Hey there, everybody!
How are you all doing? Hopefully, well and safe.
Welcome back to our Wednesday Tarot Class!
Last week we covered some of the general knowledge about tarot cards and their structure. While this week, we will be starting our journey through the tarot cards themselves. We'll be discussing the first Major Arcana card, #0 The Fool. I'll cover the upright and reversed (upside down) traditional meanings, reading intuitively, and show how the same card from various decks can be interpreted in extremely different ways.
If you didn't catch the class's first post, you can find it here - Tarot Class: Intro to the Cards. Which if you're new to tarot, I highly recommend you give it a read through.
Let's go ahead and jump right in with it.
Major Arcana Card #0 The Fool
In truth, The Fool doesn't really have any number. It can be put in at the beginning or at the end of the Major Arcana because it doesn't truly belong in the sequence. The main reason for this is that in the story of the tarot, The Fool takes a journey through life and the main human archetypes. Meaning he is always there, and because of this, he needs no number. It wasn't really until the Rider-Waite Deck that The Fool was given the number of 0. Which sets him apart even more, because the rest of the Arcana are usually shown with Roman numerals. However, he has the Arabic number of 0.
We'll start out with this card:
This card is from your traditional Rider-Waite deck. As some of you might remember from last week's class, it's the basis for most modern decks. So, to go with its traditional card, let's go over its traditional meanings first.
Ahh... The Fool, the carefree vagabond with his head so far in the clouds that he doesn't even notice the edge of the cliff he's on... Or perhaps he does see it, but he's just ready to take that leap into the unknown?
Upright: innocence, free-spirit/ed, a leap of faith, spontaneity, and new beginnings
Reversed: naivety, recklessness, lack of direction, holding back, stupidity, folly, and poor judgment
You should note that there are some decks I read reversals on, but not all of them. This is something entirely up to you as the reader. Some people don't use reversals at all, while others will insist that all decks must use them. Like with most things in tarot, I'm somewhere in the middle. I use them only on decks that I feel pulled to do so for certain reasons.
There will still be an element of intuition involved, even in following the strict traditional meanings or the guidebooks that come with your decks. You have to allow your intuition to guide you to choose the correct word or words for the reading. Because they will not always be the same every time you pull the same card.
The reverse is also true. Every intuitive reading you do will have elements of the traditional meanings. Tarot is a heavily symbolic system whose symbols in the modern decks are based on the original meanings in the Rider-Waite. You will always have some readers who prefer the straightforward traditional style, just as there will always be those who prefer to trust more in their intuition. Personally, in my mind, you can't completely separate the two. They just go hand in hand.
Let's look at some examples from a few of my decks. And remember these are simply my own interpretations, yours might be different, and that's ok. Everyone will see things differently.
First up, Serenity, The Good Tarot Deck:
This Fool is filled with childlike enthusiasm and is the stuff dreams are made of. They remind us to take joy in the little things in life. To revel in the world around us and marvel at its beauty with all the wonderment of a child. The world is full of endless opportunities, and nothing is impossible here. Magic is everywhere if you only know how to look for it. They show us what pure innocence and happiness is.
And now for a Fool of a different color...
King, Eight Coins Tattoo Tarot:
This Fool is perhaps the very definition of the word. She stands there blindfolded and bound by the serpent that's ready to strike her, while she calmly smells her rose. She's contented with merely feeling the sun on her face and the wind in her hair. Naive to a fault. She is either so naive that she doesn't realize she is bound and blind to the danger before her. Or she has willfully and stubbornly bound and blindfolded herself, refusing to acknowledge the threat that faces her. Either way, a serious wake-up call is needed.
To me, this Fool is a bit topsy-turvy. When this Fool is upright, it tells the story of the reversed Fool in the original meaning and vice-versa. But again, that is only my opinion.
Now, on to the next Fool!
Willow, The Wildwood Tarot:
This one with their bark and moss clothes is ready to happily leap into the unknown. They have faith that the rainbow bridge will bring them to the other side, where they will eagerly embrace learning from others along their long journeys. They do not let fear enter into their hopeful heart. They have the courage and strength to leave behind the past that is familiar to them and to move forward, gaining wisdom and insight. They find joy in new beginnings.
As you may have noticed in this deck, The Fool is called The Wanderer. This deck was made to follow the pagan calendar. So The Wanderer follows the pagan calendar on their journey through the wheel of the year, life, and the deck itself.
And that's how the same card can give you very different interpretations in various decks. What did you see in them?
Next Wednesday, we'll be going over the next Major Arcana Card #1 The Magician! So be sure to come back to class and learn all about it.
Friday, I'll be posting a full review of Serenity, The Good Tarot Deck, so stop by then and check it out.
And as always, every Monday, your tarot outlook for the week will be posted!
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