What do Rider Waite’s major arcana Tarot cards mean?

The major arcana in the card game with the Tarot cards consists of 22 cards. These Rider Waite cards show different archetypes. What do these archetypes in Rider Waite’s Tarot deck stand for and what do these special Tarot cards mean when they appear in a reading?

Rider Waite’s Major Arcana Tarot Cards

Arcana means secret. Major arcana therefore means great secret. The images on the major arcana are philosophical in nature. They show different archetypes. The archetypes represent human figures, concepts and astrological aspects. They ask you to look within and ask yourself what this archetype means to you.

0 The fool

  • Archetype: the child
  • In leggings: you are on the eve of a new step but are held back by a certain fear. Yet it is important to take the leap of faith to process a piece of the past again.


I The magician

  • Archetype: wizard
  • In a leggings: a new beginning of something, surrender and become a channel of connection just like the magician


II The High Priestess

  • Archetype: the virgin
  • In leggings: get in touch with your own intuition


III The Queen

  • Archetype: the mother
  • In leggings: you are in a period in which you can grow something within yourself (this could be issues surrounding motherhood, but this is not necessary)


IV The king

  • Archetype: the father
  • In a leggings: what is your concept of rules and order?


V The Hierophant

  • Archetype: the teacher
  • In a nutshell: is the current teacher the right one, am I learning what I need?


VI The lovers

  • Archetype: man and woman
  • In leggings: bring more balance to your masculine and feminine side


VII The blessing chariot

  • Archetype: young hero who sets out into the world
  • In leggings: you are ready to start the journey towards a certain goal in your life


VIII Power

  • Archetype: strength
  • In leggings: tame your fear of your unconscious and turn it into your strength


IX The hermit

  • Archetype: the hermit, the old wise lord
  • In leggings: make contact with your inner guide or look for a guide


X Wheel of fortune

  • Archetype: happiness and change
  • In leggings: a new phase in your life is starting


XI Justice

  • Archetype: justice
  • In a spread: you often draw this card if you feel that you are being treated unfairly. Find your own righteousness in your higher consciousness.


XII The Hanged Man

  • Archetype: the martyr
  • In leggings: take a step in place, pull back for a moment


XIII Death

  • Archetype: death
  • In leggings: you enter a process of letting go, you have to learn to let go


XIV Temperance

  • Archetype: keeping pace
  • In leggings: open yourself up to contact with another dimension or your inner wisdom


XV The devil

  • Archetype: power
  • In leggings: you no longer have to be chained, you can set yourself free


XVI The Tower

  • Archetype: crises
  • In a leggings: to break free from your shadow side you have to go through crises (reversal)


XVII The Star

  • Archetype: hope
  • In leggings: persevere to achieve balance


XVIII The moon

  • Archetype: subconscious
  • In leggings: you are going to come into contact with a piece of fear in your subconscious that comes to the surface.


XIX The sun

  • Archetype: rebirth
  • In leggings: you have the opportunity to enter the world uninhibitedly like a child at some point, but with baggage (don’t use your past as a hammock, but as a springboard)


XX The judgment

  • Archetype: judgments
  • In Leggings: You have arrived at a crossroads in your life, look within to know which way to go


XXI The world

  • Archetype: enlightenment
  • In leggings: what limitations do you keep coming up against, have confidence in yourself.


read more

  • The Tarot (the Rider Waite card game)
  • List of symbols for Rider Waite’s Tarot cards
  • What do Rider Waite’s minor arcana Tarot cards mean?
  • Different types of readings with Tarot cards
  • Chakras and the Tarot
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