The Major Arcana cards of the tarot show a process of growth. You are like the Fool, venturing out, encountering different archetypal figures and lessons. We find tarot compelling because we recognize the situations and characters of the Fool’s path. They draw parallels to the lessons that you and I encounter on our own path of personal growth, our road to individuation.
Even though the cards are numbered in a certain way, we don’t always integrate them in order. The numbered order of the cards gives you a framework for your growth, but the truth is, we learn the lessons of the Major Arcana in a wandering fashion. Sometimes we’re faced with similar lessons time and time again. Certain lessons are easily integrated, others we find hard to grasp.
Growth is not a straight line, but a spiral. Life is like a game of chutes and ladders. You climb, you fall down. You skip two steps only to fall one back. You might encounter the lessons of the Majors in their numbered order. Or, you might integrate the Sun’s message of clarity and freedom early in life, but not be faced with the Chariot’s lessons of self-control until much later.
Sometimes you finally integrate a lesson only to circle around and revisit it from a different vista (I’ve experienced this with the Tower). Each card has it’s own complex spectrum of meanings. Just when you’ve grasped one angle, the Universe will seem to arrange things so that you’ll meet that lesson again, this time from a different perspective. If you struggle with addictions, you’ll circle around to the Devil time and time again. If you have a lack of structure, you will become well acquainted with the Emperor.
Occasionally, your growth will seem to stall entirely. You’ll feel like you’re stagnating. This suspension is also part of the growth process (think of the Hanged Man). Your path is not predictable. It’s full of setbacks and growth spurts and everything in between. And that’s exactly how it should be.
Like what you see here? Sign up for email updates & tarot musings.