When reading for a newbie and The Fool comes up, it’s pretty typical for someone to say, “Oh, great. THANKS, Weber.” Like the reassuring nut that I am, I say, “No! No! No! It’s just a person on a journey! And that person is YOU!” It doesn’t help because they still think I–and the Tarot–are confirming their concerns that they are in fact, a total fool in whatever situation we’re analyzing. Outside of the Tarot circles which I’m familiar with, that’s not an unfamiliar interpretation. I taught a class at a Botanica in the Bronx a few years ago. Many of the other readers had learned from their grandmothers who had learned from their grandmothers, and so forth. Upon the discussion of The Fool, the idea that The Fool was a central character in the Tarot’s Journey was foreign.
“I always thought it meant dumbass,” said one reader. The other readers nodded in agreement. My seemingly “obvious” interpretation was not as widely accepted as I thought. So few of us were around in the 1400-1500’s in Italy to be able to tell whether The Fool of the earliest Tarocchi decks was a “Person on A Heroic, Empowering Journey!” or simply “Just a dumbass.”
Well, I don’t like the word dumbass unless it’s to describe my home internet provider. Or several presidential candidates. I certainly don’t think it pertains to the Tarot.
In the Tarot deck I produced with my friend George, Tarot of the Boroughs, we threw out the title and called it “The Seeker” because that’s what we both believed the “0” card to mean. It is a person on a journey, the people they meet, the experiences they face.
Understanding the Fool’s role in the Tarot is essential to understanding the other 21 Major Arcana cards that represent the trials and persons who shape our journey. The Fool is who we are. Not because we are born “dumbasses,” but because we start our journeys as wide-eyed and hopeful as The Fool and spend our lives learning through the “Major-Arcana” type events that come along.
In your personal journey as “The Fool,” think of the following!
a.) Who was your primary mother figure?
b.) Who was your mentor?
c.) What experiences shaped you that showed you your true calling?
d.) When have you experienced a great loss?
Even more fun…..think about when you have played these roles to the journeys of others? When have you been Major Arcanas to another person’s “Fool”?
The Fool’s Journey–Reversed
a.) When have you mothered or when did you become a mother?
b.) To whom did you teach or mentor?
c.) When have you helped to show someone their true calling?
d.) When did you create or facilitate what might have been considered a loss to someone else?
(The cards under discussion are a. The Empress; b. The Magician; c. The Star; d. Death)
Reflect on the moments you’ve lived. What were your own archetypal journey moments and when did you provide that same experience for others?
Hey! I’m teaching a class this weekend with all this self-reflective knowledge AND how you can become a good Tarot reader as a result at Off the Beaten Path in Butler, NJ on Saturday, 3/31 at 1:00 p.m. Go here to reserve a space!
And if you’d like to book a reading with me, go here!
Enjoy a blessed night, you beautiful thing. 🙂