Every story has a beginning, climax and end. The groove goes through a hero or heroine (protagonist) starting out on a normal day in a normal situation, and then conflict arises. They have to save the planet, or the girl, or overcome challenge. They jump through the hoops and the story winds around obstacles and tense moments that have us all on the edge of our seats, until there is a turning point. Is the villain vanquished and the world saved? Does the boy get the girl? Joseph Campbell called this “The Hero’s Journey” and proposed that this narrative existed inside of every modern story, and he wasn’t wrong. Most movies, TV shows, books or tales are set up for the hero to overcome and save the day. If we take a look at this narrative and compare it to the tarot, The Hero’s Journey becomes The Fool’s Journey, and there are three acts that I call:
- The Discovery of the Self
- The Lessons
- Stepping Out of The Shadow
These sepentary acts (group of seven) is the journey The Fool takes through the Major Arcana. There are 22 cards and The Fool is 0 and he is either at the beginning or the end. He has no number as he is The Hero in our story.
We’ve just completed our first act, and The Fool has been influenced by the seven people he has met and formulated his identity or discovered his own self. Let’s look at the first act and how the archetypal characters influenced The Fool on this first part of his journey:
THE MAGICIAN – The Fool comes across her just as he is learning how to move. We see him almost stepping off a cliff and he may be literally learning how to walk. The Magician was there to teach him control, not only in ourselves, but that we have the control and could have, be or do anything. With this lesson came the knowledge that not only are we in control, but we are accountable for our own actions. No skipping around willy-nilly. We are the master of our reality and can use the elemental energy to create. Bend the universal energy to our wills. We must use our powers of manifestation wisely.
THE HIGH PRIESTESS – The Fool now has a desire to know things and understand this power in greater detail, and yearns to trust his own intuition. The High Priestess was there to teach The Fool that there is wisdom in all paths, but you can ascend to a higher level when you go beyond the veil and seek the truth that connects us all.
THE EMPRESS – He now goes to his mother or female role model. She teaches him that love and abundance flows to him effortlessly. He has the creativity and intuition and is safe.
THE EMPEROR – The father figure was there to teach The Fool to meet any challenge head on, because it’s most likely a test of strength and may reveal his weaknesses. Get ready, because no matter what, things change but he controls his own destiny.
THE HEIROPHANT – The Fool learns that we are all influenced by the things we learn and the world around us. Without fundamental constructs and learning to behave in society, we aren’t productive members of any team. There is much to learn and knowledge to be shared.
THE LOVERS – The Fool now is ready to make choices, and maybe find a partner. He’s gained a lot of knowledge of tradition, maybe learned some lessons about conformity and the higher good, but he must decide what will be his personal belief system as well. What does he stand for?
THE CHARIOT – You choose where you want to go. You’re in control of this forklift, the obstacles will soon be removed and your road opens. Carry on, my wayward son. Get control and drive. Success awaits.
As we continue into the second act, we are going to look at the adventures The Fool will have along with the lessons he will learn. What awaits our hero? Stay tuned to find out.