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Why I Only Use the Major Arcana in My Tarot Practice

Why I Only Use the Major Arcana in My Tarot Practice

One thing that stands out to my tarot clients, students, and friends I pull cards for is that I only use the twenty-two Major Arcana cards when doing tarot readings.

I am often asked why I don’t use the full tarot deck, including the Minor Arcana.

So today, I thought I’d explain why that is.

If you’re not entirely familiar with the subject, a tarot deck is comprised of seventy-eight cards. Twenty-two of these cards (numbered from 0 to 21) are called the Major Arcana; they are the “trump” cards that have figures such as The Empress, Justice, Strength, Temperance, The Tower, and so on.

The other fifty-six cards are referred to as the Minor Arcana, and they come in four different suits: Cups, Wands, Pentacles and Swords. (If this sounds familiar to you, it’s because standard playing cards are derived from tarot!)

I believe Major Arcana cards have far more universal meanings that allow room for interpretation, making the reading more authentic. Minor Arcana cards tend to be, in my opinion, too specific, hence they don’t align with my tarot philosophy.

The person who introduced me to tarot, like most French tarot users, stuck to the Major Arcana. And while this seemed a bit peculiar to me at first, I learned quickly enough that you don’t need the Minor Arcana to be able to read tarot.

Minor Arcana cards, in fact, can make learning tarot intimidating for beginners (there’s fifty-six of them, bringing the total to seventy-eight tarot cards). Since my goal is to make tarot more accessible for people seeking to understand it, it made even more sense to stick with the Major Arcana.

For me, personally, learning all the Minor Arcana card meanings wasn’t the issue itself, but more so that it felt monotonous and void of sense, as if I was memorizing just for the sake of memorizing.

This brings me to my main point: I never connected with Minor Arcana cards. They never spoke to me like Major Arcana cards did, so I wasn’t really able to explain them with my own words. When I used to post a daily tarot card on my social media, I tried using Minor Arcana cards for a week. I ended up paraphrasing the explanation in the booklet, which fully goes against my principles of using tarot. Because of this, it didn’t feel honest, authentic, or ethical for me to continue using Minor Arcana cards in my business.

Of course, I’m not saying that no one should use Minor Arcana cards, but only that it is my choice not to use them in my personal and professional tarot practice at the moment. I don’t exclude the possibility that as my tarot practice continues to deepen (it’s a lifelong journey, after all!), I might feel drawn to the Minor Arcana at some point and decide to study it. And after I have spent enough time connecting to it, I just might use it professionally. We never know!

In the meantime, if you’re learning to use Major Arcana cards through me and want to enrich your tarot practice with the Minor Arcana, I encourage you to do your research and find a tarot teacher who uses it (the first one that comes to my mind is Biddy Tarot – her website is a very extensive and rich resource on the topic!).

I hope this post gives you a good explanation for my choice to stick with the Major Arcana! Again, I hope you won’t let my opinion and choice influence your practice, but rather, use what I teach as a starting point to learn tarot and make it your own!

Much love,

S.

PS: Want to learn more about tarot? Get yourself a copy of my book on the subject! And if you’re a spiritual and/or holistic wellness professional looking to add tarot to your services, I have just the course for you!

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