Did you know that the major arcana actually tell a story? It’s one of personal growth, starting with the first card and running through the last, and is often told to help beginning tarot readers learn about the various needs of each card. Below is the story they learn.
You start your journey as a Fool. You’re excited about what the world has to offer you and what it has in store for you. You search for knowledge, you continue as the Magician, discovering where the boundaries are around you and how you might adjust the world around you to change them.
As your knowledge grows, you realize that there are different realms of knowing that you hadn’t considered before. You become the High Priestess, freeing your intuition. Through the High Priestess you come to discover that everything in nature must remain balanced. You become more in tune with the earth, learning as the Empress to become in tune with the emotions of the world. But neither emotions nor knowledge are enough; every society needs rules to follow, which you learn as you discover the Emperor.
It’s natural that your quest for knowing the world might bring you outside of it, and as the Hierophant you begin to increase your knowledge of world faiths, discovering more about how to become a part of them.
Having explored the world outside yourself, your desires now turn inward. The need for companionship drives you through the Lovers. Having now reached full adulthood, you become more aware of your actual value. With the Chariot you take off alone into the world, confident and self-assured.
It doesn’t take much time for you to run into difficulties on your journey, and those difficulties help you discover the Strength you’ve always possessed. These difficulties lead you on a quest for answers, transforming you into the Hermit, isolating yourself so you can focus on your journey. Your quest finds its answers in the Wheel of Fortune, allowing you to accept the fact that fate is a major factor in your life and in the workings of the universe.
But it’s through Justice that you accept responsibility for your own life,moving you to become the Hanged Man, looking at the world from a different perspective. Your life begins to transform, Death taking the life you knew before to prepare you for another.
Forged by Temperance, you emerge with a stronger sense of moderation and flexibility while the Devil confronts you with the painful sins of your past. Passing his challenge, you are the Tower: free from your own self-deceptions that are brought tumbling down. This brings you the hope of the Star and the faith to carry through the illusions brought on by the Moon that may block you from the truth. It gives you the strength to wait for the Sun, whose light banishes those illusions and brings you clarity.
You can now reflect back on your journey, using Judgment to take inventory of all you have discovered with a clear mind. You’ve now reached a fully balanced whole on your journey through the World, and are ready for a new journey.