The Tarot has two main parts: the Major Arcana, which deals with more overarching themes of personal and spiritual development, and the Minor Arcana, which deals with more with day-to-day life.
There are many beautiful decks which are majors-only decks (22 cards), and sometimes when an artist is creating a Tarot deck they may release the majors as a stand-alone deck before completing the entire deck. Of course, ANY Tarot deck can be a majors-only deck by separating out the Major and Minor Arcana cards.
There are several ways one might use a majors-only deck, and here are some of my favorites.
As a Deck for Small Spreads
For a 1- to 5-card spread, a majors-only deck can be used anytime, and it's especially relevant if the theme of the reading relates to a spiritual journey or personal development.
As a Deck for Deep Spreads
What needs to be learned from the situation at hand? Pull one card from a majors-only deck for insight.
Or use a Majors-only deck for any reading having to do with spiritual journey or personal development.
For example, you might do a chakra spread (one card for each chakra) or a spread about life lessons or life path with majors only.
Combine with a 78-card Deck for Depth: Daily Draw
Instead of doing a one-card daily Tarot draw, do a two card draw. Draw one card from a majors-only deck to represent the theme of the day, and the other drawn from a 78-card deck to represent what you specifically need to work on or be aware of during the day.
Combine with a 78-card Deck for Clarity: Theme Card
Shuffle and draw a card from a majors-only deck to represent the over-arching theme of any Tarot reading before doing the spread with a full deck. Set the major-arcana THEME card above the spread to act as an influence for interpreting the spread.
Comparative Tarot is pulling the same card from different decks and comparing them to help expand your understanding of the card. This works especially well with majors-only decks, because they tend to be larger in size than a standard Tarot deck, and that makes it easier to see details.
For example, pull the Magician card from your RWS deck and lay it side-by-side with the Magician card from a majors-only deck – especially one whose art resonates with you.
Spend some time in meditation and journaling with them both, looking at the similarities and differences and seeing how the comparison expands your understanding of the Magician card.
Focal Card on Altar
The main thing I use a majors-only deck for is as a focal card on my altar. Oftentimes I want to draw the energy of a particular Major Arcana card into my life.
For example, I might want to work on becoming more organized and more deliberate about how I structure my time in order to direct my creative energies. This is a common theme for me, because I tend to be a creative person who needs a little extra push to channel that creativity into something productive. So the Emperor card from the Major Arcana is often on my altar.
As an Oracle
Another way to use the Major Arcana is as an Oracle deck. Shuffle and draw for insight just as you would an Oracle deck.
Do you have any other ideas for using a majors-only Tarot deck? Let me know!