The Fool's JourneySubmitted by Michael Nystrom on Wed, 09/18/2013 - 23:12
The Fool's Journey is a metaphor for the journey through life. Each major arcana card stands for a stage on that journey - an experience that a person must incorporate to realize his wholeness. These 22 descriptions are based on the keywords for each major arcana card. The keywords are highlighted in the text. A card's number is in parentheses.
We begin with the Fool (0), a card of beginnings. The Fool stands for each of us as we begin our journey of life. He is a fool because only a simple soul has the innocent faith to undertake such a journey with all its hazards and pain.
At the start of his trip, the Fool is a newborn - fresh, open and spontaneous. The figure on Card 0 has his arms flung wide, and his head held high. He is ready to embrace whatever comes his way, but he is also oblivious to the cliff edge he is about to cross. The Fool is unaware of the hardships he will face as he ventures out to learn the lessons of the world.
The Fool stands somewhat outside the rest of the major arcana. Zero is an unusual number. It rests in the exact middle of the number system - poised between the positive and negative. At birth, the Fool is set in the middle of his own individual universe. He is strangely empty (as is zero), but imbued with a desire to go forth and learn. This undertaking would seem to be folly, but is it?
The Magician and the High Priestess
On setting out, the Fool immediately encounters the Magician (1) and the High Priestess (2) - the great balancing forces that make up the perceived world. It is a feature of the material universe that as soon as we name some aspect of experience, we automatically evoke its opposite.
The Magician is the positive side. He represents the active, masculine power of creative impulse. He is also our conscious awareness. The Magician is the force that allows us to impact the world through a concentration of individual will and power. The High Priestess is the negative side. She is the mysterious unconscious. She provides the fertile ground in which creative events occur. The High Priestess is our unrealized potential waiting for an active principle to bring it to expression.
The terms positive and negative do not imply "good" and "bad." These are human distinctions that do not apply in the tarot. The Magician and the High Priestess are absolutely equal in value and importance. Each is necessary for balance. We may view the negative as our Shadow, but without shadows, we cannot see the light, and without a ground of potential, we cannot create.