A Personal Journey Through the Tarot: The Fool’s Journey
When the Major Arcana is organized into the Tableau we see a clear picture of the Fool’s Journey. The Fool is assigned 0 for a reason. It signifies pure potential. Anything can happen and any direction can be chosen. There is a care free attitude that comes from having made no decision. But as Potential energy collapses into Kinetic energy a path is chosen and the journey begins.
The Fool gets a body. The experience of the body is expressed through the four elements of the minor arcana, Earth, Air, Fire and Water. That is what the Magician gives the Fool. The manifestation of a physical form which will be bound by these four elements. The first line of the tableau is the Fool receiving this body and learning how it works. All the water comes from the High Priestess, she teaches the Fool about the nature of emotions. The Empress is rooted in the earth, she teaches the Fool the importance of nurturing and maintaining the flesh and bones of the body. The Emperor forges civilization from the fire. He teaches the Fool the rules of engagement he must follow as he interacts with others. The Hierophant has lofty ideas about why we have bodies. He teaches the Fool how and what to think in context to his environment. The Fool learns and observes and integrates all the different teachings in his own mind. The Lovers is the Fool learning to trust his own understanding about the nature of reality. Now he is ready to embark on the adventure of life away from his mentors. The Chariot signifies this move out into the world.
The next line of challenges the Fool must face alone. His personal strength is tested first, then his mental resolve. His ability to be flexible in the face of change is also tested which brings him to a point where he is able to significantly create his own rules of engagement. Justice is that pivotal point in the Fool’s Journey. Does he have to go back and start again or has he mastered enough skill to continue? To continue requires sacrifice with no guarantee of reward. The Fool is faced with hardship the likes he could never have imagined yet he finds he has survived and becomes something we can no longer call Fool. Emboldened he carries on to the next level.
Here is where our new Hero begins to learn the limitations he has acquired along the way. He must meet his greatest enemy; himself. His illusions and addictions are squarely faced and torn down. He his humbled and a new attitude of engagement is adopted: to serve the greater good. This takes him on an entirely new quest of self discovery from which he emerges confident in his knowledge of self. Now when he hears the “Call” for the next journey he boldly strides toward the new adventure. The world is at his fingertips.