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The Hero/Fool's Journey: Part 1

Like many of us, I have been on a spiritual journey for the greater part of my life, where I am genuinely seeking answers, figuring out who I am and what makes me tick, examining my past and being introspective, and trying my darndest to learn from my mistakes and be the best version of myself that I came here to be. And, like all of us, life threw a few curve balls at me, resulting in me questioning almost everything I knew about myself and my life, and sadly also nearly entirely crushing my trust in myself, my own intuition and what I knew to be true and right. Naturally, I felt the need to seek answers outside of myself. But unfortunately, when the Universe (the Creator, your Guides, your Higher Self, your Soul's Plan, etc) wants to teach you to trust yourself, to hone your intuition, life will have a funny way of never quite giving you answers outside of yourself, and you will be led down a rabbit hole.

Even people who seemed to know what they are talking about, who are qualified to give advice, what they said still didn't feel right for me. I could ask and ask, tell friend after friend the same story, but nothing felt entirely helpful or entirely true. I sought the help of counselors, intuitive readers, pastors, people who channel guides, books, Youtube videos, numerology, astrology, etc, and yet felt perpetually confused, sometimes getting opposing answers within the same day, or even hour! In each arena I would glean a grain of truth, but also enough trickery or misdirection to leave me perpetually confused.

So then I realized I need to seek answers from within. And I discovered that an excellent way to seek answers from within, other than prayer or meditation, is through Tarot & Oracle cards. Not by having someone do it for me, but by doing it for myself. Some readers say to never read for yourself, but I 100% disagree with that. When used properly (with an open-mind and no attachment to outcome, and a genuine desire for truth) doing a personal reading with Tarot or Oracle cards is a fantastic way to grease your intuitive wheels. After you ground, protect, state your intentions with your Higher Guidance and simply see what cards you are drawn to, or jump out, you are being shown a window into your soul. How you see the pictures, how you interpret the meanings based on your gut reaction, regardless of whether you use the explanations from the book or not, will already tell you something you need to know. I see it as no different than going to an art gallery, and gaining something from looking at a painting. Or listening to a piece of music and having an emotional experience that could be completely different from someone else who heard the same piece of music.

"Dixit" card game, by Jean-Louis Roubira, illustrated by Marie Cardouat, and published by Libellud
"Dixit" card game, by Jean-Louis Roubira

There is even a card game called Dixit, which is based entirely on the idea of looking at cards with interesting and thought provoking pictures, and you need to describe that picture to the other players without identifying which card it is, and without using obvious descriptive words to give it away, and they need to figure out what they think the picture is that you are describing, either based on their own ideas, or based on how they think you perceive the picture. But how you would describe a picture, and how they would perceive a picture, could be two entirely different things. It's an interesting lesson on perception and intuition.

A ouija board. Not to be confused with Tarot.

Tarot is something that has a negative rap in certain circles, only because it is misunderstood (sometimes it is compared to using a ouija board), or associated with witchcraft, or paganism (which isn't inherently bad, by the way) or is considered "new-agey" (which also is a widely and broadly used term, and I'm not even sure it means the same thing for everyone who uses it). Tarot can be misused by readers themselves, or abused by the querent (the one seeking answers), and Tarot will lead you down a rabbit hole if you give it too much power over yourself. But I see it as no different than seeking answers through a book, or a painting, or a piece of music, or a walk in the forest, or an expert, seeing it humbly as gentle advice and clarity, and understanding that ultimately the final decision, choice, perception, outlook, outcome, feelings, etc. are yours alone. The pictures and ideas behind the cards merely guide you, help you to focus your monkey mind on certain areas of interest, things that you might have been avoiding or not paying enough attention to, or just need a nudge or encouragement in some way. Tarot is a tool, and no different from any tool we might use to seek answers, and we should never place complete power over ourselves into the hands of anyone or anything else. Tarot can be empowering and should never be disempowering.

I could go on and on, and maybe someday I will. But the purpose of this blog post, and the subsequent posts I will write in this Hero/Fool's Journey series, will be to focus on the MAJOR ARCANA of the Tarot deck, which are the cards that outline the greater energy and Soul's Journey of the querent in a reading ("querent" being the person asking the question), and the message of the Major Arcana cards always trump the Minor Arcana cards (the 56 suit and court cards), which deal with the nitty-gritty details and act as "clarifiers". There are 22 Major Arcana cards, and while they can used individually in a reading (and almost always are), the 22 cards actually tell a story all their own. They tell our story. The story of each and every human being when they come into this world and learn their life lessons. The HERO'S JOURNEY. Or depending on how you look at it, can also be called the FOOL'S JOURNEY; from innocence and child-like wonder, to gaining knowledge and wisdom, overcoming adversity, conflict, temptation and attachment, small failures and victories, hitting rock bottom, dying to yourself, being re-born and becoming wiser still, less attached to outcomes, attaining life's dreams, learning lessons and starting all over again.

"The Fool" card, from Rider-Waite Tarot deck

I decided to study the HERO/FOOL'S JOURNEY for myself, card by card, seeing what the images conjured up for me, and I wrote my own story which I want to share with you, 3 cards at a time in a series of multiple posts. I encourage you to look at the cards I share (from 3 separate and very different Tarot decks), and see what comes up for you as you write your own Hero/Fool's Journey saga. I hope you enjoy this and gain some insights, clarity, inspiration and even possibly a newfound interest and passion in Tarot or Oracle cards, and more importantly, hopefully this will help you explore your own passions and insight into your own life!

Godspeed, Fellow Fool!

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