Tarot Major Arcana Trump Cards


Major Arcana Trump Cards 0 - V


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0 The Fool - Can Stand Before the Cause of Causes


The Fool represents being open to new experiences, spontaneity, curiosity, enthusiasm and innocence. The Fool is usually shown as a youth on a journey, knapsack thrown over his shoulder on a stick and sometimes ready to take a step off of a cliff.


There is some disagreement about the Fool's sequence in the deck. Some authors feel it is card 0, some feel it belongs between cards 21 and 22, and some feel that it is unnumbered and has no special sequence in the Majors.


The Fool has faith and trust in the Universe. He knows that he will be provided for and that things will work themselves out along the way.

When you get this card in a reading, it indicates that you are ready to embark on a journey of your own. You want to explore the world and discover it's secrets. You are ready for a change and open to new experiences and ideas.


The planet associated with the Fool is Uranus (tears down established systems, individualistic, independent, progressive), the color pale yellow and the musical note E.



I The Magician - Vision


Mind with all of its attunements, all of its pathways, is the domain of the Magician. In most depictions of this card, you see the Magician standing before a table set with the symbols of the four elements: a wand, for fire; a cup, for water; a coin, for earth; a sword, for air; and above his head coils the infinity
symbol. These symbols tell you that you must know about the abilities of your brain. They tell you that the mind is capable of using all the elements of life to work out a problem. The infinity symbol above the Magician's head shows his (but of course a
Magician can be "her") attunement with the timeless energy of life and her connection to life's essential composition, the electrons, molecules, quarks, as we have so far named them, that flow through and link all and everything. From this attunement, the Magician draws inspiration; as does the Fool
before him. But, unlike the Fool, the Magician plans. He or she searches for correlation between idea and reality. Reality is represented by the four elements.


The first reality the Magician seeks is volition: fire. He weighs the inspiration against his true interest. The idea that lights his fire, makes him want to leap out of the chair and start working on it, that's the one he knows is his to manifest, the one he knows he'll carry out to completion.


Now the energy to move the idea is present, but that's just step one. The energized new idea must be loved and nurtured: water. The Magician must immerse the idea in the stream of her desires, she must get in touch with the passion that tells her this idea is now her Wholly Purpose, her holy grail until the idea is born.


The realities of energy and nurture, fire and water, have joined the idea. Now it's time for the intellect: air. The rational pathways of the Magician's mind bring the idea into a plan. Visioning begins, mental blueprints flow from synapse to synapse; research is conducted, phone calls made, meetings held, ideas circulated, helpers gathered.


Finally, after engaging fire, water, air -- energy, nurture, intellect -- it's time for manifestation: earth. The foundation is laid for the building, the canvas is stretched for the painting, the clay is
turned for the urn, the first sentence of the novel, poem or play is written. And the Magician continues, empowered by her interest, and love and vision, to build, paint, mold, write until the original idea has been translated completely into the reality of


When the Magician shows up, it's a message to focus on all the elements of your being to figure things out: be aware of what fires you up and interests you; tune in to your desires; think
about how to create these interests and desires; visualize the actual things you'll need to make them part of your reality. The Magician reminds you that your mind has everything you need to show you how to turn sludge into orchids.


The Magician is associated astrologically with Mercury, the planet of communication, the musical note E and the color yellow, thus adding another message from the Magician: get social, get and give information, and learn from all your interactions.



II The High Priestess -

Consummation of the Truth of Spirit


The High Priestess represents your virgin self, the part of you that belongs to no one but you. When she shows her face, you are being asked to have conversations with that virgin self, to go within and listen to the counsel of your own holy guardian
angel. Bring your question to the virgin self, but not your responsibilities and worries. Ask what your path is now, but do not put conditions on the answer, like money, or preference. You can sort that out later, after the inner truth is heard. For
this inward journey simply listen. Hold the stethoscope of your awareness to the membrane of the subconscious and hear the heartbeat of the path taking shape within you.

The High Priestess symbolizes the embryonic fluid that cradles the conception of new endeavor. In the days of fortunetelling, when the High Priestess card was turned up the reading was over because it meant the future had not yet been written. Now
that we understand the Tarot to be a guide in the dance of life, the High Priestess calls us to prophecy, to seeing our future before it is born. She is the intuitive, wordless spiritmind, the inner guide we often name the Higher Self.

The High Priestess is associated with the Moon, astrologically a feminine, intuitive figure with a correspondence to the nurturing element of water. She also correlates to the Hebrew letter Gimel, which means camel. The High Priestess, then, carries the waters that quench your thirst when travelling across the deserts of life.


When your interest is parched; when you're confused by opinions around you, and cannot hear your spirit voice, the High Priestess visits. When she does, it's time to listen only to your holy guardian angel within. Take time alone, set the opinions and counsel of others aside, leave practical considerations till another hour. Ask your virgin self, that self that is bonded only to your life's fulfillment, to slake your thirst and show you thefuture it needs. Listen. Visit the holy guardian angel within you daily, until you've heard, and thereby conceived, the answer. Then, and only then, figure out how to make that answer pay the rent!



III The Empress - Concealed

Ideas and their Preparation


The Empress is the symbol for the Feminine aspect of existence. All things given the appellation She and Mother are referred to in The Empress. She is the yin side of the Chinese yin and yang polarity, the spiraling life force Shakti in relation to Shiva, the male Godhead in the Hindu pantheon. She is an avid appreciator of Life. In her three distinct stages of expression -- virginity, motherhood, menopause -- she mirrors nature's trinity of phases: emergence, blossom, death. The Empress is the doorway through which we all are born. She is both Mother and Warrior. She will nurture her children with her own heart's blood if that is all there is to sustain them, and protect them with it too. She is the archetype of creativity itself: the root of 'create' is
ker- to grow, which comes from ker-es, cereal, which derives from Ceres, Goddess of Agriculture.

The 13th Century statue, Vierge Ouvrante (Virgin that Opens), expresses perfectly the all-encompassing creativity of the Feminine. The outside of the painted wood figure shows the Virgin with her child Jesus in her lap. When the two doors of the statue are opened, three stages of Jesus' life are shown within the Virgin's body, revealing her as the Mother of Existence, or, as religion stated it, the Life of the World.


The prominence of creativity in the feminine nature is symbolized in astrology by the planet Venus, which is given affinity not only with the feminine, but with art, joy, and love; and with The Empress. In these affinities lies the answer to the often-asked
question, What does Woman want? Woman wants relationship, not just with a lover but with all of life. Woman wants beauty to surround her, she wants to create harmony in form, in love, in her actions and interactions.

This is the message of The Empress when she shows herself to you: love life, create, embrace all in life, solve your dilemmas with the creative force of love. Another word for love is affinity. The Empress, like our Mother Earth, Gaia, as some now call her, reminds us of our affinity with all life's creatures -- rock, spider, saint and murderer. The Empress resolves by caring. She is the salt of the earth. She sees every emotional wall as a door to
be opened. When you choose The Empress from the deck, consider the ways you can create -- "cause to exist, bring into being, produce" -- your vision, your truth, your vitality and your path.


IV The Emperor - Building up Earth Light from Cosmos' Darkness


The Emperor represents all things masculine. He corresponds to the yang side of the Chinese yin and yang polarity, to codes of behavior, maintenance of order, focused attention.

The Emperor is principle itself, in that the Latin origin of principle, princeps, means leader, emperor. And what is principle? It is "A basic...law...: the principles of democracy....A
rule or standard, especially of good behavior: a man of principal....The collectivity of moral or ethical standards of judgments....A fixed...policy or mode of action....Principle and principal....both...go back to the same Latin word, princeps, meaning 'first, as in time, position, or authority.' "* The
Emperor pertains to the principles of patriarchy, and, in its association with the first sign of the zodiac, Aries, to the historical beginning of male dominance.


Many negativities have been charged against the patriarchy since that beginning, especially after the onset of the women's liberation and anti-war movements of the 1960's. These charges have evoked slow but steady alterations in the behavior

of men and in the way they see their roles as lovers, husbands and leaders. The Emperor of the 21st Century will be more Father than Ruler. The new Emperor husbands the family, the business, the nation into full flowering. As there is a feminine
component to the word "husband," so there is a yin, nurturing component active in the 21st Century Emperor. (The Old English word, husbonde meant "mistress of the house.") He will use the talent for concentration his brain's unique structure gives him to focus on invention, science, building, and exploration. The Emperor as Father will care for the safety of the people, and direct his attention to making war our history, not our current affair.


When The Emperor card is picked, it is a message to study the nature of the male principle in society, in your life and in your self. Regardless of your gender, the male and female, the yin and yang, both dwell within you: are they balanced? If you are
a woman, are you schmaltzing out too much in emotional outbreaks? Do you need to bring your mind into focus on the things you want to achieve? If you are a man, are you being too authoritarian, or too rational? Do you need to bring your feelings
of care and nurture into your relationships? The Aries aspect of The Emperor is to be considered too. Aries, the beginning of Spring correlates with fresh starts, initiative, commencement of the new book, business, or outlook. The Aries Emperor's advice is: raise the curtain, inaugurate your empire, focus on it completely.



V The Hierophant - Hearing the Paradise of the Righteous


The Hierophant is the provider of the tools of the spiritual trade, the tools being the mantra, yoga, chant, prayer, meditation, visualization, the techniques that lead you back to your connection with All and Everything. The Hierophant represents the spiritual guide: the guru, the priest, the shaman
who instructs in the disciplines necessary for uncovering the link between body and spirit.


American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition, defines hierophant as "an ancient Greek priest who interpreted sacred mysteries, especially the priest of the Eleusinian mysteries; an interpreter of sacred mysteries or
arcane knowledge....from the Greek hieros, holy...plus phantes, one who shows." The root of phantes means beacon. So, the Hierophant represents a holy beacon that guides your ship thru the storm and keeps you from crashing against the rocky shores. The Sanskrit word Guru expresses
perfectly the holy beacon nature of the Hierophant: the syllable gu means darkness and ru, light. The

Guru/Hierophant is said to bring the supreme knowledge that destroys the darkness in one's life.


But the Hierophant is a beacon only, the vehicle thru which the Holy Light shines. The guru, the shaman, the priest, these are the lamplighters of the Holy Light within each of us, they are not the Source of the Holy Light, except as we all are.
Respect your Guide, your Hierophant, but don't worship him or her; except as you worship Life as it dwells within everything. Accept the wisdom offered, the techniques, use the tools the Hierophant provides, the shovels to clear the snow from the path to soul's home. These tools and their use will keep you sane and centered and strong when everything else in your life is boring, on hold, or in chaos.


When the Hierophant turns up, the message is: Practice discipline. Meditate, get thee to your Teacher, either an outer one or the one within yourself. Take out that old chanting book, and chant; remember the mantra you received ten years ago and use it; pay attention to your attraction to that poster announcing that Sri Omigod is speaking on Friday night and go there. On the worldly plane, exert self discipline: focus your mind on the book you're writing, the taxes you need to
figure, the things you need to accomplish in your life, and seek a teacher or a course of study if you need to develop better techniques. If you want to succeed in getting your ideas into the world arena, in making a mark in your part of the world, then you need to learn how to make your vision be accepted. Look at the meaning of the word Discipline:

  1. 1. Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior; esp. training that produces moral or mental improvement.
  2. 2. Controlled behavior resulting from disciplinary training....
  3. 3. A set of rules or methods....From Latin disciplina, from discere [root of 'disciple'], to learn. Root:
    dek- to take, accept. From Latin decere, to be fitting, to be acceptable; from Latin docere, to teach, to cause to accept....From Greek dokos, beam, support [American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition].


Taurus is the astrological sign associated with the Hierophant. At first thought, this is a strange correlation, the sensual earthy nature of Taurus and the holy beacon of the Guru. But the Hierophant relates to the fully realized love of Life that is

inherent in the Taurus personality. Buddha was a Taurus, as was Swami Muktananda, a powerful energy transmitter, and Wavy Gravy. Ah, you laugh: Wavy Gravy, aka Hugh Romney, of the sixties' Hog Farm? Wavy Gravy a spiritual beacon? Yes, in his works in life with the Seva Foundation (Seva means service) and in his jovial loving presence during
his performances as a jester. Taurus's affiliation with the Hierophant is a reminder that the Essence we have called God dwells within each of us and expresses as a beacon whenever we tune in and turn on the Light.




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