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The Significance of the Fool’s Journey

March 10th, 2021

deck represent the journey through life that each of us take as we try to find enlightenment. The Fool card is the zeroth Tarot card, and as such represents each of us at birth. A blank slate waiting to find our way through the world. Through many important encounters, we discover the truth about ourselves and the world around us, enabling the realization of purpose and happiness.

The fool’s first encounters deal with his relationship to the world around him. Through the Magician and the Empress he symbolically encounters his father and mother and realizes the boundless creative energy within him, both conscious and subconscious. He learns of the bounty of Nature through the Empress and the physical rules which bind us all through the Emperor. At this point the fool understands his relation to the world around him.

The fool next gets a formal education from the Hierophant, adopting a system of belief. The fool learns that he is part of a larger existence, and begins to long for interactions with other people, as represented by the Lovers.

At this point the fool represents us as young adults. Filled with confidence and vigor, the fool makes his way out into the world. This is shown through the Chariot card. However, life soon confronts the fool with difficulties, and he must draw upon his inner Strength to overcome them. After working so hard, the fool eventually begins to question purpose more and more, drawing in upon himself like a Hermit.

Through contemplation, the fool realizes how interconnected the world around him is, a fact represented by the Wheel of Fortune. With this new knowledge of causal relationships, he sets out to seek previous wrongs, invoking the name of Justice.

However, in his quest to rectify his past sins, the fool comes across something he had not the will or courage to overcome. His entire world is turned upside down, like that of a Hanged Man, and he feels his sacrifices have been too great.

The serenity that comes with accepting defeat provides the fool with courage enough to cast off traits which hold him back. This new beginning is represented by Death, who heralds the end of things and change. The fool has now achieved an inner peace, delighting in his well-being. This is symbolized by the Temperance card.

At this point the fool continues to strive for ever greater glories. This eventually brings him face to face with his inner Devil, where he must confront his internal hopelessness and impotence. The fool feels the chains of the material world that bind him, and seeks to cast them off in a tumultuous change. He realizes that the fortress he had built around himself was actually a Tower, a prison holding him back. Although he suffered much to cast off these chains, the resulting revelations are truly worthwhile.

After such a tumultuous period of life, the fool revels in calm and serenity as represented by the Star. He is filled with an inner peace. However, this leaves him open to the illusions and trickery of the Moon. The fools’ inner emotions are still not well understood, and he is filled with fear and anxiety.

The fools turns in on himself, contemplating the source of his fears and shedding the light of the Sun on the darkest corners of his soul. He feels a great vitality at having purged his anxiety and is able to make a final Judgment about his life’s purpose.

After this long and epic journey, the fool reenters the World reborn. He is finally able to achieve his hopes and dreams, and lead a happy and meaningful life.