I'm not a fan of the Major Arcana, and find Majors-only decks disappointing. The flaw is mine: I'm uncomfortable navigating in that glittering gallery of archetypes. Give me the everyday down-to-earth homey Minors any day.
People go about arranging the Majors in a variety of patterns. The most common way of sorting them, at least that I've read about, seems to be in 3 rows of 7, leaving aside the Fool. Writers make cases for what each row represents in the Fool's life journey, and also sometimes the links between cards vertically above and below each other in the layout. For instance 3 Empress - 10 Wheel - 17 Star.
The cards below are from the Smith-Waite Tarot Deck, Centennial Edition, in a tin. Served up on a crooked chair cushion in uneven light. But you get the idea.
I'm not here to refute anyone's theories.
What I am going to do is show you, in three Majors-only decks, the pivot-point cards where each row ends. Racing, taking a breather, the finish line, if you will.These are Chariot 7, Temperance 14, and finally the World, 21.
No brilliant expositions, no new theories, no arguments. Just these images.
I leave the thinking to you.
The three decks from left to right are:
1) The Stolen Child Tarot (unglazed cardstock, OOP; she's working on completing this deck)
2) I Tarocchi Dell'Alba Dorata (large cards which don't appear so here, unglazed cardstock, OOP)
3) Tarot for Cats (large size cards, OOP)
At the end of the first row of seven, the Chariots. Il Percorso translates to the Path, the Route. Interesting that in the final two cards the Chariot appears to be moving backwards, to the left.
Completing the second row, at number 14, is Temperance. L'Anima (The Soul). While most Temperance cards have water or liquids moving from one vessel to another, it's rare to find the characters actually under the water as we see here in the first two examples.
And finally, the Fool's Journey concludes at 21 with The World, or Il Labirinto, labyrinth or maze. Our cat presents the most conventional World card of the three.
It seemed a shame to leave these three unusual decks without showing you a few more cards. So here are the Hermit 9, and Moon 18, the first cards I look for when opening a new deck. Neither one is my year card or birth card - I just like them!
In neighbourhood news...
Ta-da! Introducing new shelves for tarot decks and books, their assembly courtesy of my darling and helpful daughter. Many of these decks were so relieved to finally get out from under all that other stuff.
A to M
and N to U
and finally, V to Z
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