Major Arcana Correspondences

Major Arcana Correspondences

Most people learn tarot beginning with the major arcana. An effective aid in learning these major arcana meanings are major arcana correspondences. Once you have learnt a few tarot keywords for each card, you can begin to dig into deeper levels of meaning associated with each card. These can include major arcana elements, major arcana astrology, numerology and other correspondences depending upon the tarot techniques you are using or plan on using as you learn to read tarot for yourself.

The colour coding of the tables is particularly helpful when you are learning the major arcana elements, either to understand the connection between the four elements and the tarot, or if you plan on learning how to use elemental dignities in your tarot readings.

The major arcana correspondencs below are taken from the tarot card meanings section and give you an at-a-glance tool to help you see the major arcana correspondences in one place. This helps you see patterns, anomalies and groupings you wouldn’t otherwise see on the individual cards. Looking at the major arcana correspondences also helps refresh your memory as you work through the whole tarot deck.

Correspondence charts help you see patterns, anomalies & groupings you wouldn't otherwise see on the individual cards. #tarot #learntarot Click To Tweet

It’s not necessary to learn every correspondence associated with every card, and in all honesty, this post would be super long if I were to include wider systems such as qabbalah and tarot magic. For the purposes of learning to read tarot for yourself, as a beginner, or as a tarot reader who is adding to their tarot toolkit, the following major arcana correspondencs will be more than sufficient.

These major arcana correspondences can also work as a handy reference guide when you are doing a reading, over the internet, on the phone, or via email. Sometimes your mind goes blank when you are doing a live tarot reading and having the core information at hand helps you overcome minor stumbling blocks while you are reading tarot for others.

Partner with the Minor Arcana Correspondences and Timing Events Using Tarot and Astrology to really boost your tarot learning.

Timing Events Using Tarot also shows you how to obtain a time frame from the planetary trumps.

Rider Waite-Smith Major Arcana Sequence

#NameElementAstrologyTimingNumerologyCountYes/No
0FoolAirUranusSpontaneouslyAll3Yes
1MagicianAirMercuryQuickly10 & 199Yes
2High PriestessWaterMoonNight; a new moon11 & 209Maybe
3EmpressEarthVenusWhen factors align12 & 219Yes
4EmperorFireAriesMar 21 – Apr 191312Maybe
5HierophantEarthTaurusApr 20 – May 201412Maybe
6LoversAirGeminiMay 21 – Jun 201512Yes
7ChariotWaterCancerJune 21 – July 221612Yes
8StrengthFireLeo Jul 23 – Aug 221712Yes
9HermitEarthVirgoAug 22 – Sept 231812Maybe
10Wheel of FortuneFireJupiterAny time1 & 199Yes
11JusticeAirLibra Sept 23 – Oct 22212Maybe
12Hanged ManWaterNeptuneUndetermined33Maybe
13DeathWaterScorpioOct 23 – Nov 21412No
14TemperanceFireSagittariusNov 22 – Dec 21512Yes
15DevilEarthCapricornDec 22 – Jan 19612No
16TowerFireMarsAbruptly79No
17StarAirAquariusJan 20 – Feb 18812Yes
18MoonWaterPiscesFeb 19 – Mar 20; a full moon912No
19SunFireSunSummer; good weather1 & 109Yes
20JudgementFirePlutoWinter; stormy weather23Yes
21WorldEarthSaturnSlowly; long term39Yes

Major Arcana Correspondences Using Different Tarot Decks

It is likely you will be aware of the three major types of tarot deck: the Rider Waite-Smith, Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot (or a Golden Dawn based deck) and the Tarot de Marseille. They have between them many similarities, but also many differences. Aside from their often differing tarot card meanings, the order of the major arcana, or tarot trumps, changed when Arthur Edward Waite created his deck with Pamela Coleman Smith. My understanding is that he never really explained why, but it is not difficult to see his logic when you look at the cards in a correspondence chart.

Arthur Waite switched the position of the Strength and Justice cards. Justice was traditionally numbered 8, with Strength numbered 11. This ordering has been maintained in the Thoth Tarot, Golden Dawn based decks and the Tarot de Marseille. But as you can see with the first major arcana correspondence chart, Strength is numbered 8, with Justice numbered 11. This makes sense when you follow the astrological correspondences through the chart – Strength, and Leo flow perfectly with Justice and Libra, sequentially. I created separate charts to reflect this and to assist you if and when you learn tarot from either of the named decks above.

Golden Dawn, Thoth Tarot and Tarot de Marseille Major Arcana Sequence

#NameElementAstrologyTimingNumerologyCountYes/No
0FoolAirUranusSpontaneouslyAll3Yes
1MagicianAirMercuryQuickly10 & 199Yes
2High PriestessWaterMoonNight; a new moon11 & 209Maybe
3EmpressEarthVenusWhen factors align12 & 219Yes
4EmperorMar 21 – Apr 19FireAries1312Maybe
5HierophantEarthTaurusApr 20 – May 201412Maybe
6LoversAirGeminiMay 21 – Jun 201512Yes
7ChariotWaterCancerJune 21 – July 221612Yes
8JusticeAirLibraSept 23 – Oct 221712Maybe
9HermitEarthVirgoAug 22 – Sept 231812Maybe
10Wheel of FortuneFireJupiterAny time1 & 199Yes
11StrengthFireLeoJul 23 – Aug 22212Yes
12Hanged ManWaterNeptuneUndetermined33Maybe
13DeathWaterScorpioOct 23 – Nov 21412No
14TemperanceFireSagittariusNov 22 – Dec 21512Yes
15DevilEarthCapricornDec 22 – Jan 19612No
16TowerFireMarsAbruptly79No
17StarAirAquariusJan 20 – Feb 18812Yes
18MoonWaterPiscesFeb 19 – Mar 20; a full moon912No
19SunFireSunSummer; good weather1 & 109Yes
20JudgementFirePlutoWinter; stormy weather23Yes
21WorldEarthSaturnSlowly39Yes

Supporting Posts for Major Arcana Correspondences

Header image from the Golden Dawn Magical Tarot by Chich Cicero and Sandra-Tabatha Cicero, published by Llewellyn 2008

Products to Help You With Major Arcana Correspondences

2 thoughts on “Major Arcana Correspondences”

    • Thanks, Nancy. When I was learning tarot, I found it helpful to write this list out. The benefit of a digital page though is the colour coding of the elemental associations. Being a visual learner, it really brought the elements to life for me. Glad you liked it.

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