundation as a beginner.

What is Tarot and Its Structure

As a beginner, it’s crucial to comprehend the essence of Tarot. Tarot is a divination tool consisting of a deck of cards that hold symbolic meanings. These cards are divided into two main categories: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana cards represent significant life events and archetypal energies, while the Minor Arcana cards reflect everyday situations and experiences.

Types of Tarot Decks

When starting your Tarot journey, it’s important to choose a deck that resonates with you. The two most popular types of Tarot decks are the Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) and Marseille decks. The RWS deck is widely used and renowned for its detailed imagery and rich symbolism. On the other hand, the Marseille deck carries a more minimalistic and abstract aesthetic, focusing primarily on the suits and numbers of the cards.

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beginner's guide to tarot

Performing a Tarot Reading

As you begin exploring Tarot, it’s vital to understand how to perform a Tarot reading.

The process involves several steps:

  1. Set your intention: Clarify the purpose of the reading and the guidance you seek.
  2. Shuffle the cards: Mix the deck thoroughly while focusing on your intention.
  3. Select the cards: Draw cards from the deck, typically in a specific spread or pattern.
  4. Interpret the cards: Analyze the imagery, symbolism, and intuitive impressions of each card.
  5. Weave the story: Combine the meanings of the cards to form a coherent narrative or answer to your question.
  6. Reflect and learn: Take time to contemplate the insights gained from the reading and how they can be applied to your life.

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Importance of Intention in Tarot Readings

The focus keyword, “Beginner’s Guide to Tarot,” aligns perfectly with the significance of intention in Tarot readings. When approaching a Tarot reading, your intention acts as a guiding force. It helps you direct the energy and focus of the cards toward the specific area of your life you wish to explore. Whether it’s gaining clarity, seeking guidance, or embracing personal growth, setting a clear intention before each reading enhances the depth and relevance of the insights you receive.

By understanding the basics of Tarot, you have laid the groundwork for a fulfilling and enlightening journey. In the next section, we will unravel the hidden meanings concealed within the captivating realm of the Major Arcana cards, offering you a gateway to profound wisdom and self-discovery.

unveiling the major arcana

Unveiling the Major Arcana

The Major Arcana cards hold profound symbolism and deep meanings within the realm of Tarot. Understanding these cards is essential for any beginner seeking to explore the mystical world of Tarot readings. In this section, we will delve into the hidden meanings behind select Major Arcana cards, shedding light on their significance and the lessons they offer.

  1. The Fool: Embracing New Beginnings and Taking Risks
    The Fool represents the archetype of the eternal wanderer, embarking on a new journey with an open heart and mind.
  2. The Magician: Personal Power and Manifestation
    The Magician embodies the power of transformation and creation, symbolizing our ability to manifest our desires and make things happen.
  3. The High Priestess: Intuition and Hidden Knowledge
    The High Priestess serves as a guardian of hidden wisdom, representing the power of intuition, mystery, and the subconscious mind.
  4. The Empress: Abundance and Nurturing Energy
    The Empress symbolizes the nurturing and creative aspects of femininity, representing abundance, growth, and the beauty of nature.
  5. The Emperor: Authority and Structure
    The Emperor embodies authority, leadership, and the establishment of structure and order in one’s life.
  6. The Lovers: Relationships and Choices
    The Lovers card signifies love, partnerships, and the power of choice, inviting us to make decisions based on our values and desires.
  7. The Chariot: Willpower and Control
    The Chariot represents the triumph of willpower and self-control, urging us to harness our inner strength and overcome obstacles.
  8. Strength: Inner Strength and Courage
    Strength embodies courage, resilience, and the ability to confront challenges with grace and determination.
  9. The Hermit: Introspection and Solitude
    The Hermit card symbolizes the importance of introspection, solitude, and seeking inner wisdom through introspective practices.
  10. Wheel of Fortune: Cycles of Life and Destiny
    The Wheel of Fortune represents the ever-turning wheel of life, reminding us that change is inevitable and that our actions shape our destiny.
  11. Justice: Fairness and Balance
    Justice embodies fairness, truth, and the need for balance in our actions and decisions.
  12. The Hanged Man: Surrender and Perspective Shift
    The Hanged Man challenges us to embrace surrender, let go of control, and gain new perspectives through a change in perception.
  13. Death: Transformation and New Beginnings
    Death represents transformation, the end of a cycle, and the emergence of something new and transformative.
  14. Temperance: Balance and Moderation
    Temperance encourages us to find balance, practice moderation, and harmonize opposing forces within ourselves and our lives.
  15. The Devil: Temptation and Materialism
    The Devil card represents the temptations and attachments that can bind us, urging us to examine our relationship with materialism and embrace liberation from self-imposed limitations.
  16. The Tower: Sudden Change and Upheaval
    The Tower signifies a sudden and often unexpected change or upheaval, tearing down old structures and beliefs to make way for profound transformation and growth.
  17. The Star: Hope and Inspiration
    The Star represents hope, inspiration, and a guiding light in times of darkness, reminding us to believe in the power of our dreams and aspirations.
  18. The Moon: Intuition and the Subconscious Mind
    The Moon card speaks to the realm of the subconscious, intuition, and the mysteries that lie beneath the surface, encouraging us to trust our inner wisdom.
  19. The Sun: Joy and Success
    The Sun card radiates joy, positivity, and success, symbolizing vitality, clarity, and the fulfillment of one’s potential.
  20. Judgment: Self-Reflection and Awakening
    Judgment calls for self-reflection, accountability, and a profound awakening, inviting us to embrace transformation and make amends.
  21. The World: Completion and Fulfillment
    The World signifies completion, integration, and the attainment of a sense of wholeness, marking the end of a significant cycle and the beginning of a new one.

Understanding the hidden meanings behind the Major Arcana cards empowers beginners to unlock the wisdom and insights that Tarot holds. As you explore these cards in your readings, remember that their interpretations are not set in stone, but rather a blend of intuition, symbolism, and personal connection. The Major Arcana cards serve as archetypal guides on our journey of self-discovery and personal growth.

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Interpreting the Major Arcana Cards

Interpreting the Major Arcana cards is a fascinating and deeply personal journey that allows us to tap into the profound wisdom and hidden meanings contained within these archetypal symbols. As a beginner, approaching the interpretation process with an open mind and a sense of curiosity is key to unlocking the transformative power of Tarot. In this section, we will explore some tips and guidelines to help you interpret the Major Arcana cards effectively.

Trust Your Intuition: The focus keyword “beginner’s guide to Tarot” emphasizes the importance of trusting your intuition when interpreting the Major Arcana cards. As you delve into the meanings and symbolism of each card, allow your intuition to guide you. Pay attention to your initial impressions, emotional responses, and any intuitive insights that arise during the reading. Your intuition is a powerful tool for unlocking the deeper meanings hidden within the cards.

Seek Personal Connections: Each Major Arcana card carries a unique energy and story. To interpret them effectively, strive to establish a personal connection with the cards. Look closely at the imagery, symbols, and colors present on each card. Consider how they resonate with your own life experiences, beliefs, and aspirations. This personal connection will infuse your interpretations with authenticity and depth.

Embrace a Holistic Approach: The Major Arcana cards are rich in symbolism and encompass a wide range of themes, emotions, and life experiences. When interpreting them, it is essential to take a holistic approach. Consider the context of the reading, the surrounding cards, and the querent’s specific question or situation. The focus keyword “beginner’s guide to Tarot” emphasizes the importance of approaching the cards as part of a larger tapestry, rather than isolated symbols.

Explore Archetypal Meanings: The Major Arcana cards embody archetypal energies and universal themes that resonate across cultures and time. Take the time to explore the archetypal meanings associated with each card. Study the traditional interpretations and consider how they align with your own understanding and intuition. The archetypal meanings provide a solid foundation for interpretation and offer insights into the collective human experience.

Embrace Creativity and Imagination: Tarot is a tool that invites us to tap into our creativity and imagination. When interpreting the Major Arcana, allow yourself to think outside the box and explore unconventional interpretations. The focus keyword “beginner’s guide to Tarot” highlights the need for beginners to cultivate a sense of playfulness and openness. Trust your creative instincts and allow the cards to speak to you in unexpected ways.

Practice, Reflect, and Learn: Developing your skills as a Tarot reader requires practice and reflection. The more you work with the Major Arcana cards, the more attuned you will become to their nuances and hidden meanings. Keep a Tarot journal to document your interpretations, insights, and observations. Reflect on your readings and revisit them over time to deepen your understanding. Additionally, continue learning from reputable sources, such as books and online communities, to expand your knowledge and refine your interpretations.

By embracing your intuition, seeking personal connections, taking a holistic approach, exploring archetypal meanings, embracing creativity, and practicing regularly, you will gradually unlock the hidden depths of the Major Arcana cards. Remember that Tarot is a journey of self-discovery and personal growth, and each reading offers a unique opportunity for insight and transformation. Enjoy the process and trust in your ability to interpret the Major Arcana with wisdom and authenticity.

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Additional Resources for Tarot Enthusiasts

As you embark on your journey to learn Tarot and delve deeper into the hidden meanings of the Major Arcana, it’s helpful to have additional resources at your disposal.

Here are some recommended tools and references to enhance your understanding and practice:

Books for Tarot Beginners

The Tarot Bible” by Sarah Bartlett: This comprehensive guide provides an introduction to Tarot, including card meanings, spreads, and practical advice for beginners.

Tarot for Beginners” by Barbara Moore: This beginner-friendly book offers step-by-step instructions, exercises, and interpretations to help you build a strong foundation in Tarot reading.

The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings” by Brigit Esselmont: Dive deep into the meanings and symbolism of each Tarot card with this extensive reference guide.

Online Tarot Communities and Websites

Biddy Tarot ( A valuable online resource offering free Tarot card meanings, spreads, tutorials, and a supportive community forum.

Tarot Forum on Reddit ( Engage in discussions, seek guidance, and connect with fellow Tarot enthusiasts on this active Reddit community dedicated to Tarot.

Tarot Spreads for Beginners

Three-Card Spread: A simple yet insightful spread that provides insights into the past, present, and future of a situation or question.

Celtic Cross Spread: A classic and versatile spread consisting of ten cards, offering a more comprehensive analysis of a situation or question.

Selecting and Caring for Your Tarot Deck

Choosing the Right Tarot Deck: Explore different Tarot deck options and find one that resonates with you visually and intuitively. Focus on selecting a beginner-friendly deck that aligns with your personal style and interests.

Tarot Deck Maintenance: Learn how to cleanse, consecrate, and store your Tarot deck to maintain its energy and integrity.

Remember, practice is key to developing your Tarot reading skills. Regularly engage with your cards, experiment with different spreads, and trust your intuition as you uncover the hidden meanings of the Major Arcana. The more you immerse yourself in the world of Tarot, the more you will discover its profound insights and transformative power.

By utilizing these additional resources and nurturing your curiosity, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a confident Tarot reader, unlocking the wisdom and mysteries contained within the Major Arcana.


This beginner’s guide to Tarot has provided you with a solid foundation to embark on your Tarot journey. By exploring the hidden meanings of the Major Arcana, you have gained insight into the rich symbolism and profound messages these cards carry. As a beginner, remember that Tarot is a tool that combines intuition, symbolism, and personal interpretation.

By delving into the Major Arcana, you have discovered the diverse range of themes and life experiences represented in these cards. From the adventurous spirit of The Fool to the completion and fulfillment embodied by The World, each card holds a unique story and message for you to explore. As you practice and develop your Tarot reading skills, the hidden meanings of the Major Arcana will continue to reveal themselves, offering guidance, clarity, and inspiration.

Remember, the focus keyword in this guide, “Beginner’s guide to Tarot,” is a reminder that Tarot is accessible to everyone, regardless of their level of expertise. It is a tool for self-discovery and personal growth that anyone can learn and utilize. Embrace the process of interpreting the cards, trust your intuition, and remain open to the messages they offer.

As you continue your Tarot journey, there are numerous resources available to further enhance your understanding and skills. Explore reputable books, websites, and online communities that provide valuable insights and perspectives. Experiment with different Tarot spreads designed for beginners to deepen your understanding of specific life areas. And don’t forget to take care of your Tarot deck, treating it as a sacred tool that deserves respect and attention.

The world of Tarot is vast and ever-evolving. It holds the potential to unlock hidden truths, illuminate paths, and empower you to make informed decisions. Embrace the magic and mystery of Tarot, and let the hidden meanings of the Major Arcana guide you on your journey of self-discovery and personal transformation. With time, practice, and an open heart, you will develop a deep connection with the cards and unlock their profound wisdom.

Remember, you are the creator of your own destiny, and Tarot is a powerful ally in your quest for self-understanding and growth. So, shuffle your deck, trust your intuition, and let the hidden meanings of the Major Arcana light the way.

Now, embark on your Tarot adventure with confidence and curiosity, and may the cards always bring you enlightenment and inspiration.