The Fools Journey describes the meanings of the Major Arcana Tarot cards. Each of the Major Arcana Tarot cards symbolises an aspect of our being. In our lives, we are continually influenced and driven by the underlying forces that the Tarot depicts.
Collectively, the Major Arcana depicts the 'Fools Journey' - the journey we all make - 'our lives' in other words. To become a fully rounded human being and complete the journey successfully, each quality represented by the Major Arcana must be experienced or in some cases overcome.
These experiences are universal, although of course the order they occur in our lives and the particular form the lesson takes is completely individual. From the Fool card (representing our first awareness) to the World card (representing fulfilment), each of these cards is a point on the path to our final destination.
Starting with the Fool, we begin the ‘Fools Journey’. Based on the medieval jester, the Fool can make people laugh with his childish antics and also make fun of others. As the Fool is by his very nature unpredictable and full of surprises, this card shows that life has unlimited potential.
At the same time, the Fool emphasises the fact that life is fundamentally good. The total playfulness and innocence of the Fool brings to him joy in every action he makes. In Tarot Readings, the Fool often is a sign of a new start or change in direction. He is also a reminder to trust your own instincts, believe in yourself and follow your heart.
Next comes the Magician. This card is a confirmation that you have a great opportunity to use your creativity to its fullest potential and to act now. Being focused and clear in where you want to get to and to use all your power and resources to achieve it. This card urges you to take action now before the moment passes.
The following card is the High Priestess. This card stresses the need to go deeper and look beyond the obvious. This is where the real truth lies. Similar to the Fool’s message, the High Priestess is a reminder of your tremendous potential but with emphasis perhaps on a need to consider carefully before taking action.
The next card is that of the Empress. This card has strong connections with motherhood. This is the essence of femininity, fertile, creative and nurturing love. Materially, the Empress indicates wealth and abundance and the sharing of your riches to those you love.
The Emperor symbolises strong male authority. The need for organisation and structure is contained within this card. The Emperor is the archetypal father figure and is strongly associated with legal matters or officialdom. He can indicate the need for you to take firm control of your own life and to accept responsibility for your actions.
The Hierophant represents learning often of a spiritual nature, institutions and the need for social structure to pass on wisdom, morals and values. It reminds you that you can learn from any source – a two-year-old child can teach you things that other ‘formal’ lessons have failed to do. You can learn from anything and anyone and not just from dusty old textbooks.
This leads us on to the Lovers. Evidently, this card represents both love for others and love for yourself. In a Tarot Reading the Lovers card can sometimes indicate a crossroads in someone’s life with difficult decisions to be made. The choices offered may not bring the desired outcome that pleases everyone – but still it must be made often with a heavy heart.
The Chariot is the next Tarot card. This card in Tarot Readings indicates the need for positive control over your life. It indicates movement from one phase of life to another. There maybe casualties, however. Getting what you want and becoming a winner means that there has to be a loser somewhere along the line.
The next Tarot card on the Fools Journey is the Strength card. In a Tarot Reading this does not solely refer to physical strength, but rather the inner qualities of patience, courage and determination. These qualities are the ones that help you get through difficult times.
This leads to the Hermit. The Hermit can mean you need to find solitude or be given time and space to think, away from the distractions of everyday life. If your life is stressed and hectic at the moment the Hermit can indicate a need to focus on you and what brings you most happiness. It also shows that you may be searching for deeper truths on your spiritual journey.
The Wheel of Fortune is the next card. In Tarot Readings it represents twists of fate, changes in destiny and unexpected developments. As a wheel, the card symbolises the circle and circularity nature of all things, and the knowledge that what goes around, comes around too. The concept of karma is touched upon within this card.
Justice is another reminder in an almost karma-like way that ultimately, life is fair and just, and our actions – good or bad - have to be answered for. The uncertainty of which path to take when you are faced with a moral dilemma is reflected in this card and acts as a warning that no deed, however small, goes unnoticed, and all need to be paid for eventually.
The Hanged Man can indicate a difficult phase and shows that sometimes, the only way to regain control over some aspect of your life is to simply let it go. This card acts as a reminder that the best answer to a problem is not always the most obvious. Sometimes, the desire for action can be against your best interests, and you may need to look before you leap.
The next card is the Death card. Rarely relating to an actual death, this card is associated with endings and beginnings. As one door closes a new exciting and positive door opens. Major changes are often foretold in this Tarot card. And although the ending of something can seem to be a sad almost mournful time, it allows an opportunity to grow into the next stage of the cycle.
Temperance indicates a need for moderation and self-control. This card often is a warning that you must find the correct balance within yourself. Only then can you hope to find balance and harmony in your external environment, circumstances and relationships. In terms of health issues, Temperance indicates the worst may be over - and better and brighter times lie ahead.
Despite the negative connotations associated with the Devil and wickedness in general, this card doesn’t mean pure evil. It does however warn of a dead-end situation, which must be escaped from. It shows suffering depression, obsession or harmful addiction or being lead to making the wrong choices. It warns it is time to reassess motivations to escape damaging circumstances.
The Tower indicates sudden and extreme changes. Your reaction to the changes is the important thing. Hard as it may seem at the time the old saying is true - every cloud does have a silver lining. Setbacks, obstacles and disappointments all serve the purpose of allowing us to understand more fully who we actually are.
The Star is the traditional symbol of inspiration, hopes and wishes. It is a reminder to us that there is light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how difficult the current situation may be. It promises that better and brighter times are just around the corner for you. It reminds you that you are on the right path and with determined and positive action your goals are within your grasp.
The Moon is also a card of hope and encouragement. Whatever you most desire can be yours, if you follow the right path to get it. Trust in your intuition is a strong message coming from this card. The Moon despite illuminating the dark night can bring out hidden fears and worries. All may not be as it seems, so you should be warned against being deceived.
The Sun follows the Moon card and in Tarot Readings is a very positive omen. The Sun essentially is a confirmation of what you may already be feeling, that you have all the energy and determination you need to overcome obstacles. It shows that you are on the right path to success and happiness.
The next card is that of Judgement. This card warns you to make the correct decisions. Judge each point carefully and then make your considered decision. Essentially the Judgement card shows that rebirth and change is in the air and with change comes opportunity.
Finally we come to end of the Fools journey in the form of the World card. This is associated with success, completion and happiness. Like the Sun, the World is a very positive card, and tells you that your hopes and dreams are achievable, however you will need to work hard for them.
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