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Today's Tarot - Week 2

Lisa Clifton

Posted on May 22, 2017 10:42

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A look at the symbolism and meanings of the 1st card of the Major Arcana, 'The Fool' (Known as 'Le Mat' in the French Marseilles Deck)

Hi, everyone, and Welcome Back to 'Today's Tarot' (T.T.)! T.T. is a weekly Marseilles Deck journey through the fun and (hopefully!) thought-provoking world of Tarot. In case anyone missed last week's article, here's the link: Today's Tarot - Week 1.

To summarize, Tarot Cards are simply a learning and personal growth tool that provides the questioner with different outcomes to consider based on universal wisdom.

Divided into 2 sections: The Major Arcana and The Minor Arcana, Tarot Cards are said to contain the collective consciousness of the greatest thinkers throughout history. Carl Jung relates them to his theory of Archetypes, which is an idea of a “world soul”, also referred to as animus mundi.

There are hundreds of different Tarot Card decks today, and although each deck has vastly differing pictorial representations, the theme and meaning of the cards remain the same. The Rider-Waite deck and the Marseilles Deck are two of the most popular. I will be using the Marseilles deck for my reference. As its name implies, the Marseilles deck is of French origin, and therefore the names of the cards are in French.  I will refer to the cards by their English name and show the French translation within parentheses.

The Major Arcana are pictorial archetype cards numbered zero through 21. The best way to consider this group is to compare it to a spiritual journey through life. At the beginning, the person is naive and oblivious to the many obstacles ahead. They are brimming with curiosity and the excitement of youth. But this card also speaks of the naivete of taking everything for granted and believing that one is immortal. Youth is wasted on the young, so the saying goes, and that is brilliantly shown here in the rich symbolism 1st Major Arcana card, 'The Fool' (Le Mat).

Image pulled from https://en.camoin.com/media/TdeM/TMR/H335/a0tmt_h335.jpg

Each card is also associated astrologically with either a Planet or a Zodiac Sun Sign, and these associations have a strong influence on the card's interpretation. 'The Fool' is linked to the planet Uranus, which governs independence, intuition and freedom. Resembling a court jester, this card shows an eternally child-like clown starting his journey, believing anything is possible, yet oblivious to the fact that his next step will take him right off the edge of a cliff.

This person has no fears or doubts and has not yet been handicapped by the restrictions society imposes upon us with its conventional beliefs. It's all about risk-taking and throwing out the rules 'thinking outside the box'. At times the cards are said to represent an actual person entering your life, and this person will have the characteristics of the card. Surrounding cards will help clarify their meaning,

Keywords and Meanings: Optimism, youth, exuberance, spontaneity, unconventional, child-like, naivete, excessive mental energy, unconventional or ambivalent sexual undertones, curiosity, freedom.

Join me next time as The Fool begins to learn the lessons of the next card: The Magician (Le Bateleur)

Lisa Clifton

Posted on May 22, 2017 10:42

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