Life often seems so random and crazy, wouldn’t it be helpful to have a map to help guide us?

The 22 cards within the tarot deck known as the major arcana represent the fundamental forces of life. They are the greater secrets, the keys of profound knowledge, the very essence of tarot. They are pictures of what Carl Jung described as archetypes: universal symbols experienced within the inner world of consciousness and the outer world of the life experience, by everyone. These figures likely feel somehow mysterious and familiar at the same time. That’s because they exist deep inside you, hardwired into your psyche’s circuitry.

The major arcana are the tarot’s “trump” cards – a word that comes from “triumph” – because understanding these life forces empowers us to live life triumphantly! Their names activate the imagination and inspire us to discover more about them. Examples include The Magician, The High Priestess, The Lovers, The Wheel of Fortune, Death, The Tower, and The World. Who are these characters, and what are these forces? And what do they have to teach us?

By learning the major arcana, we activate the soul-level, mythic world that exists within ourselves. Integrating these powerful forces empowers us to live life guided by the timeless, divine wisdom that we possess from birth. When appreciated as a whole, these 22 cards reveal a map of the life journey for fulfilling our personal destiny.

(Note: All images Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, available in many versions from US Games)


Off you go, ready to start a new adventure! This is the card of fresh beginnings, pure potential, and being filled with optimism. The number for this card is 0 because it is indicative of purity, freedom, and infinite possibility.

The Fool is like a child, filled with enthusiasm, without planning or consideration. Imagine yourself as the Fool: you’re the mischievous id, caring little about consequences. You’re not worried because you’re sure things will work out fine. You are both brave and reckless in equal measure.

As the Fool, you don’t take things seriously and won’t be weighed down with responsibility. That makes you lots of fun but also unreliable and unpredictable. The Fool won’t be reined in by society’s rules. Be here now; embrace the possibilities!

The Fool’s Essence:

  • The call to adventure
  • New beginnings; boundless potential
  • Optimistic, brave and adventurous
  • Purity and freedom; being in the moment
  • Childlike fun and enthusiasm; embracing life

The Fool’s Shadow:

  • Nothing accomplished or learned
  • Lack of responsibility, maturity, or purpose
  • Reckless and foolish


Potential, Beginnings, Optimism, Adventurous, Foolish, Childlike, Purity, Freedom, Possibilities, Whimsy, Anarchy, Immaturity, Unpredictability

Astrological Correspondence: Uranus and Elemental Air


The Magician is the principle of action. No more fooling around, it’s time to create what you desire. The number “1” symbolizes both unity and beginnings. The Magician’s consciousness and focus are unified toward manifesting something real in this world.

The Magician is a channel for divine energy. Life force flows through them, which they direct toward creating something tangible. We may associate magicians as mere illusionists, but the tarot’s Magician is the real deal. They are a master of consciousness, talent, and communication.

They skillfully utilize their tools, symbolized by the four classic elements: will (fire), thoughts (air), emotions (water), and manifesting power (earth). With their energy directed outward we may see them as the archetypal masculine, or animus. They show us anything is possible with desire, focus, and will.

The Magician’s Essence:

  • Life force put into action
  • Talented and skilled
  • Sharp focus and powerful will
  • Mastery of personal elemental forces
  • Astute ability to communicate with conviction

The Magician’s Shadow:

  • Too much energy and out of control
  • Overconfident or overambitious
  • Misuse or lack of talent, focus, and will


Action, Power, Energy, Confidence, Skill, Focus, Talent, Will, Creativity, Precision, Mastery, Desire, Communication, Consciousness, Yang, Animus

Astrological Correspondence: Mercury


The High Priestess is the sacred feminine principle, or anima. She has access to the source of secret truth buried deep within us all. This source resides in the recesses of our subconscious. In her purity and passivity, the mysterious Priestess possesses spiritual knowledge.

She embodies stillness, is withdrawn from the outer world, and a guardian of the inner light. The truth she possesses doesn’t make logical sense; it can hardly be put into words. Rather, it is understood through feelings, myths, archetypes, and dreams. With third eye open, she merges dualities. She is a psychic, a mystic, and oracle.

Go within and trust that deep truth may be revealed if you are ready. Quiet your mind through meditation, open your intuition fully, and higher knowledge may be revealed from within your own essence.

The High Priestess’ Essence:

  • Access to deep knowledge within
  • Stillness of mind, spiritual wisdom
  • Mysterious, psychic, clairvoyant
  • Merging of dualities
  • Guardian of the inner sacred mysteries

The High Priestess’ Shadow:

  • Withdrawn from society; fearful of others
  • Irrational, divorced from reality
  • Obsession with sacred secrets she possesses


Intuition, Inner Wisdom, Subconscious, Secrets, Mystery, Stillness, Dreams, Duality, Perception, Meditation, Purity, Psychic, Passivity, Irrational, Yin, Anima

Astrological Correspondence: The Moon


Loving, caring, and deeply connected to herself and others, The Empress is the archetypal mother. She is nurturing, passionate, and highly creative. She is the personification of life itself, like Gaia, Aphrodite, and Mother Nature.

In contrast to the purity of The High Priestess, The Empress represents worldly femininity. As card #3, she represents the integration of 1 and 2. She is the union of the Magician’s power and the Priestess’s intuitive wisdom, which makes her a creative force, brimming with vitality. She gives birth to life, literally and with the artistic creations born from deep within her essence.

As the Empress, we are comfortable in our own skin. We celebrate our bodies, our senses, sexuality, and life itself. In alignment with both the nature of ourselves and all life on Earth, we authentically express who we are.

The Empress’s Essence:

  • Nurturing and caring toward others and ourselves
  • Love for children, animals, and nature
  • Wellspring of creative flow
  • Full of life and vitality
  • Sensual and in harmony with self and the world

The Empress’s Shadow:

  • Self-indulgence or excess
  • Smothering or controlling
  • Overly guided by emotion, not rational


Fertility, Creativity, Vitality, Love, Abundance, Pleasure, Prosperity, Harmony, Beauty, Motherhood, Sensuality, Nurturing, Femininity, Eros

Astrological Correspondence: Venus


As the name implies, The Emperor rules. He is the world-builder and authority figure. His power comes through sound judgment and leadership ability. The number 4 symbolizes structure and durability.

The Emperor’s primary traits include courage, discipline, being organized, and thinking rationally. He confidently builds and enforces rules and structures. Where the Empress was mother and Eros, the Emperor is father and Logos. He is the masculine deep within all of us, both men and women alike.

As the Emperor you have the power and strength to uphold old structures or tear them down and build new ones. Your leadership can be benevolent or cruel; flexible or inflexible. As this archetype you may be a source of modest strength, trusted leadership, and respected authority. Or you may be coercive, arrogant, and rigid.

The Emperor’s Essence:

  • Powerful and trusted leader
  • Strong authoritative father figure
  • Creates and enforces laws and order
  • Assertive, courageous, and tough
  • Disciplined, organized, and rational

The Emperor’s Shadow:

  • Overly logical and devoid of feeling or mercy
  • Rigid adherence to outdated rules and laws
  • Coercive, prideful, and arrogant


Leadership, Authority, Law & Order, Structure, Assertiveness, Control, Rules, Discipline, Rational, Serious, Father Figure, Masculinity, Logos

Astrological Correspondence: Aries


The term Hierophant comes from the Greek words for “sacred revealer”. This archetype is the authority on spiritual doctrines and rites. It is the principle of faith and the methods for unlocking the keys to the divine.

This card may represent a priest or other religious expert whose mission it is to share spiritual wisdom with others. His devoted students are initiated into traditions and conform to the rules. In a sense all knowledge is spiritual, so this card can be applied more broadly to the concepts of teaching and learning.

The Hierophant is a counterpoint to the High Priestess. In some early decks these two cards were known respectively as the Pope and Popess. Hers is the internal experience of the sacred; his is the codification of that experience into teachable custom or dogma.

The Hierophant’s Essence:

  • Religious customs and teachings
  • Commonly held traditions and values
  • Spiritual guidance from trusted authorities or yourself
  • Morals that bind society together
  • Principles of teaching and learning

The Hierophant’s Shadow:

  • Old-fashioned, overly dogmatic customs
  • Rigid conformity; not thinking for oneself
  • Religion as substitute for spirituality


Religion, Spirituality, Tradition, Teaching, Learning, Dogma, Faith, Mentorship, Ceremony, Values, Guidance, Study, Initiation, Counsel, Obedience, Elders

Astrological Correspondence: Taurus


The Lovers is the card of union. Two people who give themselves to each other create something beautiful; each are made better by the special relationship they create together. Our relationships help us complete some part of ourselves, whether with a romantic partner, friendship, or other blending of energies.

The Lovers also relates to the relationship we have within ourselves. This card traditionally features a woman and man, representing the sacred feminine and masculine we all possess within. With these forces in harmony we become integrated and whole; we are greater than the sum of our separate parts.

Another primary theme of this card is choice. How do we choose our relationships and why do we stay in them? This card invites us to consider what we’re looking for within ourselves when we choose to commingle with another.

The Lovers’ Essence:

  • Passion, romance, and desire for another
  • The special someone that completes us
  • Integration of opposites within ourselves
  • Personal growth through a committed relationship
  • Chemistry between lovers, friends or partners

The Lovers’ Shadow:

  • Feeling incomplete without the right other
  • Lack of integration within ourselves
  • Unhealthy relationship or temptations


Union, Love, Attraction, Integration, Choice, Commitment, Desire, Relationships, Sexuality, Temptation, Romance, Partnership, Self-Love, Infidelity

Astrological Correspondence: Gemini


The Chariot charges ahead with the force of willpower. No holding back, this card suggests victory and glory, like those who rode chariots in ancient Rome. It’s time to move forward with confidence, determination, and discipline. The Chariot is the master of his ego and goes forth boldly.

As the Chariot, we know who we are and what we want. We are not deterred by setbacks and build momentum through steady progress. Watch that you don’t lose control, however; arrogance or overconfidence can cause our Chariot’s wheels to come off.

The Chariot is pulled by opposing forces in balance: thoughts and emotions; conscious desires and subconscious fears. When we are at peace within ourselves, we overcome fears and obstacles that would otherwise hold us back. As the Chariot you take the reins of life and direct it where you want to go.

The Chariot’s Essence:

  • The willpower and drive to be successful
  • Forward progress and momentum
  • Confidence to make your way in the world
  • Knowing and balancing your strengths and weaknesses
  • The glory of victory and accomplishment

The Chariot’s Shadow:

  • Plowing ahead recklessly and out of control
  • Wanting victory or fame at all costs
  • Arrogance; too much ego


Willpower, Confidence, Progress, Momentum, Success, Control, Determination, Victory, Ambition, Assertiveness, Perseverance, Direction, Arrogance

Astrological Correspondence: Cancer


The Strength card relates to the instinctive, animal side of our natures. This intrinsic part of us can be a source of true strength, love, and compassion. Without mindful awareness, however, it may be a hidden source of fear, anger, and impulsive behavior.

The Strength card often displays an angelic figure taming a beast, commonly a lion. This imagery represents the dichotomy between our animal nature and our evolved human reason. Becoming whole means making peace and integrating these two sides of our being.

With courage, humility, and compassion toward ourselves, we may integrate the animal side of ourselves and gain the great power of love within. The Chariot was essentially the force of ego and willpower, but this card invites us to see that true strength comes from a deeper place inside us, within our essential nature.

Strength’s Essence:

  • Embracing the full nature of ourselves
  • Self-awareness and self-control
  • True strength from humility and self-love
  • Compassion toward ourselves and others
  • Harnessing the power of love from within

Strength’s Shadow:

  • Refusal to acknowledge our impulses
  • Weakness and pessimism
  • Being controlled by fear, anger, and urges


Strength, Self-Awareness, Self-Control, Self-Love, Courage, Compassion, Impulse, Patience, Power, Wellbeing, Instinct, Serenity, Inner Conflict, Composure

Astrological Correspondence: Leo


The Hermit has withdrawn from society to discover and live by their personal truth. They walk the lonely reflective path, on a never-ending quest for inner wisdom. This card often displays a wise old man on a mountaintop, signifying higher knowledge gained from introspection, solitude and maturity.

The Hermit may also be a person in your life who helps you gain enlightenment. They are the humble man or woman who serves as wise sage, helpful guide, advisor, or therapist. They live true to themselves and help you do the same.

To be the Hermit, you don’t need to discard your entire life and live in the woods. Take quality time away in nature, go on a retreat or sabbatical. Remove yourself from distractions that separate you from your inner truth. The Hermit invites you to search within and live your life by what you discover there and share it with others.

The Hermit’s Essence:

  • Living true to the highest authority: yourself
  • Looking within for life’s answers
  • Commitment to inner truth and wisdom
  • Withdrawal from the distractions of society
  • Serve others to gain enlightenment

The Hermit’s Shadow:

  • Difficulty adapting to society
  • Fear or paranoia of society and people
  • Feeling superior to those who live by society’s rules


Withdrawal, Solitude, Inner Truth, Introspection, Wisdom, Sage, Guide, Integrity, Quest, Seeking, Service, Silence, Enlightenment, Retreat, Humility

Astrological Correspondence: Virgo


The Wheel is the card of time and fate. Today we may win the lottery, and tomorrow perhaps suffer a horrible accident. What great forces control our destiny? Beyond our understanding, all of life’s ups and downs serve some mysterious karmic purpose.

The Wheel encourages us to consider the nature of luck and our part in it. Within each chapter of our lives – be it every year, month, or even day – there are opportunities to turn things in our favor, if the timing is right and we are ready.

The Wheel of life is constantly turning, and we might look to the nature of a wheel for guidance. The edges of a wheel experience the most movement, but the center is still. The ego-self – along the edge – struggles with an excess of change. But deep within our essence, change is understood with calm and greater perspective.

The Wheel of Fortune’s Essence:

  • The mysterious nature of fate and destiny
  • Luck and the role we may play in making it
  • Humility gained through the experience of living
  • The cycles of time and chapters of life
  • Everything in life serves its soul-level purpose

The Wheel of Fortune’s Shadow:

  • A streak of bad luck or an unfortunate event
  • Lacking awareness of the role we play in our own fortune
  • Not taking advantage of opportunity


Fate, Destiny, Luck, Timing, Cycles, Fortune, Turning Point, Chance, Opportunity, Karma, Prosperity, Time, Providence, Possibilities, Divine Will

Astrological Correspondence: Jupiter


Justice is commonly understood as the consequences of actions. Our choices are our own, and we live with the results of those choices, good and bad. As Justice relates to accountability, this card suggests we ultimately get what we deserve.

The Justice archetype invites us to see our lives currently as a result of past actions. We are then empowered to make adjustments to change our future. With an honest and objective perspective of ourselves, we learn valuable lessons from living our lives. Balance is always restored: right action is rewarded, and misdeeds are punished, at least eventually.

This card looks like the Emperor, but Justice is about more than the cold enforcement of the law. The feminine figure and scales suggest true justice includes considerations of compassion, mercy, and the human values of the heart.

Justice’s Essence:

  • Free will to choose our actions
  • Understanding our past to create the future
  • Fair, honest, and objective decision making
  • Cause and effect
  • Legal or cosmic justice is balanced

Justice’s Shadow:

  • Suffering the harsh consequences of a bad decision
  • Unfair rules or treatment under the law
  • Not learning from the consequences of our actions


Justice, Balance, Decisions, Fairness, Law, Objectivity, Accountability, Truth, Honesty, Adjustment, Responsibility, Lessons, Consequences

Astrological Correspondence: Libra


We all go through difficult periods of life when we’ve reached a dead-end, and nothing we try seems to work. We struggle and suffer through a painful and frustrating situation. We are The Hanged Man: powerless, paralyzed, and vulnerable.

This card suggests the most difficult trials in life teach us the greatest wisdom. They turn us on our heads, so that we gain new perspective. But the wisdom is not gained automatically or quickly. We must give up the fight and humbly accept what is happening. The truth will set us free, but only when we’re willing to see it.

The mysterious Hanged Man is sometimes regarded as the most genuinely spiritual of the deck because it represents a soul-level test of life. The paradox of this card is that we move forward by relenting. Deep peace and transcendence come with surrender.

The Hanged Man’s Essence:

  • Learning soul-level lessons of life
  • Transcendence through struggle and acceptance
  • Surrender to the truth of life and ourselves
  • Giving up a fight we can’t win
  • Gaining a new perspective

The Hanged Man’s Shadow:

  • Feeling stuck with no way forward
  • Fighting a situation with frustrating results
  • Ego not allowing us to see the truth


Struggle, Powerlessness, Surrender, Acceptance, Transcendence, Suffering, Perspective, Sacrifice, Delay, Earned Wisdom, Setback, Paradox, Insight

Astrological Correspondence: Neptune and Elemental Water


Death is a metamorphosis, a profound change into new being. When we experience symbolic death during our lives, we are reborn when we face the fear of letting go.

Death is the #13 card, often considered a number of bad luck in Western culture. This attitude is reflective of the fears people commonly have of change. Like the Moon, which has 13 phases in a calendar year, each death brings new life. Because one cycle ends, the next one begins.

This card symbolizes both an end and a fresh new beginning. The Hanged Man taught us to accept and surrender; now we may let go. Once we do, rebirth transforms us. Whether it is a relationship, attitude, or old habits, the Death card invites you to bring closure by honoring what has been to make way for what is ready to be born.

Death’s Essence:

  • The end of a phase of life
  • Letting go of old ways of being
  • Personal rebirth
  • A new chapter of life; fresh start
  • Paying tribute and letting go

Death’s Shadow:

  • Fear of change
  • Clinging to old ways of being
  • Lacking closure, unable to move on from the past


Change, Endings, Rebirth, Transformation, Letting Go, Metamorphosis, Regeneration, Renewal, Cleansing, Closure, Release, Purification, Death

Astrological Correspondence: Scorpio


The Temperance archetype is living by virtue, moderation, and integrity. We have conscious awareness of our thoughts and feelings and act mindfully and wisely.

This card often shows an angel mixing two cups, with one foot on land and another in water. The angel represents the Higher Self, blending and healing subconscious impulses with conscious awareness. The disparate parts of our lives become one as we live with inner harmony. As that angel, this card invites us to act with inner awareness and purpose and not from mindless habit.

Many people live largely in a constant state of mental busyness, lacking deep peace. Their behavior swings from one extreme to the next with frustrating results. The Middle Way is the life in balance. With Temperance, we are invited to be patient, calm, and act aligned with our truer, wiser selves.

Temperance’s Essence:

  • Living life mindfully and harmoniously
  • Integration; blending and healing within
  • The Middle Way of purposeful action
  • Patience, moderation, calm
  • A period of conscious inaction

The Temperance’s Shadow:

  • Acting out of mindless habit or by extremes
  • Struggling to find inner peace
  • The painful process of gaining understanding


Moderation, Patience, Compromise, Healing, Virtue, Harmony, Recovery, Mindfulness, Alchemy, Understanding, Equanimity, Balance, Middle Way

Astrological Correspondence: Sagittarius


The Devil represents our repressed dark side. Fears and weaknesses lead to the evils associated with this archetype: ignorance, addiction, obsession, intolerance, materialism, and greed.

The Devil may be understood as the Shadow Self that resists being seen to protect our self-image. Until we recognize our hidden fears and insecurities, they will be projected out into the world around us. The devils we encounter in life may be recognized as the deep inner fears we struggle to face within ourselves.

This card appears as the opposite of the Lovers in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. As opposed to blessed union, the Devil symbolizes the suffering of separation. This archetype invites us to face our deepest fears and heal them. We may break the chains within and free ourselves of self-imposed limitations. It may even result in some devilishly good fun.

The Devil’s Essence:

  • Deep insecurities within our Shadow Self
  • Living in fear, ignorance, and/or greed
  • Being stuck in addictive or obsessive behaviors
  • Materialism over spiritualism
  • Liberation of self through shadow work

The Devil’s Shadow:

  • Stuck in darkness and ignorance
  • Being controlled by the fear impulse
  • Unwillingness to face the Shadow Self


Fear, Darkness, Negativity, Addiction, Ignorance, Deception, Materialism, Greed, Obsession, Hedonism, Manipulation, Shadow Self, Selfishness

Astrological Correspondence: Capricorn


The Tower represents a dramatic, sudden change to our lives or our understanding of the world. The experience may come as an earthshaking calamity, like the unexpected loss of a job or divorce. Or it may take the form of a profound epiphany that destroys our comfortably-held belief system.

Over time, we build metaphorical structures in our minds and lives: our worldview, lifestyles, and routines. They serve the vital function of helping us feel safe and in control of life. However, a time comes when these safe spaces have grown too high and are due for collapse. Fate steps in and shatters what we’ve taken for granted.

The Tower is intrinsically unforeseen and likely to be overwhelming and even frightening. It is also a great liberator. As the Tower, we’re invited to recognize that often it’s only through upheaval that we are finally freed from outworn attitudes and patterns of behavior.

The Tower’s Essence:

  • Sudden upheaval in life; shocking event
  • Dramatic change to worldview
  • Destruction of old patterns of thought and behavior
  • Liberation from old to clear way for new
  • “Pride comes before the fall”

The Tower’s Shadow:

  • Paralysis from a horrifying change or loss
  • Calamity resulting from the destruction of old ways
  • Clinging to outworn beliefs or values; resisting change


Upheaval, Destruction, Catastrophe, Epiphany, Chaos, Disaster, Shock, Liberation, Ruin, Pride, Humility, Punishment, Disillusionment

Astrological Correspondence: Mars


The Star represents deep calm and hope. Having been through the intense ordeal of the Tower, we now are granted pure inner peace and renewal. Like when we look up on a clear starry night, we are filled with wonder and inspiration.

Traditionally, the woman shown on the Star is naked, with nothing to hide or fear. She’s been through the worst and is connected to her inner Star of divine light. She pours water from the pool of her subconscious, the never-ending source of life essence that is within her and all of us. She is in harmony with herself and the world.

At the time of the tarot’s creation, stars were used as navigation points. They provided a map for explorers, and the archetypal Star does for us as well. This card invites us to look within for guidance whenever we are lost.

The Star’s Essence:

  • Deep inner peace, hope and calm
  • Connection to the light within
  • Openness, nothing to hide or fear
  • Sense of wonder, inspiration, and harmony
  • Guidance from within the soul

The Star’s Shadow:

  • Lack of inner peace, hope; depression
  • Unable to see the greater truth
  • Feeling lost and directionless


Calm, Hope, Inspiration, Guidance, Wonder, Peace, Awe, Renewal, Optimism, Openness, Regeneration, Essence, Tranquility, Grace, Clarity, Idealism

Astrological Correspondence: Aquarius


The Moon represents the subtle reality within our subconscious, normally hidden behind our ego. The Star was communion with pure inner light, and this card is our psyche’s attempt to assimilate that light with consciousness. Our experience of the Moon is distorted and mysterious, like we find in dreams, myths, and vision states.

The images of this card symbolize the surreal world within. The dog and wolf represent our animal selves, both in gentile and severe form. The crayfish is consciousness emerging from the depth of the psyche. The path is the mysterious way forward, beyond ego-level duality.

The Moon may be a source of gentile, comforting light from within, and a vehicle for intuitive awareness. Aligning to its cycles may allow us to live with greater inner peace and flow. This card also warns of the “lunacy” of the subconscious, filled with illusions, fantasy, and even potentially madness.

The Moon’s Essence:

  • The mysterious world of the subconscious
  • Merging of inner truth with conscious awareness
  • The fantasies of dreams and myths
  • The supernal cycles of waxing and waning
  • Truths realized through the imagination

The Moon’s Shadow:

  • Deep, instinctive fears, like of nightmares
  • Losing touch with reality; lunacy
  • Getting trapped in fantasyland


Subconscious, Dreams, Illusions, Mystery, Instinct, Lunacy, Visions, Cycles, Imagination, Nightmares, Fantasy, Secrets, Supernatural, Intuition

Astrological Correspondence: Pisces


The Sun is the realization of the divine light within us. This card is the third in a sequence that began with the Star: first we accessed the divine light; then we assimilated it through our subconscious. Here we’ve become one with the light and radiate its energy with all our being.

The Sun card often features a naked child, representing how we feel when joined with the purity of our essence. Filled with joy, enthusiasm, and love for life, we are set free of all fear and doubt. The Sun card is associated with being reborn and living with purpose.

For inspiration, we may look to the Sun above us. It is the light-bringer and life-giver. Symbolically, the Sun is the light of truth and the energy of life itself. Merging with the life force brings lucidity to see truth clearly and boundless confidence to live spontaneously. Time to shine!

The Sun’s Essence:

  • Radiating the divine light within
  • Assimilation of divine energy
  • Living joyous, happy, and free
  • Youthful exuberance and confidence
  • Fully embracing life; living with purpose

The Sun’s Shadow:

  • Too much energy; burning out
  • Overly optimistic; unrealistic
  • Lacking connection to inner light


Joy, Energy, Light, Truth, Happiness, Optimism, Love, Confidence, Youthfulness, Purpose, Vitality, Warmth, Exuberance, Radiance, Brilliance, Honesty

Astrological Correspondence: The Sun


Our long journey has led to this moment of Judgement. This penultimate card symbolizes awakening to the deep truth of ourselves and our lives. The Sun brought the light of truth, and now we truly see. We may hear a calling to something greater than ourselves.

Judgement suggests you are ready to realize and face something you’ve known deep down for a while. It may relate to a minor change to your lifestyle, or something big like realizing your life purpose. Either way, be loving and honest with yourself and you may be liberated and transformed. Hear the clarion call that invites you to rise like the mythical phoenix.

Judgement can be seen as an invitation to appreciate your life in greater context. Look from the perspective of the Big Picture. Awakening occurs in the moment we open ourselves to this ever-present reality.

Judgement’s Essence:

  • Awakening to greater truth; seeing the Big Picture
  • Comprehending our lives in a greater context
  • Sense of calling to something greater
  • Liberation through self-acceptance
  • Consequential decision; moment of truth

Judgement’s Shadow:

  • Lack of perspective and wisdom
  • Refusing the call to something greater
  • Harsh and painful self-judgements


Awakening, Calling, Liberation, Transformation, Judgement, Acceptance, Wisdom, Purpose, Reconciliation, Revelation, Absolution, Reckoning

Astrological Correspondence: Pluto and Elemental Fire


The journey that began with the Fool ends here, from pure potential and innocence to realization and fulfillment. Carl Jung coined the term individuation for the realization of Self. We become a unified whole; internal contradictions have been resolved and a contented state of balance has been achieved.

This card commonly features a naked woman, performing the cosmic dance of freedom. She is safe within a wreath’s protective layer, guarded by eternal elemental forces. She embodies the divine within, free of all fear or attachments. She holds two wands, signifying opposing forces in balance within her: feminine and masculine; conscious and unconscious; heart and mind; ego and spirit.

In everyday matters, the World invites us to consider matters of completion, reward, and accomplishment. It’s time to celebrate the realization of some part of our being.

The World’s Essence:

  • The full realization of Self; Individuation
  • Freedom to be exactly who you are
  • End of a long journey; or the journey as the goal
  • Release of all fear, attachments, judgment
  • Accomplishment, success, and reward

The World’s Shadow:

  • Failure to learn an important lesson
  • Falling short of expectations
  • Limited perspective


Wholeness, Completion, Reward, Freedom, Fulfillment, Accomplishment, Realization, Balance, Individuation, Success, Ecstasy, Cosmic Love, Contentment

Astrological Correspondence: Saturn and Elemental Earth

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