The major arcana of the tarot acts as a mirror of the soul and as such its a journey that we are all on, so it is an amazing teacher for spiritual self development as it represents the journey of the Fool (that’s us) from the first awakening of consciousness, to initiation and finally enlightenment. It’s a never ending journey and one we will take time and again. Once we get through the journey a new feeling of restlessness or a new decision will have to be made, or life will throw us a curve ball and the journey will begin again. This is a never ending journey and the key to navigating the journey is to understand the meaning of the major arcana and the life’s lessons the cards are trying to teach us so that we can take the journey with awareness and not having to be afraid of the journey but instead embrace it and the changes that come along with it.
My journey begins with a Pagan deck of tarot cards so if you have a more traditional deck of tarot cards your order of the Major arcana may be a little different than mine but that’s ok. Feel free to use mine or change my journey around to match your order. My journey is based on what I’ve learned, take it and make it your own.
We start as the Fool maybe feeling restless, or an opportunity presents itself and a new door cracks open. So really it starts with a dream (could be a move, a new job, new relationship, leaving a relationship) doesn’t really matter what it is we just know that something needs to change. An awakening of consciousness. There is a feeling of discontent so the Fool decides to take that leap of faith and follow that dream. Once the decision is made there is no stopping it and he meets the Magician or his intellect. His ability to act. His yang energy. The Magician teaches us we have all the external tools we need to do what we need to do to follow that dream. But you can’t have Yang without Yin so along comes the High Priestess the Fool’s intuition his spirit within. He learns about trusting his gut feelings and the consequences of not trusting them. This is a very important lesson as we have to have the balance between the intellect and the intuitive and if we are not in balance we will be here for a while repeating lessons. After discovering the male and female aspects of himself he discovers the male and female aspects outside himself in the Empress (mother earth) and Emperor (God) and he learns to balance all of the opposites in his world eg day/night, summer/winter, yin/yang, male/female. I call this part of the journey the part of self- development. This is where you are trying to figure out who you are, what’s important to you, what kind of person you want to be, what needs to change, what you can live with, how to change it, what you can’t live with and do you have the courage to take that leap of faith to make the changes. Can you trust in yourself that you have the tools and trust in your intuition to do what’s right for you? The Fool’s first set of lessons are complete we have learned about our inner and outer self.
The Fool needs to move on to the initiation phase and to do so you may need a Hierophant (guide/guru). This card is all about tradition, knowledge and teaching so pick your guides wisely! The Fool then meets a partner in the Lovers or does he? Are the lovers looking at each other or are they longing for love? Before you can find bliss with another you must first find it in yourself. The Fool must learn that lovers is about choices to bring balance in your life. After discovering what exactly you want in your life the fool encounters the Chariot where the fool learns mind over matter. It’s inner strength or willpower. He then learns to face his fears with the Strength card. Now it’s time for the Hermit to teach us how to turn inward. To meditate and find purposeful truth. The Wheel turns and is a never ending cycle of balance. Sometimes we are on top and sometimes we are on the bottom and when we are on the bottom it’s important to remember there is nowhere to go but up. Justice is the halfway point of the major arcana and its the point where the Fool realizes that his actions have consequences. It’s the card of karma, what you think, speak and do shapes your reality. The Fool surrenders himself in the Hanged man to await the change he knows is coming, alone, vulnerable and afraid. Death card…the change has arrived. What does the Fool (you) need to release and let go of? When the Fool feels like it can’t get any worse along comes the Devil forcing him to face his shadow self. When was the last time you looked deep into your soul? And if that’s not enough the Tower strips the Fool to the bare bones destroying his false self image (ego). Don’t look back, let it go because only then can you find your true self and go forward. This leads us to the final journey through the major arcana, enlightenment.
The final journey starts with rebirth shown thru Temperance with karmic balance and moderation. Then moves onto the Star and it is the start of the outward journey and is the guiding light of hope. The Fool then encounters the watery subconscious of the Moon and realizes that everything is interconnected and he has faced his fears and realized the difference between fear and intuition. The Sun leads the Fool (us) to that higher state of consciousness and mindset. Remember like attracts like. Judgement appears representing one last task the fool must face and that’s forgiveness and judging ourself and liking who you are and changing what you don’t. The final card in the major arcana is the World aka The World Tree and it allows the Fool to move freely between the worlds. Its the interconnectedness of all things. This is the state of bliss with nothing to do, think of it as savasana in Yoga.
You’ve worked hard to get here and you might stay here for a day, a week or a month, who knows, but it is inevitable that the world leads us back to the Fool and the journey will begin again. We can’t stay in savasana forever, there will come a time where we will crave another wild journey, the mystery of something new, but having experienced the journey of the Fool we will journey again hopefully a little more wiser….so let the journey of the Fool begin again.