The Fool’s Journey

If you are interested in learning Tarot, I recommend getting a notebook to take notes of anything that stands out to you when learning about the cards.

Some foundational facts about the Tarot before we get started:

A typical deck of Tarot cards consists of 78 cards. 22 of these cards are known as The Major Arcana. The remaining 56 are known as The Minor Arcana.

Today, we will be introducing The Major Arcana, which encompasses what is often known as ‘The Fool’s Journey’. When you pull a Major Arcana card, they tend to represent big events in life. They have grand names like The Magician, Wheel of Fortune, Death.

When you pull a Minor Arcana card, they represent smaller, more mundane moments in life, and are categorised into 4 suits, typically Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. They go from Ace to 10, and then have four Court cards: Page, Knight, Queen, and King.

This might seem a little complicated just now but I promise it will make sense soon. For now, let’s look at the Fool’s Journey as portrayed in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck:

0. The Fool, 1. The Magician, 2. The High Priestess, 3. The Empress, 4. The Emperor, 5. The Hierophant, 6. The Lovers, 7. The Chariot, 8. Strength, 9. The Hermit, 10. Wheel of Fortune, 11. Justice, 12. The Hanged Man, 13. Death, 14. Temperance, 15. The Devil, 16. The Tower, 17. The Star, 18. The Moon, 19. The Sun, 20. Judgement, 21. The World

We start with the Fool, who is card 0. The rest of the cards are numbered from 1 to 21. Each of these 21 cards represents a stage in the Fool’s journey, their life. These stages may seem a little esoteric and hard to relate to- how many of us can relate to being an Emperor or Empress? But if we look at the broader symbolism of these archetypes, we can embody their positive values in our life, and learn to recognise when we are displaying their more negative characteristics.

Of course, we don’t all take this journey from start to finish, we can bounce around, redo certain stages. We each have unique experiences, but I think when we learn about the meanings of these cards we can relate them to our lives. Especially if we use a more modern deck.

Are there any cards here that pop out to you? Anything you’re drawn to? Take a note of it if so, and take a look at my next post, where I will be exploring the 0th card of the Tarot, The Fool.

Published by Iona Grant

I am a writer who focuses on secular tarot, mindfulness and mental health. I read the cards for introspection, not fortune-telling. Tarot cards embody clear emotions and themes, and allow you to view a situation from new perspectives. I love that tarot exercises your creativity and imagination, and helps to prevent overthinking. I also do social media marketing for charities, and I am developing my skills in copywriting and content creation.

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