When I was in eighth grade, I was obsessed with the movie The Craft, as all of the best rebellious teens were. I wore a million necklaces and tried to call the corners with my girlfriends in my oversized closet that was plastered with Trent Reznor TeenBop (the super emo section) pictures. My favorite bit of witchy rebellion was my deck of tarot cards purchased at the local Waldenbooks. And to be honest, I never put them down. Even if it's all artful hogwash, they're pretty and compelling. I often wondered, and still do — which tarot card represents me? Because it's the clutch part of the process.
In tarot reading, it's important to note that there are two primary groups of tarot cards: major arcana and minor arcana. The major arcana are used to determine primary life purposes, pathways, and personalities, and the minor arcana are used to divine the quotidian experiences in your day to day life that, while important, are so mutable that they can't possibly represent a person on the whole, according to The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Reading. To that end, the tarot card that represents you will be from the major arcana, and derived from personality traits and the driving motivations behind your major life choices.
There are 22 major arcana that range from Death to The Fool, but they're not always as they seem, according to Llewellyn's Complete Book of Tarot. Not only does it depend on how they're drawn, but also who is doing the drawing. Are you more literal? Do you delight in satire? That could change the meaning of your cards.
This card seems to come up in my crown position every time I have a Celtic Cross reading done. That means that this is my primary personality card. Is this you? We are the fun seekers. We have big ideas, and it's possible that they're coming in a rush, and we tend to share them in the moment without fully conceptualizing them. Imagine mental mapping out loud in a board meeting. You probably have a very basic wardrobe with super fun accessories that you can change on a whim. A black dress with enormous hoop earrings or a necklace reading "fight the patriarchy." You're a bit of a magpie.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not a negative card. It's merely an excitable one.
Hey Dumbledore, are you a bad*ss boss lady who gets stuff done? Are you your own best counsel? You might be The Magician. Magicians, according to lore, believe in the notion "as above, so below; as within, so without." They're driven by the knowledge that all is connected, and karma is real, noted The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Reading, and balance should always be sought out above all other things. If you drink a green juice with your french fries, and then go home and contemplate your decision — you're definitely not a muggle.
The High Priestess
You're driven by the need to know, says Modern Tarot. In fact, you probably don't even believe in tarot, but you still wanted to know which card represents you, because it seems like something you should know. You trust your instincts, and in an argument, you make yourself Switzerland for as long as possible. You're in touch with whatever your femininity means to you, and if someone needs advice, they come to you before anyone else.
The mother of the arcana, the Empress depicts all that is possible, fertile, and rich in the arcana, notes Tarot Readings. If you are someone who dwells on the possibility of things and people, finding yourself deeply saddened by any barrier to those possibilities, you're probably The Empress. Nearly always depicted as pregnant, The Empress is the card that looks towards the future as a gift and a blessing. If you're the Empress, you might have thought about becoming a school teacher or pediatrician at some point. You likely hate politics, apart from maybe climate and gun control, and you may have more than a few houseplants.
The Emperor is a protector. While he's generally considered a card with masculine energy, that simply means in the way of tarot that he's a provider and not afraid to get confrontational if need be. (Tarot, like many other old forms of religious practice, has a bit of a patriarchy problem. Thankfully, there are now goddess decks that feature all women.) If you are the first person to speak to the teacher about a bully, and you sign yourself up for self-defense classes the moment you hear about a mugger in the area, you're likely an Emperor. You're pretty boss, notes Modern Tarot.
The High Priest
This is a transient card, and if this card represents you, it's not a permanent condition. The High Priest is sought when you need answers, generally legal counsel, says Modern Tarot. If you're building a new business, getting a divorce, buying a home, or selling a lot of stock, you're probably best represented by the High Priest right now. He is who you are in your mind as you seek this sort of help or advice. Don't worry, you'll fall back into your regular arcana soon.
If you believe in the notion of "opposites attract," or if you've ever been called a "hopeless romantic," this card is for you, says Tarot Readings. You're a sensual person and you come alive in the romantic arena. You might be an artist or author. You love sumptuous fabrics, even in the most basic items of clothing. You're also a matchmaker, working hard to see everyone who wants to be happily paired off. You're a mediator and passionately concerned about others.
You're a natural leader who thrives in the face of adversity, notes Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom. Did you overcome extremely meager upbringings to become a successful entrepreneur? Maybe you were the first in your family to go to college or graduate school. You might be a mom who decided to go to law school at night while raising her family during the day. You're a problem solver and go-getter. The chariot is so named because it is driven. You're both the driver and the horse in this scenario, and you excel in the environment. Just like The Goonies, The Chariots never say die.
Also known as "Fortitude" this card has a lion on it for a reason. The strength card is known for powering through, having a lot of self-determination, and coming through problems all the better for it, notes Modern Tarot. If you can keep your cool in the hairiest of situations, you are Fortitude. If you have the rug pulled out from underneath you only to scout out a better rug for a better price, you are the Strength card.
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but not as bad as it sounds. You are probably pretty introverted, you value your alone time, and enlightenment is important to you, says The Ultimate Guide to Tarot. You're probably a fan of prayerful meditation or yoga. You cherish the time just before bed when no one else is awake. You hated group projects in school, and likely work in a solitary environment. You may have gone wild during the nesting phase of your pregnancy, cleaning everything in your space a few times.
The Wheel of Fortune/Time/Year
This is another transient card. If something huge just happened in your life, generally for the good, this is your card, wrote The Ultimate Guide. New babies, new jobs, new house, new marriage — this is the phase of life you're in. When you settle into your new role, you'll land back somewhere else in the major arcana.
If you've recently found equilibrium in your life — say, your baby starts sleeping through the night or you're granted tenure after having men promoted above you over and over again — then Justice is your card right now. While not a wholly transient card, it's more of a station in your life. A place to allow yourself to settle into before moving on to another arcana that better fits your personality, says Tarot Readings.
The Hanged Man
If this is you right now, hang on (pun intended) — it will pass. This is a card of sacrifice. If you're a military wife or partner, you likely know this card well. Just as you get settled into a place, you're forced to give it up and move on again, says Modern Tarot. It only lasts a few moments in your life. Thankfully, this card also brings with it new insights into your life and future, so it's a lot about taking the bad with the good.
A friend of mine, another tarot fanatic, once told me, "Death isn't just about dying, it's about living when it's hard." This card is a transitional card, and generally means you're ending a relationship, going through illness or depression, or losing something you have always thought of as essential. With death comes life, as that is the nature of things, but this period will be hard, says Modern Tarot.
If you're the still point in a storm, the definition of "om," the unflappable amidst the rushing winds, you are temperance, says Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom. You value even-handed fairness, safety and love. If you're the one to make sure everyone has a vegetable with their lunchbox, and you shoo your kids out back after having dessert, you are Temperance. If you love high-low fashion looks and drive a hybrid, you are temperance. You aren't "the glass is half full or half empty," you are "look, there's wine left!" person.
Hey, wild child. The devil is not a negative card, says the Ultimate Guide to Tarot. It's just unorthodox. If you were an emo high schooler who has turned into a super-cool punk adult with more than a few tattoos, you're the devil.
It's also called the shadow because it's about accepting the darker parts of you as an essential part of who you are. It's not bad, it's not taboo, it's just you. So what if you like to read manga at breakfast and play Halo Wars at night — quit analyzing your personality and just live it. Get the nipple ring. Love your lower back tattoo that you got in the early aughts. It's a mark of who you are or were then.
If you know a change is about to happen, and you're unprepared, the tower is your card, found Modern Tarot. It's not a fun place to be, but it happens to all of us at some point. It happens most often when we're clinging to things that aren't good for us, so self-examination may be in order.
If you find yourself particularly full of insight, imagination, and inspiration, you're in your Star period, says Modern Tarot. I find myself in this space when I'm writing music or a new novel. It's a great place to be, and it always brings a great bounty.
Do you find the deeper meaning in things? In English literature class, were you the best at finding the metaphor of the wedding dress in Great Expectations? You're the moon. You shine your light through the darkness to get to the heart of the matter and illuminate what hides, says Tarot Readings.
Also, you are probably the one who can sniff out a sale at 20 paces, and knows where all the best taco trucks hang out. You're a moon of all trades, really.
Feeling successful? Enthusiastic? You're in your sun period, says Modern Tarot. The sun shines when you're at your best, your most full of exuberant joy. While it is a temporary condition, the sun can't shine all the time, so it's a great place to be.
This is what happens after the Tower, when you're forced to make amends and find a good place to land. You have to evaluate, to judge the situation, and work on a place to move on. With movement comes discernment and new intuition, notes Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom.
If you are the locus for your group of friends, you're The World. This is the matriarch, the leader, the whole kit and kaboodle. If you see the big picture better than anyone else, you're the world. You are a chef and a baker, the odd person who's good at math and English. You're the last of the Major Arcana, and you might find yourself here after a long life well lived, notes Modern Tarot.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.