The Fool's Journey Through the Minor Arcana (Part One)
Join the Fool on his journey through the cards of the Minor Arcana as he learns important lessons about life and spirituality.
What is Tarot?
The 78 cards found in a deck of Tarot cards tell the story of the Fool’s journey of spiritual awakening. We have studied the Fool’s journey through the 22 cards of the Major Arcana, but his spiritual learning doesn’t end when he reaches The World; he then travels through the 56 cards in the Minor Arcana, and learns the valuable lessons each of these cards represent.
As we previously discovered in our article Tarot and Astrology, each Minor Arcana suit has its own element and themes; the suit of Wands is associated with the element of fire, and the cards focus on hard work and creativity; the suit of Cups is associated with water, representing relationships and romance; the Swords are linked to the element of air, and are about mental activity; the suit of Pentacles are bound to earth, and represent productivity and prosperity. Each set of numbers also has its own theme, are here we take a look at the lessons these cards teach the Fool, as he carries on his journey through the Minor Arcana.
The Aces focus on beginnings, and they set the foundations for the theme of the suit. All of the Aces are positive, and describe the potential of their suit. They teach the Fool the lesson that he has the potential to change anything through hard work. He realises that this potential can be either positive or negative, depending on his choices.
The Twos teach the Fool the importance of balance, understanding, and compromise in his relationships. Cups, Wands and Swords all focus on the benefits of working with others to produce positive results, and how having an ally in times of trouble can make a big difference to the situation. Considering the feelings and opinions of others, and learning how to compromise in difficult situations. Knowing when to stand up for yourself, but also when to concede, is key.
The Threes have two lessons for the Fool; they teach him both how to be a team player, and how to be a team leader. The Wands and Cups focus on opportunities and celebrations, and show the Fool how to be a member of a community. The Wands, associated with hard work, represent the pleasure you get from working as a team to complete a task, and the relationship oriented Cups teach the pleasure of being able to share joy and celebrations with those we love.
On the other hand, however, the Swords and Pentacles focus on separating yourself from the crowd; the Pentacles represent taking advantage of skills to beat both friends and opponents, possibly resulting in envy. The Three of Swords describes the heartache we feel when a relationship ends. It is up to the Fool to use his new ability to balance to figure out how to put his talents to good use and move himself forward, without treading on anybody to get there.
The Fours are where the Fool pauses for a while on his journey. The keywords of the fours include prosperity, recuperation, possessions, and boredom. The Four of Wands describes the successful conclusion of the current leg of his journey, and gives him chance to take a breather. The Four of Swords gives him the chance to recuperate, and get his thoughts together, whereas the Four of Pentacles allows him to relax a little where money is concerned, representing financial stability and prosperity. After a while though, the Four of Cups indicates that the Fool is bored and restless, and eager to move forward once again.
The Fives bring some harsh lessons for the Fool, and he faces difficult challenges and struggles. The Five of Wands brings the Fool a challenge that at first he sees as exciting, but leads to the defeat that is presented by the Five of Swords. This derives from a conflict, and the Five of Cups describes the sorrow that the end of a relationship brings. The Five of Pentacles shows the Fool suffering a monetary loss due to his defeat. After these events, the Fool feels empty and helpless, and is riled by the arrogance of his opponent, promising himself that he will never act in the same way.
Still reeling from the trauma of his loss, the Fool takes a moment to reflect. The Six of Cups represents him remembering the past, both the good times and the bad, and the Fool is reminded of how much he has overcome on his journey so far, and how much he has learned. The Fool reminds himself that there are people much worse off than he is, and he goes forth to help them. The Six of Swords represents him travelling, and the Six of Pentacles shows his generosity; instead of wallowing in his bad experiences, he is using what they taught him to help other people. The Fool is heading in the right direction again, and the Six of Wands represents his victory if he continues doing the right thing.
Join us next time as the Fool continues his journey through the Minor Arcana and learns more important lessons.
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