The Major Arcana is the story of consciousness interacting with, and developing through the four elements. It is very familiar to Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero with a thousand faces”, in that it tells a timeless story which goes full circle; from the start of a journey, escalating into greater understandings, and ending in the exact same spot that it started at, yet with a newly evolved consciousness. The Major Arcana can be described as representing the fifth element, with all four elements within it, evidenced by The Magician card, in which all four elements are present.
The Holy Arcana is an entirely new concept to the Tarot, and something which happened purely out of natural flow in the process of developing the Major Arcana. The first iteration of them was the emergence of four additional Crown cards (formerly known as World or Universe cards), which can be observed by looking at them all in sequence together.
The Minor Arcana encompasses the bulk of the Tarot, being 40 of the 82 cards. It is designed around the concept of a four by ten grid; the four elements and the numerology of ten (also the ten Sephiroth on the Tree of Life). To understand the Minor Arcana, each suit must be explored individually, but first know that they all share a similar flow from ace or one to ten. By observing what each number means on its own, and then in relationship to each element and its attributes, we gain insight into the various stages that each of these elements go through within various aspects of life.
The Royal Arcana are the final section of Patch Tarot, and encompass the remaining 16 cards. Generally, they are considered to be an aspect within the Minor Arcana, or just called “Court Cards”. In Patch Tarot, we have decided to highlight them as their own Arcana because they have their own specific pattern and structure to them, different astrological and elemental correspondences, and do not have any numerological significance. For this reason, we felt as though it might be more appropriate to give them a proper title, instead of including them along with the minor arcana.