Tarot Based Pantheon: 13 Major Arcana Gods & Goddesses
The tarot is formed with 78 cards. Twenty-two of these cards are classified as Major Arcana while the other 56 cards are classified as Minor Arcana. There are innumerable ways in which to incorporate the tarot into your daily magical practice. One of them is by using the cards of the Major Arcana as representations of deities. This particular list of a Tarot Based Pantheon includes ancient gods and goddesses from many cultures. However, another article will follow that details their pop culture representations (such as Daenarys Targaryn) and how to make a pop culture pantheon with the tarot. Below are the first 13 cards in the Major Arcana, a brief summary of their meaning, and the deities that represent these cards.
Start with a Tarot card on your altar…
Framing a Major Arcana card to place upon your altar is a great way to represent your deity for daily practice. This also works if you choose to photocopy the card and frame its image. You can also carry the card with you, keep it in your car, or just generally place it where you will be sure to see it each and every day. Not only will this venerate your deity, but it will also allow you to walk the path archetype represented by your chosen deity and the tarot card itself. I recommend keeping a notebook while working with any tarot card to write down events, emotions, and synchronicities that may be linked to the use of the tarot card your embracing at any one particular time.
Now for the Tarot Based Pantheon (The First 13 Major Arcana)
#0 The Fool
The Fool is representative of the acolyte and initiate. Youth, energy, vibrancy, ambition and action are all qualities The Fool possesses. This card appears when we are required to take a leap of faith and approach life with childlike wonder and excitement without pressure and anxiety. It is also associated with the court jester and the planet Uranus thus representing the trickster archetype as well.
#1 The Magician
The Magician represents our ability to utilise all our resources in order to manifest our goals and dreams. Everyone has a distinct skill set that makes them unique to everyone else. The Magician is about learning what makes you unique and harnessing your power to make the mundane magical. Resources can mean anything from organization to energy or time to money. The Magician is associated with the planet Mercury and relates to deities who are known for the intelligence, communication, and sage advice. These deities are some of our favorites in the Tarot based pantheon (for obvious reasons):
#2 The High Priestess
The High Priestess represents, above all else, listening to our own inner voice. It is a card of intuition and feminine energy. When it appears, it is a sign that you need to turn inward for answers rather than seeking validation outside yourself. The High Priestess is associated with the moon, magic, divination, dreams, death, and the occult. It is also representative of the seer/priestess archetype.
#3 The Empress
The Empress represents creation in all its forms. She is pregnable with creativity, energy, wealth, abundance, beauty, and life itself. Her presence is gentle and nurturing though obstacles and laborious tasks are required to reap the benefits of her fertility. This card appears when you have an idea for a project, have just planted a field, or are in the process of growing a human being. The Empress is associated with Venus and represents the ultimate mother archetype.
#4 The Emperor
The Emperor represents power, leadership and authority. He provides structure, security, and support to accomplish your goals. When this card appears, it is a sign to sink into our own wellspring of power and take control over our existence. He is a catalyst for change. The Emperor is associated with the astrological sign Aries and its ruler Mars. He is associated with the regal power and authority, kingly, archetype.
#5 The Hierophant
The Hierophant represents tradition. Institutions, spiritual legacies, and profound wisdom are his calling cards. Oftentimes when he appears he is asking that we examine our own traditions to see if they align with the path we are walking. If not, he calls on us to create traditions and institutions that fit who we are at an authentic soul level. The Hierophant is associated with the sign Taurus, the planet Venus, and is representative of deities that preside over great wisdom and piety.
Deities: Odin, Athena, Isis, Hera, Frig, Seshat, Thoth, Ogma or any other deity that represents pious wisdom
#6 The Lovers
The Lovers represents decision making. Relationships, values, symbiotic connection, harmony, and consequences are all heralded by The Lovers. When it appears, this card is a sign that the seeker has come to a crossroads and must make a decision. Though called The Lovers, in my experience, this card only represents relationships 50% of the time. The other 50% it is a card that requires action to create change. The Lovers is associated with the astrological sign of Gemini and it’s ruling planet Mercury.
#7 The Chariot
The Chariot represents straddling the boundaries of the inner and outer worlds to find answers. When this card appears, we are being asked to decide between two paths using out intuition and knowledge as well as our resources. The Chariot is associated with the astrological sign of Cancer and its ruler the Moon. Deities that represent the archetype of the traveller or journeyman are associated with this card.
Deities: Helios, Apollo, Poseidon, Shiva, Nike, Astarte, Durga, Odin, Hermes, Bastet, Sobek, Set, Rhiannon and any other deity associated with the archetype of the traveler
Above all Strength represents our individual fortitude. It is our ability to withstand whatever may come our way without engaging in a downward spiral. When this card appears, it is a signal that the issue at hand can be overcome if we tap into our eternal reservoir of courage and bravery. Strength is associated with the astrological sign of Leo and its ruling planet the Sun. Its archetypal association is that of the underdog.
#9 The Hermit
The Hermit is a symbol of wisdom gained in solitude. A great lesson is offered by The Hermit in that being left to our own thoughts and devices can be one of our greatest tools to engage in shadow work and study for the goal of achieving a growth through a self-reset. The Hermit is associated with the astrological sign of Virgo and its ruling planet Mercury. It is the archetype of the shadow worker or solitary sage.
Deities: Mimir, Brahma, Nabu, Persephone, Hades, Cerridwen, Nemetona, Thoth, The Muses and any other deity that fits the shadow worker/solitary sage archetype
#10 Wheel of Fortune
The Wheel of Fortune is a symbol of fate. At any point in time, we can experience highs and lows in life. When the Wheel turns up, often it is a shift in luck due to fate. It is a symbol of constant change and temporary circumstances. The Wheel of Fortune is represented by the planet Jupiter and is the gambler/dealer of fate archetype
Deities: The Fates, Fortuna, Astarte, Jupiter, Zeus, Vishnu, Lakshmi, Tyche, Maat, Airnhrod and any other deity representative of the dealer of fate/gambler archetype
Justice can best be summed up by the phrase every action has an equal and opposite reaction. When this card comes up, it is often a sign that it’s time to pay the pied piper whether positive or negative. What you put out into the world comes back to you in some way, shape, or form. Which way it comes back is determined by an individual’s previous actions and intentions. Justice is represented by the astrological sign Libra and its ruling planet Venus. It is the archetype of the judge, jury and executioner.
Deities: Ma’at, Anubis, Nemesis, The Morrigan, Kali, Dike, Zeus and any other deity associated with the judge/jury/executioner archetype
#12 The Hanged Man
The Hanged Man is the ultimate card of sacred sacrifice. We must give of ourselves in order to receive what it is we are seeking. Sometimes that means choosing to let go of people, habits, or occupations in order to gain something in return. The Hanged Man is represented by Neptune and the archetype of the martyr. Deity associations can also be literal to gods and goddesses who made great personal sacrifices in order to gain wisdom, knowledge, love, etc.
Deities: Odin, Rhiannon, Demeter, Persephone, Macha, Osiris, Horus, Morpheus, Artemis, Buddha, Jesus, Neptune, Poseidon, Green Tara, Kuan Yin and any other deity associated with the martyr archetype
If you’d like to read the continuation of this article and find out who the rest are…click here.
Meet Resident Writer: Allorah Rayne
Allorah Rayne is a practitioner of witchcraft and has been part of the online spiritual community since 2012. She is a Virgo sun, Pisces moon, and Leo rising. Her introduction to tarot was at the age of nine and she pursued more intensive learning at fifteen. Allorah is the founder of The Wayfaring Witch © where she offers soul origin profiles, tarot and oracle card readings, and individualized mentorships in the ways of the witch. She is also the co-founder alongside Kitty of Burning Hallows Productions which produces The Otherworldly Oracle Official Podcast and Mimir’s Well podcast. You can contact Allorah at the following social media sites Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, on The Wayfaring Witch © website via live chat, or by e-mail at email@example.com