Apparently the Major Arcana are said to tell the story of the Fool (card 0) and part of the Alternative Tarot Course is to look at the cards and find a story. Here’s my, almost complete, story. The more experienced of you will notice that I have missed the last four cards. When I reached the Star card, it felt to me like pushing the story would be a bit like the time when I was 7 that I wrote “and they walked for a day and slept for a day and then they walked for a day and slept for a day…”. It felt like I was trying to pull out the story just to make it longer.
NB. This is using the Wild Unknown cards which I believe have Strength and Justice in a different place to some decks.
The Fool starts off naïve, innocent and curious about the world. As she starts to look around her, she meets five interesting people. The Magician is exciting and inspires in her a sense of purpose and a need to get moving and doing. The High Priestess tempers the Magician with her calm, collected and reflective aura. Where the Magician is full of energy and dives into new projects, the High Priestess prefers to consider and looks within for answers.
The Empress and the Emperor make a powerful pair. Sometimes considered to be Mother Nature, the Empress is a warm woman who creates and nurtures life. The Emperor is more of a traditional stereotypical father figure who wants to protect life. He is more logical and mind focused where she is more focused on caring and emotions.
The final person of the five is the Hierophant. He is a Wise Man who has spent many years reflecting and thinking about the world and is full of teachings that he enjoys sharing. The Fool respects and admires him.
In fact, she builds strong friendships with the five people she has met, each offering a different aspect of support and as such, she experiences the union, partnership and joy of the Lovers.
After this, the Fool starts to experience the world and sets off on her path.
Setting out with the action of the Magician in mind, she is filled with purpose and adopts the strength of the Chariot. However all adventures reach a point where decisions are required or karma unfolds. As Justice makes itself known to the Fool, she decides it’s time to make use of her friends the High Priestess and the Hierophant. Pulling on their reflective ability and knowledge, she learns about the Hermit, his life of solitude, self reflection and meditation. Still overwhelmed by the looming decisions, she spends a period in solitude, reflecting and meditating on her life so far. Her meditation leads her towards the Wheel of Fortune and she realises it is necessary to change course, to move towards her destiny.
Stepping off the easy path takes courage and strength and the path she has chosen is often unclear and unnerving, to continue on she must be patience and master her emotions so that she doesn’t lose faith and revert back to the easy path. She also feels the Hanged Man pressing on her. Changing course, however minor, requires letting go of a future you had envisioned, more dramatically, it can require letting go of believes, friends and security. However this is necessary sacrifice, a necessary death.
Once she makes the sacrifice, she is able to bring closure on the old path and use the energy spent battling the path to instead move forward more easily and transform into the version of herself she felt drawn to whilst living like the Hermit. As she does this, with the help of Temperance, she continues to heal her wounds from her old path.
As with all stories, there comes a point where the balance is knocked and negativity enters. As she has walked on her new path, she has picked up glittering objects which have slowed her down and detracted her from her intention. She has become more focused in gathering shiny trinkets than following her path. Indeed, she has built herself a home of lures from the devil and no longer follows her path at all.
Suddenly, her home is robbed, all her shiny trinkets are stolen and she has no place to live. She is panicked and in her crisis, she turns to her five friends. It is the hierophant who reminds her to take a step back, reflect and meditate as she had done earlier in life. He guides her to the wisdom of the Tower. Through doing this, she realises how off course she has become and vows to find a way back.
The crisis has forced her to look up and around her, and she now sees the shiny, glittering stars, trinkets which she cannot collect and which instead she can use to guide her. Reassured by this, she sets out again, with hope of her new life and peace of mind that the stars will show her the way.
I just got my deck out to photograph the fool and some of the cards got stuck in the box, with the fool on top.