Standard tarot decks consist of 78 cards. However, Stardust Crusaders only features Stands based on the Major Arcana set of tarot decks, consisting of 22 cards. Each card has a deep meaning that changes depending on whether the card is in the normal position or in the opposite position (upside down).
The tarot cards in Stardust Crusaders each have their own designs and symbolism that may relate to the Stand abilities. They were all designed by Hirohiko Araki, appearing similarly to real tarot cards but in Araki's own style. Muhammad Avdol first mentions the tarot cards to Jotaro Kujo so that he can determine Jotaro's destiny and name his Stand after Jotaro draws a card. Throughout their journey to Egypt, the Joestar group is attacked by various tarot Stand users sent by Enya the Hag. The spin-off Crazy Diamond's Demonic Heartbreak indicates that it is Enya who assigned the Tarot Cards to the various assassins tasked with killing the Joestar Group.
With the exception of Vanilla Ice's Cream, Kenny G.'s Tenore Sax, and the Egypt 9 Glory Gods, all of the remaining Stands are based on the tarot cards. However, the Nine Gods of Egypt also have unique cards that are displayed when the Stand user is introduced, and N'Doul states that the gods are the origins of the tarot cards.
The tarot cards have been sold as merchandise in Adventure Battle Card. They were also included with DVDs for the Stardust Crusaders OVA and as a limited edition bonus in the Volume 2 Blu-Ray of Stardust Crusaders - Battle in Egypt.
A list of Stand users whose Stands are based on the Major Arcana set of tarot cards, in order of their Stand's appearance.
The stick in his hand represents imagination, the sword on the tabletop represents effort and difficulty, the gold coins represent skill and accomplishment, and the chalice represents the depth of his passions. On his head is the symbol for infinity.
This card represents strength and ambition. The number of the card signifies the stability of everything, and also hints to the four elements of the material world: fire, water, earth, air, and the four seasons.
The scales in the left hand is for fairness and balance, and the sword in the right hand is for condemning those who corrupt justice. She is also known as the "Goddess of Justice," a card that represents righteous deeds.
This card is also known as "The Hangman". The man's crossed legs represent the number "4" and his arms represent the number "3". The answer of the multiplication of 4 and 3 embodies the twelve constellations.
It depicts the Grim Reaper with a large scythe in his hand. Thirteen is an unlucky number, though it may not be depending on the card. It can also mean "a chance for rebirth," as it brings about great change.
The vessel on the left of the angel symbolizes existence, and the vessel on the right symbolizes recognition. The liquid that is poured from left to right and from right to left without withering is said to be the essence of life.
One of the most sinister cards. The torch that the devil has in his left hand represents destruction and curses, and the imps that are chained represent the weakness of a human being who has not refused temptation.
This is a card that suggests danger and failure, and has many names, such as "Tower of Lightning" and "Lightning Bolt". The tower is said to be the Tower of Babel, the biblical tower where man's wisdom was destroyed by the wrath of God.
According to ancient Egyptian religion, after the "judgment" in the afterlife, the dead live happily under the sun god Ra. Perhaps this card represents the joy of the afterlife with people dancing and singing.
The four elements of the material world, water, fire, earth, and air, are arranged to look like a bull, lion, eagle, and angel. In other words, it is a card that shows the perfect thing, the completion of everything, and the entire universe. This card is the only one that does not have "Lucky Land" written on it.
While Stardust Crusaders was being published in Weekly Shonen Jump, the tarot cards were originally drawn with different designs closely resembling cards from real copyrighted tarot decks. In the tankobons, they were re-designed to appear unique for JoJo.
The designs on the first tarot cards in the magazine version appear to be based on the Tarot of Marseilles deck set, but later chapters use designs from a different deck.
In the magazine version of Chapter 127's cover, the cards were drawn with designs from the Deva Tarot deck set.
The PlayStation version of JoJo's Venture gives Cream and Tenore Sax their own tarot cards, created specifically for the game's bonus Tarot Card Reading mode. Tenore Sax's card is referred to as "Labyrinth" and indicates a warning to sense the essence of things; Cream's card is referred to as "Different Dimension" and signals recognition from important people for one's hard work.
On the official anime's website, Cream's tarot card is represented by a blank gray card with a black orb in the middle; depicting Cream's void form.
Tarot of Marseilles deck
Deva Tarot deck
Cream's tarot card in Heritage for the Future
Tenore Sax's tarot card in Heritage for the Future