Can You Do a Tarot Reading with Just Major Arcana?

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Can You Do a Tarot Reading with Just Major Arcana?

The Tarot is a powerful tool for gaining insight into various aspects of life, connecting with your intuition, and exploring the depths of your subconscious mind. Made up of 78 cards divided into the Major Arcana and Minor Arcana, the Tarot deck offers a comprehensive system for divination. While both the Major and Minor Arcana hold significant meaning, some readers choose to work solely with the Major Arcana in their readings. In this blog post, we will explore whether it is possible and effective to do a Tarot reading using only the Major Arcana.

Understanding the Major Arcana

The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards numbered from 0 to 21, each holding its unique symbolism, archetypal energy, and life lessons. These cards represent significant events, major life transitions, and deep spiritual and psychological aspects of our lives. Each card in the Major Arcana tells a story and guides us on our personal journey towards self-discovery.

Here is a list of the 22 Major Arcana cards:

Card Number Card Name
0 The Fool
1 The Magician
2 The High Priestess
3 The Empress
4 The Emperor
5 The Hierophant
6 The Lovers
7 The Chariot
8 Strength
9 The Hermit
10 Wheel of Fortune
11 Justice
12 The Hanged Man
13 Death
14 Temperance
15 The Devil
16 The Tower
17 The Star
18 The Moon
19 The Sun
20 Judgment
21 The World

Pros of Using Only Major Arcana

While some readers may prefer working with a complete Tarot deck, there are several advantages to using only the Major Arcana:

  1. Focus on Major Life Themes: The Major Arcana cards represent significant life events and universal archetypes. By using only these cards, readers can delve into deep spiritual themes and major life lessons without the added complexity of the Minor Arcana.
  2. A Clearer Narrative: Since the Major Arcana tells a story starting from The Fool’s journey of innocence, exploration, and self-discovery, to The World’s completion and enlightenment, using only these cards can provide a more coherent and focused narrative during a reading.
  3. Intuitive Interpretation: Working with a limited set of cards allows the reader to develop a deeper understanding of each card’s symbolism, energy, and meaning. This can enhance the reader’s intuition, as they become intimately familiar with the nuances of the Major Arcana.

Performing a Major Arcana Tarot Reading

When doing a Tarot reading with just the Major Arcana, the same basic principles of any reading apply. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to perform a Major Arcana Tarot reading:

  1. Prepare your space: Find a quiet and comfortable place where you can focus without distractions. Clear your mind and set your intention for the reading.
  2. Shuffle the cards: Take your Major Arcana cards and shuffle them thoroughly while concentrating on your question or the topic you seek guidance on. Allow your intuition to guide your shuffling process.
  3. Choose your cards: When you feel ready, cut the deck into three piles and choose a specific number of cards to represent your past, present, and future. You can also choose a card to represent the overall theme or lesson of the reading.
  4. Interpret the cards: Begin by examining each card individually, noting the symbolism, imagery, and emotions it invokes. Consider how the cards relate to one another and the story they tell. Consult reference materials, if needed, to deepen your understanding of each card’s meaning.
  5. Connect the dots: Look for connections and patterns between the cards. How do they relate to the question or situation at hand? Pay attention to any recurring themes, symbols, or lessons that emerge.
  6. Reflect on the reading: Once you have interpreted each card and the overall message of the reading, take time to reflect on its significance. Consider how the insights gained can be applied to your life and personal growth.

Remember, when working solely with the Major Arcana, the absence of the Minor Arcana may limit the specificity and practical guidance that can be obtained. However, the Major Arcana offers profound insights into the spiritual and transformative aspects of your journey.


While the Tarot can be a rich and dynamic tool with its complete deck of 78 cards, focusing on only the Major Arcana can provide a different kind of reading experience. By using solely these powerful cards, readers can dive deep into the major themes and transformative energies that shape our lives. A Major Arcana Tarot reading allows for a clearer narrative, a stronger connection to the universal archetypes, and an opportunity for profound self-reflection. So, if you are looking to explore the depths of your spiritual journey, don’t hesitate to dive into the wisdom of the Major Arcana.

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Can You Do a Tarot Reading with Just Major Arcana?