Join us once more as we follow the Fool's journey through the cards of the Minor Arcana.
Previously, we followed the Fool on his journey through the cards of the Major Arcana and the first six cards of the Minor Arcana. We join him again now, as he continues to learn the lessons presented to him by each group of cards, about life, love, relationships, and most importantly, himself.
The sevens encourage the Fool to focus on the importance of making good choices and considering their consequences. The Seven of Swords deals with dishonesty, and tells the story of a betrayal by somebody the Fool thought he could trust. Now he has to decide how to deal with the situation; the Seven of cups urges him to make a choice; does he confront his opponent, or does he use more sly, underhand tactics? The Seven of Pentacles represents planning, and warns the Fool to consider his options carefully, whilst the Wands tell him to stick to his guns, stand up for himself, and move forward slowly but surely, and with courage.
Eager to move on from his betrayal, the Fool encounters the eights and their lessons: hard work and dedication. The eight of Swords represents his struggle to get out of the bad situation, and teaches him to swallow his pride and ask for help when he needs it. The Wands and the Cups both represent the Fool’s need to leave the past behind and move forward in his life. The eight of Cups encourages the Fool to follow his heart, while the eight of Wands advises the Fool to surround himself with resourceful and understanding friends, and that good things will come to him. The eight of Pentacles allows the Fool to develop new skills to enable him to move forward. Things are beginning to look up.
However, the Fool quickly learns that there’s not time to hang around, and that he must work hard if he wishes to succeed. The nine of Wands teaches the Fool the lesson of resilience, and shows him how to muster up his inner strength that will enable him to keep going when things look grim. Sometimes the Fool believes he is destined to fail, which the nine of Swords focuses on; he has many sleepless nights of fretting before realising that it’s all for nothing, and he is allowing his negative thoughts to affect his life. With a brighter outlook, the nine of Pentacles teaches the Fool to relax and kick back a little after his hard work, and the Cups shows how happy he is when he lets himself have fun, and catch up with loved ones.
The tens come at the end of the cycle; they conclude the themes of their suit that were introduced to us by the Aces. The Fool’s luck unfortunately changes again, and he suffers a massive blow. The Ten of Swords, the worst card in the Tarot deck, symbolises even more betrayal, and the Fool’s ruin. It teaches the Fool how low fortune can go. However, the positive side is that from here, he can only go up. The Ten of Wands represents the Fool’s feeling of being burdened by the amount of work and stress he is under. He then realises however that he is surrounded by people willing to help him, and shoulder some of the burden for him. This is the lesson of the Pentacles: the benefits of forging good relationships with the future generation. He enlists the assistance of those who are younger and stronger, and begins the process of stepping back and retiring. The ten of Cups represents how content the Fool is now he no longer has to work and is surrounded by his loved ones, and he learns to enjoy his new found freedom.
Now he is no longer distracted by work, the Fool can focus on those around him, and enjoy spending time with his family and friends. He spends time with those younger than him, represented by the Pages, who he has entrusted his work to, and learns more about them. The Page of Wands, he notices, is a natural born leader; he is passionate, impulsive, enthusiastic, and has a strong desire to travel, meaning he is never still for long. He sees that the Page of Swords is just as intelligent and creative, but prefers to deeply consider an idea before jumping into action. The Page of Pentacles has a strong sense of duty, acting carefully and practicing patience. The Page of Cups appears younger than those around him, with a more gentle, artistic nature. He is rather vulnerable, and requires affection and protection from the others.
The Knights are a little older, but still not yet adults. They are rather extreme, as they try to find themselves and their way in the world. The Knight of Wands is energetic and always ready to go full speed ahead. He is hasty and can be somewhat unpredictable, thanks to his quickly changing moods. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Knight of Pentacles; he is practical and steady, and doesn’t take any chances. The Knight of Swords is charming and confident, but easily bored; quick to love, but also quick to leave. On the other hand, the Knight of Cups embodies the theme of his suit, loving deeply and passionately, and making a fiercely loyal and faithful friend and lover.
The Queens embody the qualities of their suit. The Queen of Cups is a natural leader and organiser, and is creative and lively. She is likely to run a business, or hold a position of responsibility and power. The Queen of Pentacles also has a good head for business, but also loves luxury and is known to be rather moody; above all though, she is caring and sensible. The Queen of Cups is sociable and warm, devoted and fiercely loyal to her loved ones. However, the Queen of Swords is much more independent and rules with her head, not her heart. She is very intelligent, and must not be underestimated.
The Kings rule their suits, and are the masters of the themes and skills represented within them. Powerful and authoritative, they are trusted teachers and guide the younger members of their groups. The King of Wands is extremely athletic and renowned for his strength. The King of Swords is better known for his brain, ruling with intelligent logic, and trusted to advice and lead. The King of Pentacles, is very down to earth and stable, despite his wealth. The King of Cups is the definition of the themes of his suit; he is loving, warm hearted, and a family man before all.
As the Fool looks around him at all of the different people, he realises the valuable lessons they all teach; he understands that everybody he meets have all of these qualities, in varying degrees. He is finally able to see that he himself also has these qualities on some level, and that he has earned these traits through the lessons he has learned during the trials and tribulations of his journey through the cards.
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