Major Arcana Love Tarot Card Meanings

If you want to read about the meaning of the Minor Arcana Cards, click HERE

The Major Arcana is often seen as slightly more important than the Minor Arcana although it is the smaller of the two Arcana’s, having 22 cards. The Major Arcana is almost always fully and often beautifully illustrated, whilst the Minor Arcana sometimes just shows the number of pips; five cups for the Five of Cups and so on. In love tarot readings it is possible to read the Major Arcana as a kind of story beginning with the Fool who sets out on love’s journey and finishing with The World when love reaches its zenith and is near to perfection. Some Major Arcana Tarot cards deal with abstract notions, for example; The Tower, which warns us that a dramatic change in our romantic life is likely (whether that is for good or ill depends on what you make of your new situation). Others draw on the concept of certain occupations to give insights, take The Lovers. Yes, they obviously refer to love, but they ask us to consider what love means, is it an infatuation, finding a soul mate, someone you would die for, or little more than a one night stand? Lastly, there are the cards with more abstruse meanings, the cards connected to the firmament such as The Sun and the mysterious and notoriously hard to read Moon.

Major Arcana Love Tarot Cards

Below is the list of Major Arcana cards. Please click on the image of the card you're interested in to read about the meanings of that card..

The Fool The Fool
Passion, seeking a partner, exploring new relationships, refusal to commit.
The Magician The Magician
Accomplished lover, good communication, love letters, dishonesty.
The High Priestess The High Priestess
Good judge of character, following your feelings, secrets revealed, a relationship with wasted potential.
The Empress The Empress
Maternal instincts, mother figure, motherhood, domestic well-being, sensuality, sexual skill, physical attraction.
The Emperor The Emperor
Fatherhood, father figure, traditional relationships, stability, legal ties.
The Hierophant / The Pope The Hierophant
Wise councillor, traditional relationships, religious wedding ceremonies, culturally sanctioned relationships, a wise friend.
The Lovers The Lovers
Love, relationships, a choice of lovers, seeking love, partnership, a love rival.
The Chariot The Chariot
Choice of lovers, self-control, being pulled in two directions, winning over a rival in a love triangle, being faithful despite temptation.
Justice Justice
Behaviour in a past relationship impacts on a present one, karma, taking responsibility, cause and effect.
The Hermit The Hermit
Solitude, detachment, discretion, seeking time alone, going on retreat.
The Wheel of Fortune The Wheel of Fortune
Endings and beginnings, a new relationship, the end of an old relationship, seeking out a new set of friends.
The Strength The Strength
Overcoming problems, supporting each other, willingness to take risks for love, willing to be vulnerable, compassion.
The Hanged Man The Hanged Man
Willing sacrifice, changing priorities, a new approach, meeting a new crowd, explore new romantic experiences.
Death / The End Death
Outgrowing a relationship, new relationships, parting, accepting the inevitable, a relationship changes.
Temperance Temperance
Patience, harmony, steady relationships, long term relationships, trust, faithfulness.
The Devil The Devil
Lust, temptation, faithlessness, weakness of character, entrapment, hedonism, sex for sex sake.
The Tower The Tower
Sudden changes, unexpected events, revelations, learning to adapt, a shock.
The Star The Star
Happiness, acceptance, a developing relationship, love, trust, self-expression, a happy relationship, deepening romance.
The Moon The Moon
Secrets, lies, exaggeration, follow your gut feeling, serendipity, delusion, disillusionment.
The Sun The Sun
New friends, self-confidence, successful relationships, a mentor, a wise friend.
Judgement Judgement
The right choice, progression in relationships, re-evaluating a relationship.
The World The World
Permanent relationship, marriage, celebrations, anniversaries, ideal partner, soul mates.

Great, so we’re sorted, we all know what the Tarot cards mean and if it’s not quite crystal clear at least we’re all using the same sat nav. Except it seems we’ve lost the signal because the more you look into the tarot cards the more different notions concerning it develop.

Many folk with a mystical mind-set associate the Tarot with the Cabala connecting the relationship between the cards with the Cabalistic notion of the Tree of Life. Others look to ancient Egypt (where some believe the cards originated). In this case they argue that the Magician represents the god Thoth and the High Priestess represents the magical goddess Isis. Certainly as the devoted wife and sister of Osiris (they did things very differently in those days) she seems a suitable archetype for love tarot - best forget the sister bit though!

You might think that’s enough to be getting on with but no, to add to the mix not all packs use the same name for every card. Some packs call The High Priestess, The Papess or Female Pope, this change in nomenclature is particularly common in packs with Pagan undertones. The same applies to The Pope or Hierophant who can be reincarnated as the High Priest.

If you look at a Major Arcana card you will probably notice a number (usually in Roman numerals) at the bottom, they generally remain constant; The Lovers usually cuddle together as card number 6, for instance but this is not always the case. The Fool is normally given the number 0 and appears first in the deck, but he is not above mucking around and appearing as the last card in some packs. Justice and Strength also seem to be unsettled and will swop between positions 8 and 11.

It is true to say that the vast majority of Tarot readers use all the cards in the pack (although not all read them upright and reversed) but a few only read the Major Arcana. The Major Arcana are particularly important for love related tarot queries because they enable us to look into our hearts and understand how our subconscious plays a part in our deepest relationships. Equally, the Major Arcana are connected to events which will occur in a person’s life such as marriage, engagement, births and separation - this also underlines their importance in relationship related readings. In fact, there is nothing better than seeing the whole picture with all its subtle variants and this makes it important to value both Arcana’s and let them work together to tell your special love story.

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I'm professional Astrologer and Tarot reader Patrick Arundell.

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