A story as old as time. The hero’s journey is prevalent in not only classic mythology, but in today’s media. This classic story structure is the bones of most stories.
This is the journey through the Rider Waite deck, the only one available in my day when I started.
There are 3 stages of this story structure:
The Departure: He leaves the safety of his home to venture out to unknown destinations or on a quest.
The Initiation: His trials and tribulations mold him into the true hero that he is destined to become.
The Return: Armed with new knowledge and the power of his growth, he returns the champion.
The Tarot is a book. It tells a story and once you learn how to read it like a book, understanding the story is much easier.
The Fool is the hero in this story, and his journey is through the Major Arcana.
The Major Arcana (trumps) start at 0 and ends at 21. These cards are all big league players and are represented by archetypes that help us navigate our way through life, so to speak. They indicate major changes and life events, where the pips (Minor Arcana) are more our day to day experiences. Major trumps are the people in our lives and our life lessons. We can see this more clearly through The Fool’s Journey.
The Fool goes through this journey and we see the people who influence and guide him, as well as the lessons he learns. The Fool represents the beginning and also the end of the soul’s journey in the story. When we end a cycle, he is the space between that end and the next beginning.
Let’s start with his departure.
We see The Fool with his head in the clouds ready to step into the unknown, right off a cliff, some would say.
He’s idealistic. He is full of dreams and hopes as big as the Universe itself. He is the beginning BEFORE the beginning. He embodies the universal energy of innocence and enthusiasm.
He carries a very light load. He has a feather in his cap because he truly is “light as a feather” and ready for this adventure. The white rose in his hand and colorful clothing symbolizes that he cares not what others think and is ready to fill that blank canvas with his own story.
His little dog guides him and he is filled with the love of the sun on his back as he begins his journey.
Take out The Fool card in your deck. Write down the story it’s telling you and the symbols. Is there a similar image or does your deck look completely different?
Your deck may have different colors and symbols, but the meaning is the same. He is the beginning. Let’s take his journey through our decks and get into how to read the story!