What is the difference between Major Arcana and Minor Arcana in Tarot?

What is the difference between Major Arcana and Minor Arcana in Tarot?

We all have grown up listening to a wide variety of stories that involves a kingdom, a King and a Queen, their sons and daughters, and the general affairs of their Kingdom. What is exciting to know is that Tarots, a card deck used for foretelling, is also based on a possible story of one such kingdom. According to historical records, the playing cards fad first entered Europe through the Mamluks of Egypt in the 14th century. The first records date back to 1367 in Berne. The total number of cards is traditionally 78 in number. There are two categories of cards in the Tarot namely— 1. Major Arcana 2. Minor Arcana

The word arcana comes from the Latin word called “arcanum” meaning secret or a mystery. In The western world, the Tarot system comes under an esoteric tradition. The gypsies were known to move from place to place, using Tarots, as a way to tell others of their past or possible future situations.

The Major Arcana consists of all the characters and identities in the Tarot like The Fool, The Magician, The Hierophant, Death, Tower, The Sun, etc. The Major Arcana cards are 22 in total, describing major events or situations that might take place in a person’s life.

The Minor Arcana includes 4 suits named Cups, Pentacles, Swords, and Wands. It also includes 4 court cards of each suit—The Queen, The King, The Page, and The Knight—all of them denoting archetypal energies. Minor Arcana generally reflects and talks about our day-to-day life, the mundane. The 4 suites are also sometimes known as:

Cups— Chalices

Pentacles— Discs or Coins

Swords— Daggers,

Wands – Staffs

Each suite has 10 cards and 4 court cards, all leading to a journey, in like a story but about you! 10 Cards begin from Ace to Ten. For example, in a suit of Cups, we will have Ace of Cups leading to Ten of Cups with additional 4 court cards like The King of Cups, The Queen of Cups, The Page of Cups, and The Knight of Cups.

Tarot Reading is all about training, experience, and the level of concentration one can manage to have. There are many online Tarot reading software that is used as tools for daily horoscope. These have become very famous, especially in this modern age where everything is fast-paced and people have little time for themselves. They are in fact, willing to spend money and know something about them and their life.


Major Arcana

 Major Arcana has 22 cards, beginning from The Fool and ending at The World. It is like a storyboard. When The Fool comes up in the reading, Tarot readers interpret it as a symbol of naivety, someone who’s very willing to explore the outside and full of enthusiasm but lacks experience.

After The Fool, we have The Magician which is related to magick (yes with a k!) in witchcraft circles, representing a figure who’s an alchemist of their life, loves manifestation, and lives life purposefully. The list goes and finally, the journey of Major Arcana ends with The World which denotes major completion, success, ending of a cycle, etc.

The Major Arcana cards represent big things, transformation, or major decisions in one’s life. Their energy is huge and is very informative to the person seeking answers. If you get a Major Arcana card in your reading, pay attention to it to gain a little more clarity.


Minor Arcana


The Cup energy is very emotive, sentimental and is related to the element of Water. Cups are related to water zodiac signs— Pisces, Cancer, and Scorpio. The Cups showcase our inner world of feelings, unspoken things, and healing we need to do on the inside. 


Pentacles are related to the element of Earth. They tell things all related to the material world, our lifestyle, home, cars, financial situation, job opportunities, etc.


Swords embodies the element of Air— Aquarian, Gemini, and Libra energy. They are all about thoughts, the intellect, tries to convey the power of thoughts and how they can be destructive at the same time help to us, given we use them appropriately.


Exemplifying the element of Fire, Wands is all about moving forward, establishing something, creativity, and connection. People who get Wands often in their reading are considered to be extroverts with excellent communication skills.