The Major Arcana

The Major Arcana are a suit of twenty-two cards in the tarot deck, distinguished from the four standard suits collectively known as the Minor Arcana. The word Arcana is derived from a Latin word meaning "secret" or "hidden."

Each card in the Major Arcana depicts a scene, mostly featuring a person or several people, with many symbolic elements. In many decks these are numbered and named, though not all decks have both, and some have only a picture. The earliest decks bore unnamed and unnumbered pictures and the order of cards was not standardized.

The images on the Major Arcana are often very heavy with symbolism, with far more to the illustration than a mere depiction of the card title. The Major Arcana are usually regarded as relating to matters of higher purpose or deep significance, as opposed to the Minor Arcana which relate to the everyday world and matters of immediate significance.

Contemporary Tarot decks are numbered as follows:
 
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 or 11     Justice
9              The Hermit
10            Wheel of Fortune
11 or 8     Strength / Fortitude
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