Major Arcana Keywords

Learning tarot card meanings usually begins with the Major Arcana. Most likely you will learn one or two tarot keywords to help you become familiar with the deck.

Introducing Tarot Cards and Their Meanings is a complete list of all the posts I’ve written related to the keywords of the tarot, and explains why I prefer to use keywords.

When you’re ready, you will learn a few more tarot card meanings and keywords, and expand your vocabulary. When you do, oftentimes you just want a quick reference guide to refresh your memory or give you new ideas about each tarot card.

And that’s where this handy guide comes in – great for all levels of experience, new and more advanced.

At the end of this post you will find links to the tarot card meanings and keywords for the Minor Arcana, suit by suit, and also links to the more comprehensive tarot card meanings and keywords of the Court Cards, grouped by their rank.

0 – Fool
New beginnings, spontaneity, adventure, innocence, potential, faith, fearlessness, a leap of faith, originality, freedom from constraints, purity of action, acting without malice.
1 – Magician
Creativity, action, power, manifestation, skill, communication – oral, written & electronic, magic, work, self-employment, a smooth talker, having the gift of the gab, will-power, directing your will.
2 – High Priestess
Mystery, intuition, inner-knowing, self trust, spiritual insight, emotional stability, divination, esoteric wisdom/knowledge, things yet to be revealed, your higher-self, spirit guides, discovering your own truth.
3 – Empress
Nurturing, abundance, fertility, mothering, your mother, love, beauty, a businesswoman, mother earth, a multi-tasker, pregnancy, creativity, solving problems creatively, fulfilling your potential, a successful business or opportunity.
4 – Emperor
Authority, order, structure, authority, your boss, leadership, your father, the establishment, promotion to a senior role, asserting yourself, ambition, law and order, taking a stand, firmness with others & yourself.
5 – Hierophant
Group identity, large institutions, education, teaching, learning, tradition, orthodoxy, the status quo, religion, a guru or teacher, spiritual guidance, occult or mystical groups, divine laws, seeking counsel and advice.
6 – Lovers
Love, choices, partnerships, affection, being at a crossroads, togetherness, going into business with another, being duty bound, a love affair, falling in love, commitment, an engagement, choosing between two lovers, harmony, trust.
7 – Chariot
Drive, will power, direction, ambition, confidence, victory, success, a journey, transportation, success with little or no support, overcoming obstacles, triumph in the face of adversity, coming to the aid of another.
8 – Strength
Inner strength, self-assurance, self-control, self-belief, patience, confidence, enjoying power, lust, sex, sexuality, eroticism, heroic acts, strength through personal power & not violence, vitality, virility, potency.
9 – Hermit
Introspection, contemplation, wanting or finding solitude, private self-reflection, seeking enlightenment & spiritual experiences, meditation, being discreet, privacy, home study, withdrawing from society, patience.
10 – Wheel of Fortune
Luck, chance, opportunity, changes, a turning point, movement, winning, the cycle of life, ups and downs, fate, destiny, a chance meeting that can change your life, what goes around comes around, winning at a game of chance, a definite yes.
11 – Justice
Justice, karma, balance and equilibrium, truth, fairness, responsibility, accountability, integrity, dignity, agreements, legal affairs, a court case or tribunal, consulting a lawyer, checking legal documents, seeking fairness through clarity.
12 – Hanged Man
Letting go, sacrifice for gain, surrender, breaking patterns, a crisis, delays, seeing from another direction, a fresh perspective, suspension of activity, giving something up, experiencing a metamorphosis, spiritual advancement, a detachment from the material.
13 – Death
Endings, mortality, profound change, letting go of emotional attachments, severing ties, it’s over, the end of an era or cycle, failure, loss. For some; transformation, renewal, rebirth.
14 – Temperance
Harmony, balance, synthesis, moderation, blending, synergy, alchemy, being temperate, blending opposites, angel communication, connecting with your guides, merging, looking for divine intervention.
15 – Devil
Bondage, temptation, enslavement, materialism, addictions to sex/drugs/drink/money, fear & doubt, lies, violence, unhealthy relationships, sexual deviancy/gratification, feeling trapped & without options.
16 – Tower
Sudden and unexpected change, upheaval, destruction, ruin, catastrophe, release, revelation, breaking down of old forms, renovation, an accident or damage to the home, bankruptcy, redundancy or loss of work, being overthrown or ousted, house repossession.
17 – Star
Hope, happiness, opportunities, optimism, renewal, spirituality, cosmic blessings, help, beauty, astrology, the heavens, good health and healing, an inspirational person, a period of tranquility.
18 – Moon
Dreams but also nightmares, illusion, hidden things – particularly enemies, insecurity, mystery, falsehoods, visions, mental confusion, a dark night of the soul, a difficult period, lacking clarity, deception, secrets, increased psychic ability and experiences.
19 – Sun
Life, energy, vitality, joy, enlightenment, warmth, manifestation, happiness, YES! riches, marriage, good times, success, clear thinking, optimism, blessings, good fortune, a good holiday, nice weather.
20 – Judgement
Redemption, rebirth, an awakening, a calling – spiritual or career, renewal, spirit led, reincarnation, a realisation, a change that has already occurred, end of an era, a rite of passage, a period of transition, decision making.
21 – World
Completion, fulfillment, possibilities, outcomes, realisations, wholeness, success, totality, moving – particularly abroad, success and successful conclusions, the journey’s end, goal achievement.
Keywords for the Tarot Suits as a Group
Tarot Court Cards

For more thorough and complex card meanings and divinatory definitions, head over to our growing Tarot Card Meanings section, where you can search and explore card by card. From here, simply click on an individual card to be taken directly to it. Navigate through the Tarot Card Meanings section from there by using the navigation bar and breadcrumb just above the card title. You can of course continue to search the keywords of the other minor arcana suits in their group form using the links above.


Author: Catherine

I use tarot to help me navigate life and understand myself better. As well as tarot, I enjoy using aromatherapy & herbalism to improve my health & well being. My spiritual seeking lay with Gaia, the environment & what my senses engage around me.

2 thoughts

  1. Dear Catherine,

    Your keywords are sweet and to the point. May I please make a copy of them to share them with students?

    1. Hi Misty Day,

      Thank you for such a lovely comment! You certainly can make a copy for your students. I would only ask that you give credit and the blog’s website address as a link back to it.

      Welcome to Tarot Elements 🙂


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