The Fools journey represents every souls transition as they move forward through life. Each major key or Greater Secret of the Major Arcana represents a seminal lesson that must be learnt. In order to reveal the authentic self each of these 22 keys must be absorbed. This quick overview of the journey is based on meanings of Tarot from my deck and the keywords relating to each of the Major cards.
You can learn more about each Tarot card by clicking the name of each card
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0 The Fool is a perfect representation of absolute beginnings. The spirit of Ethyr represents the very beginning of every soul’s journey through life, untainted innocent and spontaneous. Blank & like a sponge ready to absorb all of the experience set to come his way. Totally naive he is also blissfully unaware of the cliff edge. The Fool has no idea of the trials and tribulations he must face as he sets out on his journey through life.
1 The Magician is the first archetype that the Fool encounters & represents the emergence of consciousness. The Magician convinces the Fool to relinquish his bundle & has exhibited the contents on the table. They are represented by the Sword for Thought / Air, The Ornate cup for Emotions / Water, The Pentacle for Senses / Earth & the Wand for Creativity / Fire. All of these items were represented in the Fool’s pack, however it took the skill of the Magician to show their true power & potential.
2. Next The Fool meets the enigmatic High Priestess the embodiment of intuition & mystery. She has information that will help him on his journey and provides it in the form of ancient wisdom contained in the scrolls that she hands him to revise. The High Priestess knows that The Magician has returned the tools from The Fool’s napsack, she also knows that he is at a loss what to do with them.
3. The Fool next meets mother Earth, The Empress, this coresponds to each souls understanding of their mother, of nature & development of the senses. Her golden heart shaped shield represents imperial power and carries the female symbol for Venus. References to her fertility are abundant. Her crown is comprised of many six pointed stars and has astrological significance. The sceptre she carries signifies the world and all of its experiences. The flowing water behind her symbolises the union of male and female.
4. Representing our relationship with father figures, the Fool next meets the authority figure of The Emperor who introduces rules & structure to our existence. The Emperor embodies masculinity, authority & discipline. He represents the opposite of the soft femininity of the The Empress. He holds an Orb to represent his power over the laws of the material world. The Fool knows instinctively that he must respect the authority of the Emperor.
5. On the next step of his journey The Fool comes across The Hierophant seated between two pillars. The temple he or she represents is of organised religion or any structured belief, whereas the High Priestess symbolises the esoteric. The crossed keys show the Hierophant has control over the material & physical world. The right hand points to the heavens & shows that what is to be found in heaven is also reflected on earth if you are receptive to it. As above, so below.
6. The Lovers are the next encounter on the Fool’s Journey, breaking him out of his self focused existence & instilling in him a desire for a meaningful physical & emotional relationship with another. It is now time for us on our personal journey to accept ourselves & actively work on developing our authentic personality in order to enable us to attract our partner. The development of the ability to sustain harmonious relationships is crucial on the Fool’s journey, and the message of The Lovers card is one of the hardest lessons to master.
7. As he passes in to adulthood The Fool gains confidence that his personality is forming & he takes responsibility for his actions. By literally taking the reins of The Chariot The Fool can take control over his destiny. He is on a quest to control all aspects of his personality. The Chariot represents pivotal life choices that on The Fool’s Journey correspond to when we finally realise that we have stepped in to our adult existence.
8. Strength is the next Major Arcana archetype to challenge The Fool on his journey. He subliminally absorbs the various hidden symbols that surround Strength, for example the mountain indicates untapped potential power.The Strength card is telling you be careful to not internalise your emotions. On our journey Strength tells us to strive to overcome our weaknesses and take control of the beast within, develop tolerance, understanding and resolve to face the challenges that arise in everyones path through life.
9. The Hermit is the next figure that The Fool meets along the Royal Road of Tarot. The light from his lantern reveals the bigger questions in relation to The Fool’s existence. when you encounter The Hermit on your journey, listen carefully to your inner wisdom whilst avoiding introspection and the lantern will reveal your path … Spend time with yourself, to realise what is important to you. Avoid temptation & illusion & The Hermit will show you your true purpose.
10. The Wheel of Fortune is the next lesson to present itself on The Fool’s Journey. The mysterious enigmatic Sphinx appears above The Wheel as it spins through the vortex of time. The four evangelists, appear as an angel, an eagle, a lion and an ox, sitting in the four corners of the card, as in The World Card. The four corners of the Universe. This lesson reveals to us that everything & everyone is connected and part of the same thing. As the Wheel slowly begins to turn for him The Fool understands that this is a pivotal moment in his destiny and he can begin to appreciate his true place in the grand scheme of things.
11. Next the Fool must balance his life on the scales of Justice. By evaluating where his actions have brought him to up to this point, the Fool can make the decision to put right any wrong doing. Now he can decide that he will work hard not to repeat any past mistakes and take another step forward in his personal development. Justice forces us to accept the truth and find balance. When we have honestly reviewed our lives under the spotlight of Justice, an opportunity for further growth will be revealed to us.
I hope this very brief overview of part 1 of The Fool’s Journey has fired your interest. Part 2 will follow shortly.