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The Fool's Journey

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 16 Sep 2001, and now archived in the Forum Library.

Elphaba  16 Sep 2001 
Are we truly only at the 'Fool' stage when we are babies and the 'World' stage when we are dying? Does it take our entire life to reach completion (if there is such a thing)? Do we go through a mini-fool's journey every time we make a new decision? Joan Bunning's lesson online shows very clear life stages but I'm wondering what your experiences with this are. What 'stage' do you think you're at? Can we jump around between stages...2 backward...ten forward? Can we go through stages simultaneously? I would like to incorporate this more into my readings. What is your take on the Fool's Journey?

p.s. I tried to post this once but it disappeared so I apologize in advance for any wild double-postings. :) 

Dee 04  16 Sep 2001 
Good question ...don't know the answer to the question though. At least not yet...

Do we regress into stages after we have passed them or do we master them once and go on to nover return to it. I'd say we go around in circles all the time... at least I do. 

deso  16 Sep 2001 
Very stirring questions!! I find it hard to believe we are only at the fool's journey too. I think our souls/higher self (whatever you want to call it) are infinitely too wise to be limited to any one journey. Life is cycles and changes - I find that when I practiced pathworking, I'd get specific lessons or revelations on each level, however, certain "journeys" would return (like a spiral) to help deepen my knowledge to a newer height. I trust in the infinite wisdom of the Universe and just love the ride. 

Mojo  16 Sep 2001 
We begin the fool's journey every time we renew our interest in life. Every time we start a new job. Every time we make a new friend. Every time we embark on an adventure. Every time we move to a new home. Every time we pick up a new hobby. And every time we fall in love.

When we stop taking new journeys we stop really living. 

MeeWah  16 Sep 2001 
Mojo: Very well expressed; you've captured the essence of The Fool :) 

MeeWah  16 Sep 2001 
The Fool is that part of us that is open to new experiences; that does not lose its interest in life & learning. The Fool is "Everyman". No matter where we may be at any one time, we are The Fool in one of his many roles as we negotiate our passage through life. 

truthsayer  16 Sep 2001 
the fool's journey is one of my all time fav topics! unfortunately, i don't have time or energy to get into it tonight. ;) maybe later...for an interesting perspective of the fool's journey from a non-tarot perspective, try reading "the hero of a thousand faces" by joseph campbell. another classic in the journey of the hero was "the power of myth" by bill moyer and joseph campbell. there is a book, audiocassettes, and videos of the marvelous series. it really helped me connect w/ the tarot in new ways. i have some other books about the fool's journey that may interest you. i'll try to post them later.

as to my personal opinion, i think meewah and mojo said it best. life is a circle within many circles. i feel solid in my marriage so i feel pretty balanced--maybe the lovers, justice, temperance or the star. career wise i'm starting over. in the merryday tarot, the chariot is called the student instead and that is where i am. my tarot year card is the death card so i know i'm going thru transformations and mini deaths at all levels of my life. death=13 is 1+3=the emporer which i consider a card of great stability, power and control. interestingly, despite all the change i feel the most stable that i've been in years. i hope this helps. :) 

StarShine  16 Sep 2001 
I agree with Truthsayer. I think we go through different levels simultaniously in different areas of our life. A person who has been in the same job for 10 years, married for five and been a parent for 3 days, well, they are at different stages in all of these things. I also think that we do repeat stages within the same areas. Each time, the lesson advances us to a new level. Repeated cycles build on the ones that went before. Some lessons only take once, others take a lifetime or two!

I think that makes sense!}> 

Elphaba  16 Sep 2001 
I really like the idea that the other majors are just different aspects of the Fool. I never really thought of it that way before. I think I agree that everything just keeps cycling around and around but multiple levels. Thanks for the book recs. truthsayer. I think it's high time I read some Joseph Campell but only after I've finished my book on Jung...ACk, this tarot thing has introduced me to all sorts of new ideas and authors...*whips out trusty library card* 

Melvis  17 Sep 2001 
This is the part of the Tarot that really called out to me when I first got into it...the Fool's Journey. I agree with most of the posts here that we don't just go around the Cycle once, but many times. (Where would be the fun in doing it just once? ;) ) I also think we can be at different stages of the cycle in the various aspects of our lives: work, relationships, spirituality, etc., as Meewah, Mojo and truthsayer have pointed out.

While all this cycling may get confusing for some, I like to think of it as exciting! I LIKE recognizing that I'm approaching a certain point in the Cycle that I've already gone through...because then I can see all that I've learned since I visited there before! And all those lessons-learned bring new perspectives to this point in the Cycle, too.

I heartily agree with truthsayer's book recommendations as well...Joseph Campbell was so wonderful at connecting all cultures through myth and the hero's journey. I'd also recommend a book called Tarot and the Journey of the Hero by Hajo Banzhaf (both the book's name and the spelling of the author's could be a bit off...sorry! I don't have my copy of it with me.) He takes you on a journey through the Major Arcana that seems to really get down to gut-level.



Queenie  23 Sep 2001 
I agree with the idea that we go through this cycle many times in our life and I believe some tarot decks place their fool not at the beginning, but at the end, after the world card. I think that the fool not only represents innocence and spontaneity but can serve to remind us not to become complacent. When we reach the world stage, we can take time to enjoy it, to reflect and take pride in our accomplishment (whatever that may be) but in order to continue learning and growing we need to start the journey again (or start another journey), jump over that cliff, leave the world behind, and see where it takes us. The fool reminds me of the role of the contrary in some Native American societies. The contrary is something like a sacred clown whose purpose is to turn cultural and social 'norms' inside out, reminding people that these things are man-made and impermanent and not as important in the grand scheme of things as people often think they are, reminding them of the higher/deeper spiritual realities.
As for one great over-arching cycle... too immense for me to comprehend right now. I can barely imagine myself growing old and what I will be doing with my life. Maybe this is something easiest conceived towards the end of a life, when you can reflect on the big picture with all the 'facts' before you (I hate that word but I didn't know what else to use).

The The Fool's Journey thread was originally posted on 16 Sep 2001 in the Talking Tarot board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the threads in Talking Tarot, or read more archived threads.

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