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The Path of Tarot: A Fools Journey

The Fools Journey: The Fools Journey is the story of the Tarot and how you as the initiate make your way through each of the Major Arcana on your way to initiation. It puts into perspective the events you will come across on your journey to wholeness, your quest for magic, or just a look into the spiritual. The path the fool takes can be seen in the Tree of Life chart depicted as we go from the top most Sephirot of Kether all the way down to the earthy Malkuth. Understanding this path will give you more insight into not only your own personal journey but also the was that the Tarot works as a whole.

0 The Fool

Starting at 0 we find The Fool itself, a representation of both nothing and the potential for everything. As we know this card can also represent ourselves as we begin our journey into the forest of knowledge. A new Souls seeking whatever life meaning we can find. As you stand in the center you can see both positive and negative aspects poised to face them with the faith, optimism, and perhaps a bit of naivete. Despite not being at the center of the physical universe one could say that you are at this point, the center of your own universe.

1 The Magician & 2 High Priestess

Although they are separate cards and sephirots, the first beings that you will encounter on your Journey are The Magician and The High Priestess, two halves of the same coin. These two beings are the the balancing forces of the perceived universe. The Magician representing the positive active force one has on the physical universe, depicted with four tools (A Cup, Wand, Sword, and Disc), and the High Priestess representing the unconsiose spiritual force that drives us. These two are equal in every way despite being opposites and the {Positive / Negative} simply refers to the fact that everything has its opposite once it has been perceived.

3 The Empress

When we are young one of the first people we learn to recognize is our Mother. The Empress stands following the Magical ones as not only the maternal and natural force in the world but also the earth itself. We become aware of the senses, how they effect us, and which ones are triggered by what. The Empress is the one who protects us as we learn about the nature of the world.

4 The Emperor

The second person we learn to recognize is our Father. In the Tarot represented by the Authoritarian Emperor. Moving from the comfort and nurturing of exploration with the mother we find that the Fool has come to the point that they realize there are patterns and rules to the world they find themselves in. It can be manipulated the same way that the senses can and the outcomes can be predicted to an extent. There comes a new wave of excitement for exploration of the patterns set forth in the world and perhaps a mild form of frustration at the rules.

5 The Hierophant

After learning what is needed for basic functions in the outside world the Fool leaves their home and is met by a teacher. normally the Hierophant is someone who is arcane inclined but in generality this is the first real instructor that The Fool encounters. While in his presence one learns of belief systems, knowledge and group culture. The fool is taken in and taught about the systems in place and even begins initiations to some of the systems found.

6 The Lovers

The parting from the Hierophant brings means that one has to decide on their own beliefs and culture. The Lovers represent the fact that the Fool has decided on who "they" are and what they believe. This makes them susceptible to the duality principal and in it we find that the fool desires to complete himself in a union with another. The fool desires to be in a relationship, most likely with someone who shares his social beliefs.

7 The Chariot

Driven by the newfound center one will feel a sense of motion and movement through life. There is an amount of inner control that allows for the control over The Fools immediate surroundings. At this point in the journey The Fool has enough knowledge to be confident in themself, and this brings a certain satisfaction and ego boost. The confidence of adolescence.

8 Strength

The next stages of the Jouney come around in Strength. The Fool is faced with new challenges that require the Initiate to dig deep and find the courage or "strength" to move forward. These challenges come in many forms and The Fool will need to bring forth the many frames of strength be it the physical strength or the soft-spoken control needed to keep ones self under control in times of intense stress and pressure. This further tempers the qualities learned from the previous card "The Chariot" in The initiates ability to control them self.

9 Hermit

The motion found from the Chariot and the challenges brought by Strength lead the Inititate to ask themselves "What is this all for?" They have enough knowledge to move them forward but not enough enlightenment to give them a reason why as everyone dies in the end. The once thrilling curiosities have now evolved into a search for meaning and a deeper truth. The material world becomes more grey and leads the fool to look within them self untill they are able to make sense of their motivations and directions.

10 Wheel of Fortune

The meanings of All is One and One is All becomes apparent to the Initiate after all of the soul searching brought about from The Hermit. The connections of the world bring a new view to The Fool and there is a new beautiful outlook on how the universe works together in harmony. Patterns and Predictions, coincidences and fate come to a head in the Wheel of Fortune and there is a momentary order to the world. With this new Vision the Initiate sees themselves as a part of the whole for the first time and their drive and hope in themselves is restored.

11 Justice

Justice stands before the Initiate and they must make amends for their past mistakes. With their new outlook on their own lives and the universe as a whole they now realize that many of the mistakes that they made come not from a place of malice but from a lack of understanding. This realization often times comes from a review over the choices that brought The Fool to this point. The past actions and motivations are brought into the light as Justice begs the question, :"Will you move forward in your quest though the road may be hard, or will you slip back into to comfort of familiarity?"

12 Hanged Man

Assuming the Initiate decides to push forward they find that there are amends to be made from their past mistakes. After all, mistakes in which you learn something are simply lessons in disguise. Amends are not so simply made however, and the Initiate finds that the world has become topsy turvy. The hanged man symbolizes the personal cross the fool has to hang from in order to move forward, a challenge that arises that seems to hard to get past. Luckily, the new viewpoint that comes from being upside down allows some insight into how to take on the takes at hand. The initiate becomes open and vulnerable, like Paul, to all the world throws at them.

13 Death

Death to all things that do not assist in the Initiates forward growth. The elimination of old habits and things that did not work out brings the Initiate to appreciate the things that they have. Endings are always necessary to find a new beginning and although the Fool may not want to the fires of Death cleanse the earth for new things to grow. Many of the endings that come from Death may make it feel like dying and that is specifically because the old version of the initiate is slowly becoming obsolete. Luckily Death is not permanent and the New version of the Initiate is born. Old habits die hard but die they must.

14 Temperance

There is peace and serenity in Temperance which the initiate finds calming after being flung back and forth between the emotional extremes. Within the calm the Initiate also finds that there is a way to transmute the extremes between one another. The Fool accepts moderation and gracefully brings all of the past lessons thus far into the center self. This new mindset brings a longing for harmony and peace along the rest of the Initiates Journey.

15 Devil

The Devil is not so much an evil entity along this journey. The devil represents the chains that bind us to the habits we have that no longer serve us. The devil does not exist outside of us but within, holding us to the things that keep us from growing. There is a world of attainable only when we have fully released the habits that preserve our former self. Though the things the Devil offers seem like they are beneficial the road is such that we dont even realize that the initiate is enslaved by them.

16 Tower

Becoming freed from the Devil sometimes requires a change that is so drastic that it breaks apart the beliefs we have worked so hard to build up. The Tower represents these beliefes and systems. Though the solid rock tower we have build keeps us safe it also acts as a prison and the initiate needs to uproot the old ways in order to Break down the Tower they have built. Though lightning strikes and destroys The Tower, the Initiate is given, in return, the ability to rebuild himself anew.

17 Star

With the Contrete walls of The Tower destroyed The initate can now see the Star up above. A symbol of hope and New beginnings. The Fool is no longer hidden behing the Ego as is represented by the Naked Woman on the Card. This is the tranquility and Freedom that comes from no longer being enslaved by the Devil and the initiates bad habits. The Initiate trusts the process and the direction that they are taking.

18 Moon

The serenity that comes from the Star leaves the Initiate open to the illusions brought forth by the Moon. There is a lack of clarity that comes with the Bliss of the Star and it is this exact lack of clarity that leads the initiate down a path rough with the fears and anxieties of losing that state of hippieness. There are dreams of grandeur that the Initiate may chase but are they real to them or just fairy tales?

19 Sun

Burning away Illusion with its all consuming light, the Sun leads the Initiate to a new understanding of the world. The mist of confusion dissipates and the suns brilliant light cuts through the shadows of fear. The Initiate feels good about their place in the world and moves forward with nothing to hide. Gracefully and with enthusiasm the Fool attracts all that they need with the suns warmth. There is no challenge too taxing for the Initiate with the Fun in their corner.

20 Judgement

The angel on the card of Judgement represents the initiates higher self attempting to call The Fool to become better and rise up. And it is at this point that the Initiate has the knowledge of themselves, and the world required to make necessary and clear judgements about themselves. At this point it is the time of Judgement for The Initiate and they see themselves as they truly are and after having gone through all the lessons up to this point The Fool is ready to be reborn.

Before they can they need to make a decision or "Judgement" about themselves. There is a reason they are alive, in that moment. There is a goal they are there to complete or a lesson they are there to teach / learn, etc. Without hesitation or doubt the Initiate is prepared to take on whatever is outside that forest.

21 World

The initiate has achieved wholeness and is ready for "The World". Their Worth and Ego are balanced and the Initiate reenters the world with a more complete understanding of it. again, a MORE complete but not complete. They are ready to share what they have learned and contribute themselves in a greater sense to the wholeness of the universe / The World itself. They share what they have learn and learn from the world in fluid harmony.


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