The journey of fool is symbolically a journey of the soul on earth gathering various experiences in order to grow, learn and most important to librate itself from the endless cycle of birth and death (samsara) I have come across many readers who have no idea what this journey is all about(I do not intend to say that not knowing this makes you a bad reader in any way!) but knowing the journey of fool is like knowing your own journey, understanding this will not only deepen your understanding of the major arcana but will also help you know your place in the journey we call life…
Our journey begins with The Fool or a new born soul wearing the garment of flesh and bones descended from the heaves to experience the lessons of life which he will learn in coming 21 cards of the major arcana, to become forever free from this endless journey of pleasure and pain!
The first lesson he learns on the journey is from The Magician and The High Priestess (one can also call them, The Heavenly Father and Mother of the fool).
Magician teaches Fool about the active use of mind and consciousness, in order to shape ones life one must understand the very basics of creating something that is the Will Power and High Priestess helps The Fool understand the inner mechanics of this will power or the secret power of the sub conscious that gives shape to world as we see around us.
After learning about active and passive truths of life the Fool or baby experiences the love and nurturing of the earthly parents mother The Empress and father The Emperor (I like to call them the physical parents of the Fool) The Empress teach him about the creative use of the skills he learned from the Magician and Priestess (she acts as a field, where fool can experiment his skills to create and grow new things) but contrary to this Emperor teaches fool about adding structure to his creative energy to create meaningful stuff out of it (just like a father brings in discipline and teach the baby that baby’s way is not the only way!) after receiving love, care and discipline.
it’s time to move forward and meet The Hierophant with him the Fool receives the education and understanding of the religion. It’s like going to School and then College for learning different subjects and adding depth to the knowledge one gained previously. while with Hierophant fool creates an ideology for himself and proudly sticks to this new learned knowledge.
with The Lovers for the very first time on his journey he encounters his own strong urge to find a partner or someone to love, he also learns that it’s not only his opinion or view point that matters all the time. Other people have the gift of free will too and they can agree and disagree to what he think!
Full of confidence he march ahead in The Chariot with fire of youth and the feeling that he can conquer the world. He tries and become successful in controlling many situations on his path but when he meets the gentle and graceful lady in The Strength all his control centred ego comes down crashing and he understands he needs the gentle and softer power of love to overcome his own flaws.
After learning to tame his own inner animal, the fool becomes ready for learning even deeper truths of life and The Hermit appears before him. The hermit with the light of his lantern illuminates the path of fool so he can understand the secret ways in which the destiny works in The Wheel of Fortune.
This brings us to the end of The First cycle of fools journey but what makes it even more interesting is that this first part of fools journey ends with The Wheel of Fortune and many people start over from the Magician again without willing to know what lies ahead for them by putting all the blame on destiny!
But this is not the case with The Fool our daring hero is not satisfied with what he has learned so far, he desires to know more and seek new experiences.
So moving forward on his journey he meets The Justice, meeting justice he learns that everything that had happened in his life, so far he himself is responsible for that and no one else is to be blamed for it. He learns that acceptance is something that can shift your perception and bring in healing.
Learning the secret of acceptance Fool completely withdraws from everything and surrenders in The Hanged Man Fool gives up active participation and yearns to go deeper to understand even more complex truth about life.
This yearning takes him to The Death and meeting Death he realizes that the only thing that’s never gonna change is change itself and he should not fear it! but embrace it deeply.
After this long harsh journey the balance is restored with The Temperance the fool regains his health, vitality, balance and once gain starts to enjoy the power of creation!
But soon he gets caught in the temptation to create only for himself, resulting in the bondage by The Devil where his darker side takes over the balance he gained in the past and ties him down to materialistic world with lots of ego! Resulting in ignorance and darkness (we all go through this Devil phase in our life, do not fear it just accept and look at it)
After being chained for long(Chains of ego and ignorance) the sudden strike of thunder in The Tower frees him from the claws of darkness where his mountain like ego is crushed into a pile of dust.
Reaching The Star he regains his hopes, optimism and decides to sit for meditation and introspection!
As soon as he turns his gaze inwards the inner darkness attacks him, that’s the darkness of The Moon it haunts him every time he closes his eyes for meditation, seeing his own darkness for sometime, he gains mastery over his hidden psychic abilities and with the blast comes in the bright light of The Sun also freedom from the darkness of self, he experiences the joy of life.
The fool then attains a rebirth in The Judgement forgiveness takes over him and he moves on to The World to teach the lessons he learned and share the experience he gained also be a Hermit to many fools who are waiting for him.
This was the Journey of the Fool my dear reader, the journey of you me and all of us!