- "The Arcana is the means by which all is revealed..."
- —Nyx Avatar, Persona 3
The Arcana are divided into the Major Arcana (22 unique cards) and the Minor Arcana (four suits of 14 cards each, not unlike those of traditional playing cards). The Minor Arcana appear in rare events in the Persona 2 duology, only in shuffle in Persona 3 and not at all in Persona 4 with the exception of Persona 4 Golden.
"Arcana" is properly the plural form, the singular being "Arcanum," but in the Persona series "Arcana" is used for both singular and plural.
In the Persona series, the Personas' Arcana are functionally equivalent to demon races. According to the Persona World guide, each Arcana in Megami Ibunroku Persona equals a specific race. These racial equivalences were partially kept in Persona 2 and abandoned in Persona 3 onwards.
- 1 In Persona 3 Portable, female route only.
- 2 In Persona and Persona 2, Strength and Justice Arcana are VIII and XI respectively, this is swapped in Persona 3 and subsequent installments.
- 3 In Persona 4 Golden only. Initially called Jester Arcana (numbered 0), then becomes Hunger (numbered XI).
- 4 In Persona 3 FES and Persona 3 Portable only.
- 5 In Persona 4 Golden only.
Personas from the minor Arcana are featured in these games via mutation only. These personas cannot be summoned normally in Velvet Room nor their tarot cards ever exist. See List of Persona 2: Innocent Sin Personas#Minor Arcana and List of Persona 2: Eternal Punishment Personas#Minor Arcana.
The Minor Arcana cards appear during Shuffle Time and grant the player various effects depending on which card is chosen:
- Cups - Restores the protagonist's or party's health if drawn (amount depends on number)
- Wands or Staves - Grants bonus experience or stats if drawn (amount depends on number)
- Pentacles or Coins - Grants bonus Yen if drawn (amount depends on number)
- Swords - Grants the player a random weapon (power depends on number)
Persona 4 GoldenEdit
The Minor Arcana cards are featured in the remake of Persona 4 for the PlayStation Vita. The Minor Arcana cards have the same effects as in Persona 3, except for the Swords Cards, which give the player Skill Cards instead of weapons, and the Cup Cards, which restore SP along with HP.
In the Persona 2 games, due to the way the contact system is built, all enemies are classified under an Arcana. However, some of those aren't present in the tarot deck, being more akin to races. However, the game does acknowledge them as such and refers to them by "Arcana". They are:
- Reich (Nazis in the PlayStation release)
- Zombie (misspelled as Zonbie in Eternal Punishment)
- Persona 3 features thirteen main Persona users. Each represents one of the first 13 major Arcana:
- 0. Fool : The protagonist
- 1. Magician : Junpei Iori
- 2. Priestess : Fuuka Yamagishi
- 3. Empress : Mitsuru Kirijo
- 4. Emperor : Akihiko Sanada
- 5. Hierophant : Shinjiro Aragaki
- 6. Lovers : Yukari Takeba
- 7. Chariot : Aigis
- 8. Justice : Ken Amada
- 9. Hermit : Jin Shirato
- 10. Fortune : Takaya Sakaki
- 11. Strength : Koromaru
- 12. Hanged Man : Chidori Yoshino
- As of Persona 5, the Temperance and Tower Arcana are the only major arcana to have never been represented by any playable character.
|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. Strength Arcana/Justice Arcana - IX. Hermit Arcana - X. Fortune Arcana - XI. Justice Arcana/Strength Arcana - XI(T). Hunger 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 - XX(T). Aeon Arcana - XXI. World Arcana - XXI(T). Universe Arcana|
|Suit of Coins - Suit of Cups - Suit of Swords - Suit of Wands|
|I. Arcana Magician - II. Arcana Priestess - III. Arcana Empress - IV. Arcana Emperor - V. Arcana Hierophant - VI. Arcana Lovers - VII. Arcana Chariot - VIII. Arcana Justice - IX. Arcana Hermit - X. Arcana Fortune - XI. Arcana Strength - XII. Arcana Hanged Man - XIII. Death|