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The 22 Trumps On The Tree

The Major Arcana: The 22 Paths of the Tree of Life and the Tarot

The Tree of Life consists of 10 nodes and 22 pathways between the nodes. For the Major Arcana, we’ll focus on the 22 pathways. We’ll discuss the nodes in the next section of the article when we talk about the Minor Arcana.

The paths connecting one node to another are paths represent the lessons learned on one’s journey or the spiritual requirements needed to traverse to the next node. Collectively, these 22 paths are known as the Path of the Serpent and represent the journey of the seeker that longs to return to the divine. As the serpent travels along this path, it also undergoes the healing of the spirit. One treads the Path through conscious self-development of one’s internal world.

If you’re already well versed in tarot, you may already know that the Major Arcana reflects something known as the Fool’s Journey. The 22 paths of the Tree of Life are just another lens through which to see the Fool’s Journey. These cards tell the story of humanity’s spiritual evolution into enlightenment and individuation, or in allegorical terms, they represent the return of the soul from matter to the divine through conscious cultivation of the self. If you're familiar with Labyrinthos' philosophy regarding tarot, this will all sound very familiar to you.


The Paths of the Tree of Life and Tarot Major Arcana

The Major Arcana and the Path of the Serpent Correspondences are detailed in the table below.

Tarot Card                         Letter                         Meaning                         Symbolic Meaning

  • Fool                           Aleph                                Ox                                     Primal Energy
  • Magician                   Beth                               House                             Temple, Attention
  • High Priestess         Gimel                            Camel                          Lifting Up, Unconscious
  • Empress                  Daleth                             Door                          Pathway, Nourishment
  • Emperor                     He                              Window                             Vision, Reasoning
  • Hierophant               Vau                            Hook, Nail                        Connections, Secure
  • Lovers                       Zayin                             Sword                            Discernment, Cut Off
  • Chariot                      Chet                         Field, Fence                           Separate, Enclose
  • Strength                     Tet                         Serpent, Twist                              Surround
  • Hermit                        Yod                         Closed Hand                              Deed, Work
  • Wheel of Fortune     Kaph                        Open Hand                              Cover, Grasp
  • Justice                      Lamed                         Goad, Staff                             Prod, Tongue
  • Hanged Man             Mem                              Water                           Overpower, Reversal
  • Death                         Nun                           Fruit, Fish                         Sprouting, Activity, Life
  • Temperance          Samech                         Tent, Prop                          Support, Doctrine
  • Devil                           Ayin                                 Eyes                             Experience, Knowledge
  • Tower                         Phe                         Throat, Mouth                           Speak, Word
  • Star                          Tzaddi                                 Hook                              Honesty, Harvest
  • Moon                       Quoph                        Back of Head                         Hidden, Behind
  • Sun                            Resh                                 Face                               Redemption, Highest
  • Judgement                Shin                                 Tooth                                Consume, Destroy
  • World                         Tav                             Sign, Cross                         Covenant, Seal, Truth

Image of The 22 Trumps On The Tree