Mythic Tarot: The Major Arcana Pt. 2March 18, 2022
Let’s continue to highlight the Greek god equivalents and other mythological significance of each of the Major Arcana. Delving into the cards' tradition and journey will help add dimension to your readings and spiritual practice!
7. The Chariot (Apollo)
The Chariot is a striking card featuring an armored figure atop a chariot with one black and one white sphinx at its sides. You might immediately feel what it is trying to tell you—face your difficult decisions head-on. This card is proactive and demands tenacity in its upright position. Apollo, the Greek god, traversed the sky on his sun chariot from east to west and is likened to the card's assertiveness. In reverse, the card suggests a lack of direction and indecisiveness.
8. Strength (Hercules)
Strength is the next stage in the Jungian journey across the Major Arcana. With this card, we see an individual embracing a male lion. The lion is a significant symbol that connects to the Greek god Hercules, who killed a vicious lion. Considered the strongest demigod turned immortal, the card instills a sense of strength, courage, and influence. The alternative reading describes feelings of self-doubt and lack of energy.
9. The Hermit (Cronus)
The Hermit invites us to slow down and invite patience to counteract the preceding cards' tenacity and outward strength. A man in a cloak surrounded by darkness holds up a lamp. The small light in the blackness signifies guidance and insight. The Greek god of the cosmos, Cronus, is associated with this figure. Cronus and the cloaked man represent the last moral lesson that The Fool must learn in the journey—one of forbearance and inner wisdom. In reverse, the card warns of withdrawal and isolation.
10. Wheel of Fortune (The Three Fates)
We often wonder if life is the result of destiny or if we are in control. The Wheel of Fortune illustrates a large, multilevel wheel including symbols of the earthly elements, law, and alchemy with the three Fates surrounding. In Greek mythology, the three Fates wove human life's thread in secret and could not be undone. If pulled upright, the card represents karma, destiny, and a pivotal turning point. On the opposite end, expect messages of bad luck or a call to break a harmful cycle.
11. Justice (Athena)
If we submit ourselves to fate, we must also learn how to create a sense of balance in our material world. Justice, with its wise figure seated with scales and a sword, represents just that. Symbolic of the Greek god of wisdom and war, Athena, if you draw this card, expect to reflect on truth, fairness, and law. Upside down, the message is one of inner or outer dishonesty and a lack of accountability for actions.
12. The Hanged Man (Prometheus)
In alignment with balance, the next of the Major Arcana symbolizes surrender and a time of reflection. The figure upside down in the shape of a cross looks quite worrisome—but remember the restraint forces a different perspective that can shift your worldview. Prometheus in Greek mythology represents human consciousness, and in the Tarot, it wants you to commit to temporary sacrifice to benefit a greater good. In reverse, this card speaks to stubborn resistance.
13. Death (Hades)
Now that we surrender, we must die, but only symbolically, of course. The Death card in the Tarot symbolizes the shift into the next stage of the Jungian journey. Hades, the god of the underworld in Greek mythology, correlates to this card and begs for transition, transformation, and significant change. If you pull this card in the reversed position, it might be telling you that you are unwilling to make the proper changes and transitions needed.
Stay tuned for the last segment of our Mythic Tarot Major Arcana journey!