In this series I’ll be looking at each Major Acana card in the Tarot deck, one at a time, to get to know them better. Rather than focussing on the traditional meanings of the cards I’ll be connecting to the intuitively, so join me and let’s wake up the Tarot together.
Looking to learn the traditional meanings? I recommend Joan Bunnings Learning The Tarot site, which is the one I return to again and again.
To begin at the beginning we have The Fool, card 0 of the Major Arcana. Here he is in the Ryder-Waite-Smith deck:
Signs and symbols
Doesn’t he just look full of optimism? The Fool is a young man off on the road to adventure. Home is narrow and confining and he’s bursting out into the wide world, ready for adventure, new experiences, love and fun. He’s the teenager who’s naivety on his first journey into adult life is almost heart breaking. He’s Bilbo Baggins in ‘The Hobbit’, ready for an adventure, though not understanding what lies ahead.
The Fool has packed up all his dreams, ideas, skills and experiences into a bundle that he carries lightly; has he been selective over what to carry forward, or did he just not have much to bring with him? What he’s definitely packed is that white rose, which he keeps separate in his left hand. His hope is blooming and he carries it happily and proudly. Again, I feel moved by his innocence and trust; as adults we learn -whether we should or not – to hide our hopes, to protect them and keep them safe in case anyone clumsily crushes them.
The little white dog bouncing around at his heels makes me think of bounding childlike enthusiasm, still a part of him as he enters the world. Small children have a surprising knack of bouncing when they trip over, like chubby rubber balls. Maybe shaken and a bit tearful, but generally getting on with things. They don’t expect pain and they’re full of unquenchable curiosity; the little fall hurt, but not enough to distract them from the tree they were toddling over to look at.
The Fool is so close to falling off that cliff edge. What will happen if he does? Will he drop his white rose of hope? Will he be hurt and lose his way? Or will he bounce up like a two year old, forget the boo-boo and continue to stride forward?
He won’t be on that cliff top anymore, under the full sun, so where will he be? He may have fallen far, out of the sun, or he might only have taken a small tumble. Will he have lost his pack? Will his bounding, childlike dog follow him?
The Fool holds so much potential to go either way. With this card anything could happen. What an opportunity!
Let’s pull out some cards from the Sacred Destiny oracle deck, and ask for some information which will help us to get to know The Fool.
What appropriate cards! The Fool is at the start of a voyage, and he’s full of purity of of intention, full of innocence and pure hopes.
A whale is gliding over the sea effortlessly, literally out of her element but somehow she looks safe and serene. Carefully attached underneath is her baby. This is indeed a strange journey, above the ocean and under the Moon.
Relating to The Fool card it suggests that his journey may seem unconventional to others but it makes sense to him. He’s not out to take the much-trodden path; that’s not what he’s about. He’s after novelty and adventure, things which are new to him, not the same old road everyone has walked down.
I’m drawn to the unconventionality of this card too; the Arctic fox’s two different coloured eyes. It makes me think of David Bowie, a man who was known for not conforming to what was expected. To do that you have to have a purity of vision, a focus on what you want to do and how you want to do it. To stick to that pure vision takes bravery, resilience and maybe obsession too!
The Arctic fox is a tough little animal for all it’s fluffiness – it can survive comfortably in conditions that would kill us humans. So what this tells us about The Fool is that however much we may want to protect him as he goes out into the Big Bad World, we have to resist projecting our fears onto him. And remember that The Fool may represent a part of you; you may be protecting a vision that’s precious to you from a scary world, but maybe it doesn’t need to you to protect it anymore. Maybe you’re strong enough to start a new adventure, just like The Fool.
Give it a go!
Get out your Tarot cards and find The Fool. What does he say to you, personally? Have a little look over the cliff edge; what do you see? What could be in his pack? Where is he going and how is he feeling about it?
I hope you enjoyed this first look at the Major Arcana Tarot cards with me. I’ll be doing every card in order, so if you’d like to work through it with me sign up for my newsletter at the bottom of the page and I’ll let you know when I’ve posted about a new card.