What All The Major Arcana In The Tarot Deck Really Mean

The Fool: This card means the spirits are roasting you from beyond by calling you a fool. It sucks but what can you do? Not an auspicious first card to get, but you can take solace in the fact that the spirits probably died from eating rotten food or getting brained by their goodly wife with an iron kettle for thinking about fornication.

The Magician: Whoa, what! You’re a magician and you never told me? Do a magic spell for me right now! Is Gandalf real? Do you have his contact information? This is seriously so cool; wait until I tell everyone down at the Coffee Hut that I’m friends with a wizard, they’re going to be so jealous.

The High Priestess: This is a reminder that you joined a snake cult. Yes, another one. I know, I can’t believe it either; I’m mostly just in awe of how many snake cults you manage to find.

The Empress: Drawing this card means that you’re entitled to one free Queen-sized chili cheese dog with jalapenos and a free side cup of Katherine the Great secret sauce at the Dowager Empress’s Chili Dog Hut. Nice!

The Emperor: The exact same thing as the Empress, but for the fellas. You know how guys are. Super sensitive about their masculinity and all that.

The Hierophant: This card is…uh, well. A hierophant is like…an elephant? With hieroglyphs on it? Or something. Let’s come back to this one later.

The Lovers: Pretty self-explanatory. You’re gonna get totally laid at some point soon. Nice job. Proud of you.

The Chariot: This card used to mean that you were going to get your legs cut off by a chariot while sunbathing, but now that we have cars and not chariots, that’s not a super big deal anymore. Still, better safe than sorry. Better lay low for a little while.

Strength: Ah, now things are getting tricky. While this card appears to say “strength,” only true practitioners of tarot know that this is actually a 15th century shortening of the phrase “strop length,” a reminder not to buy a strop that’s too long. If you’re in the market for a strop, remember not to get oversold on length. Strop salesmen are always trying to upsell you on length.

The Hermit: This is another case of the spirits having a joke at your expense. But also, jeeze louise. Get outside a little. You’re really pale and you look terrible. I’m with the spirits on this one.

Wheel of Fortune: The Wheel of Fortune just means you should talk to your grandparents. That’s all. Guilt about grandparents has been around for as long as tarot, and back then they didn’t even have the modern convenience of cell phones, so think about that before you go telling me how hard it is.

Justice: This card is a fairly recent addition to the tarot deck, and was created in 2007 in order to drum up free advertising for the Justice album ‘Cross.

The Hanged Man: Oof, yikes. The Hanged Man is no good. Predictably, it means that you’re going to be hanged at some point. Much less good than its counterpart “The Hung Man,” which means you’ve got some primo, grade A dick meat hanging out in your trousers.

Death: Don’t be alarmed by the Death arcana—it simply means that at some point in the future your friend is going to finish up that totally sick Grim Reaper logo for your band. Get that baby on some shirts, do some gigs, kiss some groupies, you’ll be living on easy street. The Death card is really good.

Temperance: Temperance is a virtue, but people in the middle ages also thought goblins were real and that anyone who looked weird was a witch. Take this one with a grain of salt in 2017.

The Devil: The Devil, huh? Lucifer, Old Scratch, all that good stuff. Anyway this one’s another misdirect. The Devil seems like a bad card to draw, but it just means you’re in for some DEVILishly good gumbo the next time you’re in the area. What area? I don’t know—one with gumbo I guess.

The Tower: You stand to inherit a tower, parapet, steeple or spire at some point in the future. This one is no muss, no fuss.

The Star: Tough luck. In spite of stardom’s positive connotations in the modern age, this arcana actually means that you’re going to be pelted with ninja stars every time you leave the house for the rest of your life.

The Moon: Traditionally associated with femininity, the Moon means that you’re finally going to get some settlement money for your family’s part in developing the 1980s McDonalds mascot, Mac Tonight. Sweet.

The Sun: The Sun arcana is a reminder that you shouldn’t be afraid that the Sun exists—it comes out every morning.

Judgement: The Judgement arcana is actually a wildcard, and can have the meaning of any of the other 21 major arcana. It’s asking you to use your best judgement.

The World: This card means you’re in charge of the world now, and as such is suitably rare. You probably won’t fuck it up any worse than the damn…Cheeto we got in the White House right now though, so I’m not worried.

Image Credit: Rider-Waite tarot cards, 1909