I would like to preface this list with a couple of major points for all the beginners.
#1. I know this seems overwhelming – but you do not have to memorize these all in one day or memorize them at all (although it does connect you to the cards more if you have the meanings memorized). I would suggest this tip from Durgadas Allon Duriel:
#2 There are many many different ways to interpret the cards, these interpretations are *simplified* versions of what I have learned through out the years.
#3 Most Tarot decks come with a “Little White Book” or a book that has all of the meanings in it. That is also a good place to start studying. But this is simplified as I have found those difficult to understand in the past.
#4 If you would like this printed you can print it out here!
**Note: All of the pictures are credited in their caption and link to the artist Instagram or web page. If you are looking for a deck to start I highly recommend taking a look at these beautiful decks!**
The Major Arcana
0: The Fool: This is the card of the beginner – indication that you are willing to learn. (Reversed): This is what you would think of when you think fool now, quick to follow slow to think.
1: The Magician: The card of the master – symbolizes someone who has the knowledge to reach goals (Reversed): This is an indication of someone deceptive.
2: The High Priestess: Intuition is a big theme with the High Priestess (Reversed): This card reminds you that you may not be listening to your intuition or something is making you question your gut feelings
3: The Empress: The Empress signifies fertility and productivity (Reversed): This card is reminding you to care for yourself and your natural resources
4: The Emperor: This card is about authority. It is about responsibility and organization (Reversed): This card shows that you may not be fulfilling your duties as a leader.
5: The High Priest (Pope or Hierophant): This card is a card of tradition, family, and religion. It represents a teacher of some sort passing values to the next generation. (Reversed): This card often appears when you are following tradition/religion blindly without regard to the changing world.
6: The Lovers: This card has to do with making a choice that has a large impact on your life (romantically or not) (Reversed): This is showing that you have not weighed the consequences of a decision
7: The Chariot: Make sure that you are moving with intention. (Reversed): This card often indicates that you are letting outside forces take over your life’s direction
8: Strength: This card is about bravery and an upcoming situation where your courage will be needed. (Reversed): You have gone overboard with strength and have come off aggressive
9: The Hermit: The introvert’s card. This card signifies that you should have some time to yourself. (Reversed): It is time for a mental vacation. Too much work and hustle can make you lose sight of your goals.
10: The Wheel of Fortune: Enjoy what you have and do not be ungrateful (Reversed): Make sure that you are prepared when fortune does not stay
11: Justice: Trust the impartial decisions of the universe (Reversed): This is the card of injustice. You should evaluate yourself to make sure that you have been honest and fair.
12: The Hanged Man: It is time to look at things from another point of view (Reversed): You may be looking at things through your own warped lens. Try and see them clearly.
13: Death: This card signifies a transition period. The symbolic “death” of one time in your life followed by a new beginning (Reversed): You may be holding onto some part of your life that is holding you back from moving forward.
14: Temperance: You need to acknowledge that you have different facets and they may oppose each other. (Reversed): You are feeling unbalanced – extremes are tempting but will just polarize you more
15: The Devil: It is okay to peruse pleasure in moderation (Reversed): You have lost sight of what is important while perusing temporary pleasure
16: The Tower: This warns that if you do not reevaluate your life’s path, the universe will force you to. It is often a good idea to take this card seriously and really think about what it is telling you in relation to your spread. (Reversed): Something bad has already happened and you need to grow from it. Dwelling on what happened will not help you grow.
17: The Star: Think of this card as a guide (like using the north star to guide) it offers comfort in the rebuild or being found when you feel lost. (Reversed): Make sure that you are seeing your situation and possible outcomes clearly. It does not help to have high expectations if they are not something that you can reach.
18: The Moon: You only have partial information and only time will let the other information reveal itself. (Reversed): Confusion is soon to be cleared as more information is going to become available to you.
19: The Sun: This is a time of success and abundance when all the hard work pays off. (Reversed): This should be a time of happiness, do not let pride interfere with that.
20: Judgment: This is a time of rebirth and new beginnings (Reversed): Warns that you may be ignoring something that will be life-changing and move your goals forward.
21: The World: This is showing a time of completion – projects that you have been working on are finishing up and you are returning to a start of a new project. (Reversed): Completion of your project has come to a halt because of unrealistic goals. Reassess and set reachable goals.
Ace: The Beginning can mean within a project, career, or a birth (Reversed): A project or goal is proving hard to begin.
Two: You are at a crossroad where either path you take you will have to give something up (Reversed): There is a happy surprise coming your way.
Three: This is encouraging you to expand your ventures (Reversed): Re-evaluate your plans and see what is holding you back from starting them.
Four: Your foundation for your goals has been set, keep moving forward (Reversed): There will be an interruption to your progress moving forward.
Five: This is a card that encourages competition and your competitive side. (Reversed): This is showing that your adversaries may ambush or attack you soon.
Six: A card of rewards and accomplishments (Reversed): You must rely on the goodwill and niceness of others.
Seven: This is the card of standing your ground – do not be a pushover (Reversed): This warns against being too timid to stand up for your beliefs.
Eight: You need to think on your feet and make a decision (Reversed): Do not rush, take your time on your projects.
Nine: You may fall down, but you need to get back up (Reversed): You may not be up to the challenge presented to you, take a step back to see if you are working at a disadvantage.
Ten: Your success is heavy – delegate where you can. (Reversed): Your refusal to delegate is going to bite you in the ass and colleges/friends may take advantage that you do not ask for help.
Page: Represents the want for adventure and new challenges (Reversed): Be aware of strangers and new people in your circle, and do not work off impulses.
Knight: This is a time of newness and action. Be ready for excitement and surprises at this time. (Reversed): The impulses of new travel or adventures may leave your responsibilities stranded.
Queen: Lean on your nurturing side while not losing your independence. (Reversed): Do not be too prideful or overbearing in projects at hand.
King: Authority and leadership are needed right now. (Reversed): Being egotistical will not make people want to work for you or with you.
Ace: Emotional beginning (new relationship or creative project). (Reversed): Loneliness may be arising due to delay in beginning a new relationship.
Two: A personal relationship is getting stronger. (Reversed): Difficulty in a personal relationship.
Three: There is a time of celebration among friends coming up. (Reversed): Too much celebration is leading to becoming irritated (with friends or the situation).
Four: This card signifies a mental block – you may be ‘stuck in a rut’. (Reversed): New things are entering into your life. Trust your intuition.
Five: There is a disappointment that needs to be addressed. (Reversed): It is time to gain a new outlook on life.
Six: Old pleasant relationships will be revitalized. (Reversed): Take pleasure in memories as the present may not be easy to be in.
Seven: Daydreams can cause confusion and waste times that could be spent on goals. (Reversed): Daydreams are important, but you must make real goals and live in the moment.
Eight: You may be looking for an ‘upgrade’ in life (relationships or projects). (Reversed): Take a second to think about what you would be abandoning for this ‘upgrade’.
Nine: This is a time of fulfillment and time to celebrate with friends. (Reversed): This is a card warning against an obsession with material goods and wants.
Ten: This is a time that healing is done – fulfillment is here, enjoy it while you can. (Reversed): This card represents brokenness in the home – tension and fighting may be happening.
Page: There is a new life entering into your social circle. (Reversed): Dependency can be a crutch be careful not to let people rely too heavily where they are no longer growing independent.
Knight: This knight is here to sweep you off your feet as he brings new and fiery romance. (Reversed): Be wary about charmers and what they are hiding.
Queen: Emotional intelligence is important for the problem at hand. (Reversed): Do not let empathy for others overtake your other emotions.
King: It may be time to turn to an expert that can offer sensible and wise advice. (Reversed): Be careful of the manipulator or someone looking to exploit you.
Ace: This is time to focus the mind and face new challenges with a clear mind and with a thoughtful disposition. (Reversed): A warning to not fight (physically or emotionally) as it will not be to your advantage.
Two: This is a time of peace making with friends or adversaries. Find a balance between opinions. (Reversed): You are having a hard time trusting yourself as you have not been entirely honest leading to feeling out of balance.
Three: “Being cut off” This is a card of separation for relationships. Often associated with heartbreak. (Reversed): It is time to let yourself mourn and move on. Holding onto grief only anchors you to the sadness.
Four: You need to take time disconnected from others to recharge. (Reversed): You may be feeling isolated, but assess the situation to see if it is self-imposed.
Five: This shows the emotion between the winner and the loser. It warns to be a ‘good sport’ and take into consideration the feelings of your competitors (Reversed): Do not wallow in your own loss for too long, it is time to get up and move on.
Six: You may be or you may be relying on a guide to guide you away from trouble – trust in this person is important. (Reversed): There is something blocking you from escaping troubling times.
Seven: This is time for planning and not time for action. (Reversed): Make sure that you are protecting yourself from deceit.
Eight: The feeling of being trapped on in a standstill. (Reversed): If you are feeling trapped, it may be of your own doing – look at your situation and try to find a way forward.
Nine: This is a time of mental unrest – you may be worried or letting anxiety get the best of you. (Reversed): You are avoiding what scares you, but that does no good to resolve the issue at hand.
Ten: You have hit rock bottom- your problems have come to climax, and you can only move up from here. (Reversed): Negative thoughts and toxic people are keeping you from moving forward
Page: This card represents a young but logical mind. (Reversed): A sharp mind that is manipulative and uses many relationships to their advantage.
Knight: Move now to protect you and your circle. Make quick and clear decisions and act upon them. (Reversed): Do not let impulse take over and make sure to think clearly before acting.
Queen: This may be a time of sorrow, but it is important to be smart and not let yourself be taken advantage of. (Reversed): At this time of sorrow, do not lash out at those around you.
King: This card represents clear and decisive action from an authority figure. (Reversed): A leader may be using their authority to cause harm or fear in others.
Ace: New wealth is on its way. (Reversed): You need to adjust the way that you approach money.
Two: You are balancing two responsibilities (often work and family). You are doing okay, and stability is on its way. (Reversed): You have too much in the works and are not balancing it all. It may be time to let go of a project or responsibility.
Three: A good collaboration is coming your way – this will highlight your talents. (Reversed): This card warns against not pulling your own weight when working with others.
Four: Now is the time to financially plan for future endeavors. (Reversed): Materialism is standing in your way of having meaningful relationships.
Five: Trouble for relationships based on money is afoot, but the relationship can with stand that. (Reversed): Relationships are put into rocky waters when real problems arise (money or health).
Six: This is the card of financial security – express generosity if you can. (Reversed): This card warns to reassess the way that your money is being spent as it may be unfairly.
Seven: You have reached a good midpoint to plan your next financial move. (Reversed): If you are wondering what your next move should be it is time to consult an expert.
Eight: Remember that you have to give investments time to grow and that you have to put in work to get what you want out of it. (Reversed): This card warns against being lazy with the time that you are putting into your work.
Nine: When this card arises be prepared for your hard work to pay off. (Reversed): Someone on your team has not upheld their responsibilities and it is time to abandon or reassess this project.
Ten: Your hard work is paying off and you can take care of those around you. (Reversed): There is an issue within the family based on money.
Page: News of forward movement is on its way. (Reversed): The news that you are receiving is not what you want to hear.
Knight: This is someone who works hard, but in return does not have much time to spend elsewhere. (Reversed): This represents lack of motivation in work and relationships.
Queen: You must take care of what you have been given (your body and material). (Reversed): A warning that you have not been taking proper care of yourself.
King: This card shows the potential to take leadership in a new project and that you should strive for success. (Reversed): A warning against greed and acting from a place of insecurity.