The Major Arcana of the Motherpeace Round Tarot Deck

Updated on April 23, 2018
Jean Bakula profile image

Jean teaches astrology and metaphysical topics. She is an avid reader, published author, and lifetime member of the NJ Metaphysical Center.

What is the Major Arcana of the Motherpeace Tarot?

What is the Major Arcana in a Tarot card deck? It is a group of 21 cards which depict 21 lessons your Soul must try to master before you evolve to your full potentials. You may choose some of the lessons, but some will be thrust upon you. Every person will not experience the circumstances shown in every card. When a Major Arcana card shows up in a Tarot reading, it should be taken seriously. This is a signal that something important and crucial to your self-development is about to happen.

In the last twenty five years, the quest a person takes on as shown in the Major Arcana has become known as “The Fool’s Journey.” Normally when one reads Tarot cards, there are only two positions, upright and reversed. The Motherpeace Round Tarot Deck adds left and right. When the card leans to the right, whatever is expressed in the card is being intensely felt. If the card leans to the left, its expression is diminished, or being felt less. As you practice reading with the round cards, you will get the “feel” of using the circle in your interpretations. This is the most basic interpretation, you will find your own way.

The Fool of the Motherpeace Round Tarot Deck is innocent and spontaneous.
The Fool of the Motherpeace Round Tarot Deck is innocent and spontaneous. | Source

How to Interpret The Fool

0—The Fool—The Fool is completely innocent, like a newborn baby. She is hungry to try new things to broaden her experiences. Her impulses are pure and she needs to act and create, even if other people do not understand why. The Fool symbolizes our abilities to take risks, and will show up in readings where a person is contemplating doing something out of their usual comfort zone. A person behaves like “The Fool” whenever they take a chance.

A Fool in an old fashioned Court was similar to the Jester, who could make jokes and clown around. Because of this, she had more freedom to speak freely than people of higher levels in the Court. This card is the essence of life and spirit, the spark of the Divine that we all have within us. In Motherpeace, The Fool is a sacred one who does not follow social conventions. She is crossing a river, walking on her hands, safe from the pygmy crocodile, blessed by the goddess, hiding in the form of the Griffon. The Fool’s only possession is the Bag of Truth, attached to her ankle. When reversed, The Fool is afraid to look foolish to others, or to risk disappointments

The Magician of the Motherpeace Tarot has all the tools necessary to be creative in her Bag of Truth.
The Magician of the Motherpeace Tarot has all the tools necessary to be creative in her Bag of Truth. | Source

How to Interpret The Magician

The Magician has all the tools necessary to be creative and successful in life, and utilizes them well. She has the ability to focus her energies and powers to make what she wants and complete her projects. She uses her fiery energies and charms to help her achieve what she envisions. The Magician thinks big, has the confidence to begin large scale endeavors, and the stamina to see them finished. The Motherpeace Magician dresses as a leopard to perform a ritual showing her commitment to her dreams. The knife she holds will conduct the “lightning” of the mind through her heart. Her heart will transform this energy into the flaming torch she holds in her left hand. She lifts her foot and fills a cup with water, or emotion. From her other foot she produces seeds, for the Earth, to conclude her ritual. She is able to bring all her creative impulses into form in this manner. When reversed, the Magician is not using all the tools she has to be creative at the time.

The High Priestess of the Motherpeace Tarot stands between the Earth and Spirit worlds.
The High Priestess of the Motherpeace Tarot stands between the Earth and Spirit worlds. | Source

How to Interpret The High Priestess

This mysterious woman guards the gateway between the Earth and Spirit worlds, and reminds us to use and trust our intuition. She sits between two pillars, affirming the way of being true to yourself and your path, your destiny and purpose. She wants to point you to the answers to your questions in the psychic realm. The High Priestess also wants you to understand that sometimes you should not act on something, as it is not the correct time. Inaction can sometimes be the way to handle a situation.

The Motherpeace image is of a woman ready to meet with the goddess. She has cleansed herself by shedding her menstrual blood. The left pillar of the gateway has an image of the Wise Owl Goddess. The right pillar has a geometric design which symbolizes both what must be done, and what lies ahead. The image of this woman is inspired by one of the Ngere tribe from the Ivory Coast in Africa. These women dress in costumes and paint their bodies to sing and dance in a ritual after a cliterodectomy is performed on them.

It is shocking and contradictory that women have their genitals mutilated in these days and times, both a violation of human rights, and a brutal repression of their sexuality. These women must be freed of the male dominated customs of this world region and be taught new ways to celebrate their womanhood and coming of age. It is my hope that brave and intelligent people intervene in this barbarous tradition. It must be possible to find peaceful ways to help liberate these people from such practices, in an environment where they can feel safe in doing so.

The Empress in the Motherpeace Tarot is sensual and Motherly.
The Empress in the Motherpeace Tarot is sensual and Motherly. | Source

How to Interpret The Empress

This beautiful woman celebrates both the beauty in nature, and the femininity in women everywhere. She enjoys the Earth’s bounty and has worked hard not to interfere with Nature. She abhors the use of chemicals which harm the Earth, appreciating what our planet naturally offers. The Empress has an aura of sensuality, and feels comfortable in her own skin. She is very charismatic and warm hearted, going out of her way to see that others are comfortable, making a wonderful hostess. The Empress is very creative, and sometimes a signal that someone near is pregnant. She is the Earth Mother, just like Demeter, the Mother goddess in greek mythology, who is in the foreground.

There is a large Mother goddess sitting between two leopards behind Demeter, symbolizing an ancient city in Turkey, Catal Huyuk, where people once lived in peace for over 1,000 years. Behind the Empress’s head is a carving of the Great Mother found at the entrance of a cave in France 30,000 years ago, during another long period of peaceful, Matriarchal societies. The Empress is relaxing on this beautiful day, looking in the mirror and waiting for friends. When the card is reversed, she is not feeling comfortable or creative, and may not be able to care for herself. She needs to rest and regroup.

The stern and organized Emperor in the Motherpeace Tarot
The stern and organized Emperor in the Motherpeace Tarot | Source

How to Interpret The Emperor

This is an authoritative man or woman, who expects order, conformity, and hard work from those around him. The sex of the person on the card doesn't necessarily have to be the same as the person it's describing in your reading. Discipline is paramount in the Emperor’s life, and he does not like surprises. He accomplishes his goals because he plans wisely for the future, and follows all codes, rules and regulations. The Emperor expects everyone around him to adhere to this code of conduct, and will have problems with anyone who is unorthodox or a free spirit. He is a strict parent, and expects exemplary conduct from his children. He wants safety and security though, and in a marriage and family, this can be a good thing, if not carried too far.

The Emperor type can create an atmosphere and build a home life where his wife and children feel very loved and secure. He is somewhat compulsive and prefers to live his days in a specific routine. The Motherpeace Tarot uses Alexander the Great as their example of an Emperor, bemoaning the fact that he had no respect for the Earth, and never thought about those he ruled, only what he desired to conquer next for the expansion of his empire. The Emperor has no room for the goddess, he wields raw power. These energies can be destructive if an Emperor does not care how his actions affect other people and the environment. Reversed, The Emperor rejects domination and abuse of power, becoming more loving and approachable.

The Hierophant in the Motherpeace Tarot
The Hierophant in the Motherpeace Tarot | Source

How to Interpret The Hierophant

This is a religious or spiritual authority figure who leads others, and can also be a teacher. Organizations and institutions which operate smoothly by rules and regulations are where you find a Hierophant, anyplace that has a hierarchy. Churches, Monasteries, or Ashrams are always lead by a Hierophant figure, who helps pilgrims on the beginnings of a spiritual journey. He or she can be a conventional and conservative person, one who finds discipline and order comforting, but only to a degree necessary to help people learn to meditate or chant; to get them started on their spiritual path.

This card often comes up in a reading where someone feels a need to conform or really wants to find a place where they fit in. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because most people do find a niche of their own where they surround themselves with people who have similar ideals as they do. The danger is that this person could overstep bounds and become a cult leader or abuse power in some way. In Motherpeace, the Hierophant is portrayed as a man who steals power from women, forcing them to submit to his authority. He tries to cut them off from the beauty of nature or from what they love, so that he is their only source of information. When this card is reversed, the seeker is an unconventional one who does not want to be told what to do and when to do it. This person will question conventional wisdoms and break free of people and ideas that do not allow them to act on their own quest for truth.

The Lovers in the Motherpeace Tarot
The Lovers in the Motherpeace Tarot | Source

How to Interpret The Lovers

This card usually represents either the first time a person falls in love, or the first important decision they make independently from their parents. Some people actually never make decisions different from what their parents have told them, regardless of their ages, they just never feel a need to find their own truths about life. So in either circumstance, The Lovers is an important card. It brings two people passionately together by choice, in a romantic situation charged with magnetism. They feel like they are finally getting their heart’s desire when this powerful attraction is felt.

The Motherpeace image shows bright pink light flooding an area where two intersecting walls have parted, and The Lovers are portrayed as geometric shapes. The energies of their intense emotions causes a bright ray of sunlight to travel through the sky, which turns into a beautiful sunset above a garden trestle, arrayed in a bower of roses. The Lovers know they are meant for each other, in love with love and the world right now. When this card is reversed, The Lovers are not able to make a choice. It is a time of disagreement in their relationship, a period of conflict, power struggles, or even a separation. If the conflict is about an important decision that is not about a romantic partner, the time is not right for reasoning it through now.

The Chariot in the Motherpeace Tarot
The Chariot in the Motherpeace Tarot | Source

How to Interpret The Chariot

A strong willed person is portrayed in the Chariot, so strong that they are operating the chariot pulled by animals without holding any reins. It is moving by the strength of that person’s own will. The canopy of stars over the Chariot symbolizes that now is a time of celestial protection for the driver, who is completely in control of her life now. A seven in the tarot is always very challenging, so it will take a great deal of focus and mental strength for the person to achieve their goal, and the effect may be a fleeting one.

Motherpeace has chosen an Amazon woman from Africa to be in the driver’s seat, and now she has the courage necessary to continue forward on her journey. She is guided by a strong sense of purpose, and can trust her instincts that she is headed in the right direction. She must draw on all her energies to be strong when the going gets hard. The Amazon woman holds a double headed ax for self protection. The chariot is also decorated with a Gorgon head to scare anyone who may try to delay or interfere with her journey. This person is very disciplined and determined to succeed, and knows how to take care of herself. If the card is reversed, she has too many doubts to make this serious decision; it will overwhelm her at this time. She may have to wait for a while, then pick herself back up and try again later. The chariot will overturn itself or worse if she continues onward while not feeling strong.

Questions & Answers

    © 2011 Jean Bakula

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      • Jean Bakula profile imageAUTHOR

        Jean Bakula 

        4 weeks ago from New Jersey

        Hi Kat,

        Isn't it a great deck? I only learned of it about a dozen yrs. or so ago. I was reading the Rider Waite Smith out of a metaphysical book store. It's so heart centered. There are several books written by the deck creators to interpret it, but I am always happy to hear my articles are helping! There are 7 in all. 3 on the Major Arcana, 1 for each element, Cups, Wands, Swords, Coins. There is also 1 for Court cards. They are all on Exemplore.com, but it's a group site and they wouldn't connect them all. If you have trouble finding one, Google Motherpeace, Court Cards (or the element, what you need) Exemplore and my name. The whole deck is interpreted. It takes time to get used to the turnings of the circles! Best Wishes!

      • profile image

        Kat Larson 

        4 weeks ago

        your readings really help me open up to this deck, and empower me to trust my interpretations. thank you for your insight! i really appreciate your guidance in learning the energy motherpeace.

      • Jean Bakula profile imageAUTHOR

        Jean Bakula 

        7 weeks ago from New Jersey

        Gianna,

        Another thought: Just in case you are reading all those Motherpeace articles, they are split into seven articles. That series was the bane of my existence for a long time!

        I have one article for each of the elements, Cups, Swords, Wands, and Discs.

        The 21 cards of the Major Arcana had to be split into 3 articles.

        The Court Cards are all in one article which covers all of them, 16 in total. Good luck in your reading, they are all on a niche site called Exemplore.com, but don't appear one after the other (it was beyond my control as a writer on a group site). There may be links on the sidebar at the right side of the articles. Best Regards.

      • Jean Bakula profile imageAUTHOR

        Jean Bakula 

        7 weeks ago from New Jersey

        Hello Gianna,

        Yes, although Motherpeace is a great tarot deck, it's not easy to interpret. Even when I get an order, I often have to go back and really think about it.

        In reverse, the energies of the card are still there, the person just isn't feeling it hardly at all, or using them. But it's not negative, it means they will start to feel them soon. Then as the card faces to the left, the energies are being felt more. Once the card faces right, they are passing away.

        Thanks for asking this. I may put a diagram on that article to help new readers. It is a bit confusing. Take care.

      • profile image

        Gianna 

        7 weeks ago

        How do I interpret reversed drawings? I get cards upside down wuite often but it never really says anywhere how that's interpreted.

      • Jean Bakula profile imageAUTHOR

        Jean Bakula 

        6 months ago from New Jersey

        Hello Inquiring,

        Yes, if the card is upside down it's reversed. That's a little harder to tell with Motherpeace, but if you compare the card to the one I pictured, what's on the top in my picture should be on the bottom of yours.

        Reversed cards are not very bad. The fact the card came up at all means the energies are there. You or your partner just aren't feeling them yet. If it's about a different situation than a romantic one, it can still happen, you just have to wait longer. The Lovers also comes up when we have big decisions to make. I do Tarot readings at jeanbakula@wordpress.com if you are interested. But in the meantime, the reversed energies can change, you have Free Will and can possibly change your actions to help things along. Take care.

      • profile image

        Inquiring 

        6 months ago

        Hi Jean,

        Can you explain what it means when the lover's card is "reversed"? i.e. "When this card is reversed, The Lovers are not able to make a choice. It is a time of disagreement in their relationship, a period of conflict, power struggles, or even a separation. If the conflict is about an important decision that is not about a romantic partner, the time is not right for reasoning it through now."

        How do you determine if the card is reversed...if it's drawn upside down?

        Thanks in advance.

      • Jean Bakula profile imageAUTHOR

        Jean Bakula 

        16 months ago from New Jersey

        You are very welcome. I describe the deck's origins in one of the articles, probably the one that begins with The Fool, he's the first card. Its' an uplifting deck, It is hard to find, but if you are interested, Ebay is one of my sources for hard to find things at good prices. The Motherpeace deck comes in small cards, about 3 1/2 inches, or bigger ones, about 5 1/2 inches. They have a lot of detail, so if you get the larger deck, it's easy to see, but harder to shuffle. Just in case you get more curious.

      • profile image

        Tarot noob 

        16 months ago

        This is amazing and so well written! Thank you for this!

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