Tarot’s Major Arcana: The Transformation Cards

Major Arcana 1

The Tarot Deck includes 78 cards. Each of these carries a special message and unleashes a particular energy when they appear in your Tarot reading. The most important cards in the deck, though, are the members of the Major Arcana. These 21 cards are unique forces of nature. They indicate core personality traits, motives and themes that you may encounter in the future.

The first seven cards of the Major Arcana deal with the theme of personal empowerment. Cards numbered 8 through 14 are the second of three sets within this group of powerful cards. This set of cards deals with the subject of transformation.

Change is a constant in the world, so how we deal with it determines the outcome of many situations we will face in life. Sometimes we resist the natural evolution of things and are able to remain comfortable. Other times we stay still for just a minute too long and lose all of the momentum we have recently gained. One of these Tarot cards describes the transformation you will undergo.


Card number 8 of the Tarot represents the change that can occur when you exercise your options. This card manifests as standing your ground and fighting, staying committed to a cause, and having the willpower to abandon bad habits. When this card represents another person, it can be a lawyer or patron at your side. If it reflects you, the change you are about to undergo will leave you more self-assured than ever.

The Hermit

This card is numbered 9. This is the card that transforms you by isolating your development. This might be a physical separation ahead. Some occurrence that changes the way you relate to those around you may be the catalyst allowing you to get in touch with yourself. If this card represents another person, you will become obsessed with a single, specific artist or philosopher. Your whole outlook on the things you value will change.

The Wheel of Fortune

Numbered 10, the Tarot’s first double-digit card takes us for quite a spin. This is the card of dual transformation. Not only does this card indicate that you will be undergoing a great and total change, it also underscores that you will recognize the coming tide and be able to make the most of it. This card does not represent you or another person as much as it represents fate.


Justice, the card with the matching ones, number 11, represents the type of change that occurs as a final chapter. It is natural for us to strive for the world to be one way, to have wrongs righted and for the whole story to have a happy ending. At some point, though, your pursuit of justice might become an obsession. You can often lose touch with reality in the quest for your reality to be imposed upon others. This card represents the change that can occur when the facts sink in as deeply as the verdict.

When this card represents another person in your Tarot reading, it means that your life is being controlled in part by a parent, partner, boss or other authority figure. When this card appears as an indication of your fate, you will have the ultimate answer to your own destiny through your actions.

The Hanged Man

When you do nothing, the Tarot card numbered 12 is likely to appear. This is the card that represents acquiescing to your fate. Whether it is giving up and walking away, avoiding confrontation, or just dawdling, the Hanged Man indicates that your present is transforming without your participation. When you finally go to make a move, you may be in a world playing chess while you were finally ready to move your checkers chip. If this card represents someone else, a person is blocking your development by ignoring you. It is probably not even on purpose.


This card bears the unlucky number 13, but the end of something that it represents is not necessarily a bad thing. When this card appears in your Tarot reading, you can be assured that the change that is on its way is going to be complete. The whole world is about to be turned upside down. You may have a new set of friends and residence in a relatively short period of time. Your day-to-day interactions are going to be permanently altered.


The even, unshakable card of Temperance carries the number 14. Temperance allows you to cope with winds of change. It is a source of will power in the struggles you are about to face. As change swirls about, being able to go with the flow is as advanced a consciousness as you can hope to have. If this card represents another person in your life, you are looking toward a role model who can teach you how to best cope with the transformation you are currently undergoing. If this card represents you, you will benefit greatly from the coming changes.

Discover All the Major Arcana Cards

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