Legend: The Arthurian Study Group - The Fool


The Majors of the Legends Tarot

I have just gotten "A Keeper of Words" and have found it very informative especially concerning the Majors. Has anyone thought about the symbolism of the cards? I found the explanations made perfect sense, but they often have gone unnoticed by me. ANyone want to share thoughts?

(Listening to "Dark Lady" by Cher) Such a perfect song when talking about Tarot. LOL


Hi Wardi
Any Major in particular you want to talk about?

How about the beginning, the Fool. It's as if all he can see is the big red banner hanging over the side of the castle...the castle is white for purity, for all our dreams of granduer or security or anything we believe lies beyond or contained within those walls.

In a way it's like the source for the 6 Wands...outside the castle, the goal lies within and he still has a ways to go before he gets there, but the goal is now within sight, as if he's traveled for a time to get here.

I guess I should have that deck sitting right here beside me, so I can look at the card, rather than filling it in by memory.

What would you think the symbolism is for the tents and goats in the valley in front of the castle?


I've always seen the fool as being a bit aimless, the wanderer, setting out with no clear direction ... when in fact Percivale sees his goal in the emblem of the Knights of the Round Table hanging at the gate of Camelot and is unaware of the trials and work he has to put in to achieve his goal. It's a fairly realistic goal - he's a strong, capable young man. He's allowed his imagination to run ahead, he has no knowledge of what will be expected of him and has a rather romantic notion of what it will all be like inside the castle - a bit of a dreamer, our Percivale - only seeing what he wants to see.

I think the rainbow shows promise for the future. The green landscape indicates that the ideas are flourishing in a positive direction and the little stream is the life-source of the community. Perhaps the little dwellings belong to people seeking refuge, or perhaps they are shepherds huts - animals being a source of wealth and nourishment?

Percivale brings all he has to serve the king - he is ready to risk everything, including his life. His possessions seem meaningless as they are held loosely in his hand, and Camelot takes up his whole vision. Although we know his intent, the little dog is excited and wants to play, perhaps sensing the excitement and wonder or trying to distract his attention?

At this point he is free to make choices - to go on or to turn away ... I think that's something the reverse would indicate - lacking the courage, ambition or means to follow through with what is desired, either because the bubble of the vision is burst, or because taking another step in that direction suddenly seems like hard work, and we'd rather have it just given to us.


I don't see how the Fool is the wonderer, but it may just be a personal meaning. I think that Periclave is a very good depiction of the Fool, he is beginning a new stage in life and a new journey is begining. The card it self showes bright laying ahead of him. Your right Camelot does fill his mind, being that it is a focus of his journey. This I disagree with, I think that the Fool can symbolize not knowing what direction to go in.


OK, so maybe rather than call the Fool a wanderer, we could call him the Dreamer, the journey begins when he dares to follow his dreams to their source or to the desired destination. He isn't there yet, there is no clear path, even though his goals are within sight, there is much more he doesn't know and isn't worried about what he hasn't had to deal with yet.

I think that it's fitting that red is the color of the emblem, red for passion, desire, the fire of enthusiasm that keeps dreams alive.


Percivale and the idea of the dreamer comes to mind children. When you ask children what they want to be when they are older, we expect them to say crazy unachieveable jobs, like astronaut, or prime minister. How many of this children put those dreams aside and become office clerks, lawyers :)P) etc and live unfilled lives.
Here we have someone that sees the rainbow, has heard about the pot of gold and goes in quest of it, in full confidence he will get there. Everyone thinks he is the fool, but its what is in the heart that matters. After being hurt from people laughing, finding faults in his dream, he has the courage and ambition to think whatever, and goes off in quest for his ultimate goal, knowing it will happen, just not sure on the details. Nothing will stop him, the ends justifies the means with this one (though with a heart as true as this it wouldnt be through ill means). It seems impossible, but it isnt. He is the encouraging spirit of every inner child, of 'I dare you' or the teen rebel of 'I seek to prove you wrong, just for the hell of it'. The trees and greenary to me, shows how patient he, theres no question of now and if, but will and later, just give it time, be reliable, dependable, friendly. I can see Percivale working through the court of Shields as well on his quest to become a knight :)

Something to constantly keep in our hearts I think.


"I can see Percivale working through the court of Shields as well on his quest to become a knight". Thank you for the encouraging hint, Sezo. The Knight of Cups, I hope...


After looking at this card again, I decided that horses are drinking from the stream...makes much more sense now. Horses as the vehicle to carry us to our desires, drinking from the steady flow of emotion, of the waters of life, that keep our aspirations lush and green and growing.

Which brought up another thought...you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. So it is with expecations for ourselves or for others, we can't live someone else's desires for us, we can't force our desires on others, but are drawn to what quenches our thirst and satisfies our needs and desires to be complete.


Ah yes, those micro-horses! I like your metaphors as usual, WalesWoman, "Horses as the vehicle to carry us to our desires..."

I notice the horses are on the other side of the bridge. The Fool has to take the first part of the journey under his own power, without the benefit of horses. But after entering the discipline of training at the castle he will gain the maturity and experience required to continue his journey on horseback. The basic things become in some sense easier as we journey on, but then we often start to encounter higher level challenges, "of those to whom much is given, much is expected".

The dog seems to be encouraging the Fool to continue on, "Stop dawdling when we are almost there". Percivale may be a little over-awed by the prospect just ahead of him, but his masculine instincts - embodied in the little dog - are telling him that he has no time to lose. I link the dog with masculine instincts since three of the Legend court Kings have dogs.

There is not a literal Fool's cliff in this card: it would seem that the unknown adventures that await Percivale in the looming castle will prove to be challenging enough.


sophie-david said:
There is not a literal Fool's cliff in this card: it would seem that the unknown adventures that await Percivale in the looming castle will prove to be challenging enough.

Well, not a rocky cliff per se, but he seems to be standing on the edge of the forest, and high above looking down, so there is the perception of having to decend down into the valley in order to reach what he wants.

That just made me think of needing to plunge into things, to become actively involved with what you want in order to achieve it. You can't stay on some safe lofty perch observing and wishing and living on daydreams, but have to get "down & dirty", wading through the emotional stuff, get down to the practicalities of living and get on the right path or you'll never get from one side to another.