The Fool, the zero card of the Major Arcana. Often called the equivalent of the Joker card in a modern playing card deck, however this is a mistake. The “Joker” was introduced into Euchre decks sometime around 1860 in the United States. Clearly the fool was around long before that. I won’t spend much time on history as it applies to the Tarot because there are dozens of websites you can turn to for that. Mainly what I will do here is give you my interpretations of the cards. There are dozens of websites for that as well but, every little bit helps!
Most often, the Fool is depicted as a traveler with a bag on a stick held over his shoulder. He is accompanied by an animal, usually a dog but sometimes a cat. In the Scapini Medieval deck it’s a small Lion biting his leg and in the Deviant Tarot it’s a fish! Sometimes the animal is walking happily along with the Fool, and sometimes it’s attacking him or pulling at his clothes presumably to stop him. Most often the Fool is shown about to walk off a cliff. He has a dreamy look on his face as if to say, he hasn’t a care in the world. Because he hasn’t a care in the world, the Fool is happy. He is completely unburdened by the concerns of life. He is idealistic, believing that everything will turn out fine. As many of us with life experience know, this is not always the case but for the Fool, it is reality.
The card represents new beginnings, idealism, or a leap of faith. A journey of some kind, either physically or mentally and the belief that it will turn out well. Positivity fairly drips from the Fool! It also represents decision making but not in the usual sense. The Fool doesn’t make well thought out, planned decisions. He simply picks a direction and starts to move. Therefore the Fool represents action, mostly in deeds but sometimes in words although He can be thought of as a young man of few words because of his unworldliness. He doesn’t have the life experience to be able to articulate well with language. But he doesn’t need it. He’s happy to travel along and let life unfold as it will.
The card’s meaning are many. It can be a warning to be careful. To watch your step. To look before you leap. It can also mean that life is worth living and every experience should be enjoyed to the fullest. I always like pulling the Fool because there are so many possibilities with this card! He doesn’t have a map or a schedule. He doesn’t have a compass. The Fool is going where the wind takes him and wherever he ends up will be just fine. Depending on the question your client asks, this card can have a multitude of meanings.
The Magician, card number 1 of the Major Arcana. As the “Steampunk Tarot Manual” by Barbara Moore and Aly Fell says, “The Magician is a master of magic.” When interpreting the meaning of tarot cards we have to take into account the client, and how the cards answer their question. The Magician produces magic. But what is magic? Magic happens when a musician takes up their instrument and make beautiful music. When an artist produces a beautiful painting, or a clay sculpture, that’s also magic. When two people fall deeply in love, that too is magic. Magic is children laughing. Magic is what happens when you receive un-looked for money just when you needed it. All these things and more are magic.
The Magician is depicted as a man with an infinity symbol over his head. Also, the symbols for the the tarot suits Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles lie on the table in front of him. The associations of the suits with the elements, Fire, Water, Air, and Earth tells us that the Magician uses the elements to produce magic and the infinity symbol suggests that magic is unlimited. The Magician is a creator, making magic happen with the resources he has available. He’s a doer, a thinker, and a maker. He can also be thought of as a trickster, shaking your hand with one hand while making your wallet disappear with the other. The Magician produces energy and activity. There is no slacking here. The Magician, whatever he’s doing, will do it well, make it look easy, and leave you shaking your head in wonder.
The Magician tells us that we need creative energy. We need to use all the resources available to us to accomplish our goals, whatever they may be. Confidence is paramount here. In order to accomplish our goals we absolutely need to believe in ourselves and the Magician is telling us that we can. We have the ability, we have all the building blocks and we have the magic to make things happen.
The High Priestess, is card number 3 of the Major Arcana. She is the most spiritual character of the cards. A deep looking within, self knowledge, communing with the divine. She is quiet, she is contemplative, and self assured. Her crown displays the phases of the moon, indicating the cycles of life. The “B” on the left pillar stands for “Boaz” the son of Solomon from the Bible. The right pillar has a “J” for “Jachin” who was another Biblical figure. These are the names of the two front pillars on King Solomon’s temple. A veil behind the Priestess hides water, either the sea, or a large river or lake. The water can indicate the deepness of the spirit.
You go to the High Priestess with your spiritual needs. Questions of the divine and the spirit are answered here. The card can indicate a need for meditation, self knowledge, or self discipline, a looking within. She is the diviner of secret knowledge and wisdom. Once we look at our inmost selves, we may not always like what we see but the High Priestess isn’t here to assuage our feelings. She’s here to show us the truth, in all it’s dirt or glory. If we’re unhappy with our inner quest, it’s up to us to do something about it. Connection with the divine, whatever that means for you, will help us be our truer selves. The High Priestess will show us the way!