The major arcana is made up of 22 cards that express forces and circumstances that affect all of us. Some have to do with personal growth, and others are about broader influences. This exercise is helpful in gaining your own unique understanding of the nine cards that are focused on individual development, beginning with the Magician and continuing through the Hermit.
Lay out major arcana 1 through 9 in a horizontal row. Next, examine each card and try to remember a time when you were in that particular state of mind. It doesn’t need to be an unusually meaningful moment that you recall, it just needs to be authentic to the spirit of the image on the card.
We’ll take a couple of steps together in my own journey, as an example. The Magician is the first stop along the way, and I feel grateful for my left brain and all it does to make me able to survive. A sense of connection with higher meaning is easy to grasp since I’m in the process of writing philosophically at this very moment.
As I move on to the High Priestess, I find myself thinking of things that have been left unsaid, and wisely so.
Keep in mind that your right brain thinks in pictures, not words. In this exercise, you’re attempting to gain insight from images and feelings that come up, rather than from an analytical process. It’s important to know that each of the progressive stages of personal development shown in these nine cards is built on the integration of the forces found in the preceding cards. It is in this way that the Tarot acts as a map for us.
In the simplest of terms, the journey goes something like this: An alert mind allows creative intuition to grow. Working together, those forces create the possibility for a happy, prosperous life. Going forward, the personality is able to navigate in the world with the setting of healthy boundaries and the care of all that lies within them. Add to that the inner voice of conscience and belief, and you find a cooperative person who is open to love. These forces all combine to create a successful, meaningful life. This healthy personality faces the world with compassion and self-control. A desire for truth and the sharing of knowledge grows, as does a sense of higher purpose.
In these nine stages of personal growth, we see the healthy development of an individual’s mind and Spirit. Once you gain a personalized understanding of these steps, you’ll be much better able to interpret these cards when reading the Tarot for other people as well. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey!