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THE 22 MAJOR ARCANA CARDS

What is the major arcana?

The word arcana is a fascinating one. Arcana is the plural of arcanum, which stems from the Latin word arcanus, meaning “closed” and “secret”. Arcana also originates from the French word arca, meaning “chest, box, container, or ark”.

Both arcana and arcanum mean “the mystery of mysteries,” the ultimate secret behind the hermetic arts and sciences – tarot, astrology, numerology, alchemy, and sacred geometry. 

Simply put, arcana refers to a chest or container of sacred secrets. Adding the word major lets you know that the major arcana is an important container of sacred secrets.

In tarot, the word arcana refers to an entire grouping of cards, whether it’s the 22 major or 56 minor arcana cards. The word arcanum is used when you refer to one specific card, such as the Wheel of Fortune or the Five of Cups.

The major arcana cards are also known as major trumps. In card games, trump cards are cards of a suit that outrank all others.

Click at the tarotcards for the interpretations. If you find yourself thinking that there must be more to each card, you’re absolutely correct! Each card and symbol has an infinite number of meanings. 


© bron Tarot voor Dummies

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