whats the difference between minor and major?
the minor arcana are in suits, like a deck of playing cards. there are wands (sometimes called staves), cups, pentacles, and swords instead of clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades. the difference between the minor arcana cards and playing cards is that pages have become jacks, and the knights are missing. this difference was effected around (one of) the time(s) the tarot was banned, much like 'ninepins' became 'tenpins' and finally 'bowling' when it was outlawed.
the major arcana, which distinguishes a tarot deck from a playing deck, are primarily symbolic and contain such figures as the magician, the hanged man, the fool, etc.