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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Major arcana

DEFINITIONS

Major Arcana: The twenty-two trump cards of the Tarot; those cards not included in any of the four suits. The cards numbered 0 (the Fool) through 21 (the World).
source: Designing Your Own Tarot Spreads, Teresa Michelsen

Major Arcana: The 22 picture cards of the Tarot that are considered to be of vital importance by occultists. They relate to the Paths on the Tree of Life and are used in Kabalistic Pathworking.
source: Modern Magick, by Donald Michael Kraig


ARTICLES

Review of the Harmonious Tarot
Summary: The Harmonious Tarot is a beautiful homage to the artwork of Walter Crane and an interesting exploration of an era. The serene, gentle (at first glance!) images calm you, invite you in to explore the intricate details, and then, just when ...
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Review of The Manga Tarot
Summary: The Manga Tarot is a beautiful and insightful deck. It skillfully combines the evocative and fantastical feel of Manga with the equally evocative format of Tarot. Add to the mix some creative changes and juxtapositions and you’ve got a deck ...
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How the Enochian Tarot Works
How can a deck of cards show you what will happen in the future? How does the Tarot work? In order to work, a Tarot deck must be an authentic microcosm of the macrocosmic universe. In other words, it must be structured in the same way that our ...
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Review of The Robin Wood Tarot
Summary: A delightful delicacy in lively, stand-out color that modernizes the Rider-Waite-Smith deck in style while keeping most of the symbolism (including the medieval context) and making the characters’ personalities really apparent. This moves ...
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Review of Shining Angels Tarot
Summary: Let the comforting presence of the angels surround you. As you shuffle and deal out these round cards, you will find power and wisdom and guidance from loving beings who have existed from before the beginning of time, freed from the pages ...
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Review of the Revelations Tarot
Summary: A brilliantly colored, imaginative deck that solves one of the most difficult problems of the Tarot, dealing with reversals, by making all of the illustrations two-sided, revealing the message whether the card is upright or inverted. Ideal ...
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Review of the Tarot of the Elves
Summary: The Tarot of the Elves creates a new and different world. And yet, we humans still relate to the inhabitants of this fantasy realm. This innovative deck explores and conveys the archetypal meanings of the cards through story. McElroy spins ...
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Tarot of Metamorphosis Review
Tarot of Metamorphosis Review Summary: We are constantly going through various changes in our lives, but for the most part, that are beyond our conscious awareness and control. The Tarot of Metamorphosis aims to change this. Following the ...
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Tarot of the Dream Enchantress Review
Summary: The Tarot of the Dream Enchantress will sweep you away on flights of fancy where you will see many strange and marvelous things, and where you will find yourself along the way. For readings and experiences that are anything but ...
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Pagan Tarot (mini) Review
Summary: A brilliantly drawn deck using images of contemporary Pagans in ritual and everyday situations. Although the meanings are the same as the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the new images may be jarring to those not involved in Paganism. However, for ...
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Review of the Quantum Tarot (Version 2.0)
Summary: The Quantum Tarot is a magical blend of traditional Tarot and modern science. Featuring images from the Hubble Space telescope, myths join quantum theory on cards of natural beauty. Highlighted with subtle gloss printing, the images invite ...
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In the Major Arcana of the Tarot, the Fool goes on a journey. This is similar to the Hero's Journey in mythology, and some view the ups and downs of the Major Arcana as the pathway the Fool takes to wisdom. Most people take the "Fool's Journey" several times during their life. If we hold the journey up as a template against our own life, it can... read this article
Five Aids to Magical Thought: Dion Fortune and the Path of Occult Fiction
The Angels of Your Sun Sign
Twelve Ways Your Chakras Can Enhance Your Decisions
4 Simple Steps to Receiving Angelic Guidance
The Hearth Witch in March

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Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Melissa Cynova, author of the new Kitchen Table Tarot. I've been reading cards for nearly 30 years,...

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