Fool Arcana

Persona Arcana


The Arcana
The Arcana

The Arcana is the means by which all is revealed…“—Nyx Avatar

The Arcana are the different classes of Tarot Cards.

There are 22 unique cards.

0. Fool Arcana. 

I. Magician Arcana. 

II. Priestess Arcana. 

III. Empress Arcana. 

IV. Emperor Arcana. 

V. Hierophant Arcana. 

VI. Lovers Arcana. 

VII. Chariot Arcana. 

VIII. Justice Arcana. 

IX. Hermit Arcana. 

X. Fortune Arcana. 

XI. Strength Arcana. 

XII. Hanged Man Arcana. 

XIII. Death Arcana. 

XIV. Temperance Arcana. 

XV. Devil Arcana. 

XVI. Tower Arcana. 

XVII. Star Arcana. 

XVIII. Moon Arcana. 

XIX. Sun Arcana. 

XX. Judgement Arcana. 

XXI. The World Arcana. 

Fool Arcana
Fool Arcana

0. Fool Arcana (愚者, Gusha)

The Fool Arcana does not mean it that can be taken lightly. The Fool is number zero. It is the void from which all other things begin.“—Margaret, Persona 4

The Fool represents innocence, divine inspiration, madness, freedom, spontaneity, inexperience, chaos, and creativity.

The Fool Arcana tends to be the “jack of all trades,” since its Personas can inherit all skills without preference for any type. Mythological figures of the Fool Arcana are often heroes, fools, or the protagonists of their own mythological stories.

As such, the silent protagonists from the recent adaptions often start out with the Fool Arcana, in reference of their personality being shaped via player’s actions and decisions. At the end of Persona 3 and Persona 4, the protagonists are given a Persona of the Judgement or of the The World Arcana, probably as a reference to the Journey of the Fool in the Tarot, which is also explained in detail by a character in Persona 3.

 

 

Magician Arcana
Magician Arcana

1. Magician Arcana (魔術師, Majutsushi)

The moment man devoured the fruit of knowledge, he sealed his fate…
Entrusting his future to the cards, man clings to a dim hope.
Yes, the Arcana is the means by which all is revealed…
Attaining one’s dream requires a stern will and unfailing determination.
“—Nyx Avatar, Persona 3.

the Magician Arcana is commonly associated with action, initiative, self-confidence, manipulation and power (more specifically, the power to harness one’s talents).

An ongoing theme that is related to all Magician Arcana Social Links is the tragedy that befalls the social link character related to their romantic interest. Junpei’s romantic interest Chidori dies when she sacrifices her life to save his life. Kenji is devastated to learn that the woman he is interested in already has a fiance and is about to be married. Yosuke’s romantic interest Saki dies a tragic death at the hands of the murderer and the final revelation is that she never loved him and found him to be annoying.

 

 

Priestess Arcana
Priestess Arcana

2. Priestess Arcana (女教皇, Jokyōkō or On’nakyōkō)

The Arcana is the means by which all is revealed…
The silent voice within one’s heart whispers the most profound wisdom.
“—Nyx Avatar, Persona 3

Portrayed as a woman with a closed book, the Priestess Arcana is a symbol of hidden knowledge or other untapped power, wisdom, female mystery and magic when it appears in tarot readings.

Individuals associated with the Priestess Arcana are usually quiet, reserved, and very intelligent. They are often modest and shy, and won’t open up to the protagonist until much later in their Social Links as compared with other characters.

 

 

 

 

Empress Arcana
Empress Arcana

3. Empress Arcana (女帝, Jote)

The Arcana is the means by which all is revealed…
Celebrate life’s grandeur…its brilliance…its magnificence…
“—Nyx Avatar, Persona 3. 

the Empress represents mothers, prosperity, creativity, sexuality, abundance, fertility and comfort (most often in helping maintain peace around them like an ideal mother would).

they are usually important female figures, and many are queens and mother goddesses of some sort.

Within the Persona universe, the Empress Arcana often belongs to women of authority or wise and motherly figures.

 

 

 

 

Emperor Arcana
Emperor Arcana

4. Emperor Arcana (皇帝, Kōte)

The Arcana is the means by which all is revealed…
Only courage in the face of doubt can lead one to the answer…
“—Nyx Avatar, Persona 3

the Emperor symbolizes the desire to control one’s surroundings, and its appearance could suggest that one is trying too hard to achieve this, possibly causing trouble for others; some elements in life are just not controllable.

these Personas are almost always kings or emperor figures, but may simply be important male figures and deities.

Within the Persona universe, characters of the Emperor Arcana are often male leaders or father figures (or both). Often times, the Emperor character is troubled by something very personal, and doesn’t know how to deal with it. Typically, the King of a mythological pantheon is of the Emperor Arcana.

 

 

Hierophant Arcana
Hierophant Arcana

5. Hieropant Arcana (法王, Hōkō or 教皇, Kyōkō)

The Arcana is the means by which all is revealed…
It is indeed a precious gift to understand the forces that guides oneself…
“—Nyx Avatar, 
Persona 3. 

The Hierophant is a symbol of education, authority, conservatism, obedience to rules and relationship with the divine. The definition of a “hierophant” is a person who interprets sacred mysteries or esoteric principles, and the term was originally used to name ancient Greek priests who did so.

Characters of the Hierophant Arcana are often older than the protagonist, and are typically quite wise and logical. The most common connection between Hierophant characters, however, is their association (and obsession) with the past.

 

 

 

Lover Arcana
Lover Arcana

6. Lover Arcana (恋愛, Ren’ai or 恋人, Koibito)

The Arcana is the means by which all is revealed…
There is both joy and wonder in coming to understand another…
“—Nyx Avatar, Persona 3

the Lovers Arcana initially represented two paths life could lead to, and thus a symbol of standing at a crossroad and needing to make a decision. Today, however, it is portrayed more of a symbol of love and romantic relationships, although it can also be a symbol of finding agreement with an ordinary friend or even two conflicting elements within.

A commonality among individuals of the Lovers Arcana is their popularity and their emphasis on social interaction. Lovers characters are almost always the “popular” ones, and almost always have a canon romantic interest in the protagonist.

 

 

 

Chariot Arcana
Chariot Arcana

7. Chariot Arcana (戦車, Sensha)

The Arcana is the means by which all is revealed…
One of life’s greatest blessings is the freedom to pursue one’s goals.
“—Nyx Avatar, Persona 3. 

Portrayed as a king leading a chariot made up of two differently colored horses (in some cases mythical creatures). The Chariot Arcana is a symbol of victory, conquest, self-assertion, control, war and command.

Characters who are of the Chariot Arcana are typically very driven individuals, who have a personal goal that they aim to achieve at any cost. It is not uncommon for Chariot characters to be short-tempered or aggressive.

 

 

 

 

Justice Arcana
Justice Arcana

8. Justice Arcana (正義, Seigi)

The Arcana is the means by which all is revealed.
To find the one true path, one must seek guidance amidst uncertainty…
“—Nyx Avatar, Persona 3. 

Portrayed as a woman holding a sword and balance, the Justice Arcana symbolizes a strict allegory of justice, objectivity, rationality and analysis.

Justice Personas are usually various orders of angels, and are otherwise deities of justice, order, or vengeance.

Commonly, characters of the Justice Arcana are concerned with matters of fairness, and otherwise are very stoic individuals.

 

 

 

 

Hermit Arcana
Hermit Arcana

9. Hermit Arcana (隠者, Inja)

The Arcana is the means by which all is revealed…
It requires great courage to look at oneself honestly, and forge one’s own path…
“—Nyx Avatar, Persona 3. 

Portrayed as an old man in a dark place or cave, holding up a lantern, the Hermit is associated with wisdom, introspection, solitude, retreat and philosophical searches.

Hermit Arcana are usually hermits themselves, or are otherwise figures or deities that exist and operate behind the scenes.

Similarly, Hermit Arcana characters share the commonality of placing themselves in situations that hide them from the public eye. Hermit individuals hide away from others or act in more supportive roles rather than putting themselves in the spotlight.

 

 

 

Fortune Arcana
Fortune Arcana

10. Fortune Arcana (運命, Unmei)

also known formally as the Wheel of Fortune (運命の輪, Unmei no Wa)

The Arcana is the means by which all is revealed…
Alongside time exists fate, the bearer of cruelty.
“—Nyx Avatar, Persona 3. 

Portrayed as a wheel with different animals wearing wealthy and beggarly clothes up and down the wheel, the Fortune Arcana symbolizes Fate and varying luck, fortunes and opportunities. What goes up will go down, what goes down will go up.

Bearers of the Fortune Arcana are usually individuals who are aware of their fates, and attempt to seize their own destiny in spite of their seemingly-locked fates. Thus, they are typically involved with making important choices and decisions.

 

 

 

 

Strength Arcana
Strength Arcana

11. Strength Arcana (剛毅, Gōki or 力, Chikara)

The Arcana is the means by which all is revealed…
Only with strength can one endure suffering and torment.
“—Nyx Avatar, Persona 3. 

Portrayed as a young woman holding up a terrifying beast (more often a lion), the Strength Arcana symbolizes an imagery beyond the Beast And Beauty, and is associated with the morality about the stronger power of self-control, gentleness, courage and virtue over brute force. In tarot readings, it can also represent creative or physical energy that needs to be or is about to be unleashed, sometimes out of desire to be recognized.

A commonality between characters of the Strength Arcana is their strength of heart. Strength characters are not upset easily and typically portray the fortitude that the Strength card represents in readings.

 

 

 

HangedMan Arcana
HangedMan Arcana

12. Hanged Man Arcana (刑死者, Keishisha or 吊された男, Tsurusareta Otoko)

often shortened to just the “Hanged”.

The Arcana is the means by which all is revealed…
In the face of disaster lies the opportunity for renewal.
“—Nyx Avatar, Persona 3. 

Portrayed as a man hanging up-side-down from one leg, with his other leg crosses it forming a ‘4’; the Hanged Man Arcana is associated with self-sacrifice for the sake of enlightenment, the bindings that makes one free, paradoxes and hanging between heaven and earth.

Hanged Man characters are sometimes self-sacrificial, but are more often notable for being caught between two different extremes, parties, or stages in life.

 

 

 

Death Arcana
Death Arcana

13. Death Arcana (死神, Shinigami)

The moment man devoured the fruit of knowledge, he sealed his fate… Entrusting his future to the cards, man clings to a dim hope. Yet, the Arcana is the means by which all is revealed… Beyond the beaten path lies the absolute end. It matters not who you are… Death awaits you.“—Nyx Avatar, Persona 3. 

While it is associated with foreboding and of doom, Death Arcana also symbolizes the metamorphosis and deep change, regeneration and cycles.
The Personas of the Death Arcana are commonly associated with and excel in Dark-based affinities, but weak towards Light-based affinities. Mythological figures of the Death Arcana are usually figures related to death, or are notable in their myths for their own deaths.

characters of the Death Arcana are associated directly with death, but a commonality that connects all Death Arcana characters is the cycles of change they experience.

 

 

 

Temperance Arcana
Temperance Arcana

14. Temperance Arcana (節制, Sessei)

Portrayed as a woman with angel wings mixing up the water of two cups, one blue, the other red, the Temperance Arcana is a symbol of synthesis, prudence, harmony, and the merging of opposites.

Characters of the Temperance Arcana are often struggling to find a balance in their lives and in their hobbies.

 

 

 

 

 

Devil Arcana
Devil Arcana

15. Devil Arcana (悪魔, Akuma)

Portrayed as a hermaphrodite devil over two naked and chained figures, the negative aspect of the Devil Arcana represents the urge to do selfish, impulsive, violent things and be slave to ones’ own impulse and feelings. Occasionally, it is also portrayed as a symbol of temptation. The positive aspect, however, represents a healthy bond or commitment.

Human characters associated with the Devil Arcana are often “devilish” individuals; they can be greedy, proud, lusty, or otherwise of poor character. It is not uncommon for Devil Arcana characters to have somewhat antisocial tendencies, often not caring much for the needs or well-being of others.

 

 

 

 

Tower Arcana
Tower Arcana

16. Tower Arcana (塔, )

Portrayed as a tower stricken by lightning, from which two small figures fall down; a straight Tower of Babel allegory about pride preceding the fall. The Tower Arcana is commonly associated to overly arrogant, prejudiced and authoritarian organization, which walk to their own ironic demise. Furthermore, it is also more generically used as an omen of doom and disaster.

Human characters of the Tower Arcana can be arrogant, and typically find themselves in bad situations where they themselves have fallen from grace.

 

 

 

 

 

Star Arcana
Star Arcana

17. Star Arcana (星, Hoshi)

It’s a strong card, one that gives hope to those on the ground below. It shines in times of need. But, eventually, it is destined to fall to the earth and disappear… Even I can feel the sadness of this inescapable destiny…“—Margaret, Persona 4. 

The Star Arcana is also commonly associated with hope, self-confidence, faith, altruism, luck, generosity, peace and joy.

Characters of the Star Arcana embody their arcana’s traits of hopefulness and joy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moon Arcana
Moon Arcana

18. Moon Arcana (月, Tsuki)

Portrayed as two dogs howling at the Moon around a pool with a lobster in it, with two towers in the background, the Moon Arcana is associated with creativity, inspiration, dreams, madness, illusions, fear, fantasy, the subconscious and trickery. In tarot readings, it can also represent being attuned subconsciously to the world around, gaining the ability to sense things without being told about them or without anyone else knowing (which means that some identify this Arcana with psychic energy).

Characters who are of the Moon Arcana are often similarly psychically-attuned, but a more common trend is their projection of their own fears and faults onto others (namely, the protagonist).

 

 

Sun Arcana
Sun Arcana

19. Sun Arcana (太陽, Taiyō)

Portrayed as two children holding hands under a blazing sun, The Sun symbolizes happiness, joy, energy, optimism, and accomplishment. Occasionally, it is also associated with one’s initial happiness.

Characters of the Sun Arcana almost always (ironically) find themselves in terrible situations, the situation betrays the underlying optimism present in nearly all of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judgement Arcana
Judgement Arcana

20.  Judgement Arcana (審判, Shinpan)

The Judgment Arcana, in tarot, is associated with realizing one’s calling, gaining a deep understanding of life, and a feeling of acceptance and absolution.

In gameplay, the Judgement Arcana is commonly associated with a balance of Light and Darkness. Figures of the Judgment Arcana are usually related to Judgment Day myths, or are gods tied directly to the judgment of humankind.

Although the traditional British spelling of “judgement” is considered less common than the American spelling of “judgment” today, “Judgement” (capitalized as a proper name) is exclusively applied while referencing to the tarot arcana.

 

 

 

 

World Arcana
World Arcana

21.  World Arcana (世界, Sekai)

It often appears as the final triumph arcana, creating miracles and aiding the protagonists. Portrayed as a young woman (or hermaphrodite, depending on deck) surrounded by figures of an angel, a bull, an eagle, and a lion (representations of the four elements in transcendent form, as well as the symbols of the four Evangelists Luke, Matthew, John, and Mark respectively), The World Arcana is a representation of the world’s totality, the symbol of fulfillment, wholeness, and harmony.

The World Arcana is commonly associated with Social Links, where its power is based upon the protagonist’s bonds with others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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