Circus Tarot 101 – Major Arcana Part One


The start of an adventure without thinking or having a plan—moving through life acting on impulse. He is a silly Clown afraid of insignificant things, but does not let his fears impeded him from going forward. He works through life’s struggles with a carefree, “chin-up” attitude. His big open eyes see an exciting world full of adventure. He walks a tightrope, no more than two inches from the ground, showing off his daring sense of adventure. His white with pink polka dots parasol rests on his shoulder. Behind him, waves gently cascade on the shore of Meeting of Wood Lake and Sun is above him, giving him an optimistic outlook. The number zero is at the top of the card.
When Fool is flipped, expect the bland day-to-day life of the status quo with planning and preparation for the days ahead. Do not expect excitement in the near future. Expect feelings of doom and gloom.              
Magician is a man of action. He takes initiative while others may not. He has personal power and is practical. His self-confidence can be overwhelming to some. He always remains objective. He is a good resource for finding answers and ways to manipulate the outcome to your favor. His black tuxedo and top hat are made of the finest silk. He waves his wand over a table that has a token, bucket, foil and pole sitting on it—all are in his control. At his feet, roses are thrown by the audience. A pair of doves touch their beaks together in flight above his head, forming infinity. The numeral one glows at the top of the card.


Flipped, Magician is a mewling child that has no self-confidence or trust in the world or himself. He cannot decide what to do and sits idly by while others take the lead. He enjoys being dominated by people—a way to release feelings of inadequacy and doubt, too bad it does not work.


High Priestess is the main attraction at World Circus or so she believes. The layers of her white sheer dress are filled with love, wisdom and common sense. Although she can be introspective and seem vain—nothing wrong with always wanting to look ones best—she does not allow her thoughts to stop her from pleasing the audience as she dances on the backs of her magnificent white horses. Her dark hair is pulled back into a severe bun. She has smooth, pale skin that blends with her dress. The numeral two hangs in the catwalk with Star.

She is a haggard old woman when flipped. She has only pleased herself. She does not think before she acts. She has no insight to life or anything else. She forces herself to be happy, which she never is.
Empress soars through the trapeze with Emperor. Her golden hair flies freely around her face, adding to her allure. She wears a blue and white sequined unitard that dazzles the eye when Star shines its light on her—has the numeral three above her breast. She is a mother figure to the denizens of World Circus and at the same time she is sexually enticing, second to High Priestess. She has no fear of satisfying herself or others.


The sexuality that she owns when she is normal is no longer present when she is flipped. She is repulsive to all eyes. She is overbearing and mean. No one wishes to be near her. She does not satisfy anyone, including herself.


Emperor never allows Empress to fall from the sky. He remains stable and commanding during the most complicated routines. He leads the way with experience and inflexibility. He maintains conservative ways with order and structure. He can be egocentric, but is a strong father figure non-the-less. His short-cropped hair and beard sparkle with Star’s light reflected in the sequins of his blue and white bodysuit. In the center of his chest is the numeral four.


Do not trust this guy when he is flipped. He is unreliable and intoxicated. He lives outside his means and pretends he does not care if he hurts anyone. Structure is tossed aside and free-form ideas flow. He is unstable and when you need him the most, he will turn his back on you or allow you to fall.


The Fortune Teller in the sideshow attractions at World Circus. She has knowledge of all things, supported by her education of both book and the world. She is mature and has a strong belief system. At times, she can be naïve about events around her. Her red and gold satin gown covers her to the neck, wrist and ankle. Her wrinkled face peers into the crystal ball on the table inside her booth. Rich tapestries from around the world hang around her. Her numeral is five.


Flipped, she is an immature acting older woman without much knowledge of anything. She is drunk and loose, wanting someone to take her to their trailer. She pretends that she knows more than she does, leaving people to not trust her when she offers her opinion.

The Fat Woman and Tall Man at the World Circus sideshow walk through the Circus grounds and World Tent behind them. Between them they hold the numeral six. They are inseparable and are in the mood with the slightest touch. The world is their oyster and anything they want is fulfilled.

When flipped, they are nothing but a couple forced into an unwanted relationship. They fight and bicker with each other and anyone near. They have nothing in common.


The golden Calliope is carried on an elaborate wagon and supplies the Circus with merry music. The music fills the listeners with feelings of conquest, honor and victory. It generates energy and self-confidence in the performers. An ebony numeral seven is inlaid on the side. A team of miniature ponies pulled Calliope around the arena and stopped behind Center Ring.  A man in all white, plays the vigorous tunes for each performance.


No one wants to hear the cacophony of sound that emits from Calliope when it is flipped—it is a squealing mass of horns. The shrieks that come from it cause people to feel uncomfortable and unsure of themselves.


He is a sideshow attraction. He can lift unusually heavy objects. His best pal, a lion, rubs against him as he lifts dumbbells over his head. Strong Man is composed and stable—a true gentle giant. He is kind and helpful to all. The red numeral eight is stitched into the center of his black and white striped tank-top.


Flipped, Strong Man is anything but strong. He is weak physically, mentally and emotionally. He had grand dreams but he did not bother making an effort at seeing them into fruition.
He is introspective and rarely says a word. He reflects on all events as he flies from one end of World Circus tent to the other. After the show, he isolates himself from the others. He wears a white jumpsuit with a red numeral nine on the chest. He carries his helmet under his arm when he is not being shot out of the cannon.

If you wish to say anything, stay away from Human Cannonball when flipped. He says everything that comes to mind and lets his emotions to be known, causing him to have his heart trampled. If he is not the center of attention, he gets angry and has a tantrum until he is.


A man spins on a red and white spiral wheel while knives are thrown at him by an unseen beautiful woman.  Each knife is an opportunity, and each rotation of the wheel is a life cycle. Above the Wheel, the numeral ten glows.

All opportunities that could have been are washed away, when this card is flipped. Life ends, everything is dire, no happiness is found.

Next time I will post the rest of the Major Arcana. Check out Circus Tarot ( Amazon Smashwords) and Page of Buckets (Amazon  Smashwords).

Daughter of Illusion

The Horror of My Life


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