ILLUSTRATED KEY TO THE TAROT.
THE GREATER ARCANA AND THEIR DIVINATORY MEANINGS
1. The Magician.—Skill, diplomacy, address, subtlety; sickness, pain, loss, disaster, snares of enemies; self-confidence, will; the Querent, if male.
Reversed: Physician, Magus, mental disease, disgrace, disquiet.
2. The High Priestess.—Secrets, mystery, the future as yet unrevealed; the woman who interests the Querent, if male; the Querent herself, if female; silence, tenacity ; mystery, wisdom, science.
Reversed: Passion, moral or physical ardor, conceit, surface knowledge.
3. The Empress.—Fruitfulness, action, initiative, length of days; the unknown, clandestine; also difficulty, doubt, ignorance.
Reversed: Light, truth, the unravelling of involved matters, public rejoicings; according to another reading, vacillation.
4. The Emperor.—Stability, power, protection, realization; a great person; aid, reason, conviction ; also authority and will.
Reversed: Benevolence, compassion, credit; also confusion to enemies, obstruction, immaturity.
5. The Hierophant.—Marriage, alliance, captivity, servitude; by another account, mercy and goodness; inspiration; the man to whom the Querent has recourse.
Reversed: Society, good understanding, concord, over-kindness, weakness.
6. The Lovers.—Attraction, love, beauty, trials overcome.
Reversed: Failure, foolish designs. Another account speaks of marriage frustrated and contrarieties of all kinds.
7. The Chariot.—Succor, providence; also war, triumph, presumption, vengeance, trouble.
Reversed: Riot, quarrel, dispute, litigation, defeat.
8. Fortitude.—Power, energy, action, courage, magnanimity; also complete success and honors.
Reversed: Despotism, abuse of power, weakness, discord, sometimes even disgrace.
9. The Hermit.—Prudence, circumspection; also and especially treason, dissimulation, roguery, corruption.
Reversed: Concealment, disguise, policy, fear, unreasoned caution.
10. Wheel of Fortune.—Destiny, fortune, success, elevation, luck, felicity.
Reversed: Increase, abundance, superfluity.
11. Justice.—Equity, rightness, probity, executive; triumph of the deserving side in law.
Reversed: Law in all its departments, legal complications, bigotry, bias, excessive severity.
12. The Hanged Alan.—Wisdom, circumspection, discernment, trials, sacrifice, intuition, divination, prophecy.
Reversed: Selfishness, the crowd, body politic.
13. Death.—End, mortality, destruction, corruption; also, for a man, the loss of a benefactor; for a woman, many contrarieties; for a maid, failure of marriage projects.
Reversed: Inertia, sleep, lethargy, petrifaction, somnambulism; hope destroyed.
14. Temperance.—Economy, moderation, frugality, management, accommodation.
Reversed: Things connected with churches, religions, sects, the priesthood, sometimes even the priest who will marry the Querent; also disunion, unfortunate combinations, competing interests.
15. The Devil.—Ravage, violence, vehemence, extraordinary efforts, force, fatality; that which is predestined but is not for this reason evil.
Reversed: Evil fatality, weakness, pettiness, blindness.
16. The Tower.—Misery, distress, indigence, adversity, calamity, disgrace, deception, ruin. It is a card in particular of unforeseen catastrophe.
Reversed: According to one account, the same in a lesser degree; also oppression, imprisonment, tyranny.
17. The Star.—Loss, theft, privation, abandonment; another reading says—hope and bright prospects.
Reversed: Arrogance, haughtiness, impotence.
18. The Moon.—Hidden enemies, danger, calumny, darkness, terror, deception, occult forces, error.
Reversed: Instability, inconstancy, silence, lesser degrees of deception and error.
19. The Sun.—Material happiness, fortunate marriage, contentment.
Reversed: The same in a lesser sense.
20. The Last Judgment.—Change of position, renewal, outcome. Another account specifies total loss through lawsuit.
Reversed: Weakness, pusillanimity, simplicity; also deliberation, decision, sentence.
Zero. The Fool.—Folly, mania, extravagance, intoxication, delirium, frenzy, bewrayment.
Reversed: Negligence, absence, distribution, carelessness, apathy, nullity, vanity.
21. The World.—Assured success, recompense, voyage, route, emigration, flight, change of place.
Reversed: Inertia, fixity, stagnation, permanence.
It will be seen that, except where there is an irresistible suggestion conveyed by the surface meaning, that which is extracted from the Trumps Major by the divinatory art is at once artificial and arbitrary, as it seems to me, in the highest degree. But of one order are the mysteries of light and of another are those of fantasy. The allocation of a fortune-telling aspect to these cards is the story of a prolonged impertinence.