Lovers, The - Major Arcana
The Lovers card is representative not only of crucial life choices, but also of lovers, couples, and other partnerships, like business partners, twins, friends and so forth. The young man between two women, as depicted on this card, symbolizes the struggle of trying to decide whether to follow one's heart versus one's temptation or obligation. The Lovers card symbolizes the choices that must be made to progress and grow on the way to higher self-awareness; choices also reflect emotional values, indecisiveness, hesitation, our fears about making the wrong choice. This applies not only to love relationships and marriages - it is applicable to any relationship where people may be drawn together, be it a business partnership or a casual, recreational one. The card of uncertainty!
Layout, or Spread
A pattern in which the cards are laid out in order to give a certain type of reading. Often each position in the layout is associated with a particular significance, and the meaning of the card placed there is synthesized with the implication of the position it's in.
An arcane or occult method of harnessing the forces of nature in order to create a specific effect which the uninitiated may view as supernatural.
Magician, The - Major Arcana
As the archetype of the masculine principle, the Magician represents someone who is able to achieve goals through his creative abilities and his skills in using the tools available to him. The Magician symbolizes the beginning of something new, when everything is possible. It can be a start of a new relationship, the birth of a new idea or creative project, or a financial strategy. The Magician is a confident person realizing his full potential by taking positive action and focusing his attention and energies on the task at hand. This includes employing magic. On the negative side, the Magician represents egotism, treachery, and overconfidence, thereby misleading others into making wrong choices.
The twenty-two Tarot trumps, starting with The Fool and climaxing with The World. The Major Arcana are generally associated with the greater issues: humanity, the world and its life forms, and major sociological issues.
A graphic symbol of the Universe, usually associated with Hinduism or Buddhism. Some Tarot layouts are based on mandala patterns.
A branch of philosophy that deals with the higher, unseen, more spiritual nature of humanity and the Universe. The study of the relationship between life forms and God.
The fifty-six cards outside of the Major Arcana, including the Court Cards and categorized in terms of the four suits and numbered from one (Ace) to ten. The Minor Arcana is associated with events in the course of the life of the individual.
Moon, The - Major Arcana
The Moon in all its phases represents the world of dreams, illusions, and the subconscious. Traditionally the symbol of the feminine, the card's meaning encompasses the maternal, the Great Mother, womanhood, and cycles. The Moon is an ambivalent card, and its imagery signifies the difficulty to see things clearly: simultaneously inspiring and lacking courage, enchanting and bewildering, deceptive and receptive – all sides of the same coin. Signaling fluctuating moods and uncertainty we must pay attention to our dreams, confront our subconscious and deal with the issues that come to the surface in order to progress to a higher level of awareness. Being able to put our imagination and creative talents to good use is an added bonus. Negative qualities such as ambiguity, confusion, hidden fears, and deception can be causes for failure.