The cards in the Major Arcana are regarded as the most important in the entire tarot deck. This is because they are the cards that govern different areas of human experience - as a result, they are always given special precedence in any tarot spread. These are unsuited trump cards and there are 22 in total. These cards govern three major realms; the material world, the intuitive mind and the realm of change.
If you look at different tarot decks, you'll notice that the Major Arcana cards may appear in a different order. This isn't something you need to worry about - the importance of the cards lies in their meaning, not in their numeric order. It is helpful to think of our lives as a giant wheel and tarot is the spokes of this wheel. At the center of all of this is the card of the Fool. The Fool does not represent stupidity - instead, he represents innocence that is about to embark on a journey. This journey will be filled with good and bad things.
Apart from the Fool, the other cards in the Major Arcana are the Magician, High Priestess, Emperor, Empress, Heirophant, Lovers, Strength, Chariot, Wheel of Fortune, Hermit, Hanged Man, Justice, Temperance, Death, Tower, Devil, Moon, Star, Judgment, World and Sun. It is important to learn the inner meanings of all these cards before you do a reading. We already know the Fool is at the center of the journey. He is also the very first card - he generally represents a new change or a big adventure in the future.
One of the most important players in the Major Arcana is the Magician's card. It generally represents a warning in the face of a new opportunity. In many ways, it is a card that reminds us to be prepared in all aspects of our lives, from the personal to the financial. The High Priestess is a very mysterious card as it is particularly rich in symbolism. If you study her picture on the card, you'll notice a number of things like a curtain decorated with pomegranates and a cross around her neck. She represents spiritual enlightenment and a balance of power - this is represented by the cross, which has arms of equal length. If this card appears in a spread, it generally points to unseen forces at work.
The Empress is often associated and represented as Mother Earth. If this card appears on a spread, it generally symbolizes wealth and abundance. It also signals a period of increased creative output for artists. While it can mean stability if it appears right side up, the reversed card symbolizes disharmony at home. This could be due to financial problems or even infertility. If the Empress has a more maternal meaning, the Emperor represents authority, power and paternity. In most cases, this card is the sign of a leader. However, if it is reversed, it means stunted emotional maturity and a tendency to let life just pass by.
It's obvious that learning the meanings of the cards of the Major Arcana is not only intensely interesting, but will help you make accurate readings as well.