The High Priestess | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

The High Priestess

Keywords for the High Priestess

INTUITIONSUBCONSCIOUSNESS
RECEPTIVITYMEMORY
POTENTIALPSYCHIC EXPERIENCE
INNER TRUTHMYSTERY
STILLNESSTHE UNKNOWN

In the image on the card, we see the High Priestess seated on her throne, dressed in long, silvery blue robes that shimmer in the moonlight. Her throne is simply made, a cube of stone similar to others we see throughout the tarot, which always refers to the same thing: physical, material manifestation in three-dimensional space. 

This, combined with the wave-like nature of her dress, which flows into and becomes almost indistinguishable from water as it flows over the moon, shows us that despite all appearances, it is actually subconsciousness which creates and constitutes the nature of the universe.

The High Priestess wears a triple crown, which alludes not only to her typical association with the moon and lunar cycles, but is also a reference to the Mysteries of the Egyptian Goddess Isis. The veil behind her is decorated with red pomegranates, another allusion to ancient mysteries, only this time pointing us to the Eleusinian Mysteries and the cult of life-death-rebirth of Demeter and Persephone. 

Although not all pomegranates on this veil are visible, we know that they stand in the same formation as the Sephiroth in the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah. 

Further reference to this Hebrew tradition can be seen in the scroll held by the High Priestess, which here reads “TORA,” a reference to the Pentateuch or Five Books of Moses (typically transcribed in English as “Torah”). 

Behind the priestess, her veil hangs from between two pillars, one white and the other black. The letters B and J refer to “Boaz” and “Jakin”, the names of the two main pillars which once stood in the Temple of Solomon. Their black and white color is a reference to the apparently opposite dualities through which we experience our existence. 

Similar to the yin and yang symbol, each letter is written in a color opposite to the pillar, indicating that each extreme contains the seed of its opposite. The polarities we too often take for granted are truly only opposing ends of the same spectrum of our one existence. 

Interpretation for the High Priestess

Above all, the High Priestess stands for our subconsciousness, and all the mystery that lies beneath the reach of our normal, conscious awareness. It also speaks more generally to a sense of the mystery of life, of the vast wonder and terror that normally eludes us, but remains lurking beneath the surface, ready to rise to our awareness if the right conditions present themselves. 

The High Priestess represents one side of the archetypal feminine: that of the mysterious, nonrational, and intuitive elements of women’s being. She shows a part of the divine feminine which has historically been feared: dark, filled with mystery, unknowable through logic or language, connected to a deep wisdom beyond words. 

Due to its connection to the unconscious, this card also refers not only to our intuitive capacities, but even to psychic phenomena such as clairvoyance and other types of nonrational knowing. 

The High Priestess is also thought to refer to the passive quality inherent in the archetypal feminine (in contrast to the active principle represented by the previous card, the Magician). 

Due to the patriarchal culture of which we are a part, the term “passive” typically carries many negative connotations of inferiority, weakness, and is seen to lack value, purpose, or meaning. 

However, there is much power in the passive: it is not simply lack of action or existence. This yin quality is perhaps better thought of as being receptive in nature. It can be compared to the receptivity of the womb, which receives the seed of masculine, and generates within itself something new from what has been planted within. 

The darkness, receptivity, and inferiority of the High Priestess is the necessary precondition for all creation (as we will come to understand more of in the next card, the Empress). 

As such, this card refers also to the vast potential of the High Priestess. When she appears in a reading, the High Priestess may be asking us to pause, withdraw from the busyness and action of the outer world, and go within. She asks us to pay attention to the seeds of our future selves which have lain dormant within us, seeds which need tending to, in order that we may give birth to our highest selves.

The Magician | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

Keywords for the Magician

CONSCIOUSNESSPOWER
ATTENTIONINTENTION
FOCUSED ENERGYMASTERY
ACTIONCONTROL
CREATIONMANIFESTATION

It’s late afternoon, and we see an intense, mysterious looking man standing alone in a secret garden. Dressed in long, flowing robes of red and white, his ritual attire mirrors the flowers blooming here on this sacred ground. 

The red rose we see represents our heart’s desires, the power of our subconsciousness, as well as the body.  It is our primal will, our emotions, feelings, instincts and drives.

The white lily, on the other hand, symbolizes our capacity to discern the truth, the power of our consciousness, as well as our mind. Where they bloom, so do reason, logic, truth, honesty and integrity.

Turning back towards the Magician, we see that he stands before a wooden table, upon which are inscribed various symbols and astrological glyphs. Upon this altar are set the tools of his craft:

A wooden wand, for the spiritual element of fire: that which is active, inspired, fast-moving, adventurous and expansive.

A golden cup, for the emotional element of water: that which is receptive, imaginative, peaceful, gentle and quiet.

A sword of steel, for the intellectual element of air: that which is logical, rational, discerning, and concerned with truth.

A brass pentacle, for the physical element of earth: that which is mundane, grounded, patient, stable and secure.

The magician now casts his circle, calling in the powers of the four directions, asking they be here with him now. 

He thanks the elemental forces for their power and their presence. Then with deliberate intention, the Magician holds a white wand up toward the heavens in his right hand, as he points down to the ground with his left. 

Fully grounded in his power, he connects the Above with the Below. With single-pointed attention, he repeats two words alone to himself as he works his magic. 

Solve: It is the death, decay, and destruction of the current form of being. Every death, every disintegration releases a powerful surge of energy. As the old form collapses, power is made available to be used for creation of something new. 

Coagula: The energy freed in death is transformed. Freed from its imprisonment in matter, it is now available to take on a new shape, to be reborn into new ways of being. 

The task of the Magician is to channel this powerful energy into what he desires to create. In this moment, he is between worlds. He is both passive and active at once. 

He passively receives inspiration and creative power from above. He actively directs what is received through his attention into the desired object or outcome. 

Like Thoth, the God of words, language, and magic, he exists at the crossroads. Similar to Hermes, the Magician acts as a mediator and messenger, communicating the will of spirit in the world of matter. 

The Magician Interpretation

When this card comes up, it often speaks to our capacity to make decisions and manifest change in our material world. It often indicates mastery, a certain level of skill and command of both our inner and outer resources.

This card is a symbol of mastery and controlled action, utilizing the force of one’s focused intent to cause a change in conformity with will.

The Magician also means acting as a channel for divine inspiration to flow through us into material reality. 

This card asks us to turn our attention to channeling our potential (in the form of ideas and inspirations) into something tangible, concrete and manifested in the physical world. 

It is a reminder that, with proper focus and intent, we can truly create magic in the world. 

5 of Wands | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

5 of Wands

Keywords for the Five of Wands

COMPETITIONCONFLICT
PLAYING GAMESMINOR SETBACKS
FIGHTINGIRRITATIONS
DISAGREEMENTSARGUMENTS
STRUGGLEFIERCE DEBATE

In the image on the card, we see a group of young men engaged in what appears to be a lively and playful battle game. Each of the five youths, armed with a wand of his own, has joined the fray and is enthusiastically wielding his baton in a spirited sparring match against his opponents.

Although it is clearly every man for himself here, their engagement with each other seems clearly to be more for the thrill of the fight. There seems to be little intent for physical harm. Above all, it is a fight that seeks instead to playfully show their skill in battle, to win out on top against their reasonably friendly opponents, and to develop their expertise and talent in battle.

Five of Wands Interpretation

When the 5 of Wands comes up, it can indicate challenges and some level of difficulty or interpersonal conflict.

In some cases, the conflict may very well be light-hearted and playful. In a similar vein, this card can indicate engaging in a lively and spirited discussion. We may be involved in a debate, a battle of ideas, a testing of arguments that is enlivening and intellectually invigorating.

On the other hand, this card can also signal a situation characterized by unhealthy competition. It may involve petty disagreements, lack of cooperation, and small but significantly irritating frustrations. 

The Five of Wands can symbolize feeling at odds with your environment, with days filled with minor setbacks that are not so harmful in the whole scheme of things, but which do serve as sources of profound annoyance and irritation.

While many might find themselves frustrated by the challenges represented by the 5 of Wands, there are some possessing a more competitive nature who might find the extra competition to be just the motivation they needed. 

Competition and rivalry are not always unhealthy. The powerful energies it unleashes can be the spark which lights a fire within us, one which burns intensely with a desire to succeed and win. 

When we see the 5 of Wands in a reading, we may wish to allow the powerful energy of this card to drive us to be our very best. It may not be easy, but we will often find that it has been worth it. 

Four of Wands | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

Four of Wands

Keywords for the Four of Wands

LIBERATIONCELEBRATION
FREEDOM HAVING FUN
OPTIMISMGOING TO A PARTY
JOYEXPRESSING GRATITUDE
EXCITEMENTENJOYING LIFE

It is a warm, early summer afternoon, one of those days where the sun seems to be smiling directly upon you, and you feel blessed to be alive. The sun, the season, the fruits, vegetables, and everything else under the glorious solar rays seem to be at full volume, completely ripe and ready to burst with life. A palpable sense of vitality permeates everything–all is graced by the golden touch of the sun.

In front of us stands a flowery canopy: four wands stand connected by a lush green garland of vines and leaves, decorated with the best of the season’s fruits and flowers, the crown gems of summer’s harvest on display.

Underneath this canopy, two women appear, raising lush bouquets of flowers towards the sky in a triumphant gesture of celebration. We can see other guests mingling behind them, all dressed in bright hues that express in vibrant tones their cheerful mood. The thrill of partaking in genuine and joyful communion with one another is palpable in the air.

Four of Wands Interpretation

When the 4 of Wands appears in a reading, it often signals a time of celebration, a time where we are free to rejoice and express our gratitude. We may have experienced difficulties in the past, but when this card appears, we can trust that the worst is over, and our freedom and liberation from restrictions is now assured.

At times, this card can quite literally signify a celebration: we may go to a dinner party, a festival, wedding or other social event. In simple terms, this card refers to having fun, to getting out and enjoying yourself fully and without reservations.

On a more general level, this card refers to celebration as an attitude of mind, an inner state of being characterized by a sense of optimism, happiness and joy. On that note, the appearance of the Four of Wands in a reading can more simply signify an attitude of enthusiasm, of faith in what the future holds for us.

It can also represent a spontaneous, open and free response to our current lived experiences, one where we feel free of restrictions, and unbound from any limitations. When the 4 of Wands appears, it signals that we are now free to go with the flow. We can feel grounded in the present moment, trusting in our capacity to react spontaneously, responding to whatever arises for us with a light touch and an open heart.

Three of Wands | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

Three of Wands

Keywords for the Three of Wands

REFLECTING ON THE PASTPLANNING FOR THE FUTURE
WISDOMHOPE
PRIOR ACCOMPLISHMENTSFUTURE GOALS
MEMORIESVISION
ACCEPTING LIFE EXPERIENCEEAGERNESS TO EXPLORE 

A man stands facing the sea, staring out at the ships passing in the warm glow of the late afternoon sun. He contemplates their movements, watching as the wind fills their sails, propelling them towards their future destinations. 

On his back, he wears a patchwork cloak, made up of all the experiences of his past, containing evidence of everything that has led him up to this point.

The majority of the cloak is made of bright red cloth. It symbolizes desire, which is the primary motivating force behind man’s destiny.

The green is representative of his creativity, the imagination he possesses that is generative and productive, and can find new and original solutions to his problems.

Finally, the black and yellow patch stands for his past difficulties. Here we see the pain, the losses, the suffering and even the traumas that he has survived on his way to this point. Notice the similarity of this cloth to the image on Key 16, the Tower; it carries similar meanings. 

All of these colors and their related experiences make up an essential part of who we are. It is important to keep each in mind, to integrate and maintain an awareness of them all as we move forward in life. Each is an important element adding to our experience, and we would be wise to become conscious of them. For it is often what is found behind us that creates the structure and habits of mind which become the perspective from which we see our future.

Three of Wands Interpretation

When the 3 of Wands comes up in a reading, it often means that we have arrived at a turning point in our lives. We stand at a crossroads, one where we have the opportunity to weigh our options and make plans for the future.

The 3 of Wands often asks us to take a step back from our daily routine and our normal, everyday concerns, and to seek a higher vantage point from which we might access greater clarity about where we now stand in relation to our goals and aspirations.

More than anything else, the Three of Wands speaks to our capacity to think ahead. It is concerned with our vision for the future. It is not simply a matter of looking ahead, however. This card is concerned with utilizing the knowledge and wisdom we have gained from past experience in order that we may put our best foot forward as we step into the future.

Two of Wands | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

Two of Cups

Keywords for the Two of Wands

AUTHORITYMAKING A CHOICE
INFLUENCESUCCESS
WORLDLY POWERRESPONSIBILITY
LEADERSHIP”VENI, VIDI, VICI”
COMMANDS RESPECTJADED

In the image on the card, we see a well-dressed man standing on a balcony, a man who clearly exudes an aura of power, authority, and success. His position high above the town in his castle, his expensive attire, royal purple robes, and confident stance make clear that he is someone who commands respect.

Gazing out at the territory stretching out in front of him, he holds a small globe in one hand, gripping a wand in the other. He seems to be deep in thought. He turns the globe over and over in his hand as he contemplates a decision to be made, weighing each choice carefully in his mind. 

Alternatively, he might be reflecting on his past, remembering the exploration and adventures of his youth, captivated by the memories of the battles won, success gained and victories had in days gone by.

Ask anyone on the street in the town below, and they would tell you that they envy this man, admire his accomplishments, and only wish that one day they might possess a fraction of his power, status, and wealth. 

But ask this man himself? Well, he might tell you a different story… You would hear how he is bored, restless, uninspired by this life of comfort and stability. You would know how trapped he feels, chained to the earth by the work of his own hand, ruled by his own extensive possessions. 

Even without a word, we can guess that likely feels trapped, even lost, without a goal to organize his efforts around. We can see this symbolized by the second wand, which stands to the right of its own accord, lacking a connection to life. It is held upright only by the metal shackle which binds it to the castle wall, making it unlikely to fall, yet also unable to be free.

Two of Wands Interpretation

When this card appears in a tarot reading, it can indicate the possession of great personal power, accomplishment, and success. It refers to the fruits of a brave and courageous soul, a heart that seeks the thrill of adventure and loves a good challenge, along with an original mind that knows how to make it all happen.

It can also refer to an ability to command respect, to act as an authoritative leader and influence others through the powerful force of his will and determination. The 2 of Wands may also reference a certain aura of “greatness” such a man (or woman) will naturally possess, along with the attention, admiration and influence inspired in those he comes into contact with. 

Another possibility expressed by the 2 of Wands is that of being at a turning point, of reaching a critical juncture where a decision must be made in order to move forward. It shows a person at a crossroads, carefully weighing each decision, preparing to take action.

Finally, this card may also indicate being possessed by a troubling sense of ennui, of listlessness, of feeling bored and uninspired by one’s current circumstances. The Two of Wands can appear when we are more focused on the thrill of the chase, This comes up in situations where we care only about conquering, and lose interest once the challenge has disappeared.

If this is the case, we may want to ask ourselves what we gain from being in constant pursuit of “the next best thing.” While this pattern may at times be very gratifying for the ego, if we persist we may find ourselves locked into a destructive pattern of dominance and aggression, which ultimately leaves us and others feeling empty and unfulfilled. 

Ace of Wands | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

Keywords for the Ace of Wands

INITIATIVESTRENGTH
PASSIONPOWER
ENTHUSIASMINSPIRATION
MOTIVATIONSELF-EXPRESSION
CONFIDENCESUCCESS

It is a bright summer day in the countryside. We see a castle on a hill set against a backdrop of purple mountains, while beneath it, a river rushes forward relentlessly towards its destination. 

High above in the sky, a hand emerges from a cloud, tightly gripping a tall wand. This phallic object exudes so much vitality that green leaves literally burst forth from the top in an exuberant display of primal life force energy.

Ace of Wands Interpretation

When this card comes up in a tarot reading, it likely indicates an auspicious new beginning for us. 

The fiery energy of the suit of Wands blesses us with its passion, vitality, and enthusiasm. When we see this card, we can trust that we have the confidence, motivation and strength to move out in the world and make things happen.

This card can also indicate the presence of other qualities associated with the element of Fire, such as creativity, originality, and inspired self-expression. When the Ace of Wands comes up in a reading, it is safe to say that we can believe in ourselves and our capacity to find inventive solutions to any challenges before us. 

The Ace of Wands is, above all, a card of enthusiasm, excitement and adventure. When this Ace comes up in a reading, it can inspire us to have faith in ourselves and move forward. With this attitude of self-assurance, we are free to embark on whatever adventure is calling out to us, and trust that we will be met with success. 

The Fool | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

Keywords for The Fool

INNOCENCEFOOLISH
OPTIMISMINEXPERIENCED
BOUNDLESS ENTHUSIASMDELUSIONAL
TAKING A CHANCEOUT OF TOUCH
INFINITE POSSIBILITIESMADNESS

It is a brilliant early summer day: the sky is clear, the sun is shining, and the earth seems to buzz with excitement and joy at the start of a new season. A young man bursts on the scene, singing a jolly tune as he goes along, happy as could be. A carefree youth, this wanderer has left the restrictive responsibilities of life in the town and set out by himself, determined to make his own way as he seeks out the adventure and excitement he just knows the world is sure to offer him.

A playful and high-spirited little dog trots alongside the youthful explorer, just as eager and enthusiastic about the joys that seem to await them somewhere just over the horizon.

However, there are dangers in the world that our innocent Fool is clearly unaware of. With his head in the clouds, he doesn’t seem to notice that he is standing at the cliff’s edge. Unfortunately, it seems he may have to learn the hard way (as most of us do) about the difficulties of life.

The Fool Interpretation

When this card comes up in a tarot reading, one interpretation is that we have literally been acting like a fool. We could be approaching our current circumstances with a brash attitude of careless disregard; we may be reckless in our behavior towards others and fail to consider the consequences for all involved.

However, there is another way in which we may behave foolishly, and that is simply through a lack of awareness. When this is the case, it is not due to a lack of care or concern, rooted instead in our innocence, a genuine naïveté that arises from our pure hearts and a sincere guilelessness. 

This is related to yet another interpretation available to us for the Fool, which involves a childlike sense of wonder, awe and joy. This card speaks of boundless optimism, of a zeal for life that expresses itself in a carefree and cheerful sense of enthusiasm. It refers to the ability to maintain a positive attitude and open mind, even in the face of challenging circumstances.

On a more esoteric level, the Fool is associated with the unmanifest, the part of the universe that is characterized by limitless potential, from which all that is in creation is drawn and to which it will ultimately return. 

Thus, this card can also signal the potential for new beginnings in our lives. At times, the Fool makes an appearance in order to encourage us to take a chance and start again. He asks us to throw caution to the wind and let the cards fall where they may. 

It is said that “fortune favors the bold,” and there is no one out there more bold than this daring, dashing Fool of the Major Arcana. In this context, the Fool could be encouraging us to act courageously, for it is true that “as a man thinketh, so is he.” Think positive and act with high hopes, and life may very well respond with the same approving generosity in return.

The Major Arcana

Most tarot decks in use today, including the Rider-Waite, contain a standard number of 78 cards, which is then split into two sections: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. 

The word “arcana” itself means “a deep or profound secret.” It is thought that each of these cards contains symbolic imagery revealing a powerful hidden meaning. These cards are meant to convey, through a pictorial language, the secret mysteries of the universe and our place within it. 

The Major Arcana contains 22 cards, numbered from 0 to 21, all of which go beyond the more common, quotidian concerns represented in the 56 cards of the Minor to touch on the archetypal dimensions of our spiritual development. 

Furthermore, we can look to the Major Arcana not simply as a set of 22 isolated archetypal ideas, but rather, as a mythic or heroic journey, one that each of us may choose to undertake as a route to greater self-knowledge and realization.

We can start by turning our attention to the first of these cards, The Fool. It is interesting to note that although this is the first of the series, it does not carry the numeral 1, but 0. 

As we will see in greater detail in our next post dedicated to this card, the Fool likely carries the number 0 because it is representative of pure potential. As a symbol of the unmanifest, the Fool contains all possibilities within himself.

In some sense, the Fool exists outside of the trajectory represented by cards 1 through 21 of the Major Arcana. We can even think of the Fool as being the hero of the Major Arcana’s series of transformations. For it is the Fool which takes a leap of faith, from a place of unrealized potential into a life of action and consequence. 

In fact, there are many commentators who have even called this series of 22 cards “The Fool’s Journey.” It is wise to keep in mind, however, that this is not merely a story about the Tarot’s naive protagonist. It is not the tale of a character in a land far from us; it is in fact our story, describing a journey each of us must go on as individuals on our way to greater awareness and self-actualization.

We all start out like the Fool, inexperienced and filled with boundless optimism, dazzled by the seemingly infinite options which glitter like stars on the horizons of our futures. 

Each of us, like the Fool, takes a similar leap of faith into what is to come. As we move forward in time, each of us makes choices, acting on decisions that lead us through certain doors, decisions which simultaneously will close certain others.

Some sources, such as modern mystery school Builders of the Adytum and noted author Rachel Pollack, divide the Major Arcana into three distinct series containing seven cards each. Each series of seven represents three distinct stages or levels of experience and development: the conscious, the subconscious, and the superconscious.

Cards 1 through 7 describe our journey through the first stage of our conscious development. This first set of seven depicts the archetypal influences and developmental milestones we must master and achieve in order to be effective in the outer world of material achievement.

In the next set, cards 8 through 14 represent a turning inwards, where we must come face to face with elements of our subconscious minds and integrate them into our being to achieve further wholeness. We come into contact with what has as of yet remained latent beneath the surface of our daily experience. 

“True, whoever looks into the mirror of the water will see first of all his own face. Whoever goes to himself risks a confrontation with himself….

The meeting with oneself is, at first, the meeting with one’s own shadow. The shadow is a tight passage, a narrow door, whose painful constriction no one is spared who goes down to the deep well. For what comes after the door is, surprisingly enough, a boundless expanse full of unprecedented uncertainty….

It is the world of water, where all life floats in suspension; where the realm of the sympathetic system, the soul of everything living, begins….

All those who have had an experience like that mentioned in the dream know that the treasure lies in the depths of the water and will try to salvage it.” — from C.G. Jung CW 9

Here, we must face the primal, chaotic life energies that constitute our subconsciousness. This experience can be deeply shocking and even terrifying, especially for a culture as unprepared to deal with these deep and powerful currents of psychic energy as the hyper-rational, patriarchal capitalist culture of today.

Finally, the last set of cards numbered 15 through 21 show the development of what both B.O.T.A. and Pollack describe as “superconsciousness”, or what some might call the transpersonal level of psyche. This level transcends the purely personal experience to encompass a union with the spiritual, universal and archetypal level of existence. In this stage, we move beyond our personal, individual life stories and connect with the mystery of the infinite, that which is greater than ourselves.

“We know that the mask of the unconscious is not rigid–it reflects the face we turn towards it. Hostility lends it a threatening aspect, friendliness softens its features.”

–from C.G. Jung CW 12

It is here where we come into contact with what we might call cosmic consciousness. This is a level of development reserved to those who are brave and willing enough to take a leap of faith into the vast unknown.


It is interesting to note that the great majority of the human figures represented in these 22 cards are displayed in static, unmoving positions, almost as if they were posing for a portrait.

Only two cards portray figures in movement: Key 0, the Fool, and Key 21, the World.

This is likely meant to suggest a certain similarity between what is represented by the Fool and the World. Indeed, we find that the symbolic imagery represented in the World portrays our experience when we find that we have successfully traversed the various tests, challenges, and opportunities for growth shown in each of the previous cards of the Major Arcana.

Having integrated all of these lessons, we arrive at the World, liberated from our previous patterns, our illusions, and our limitations. We have freed ourselves from any inner restrictions and defense mechanisms, much of which had arisen as attempts to protect our ego from the incursions of a seemingly dangerous outer world. 

When this happens, we find ourselves once again in a state of pure openness to the world, where we can experience a true receptivity and responsiveness to our experience as it arises moment-by-moment. 

This is a state very similar to that of the Fool. Once again, we find that we are open to the fullness and totality of the world around us, at one with our environment and all that is. We have come full circle to once again embody pure potential and limitless possibility. 

However, this state is in many ways much more powerful. Arriving at the World, we have gained the capacity to combine the wisdom of experience with a child-like sense of wonder, awe and joy. We are able to move beyond dualistic concepts and achieve union with what is beyond ourselves. 

The purpose of this transcendent spiritual union with the Divine is not to escape our material and embodied physical existence, but to transform it. We are meant to use our higher spiritual consciousness in service of the mundane.

In true alchemical fashion, the purpose of this spiritual ascension is to bring what is gained above back down to perfect the world below. 

“It rises from the Earth to Heaven, and descends again to Earth,

Thereby combining within it the powers of both the Above and the Below.”

–The Emerald Table

As we have seen, Major Arcana of the Tarot provides a profound symbolic representation of the soul’s journey from innocence to awareness. Although the Tarot is indeed a dynamic and powerful tool for divination, it is far more than that. The Tarot contains a profound message of transformation and redemption for those who have eyes to see it. We can use it as a tool for study, for quiet reflection, or for meditation on the archetypal principles underlying each of these 22 cards. If we can bring an attitude of intention, openness and receptivity to our work with these cards, the Tarot can be one of our best guides on the often labyrinthine journey of return to our highest selves.

Image from Carl Jung’s “Red Book

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

–Rumi