Homemajor arcana: meaning and guide to interpretation

this article is a complete and up-to-date guide to the esoteric meaning of the major arcana!

in this article you will find many details on the explanation of the meaning of tarot and deepen different topics such as :

  • the meanings of the major arcana
  • the complete list of the arcana
  • …and much more!

these topics are only among the main ones dedicated to the study of the arcana, for every single card in fact you can find a detailed and complete description!

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Chapter 1

what are the major arcana

The Major Arcana are very special cards that have no equal in the world of cards.

In fact, if among the playing cards such as briscola, or French suit cards (poker cards) we find representations of “suits” very similar to the minor arcana of the tarot, in the case of the major arcana, also known as “Triumphs“, it is difficult to find similar cards.

In particular the Triumphs are 22 cards often numbered from 0 to 21 and each of them bears a particular name such as the card that represents the magician.

in some decks these cards can take on different names, as in the case of the Tarot de Marseille or Marseillais, where some figures such as the Pope and the magician are replaced by the Hierophant or the Bagatto, or where the graphic representation is mirrored in Rider Waite type decks.

il mago degli arcani maggiori rider waite
il mago è la prima carta dei tarocchi in molti mazzi

Triumphs correspondences


Among the Tarot cards, the Major Arcana are the densest in terms of esoteric symbolism:

In them we find strong references to the symbolism of the liberal arts (the academic and initiatory teachings of the medieval schools), to hermeticism (an initiatory practice linked to the teachings of Hermes) or many scholars have researched possible associations between Tarot and astrology, or even in the world of alchemy.

There is also a strong association between the Arcana and the world of Jewish Qabbalah and numerology. In fact, not infrequently, the Tarot cards are not only numbered with the traditional numbers, but also bear a Hebrew letter symbolising their link with this type of practice.

associazioni arcani maggiori crowley alfabeto ebraico
associazioni degli arcani maggiori di crowley all’alfabeto ebraico

the Sephirot tree


The tree of life, or sephirotic tree, is the synthesis of the most well-known and important teachings of the Jewish Kabbalah.

albero delle sephirot
albero delle sephirot o albero della vita

It is a diagram, abstract and symbolic, consisting of ten entities, called sĕfirōt, arranged along three parallel vertical pillars: three on the left, three on the right and four in the centre; the central pillar extends above and below the other two. Looking at the figure, one can see that the ten sĕfirōt are connected by twenty-two channels, three horizontal, seven vertical and twelve diagonal.

Each channel corresponds to one of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew abjad.

(sephirot)

Precisely because of this strong association, the tarot has often been used in the study of qabbalah and numerology.

arcani maggiori e sephirot

le associazioni tra arcani e l’albero delle sephirot

Chapter 2

The Major Arcana

Knowing the first general associations of the individual arcana is fundamental and indispensable for fully understanding their meaning.

in this chapter you will find links to the description of each individual arcana:

for each of them will be explained :

  • the keywords
  • the description of the card
  • the meanings of the inverted card
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