21 Nov 2011

The Journey Of a Fool

(Part 1: First Five Cards)

Blessed Be My Mystical Fellas,

*Disclaimer: Very Very Long Post. Read only if you are able to keep up with the interest. And I believe you  would...for Curiosity is what moves us all :) :)*

I was not writing this post, for I was afraid I might not do justice to this ancient divination tool of Tarot. And I am bad at talking randomly, I do not want to spoil this one. Before I tell you the Story of Tarot, let me tell you a few things which made me pick this one up for further studying. I heard somewhere that each card of the Tarot tells a story. And every Reader may have his own interpretation. It's all based on See, Feel and Tell. But that does not mean, everyone can do it. Anything needs practice and without basic knowledge, if you venture into something, results can lead to disaster, disappointment and disbelief. I realized this in the very beginning, when I used to admire a particular Reader. She had warned clearly, accept only that what your heart feels is true. So, If I flip this card for you....Card No. XIII that is the Death Card, most of you will immediately freak out! Yes? Yes. Human nature. We jump to conclusions before we think. :)
Image Source: www.tarot.com
However, if you take a deep breath and look at this Card - it means the end of old things, shedding of certain decaying inhibitions and death of rusted, old and stagnant things in your life. It is in the perspective. A Tarot is always read in combination for a reason, to give a composite meaning to a situation. And in the subsequent posts I will tell you what each card means and represents, so that we all know...that what you see may have more to it. So that what you see may not necessarily be what you see... To explore, to learn and to imbibe...is the journey of life. 
Image Source: www.weheartit.com
Few facts about Tarot ~
Tarot (Trionfi, Tarocchi, Tarock ) Cards are usually a deck of 78 cards, were used for the purpose of playing card games, in Europe during the mid -15th Century and are said to have originated from Italian and French Culture.Tarau was the French name of the card game played, given by Francois Rebelais. It was only after 18th Century that the Tarot was used for Divination purposes by the Occultists but there is no evidence of its use like that before. Tarot was not widely adopted by mystics, occultists and secret societies until the 18th and 19th Centuries. The tradition began in 1781, when Antoine Court de Gébelin, a Swiss clergyman, published Le Monde Primitif, a speculative study which included religious symbolism and its survival in the modern world. Gébelin claimed that the name "tarot" came from the Egyptian words tar, meaning "royal", and ro, meaning "road", and that the Tarot therefore represented a "royal road" to wisdom.  Egyptologists found nothing in the Egyptian language to support de Gébelin's fanciful etymologies. Despite this, the identification of the tarot cards was already firmly established in occult practice and continues in modern urban legend to the present day.
Image Source: psychic-tarotreader.com
(Information is taken from Wikipedia primarily as I could not find a well documented version for Origin of Tarot. For the info on Cards, I have used other sites).

The Sites which I have referred to are: Aeclectic Tarot and Paranormality

As I mentioned earlier...there are 78 cards in a normal Tarot deck. The Deck is divided into two sets: One set has 22 Trump cards or cards without suits is called Major Arcana (Greater Secrets) and the rest left, 56 Suit cards is called Minor Arcana (Lesser Secrets).

Let's begin with the beginning. The first 7 cards of the Major Arcana are:
The first card of the deck is:
The Fool Card: It depicts a journey, whether mental, physical or spiritual, and the Fool has ventured out for it, with all his worldly possessions in a small pack. He does not know where he is going, so filled with visions, questions, wonder and excitement he is, that he doesn't see the cliff he is likely to fall over.
At his heel, a small dog follows him (or tries to warn him of a possible misstep). Will the Fool learn to pay attention to where he's going before its too late? The bag on the staff/wand indicates that he has all he needs to do or be anything he wants, he only has to stop and unpack. He is on his way to a brand new beginning. But the Card carries a little warning as well. While it's wonderful to be enthralled with all around you, excited by all life has to offer, you still need to watch your step, lest you fall and end up looking like a Fool. For the Fool, the most important thing is to just go out and enjoy the world. To see what there is to see and delight in all of it. Unfortunately, this childlike state can make one overly optimistic or naive. For instance: that business opportunity might not be so surefire or amazing as it seems, and that new lover might not be so flawless. Like the Fool, you might be so busy sightseeing and imagining the possibilities that you completely miss the fact that you're about to go right off a cliff! The Card advises that one listen to that watchful little dog, which might be a concerned friend, a wise tarot reader, someone harassing you from the sidelines, or just your instincts. However exciting new beginnings may be, you still have to watch your step. The Fool Card means, if in Upright position, that there are new avenues opening, the beginning of a new life-cycle. The happiness of Fool indicates Energy, force, happiness, optimism and the overturning of the status quo or existing states by unexpected happenings. This Card represents Innocence, naivety, and spontaneity and also indicates that important decisions are to be made. If it's Inverted it indicates ill advised risks, impulsive action, choices and rash decisions, foolishness, gambling, instability and the wasting of creative energy. Consequently, it is considered then, a bad time for commitments and can be an indication of someone who starts many new things but never finishes them.

The Magician: As the  Fool listens to the warning and moves ahead, he comes across an Interesting looking Man. Skillful, self-confident, a powerful magus with the Infinite as a halo floating above his head, the Magician mesmerizes the Fool. When asked, the Fool gives over his bundled pack and stick to the Magician. Raising his wand to Heaven, pointing his finger to Earth, the Magician calls on all powers. Magically, the cloth of the pack unfolds upon the table, revealing its contents. It is as if the Magician has created the future with a word. All the possibilities are laid out, all the directions the Fool can take: The cool, airy Sword of intellect and communication, the fiery Wand of passions and ambition, the overflowing Chalice of love and emotions, the solid Pentacle of work, possessions and body. But here's the question, did the Magician create the tools, or were they already in the pack? Only the Magician knows.
The Magician is the male power of Creation by Willpower and Desire. The Infinity Symbol (Lemniscate) over his head indicates the Energy of Thought. Thus, he draws divine power from the Heavens into his white wand, molds it with the energy of thought, and manifests it on Earth (his finger pointing to the ground). This is that most ancient magic to make real whatever he imagines in his head merely by saying it aloud. ("And God said 'Let there be Light!' and there was Light"). The Magician is often represented by Mercury. Mercury is the planet and God of smooth talkers and salesmen, also anyone who is clever with the sleight of hand (Mercury *was* the god of thieves!) and a medicine man - either a real doctor or someone trying to sell you snake oil. If any card in the Tarot is The Tarot, it is the Magician. He's one of the most recognizable cards, always a favorite. He's also the only card in the Major Arcana that refers to the Minors with the "trumps" displayed upon his table. One way to look at them is as ideas that the Magician is offering you. Thus, the card is about getting an idea and finding a way to verbalize it. The Magician can indicate a time when one is eloquent and charismatic, clever, witty, inventive and persuasive. The Magician Card stands for the "reveal" - as in a magic trick. For Instance: The handkerchief is draped over an empty box, the Magician waves his wand, *Presto!* - now there is a dove in the box. The Magician card does the same and reveals not birds or rabbits but NEW ideas. When the Magician Card appears, you will realize or know, that there could be a NEW idea you never thought of before and it is now revealed to you. The Magician Card, if in Upright position indicates Mastery of the material world, creative action, self-discipline and a willingness to take risks. It also shows an ability to recognize one's own potential, the power to initiate, communication and wit. If it's Inverted, it shows Confusion, hesitation, inability to make decisive choices. It also shows inability to properly utilise time or talents, lack of inspiration or energy, giving up easily, poor self image, poor co-ordination and learning difficulties, sometimes.

The High Priestess: Continuing his journey, the Fool comes upon a Beautiful and Mysterious veiled lady enthroned between Two Pillars and Illuminated by the Moon and holds ancient scroll in her arms She is the opposite of the Magician: Quiet where he was Loquacious, Still where he was in Motion, Sitting while he Stood, Shrouded in the Night where he was out in the Sunlight.

Sensing that she is a great seer, the Fool lays out his Sword, Chalice, Wand and Pentacle before her. "The Magician showed me these, but now I'm in a quandary(Dilemma). There are so many things I could do with them. I cannot decide."

The High Priestess does not speak. She hands him a pair of ancient scrolls. The Fool seats himself at her feet, putting his decision-making on hold and reads by the light of her crescent moon. The words come to him then, within: "What do your instincts tell you?" Thanking the High Priestess, he heads off. But as he leaves he hears that inner voice, rising like the waters which spring and flow from beneath her throne: "We'll meet again...when you're ready to travel the most secret path of all." This Card shows the way that you must look within.Once you have an idea, you also have decisions to make. The High Priestess holds scrolls of Arcane information in her arms. In addition, the Moon crown on her head as well as the Crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see about a job possibility, an investment, love, career, family, etc. But you need some alone time, some quiet time to meditate and reflect. This is what the card is all about. The Two pillars represent Two choices. The High Priestess is not about making a decision as much as it is about keeping you decision making on a hold, while you take time to listen to your inner voice. She wants you to Gain knowledge before you act: instinctual knowledge, supernatural knowledge, secret knowledge, self-knowledge. The High Priestess is seen as a perpetual maiden, the eternal virgin of an Athena, Diana or Vesta. Some also view her as a woman who might be pregnant. In such instances, the High Priestess is NOT viewed as an emblem of fertility, a "mother," but rather as a still, quiet incubator where the "idea" (child) can remain stable and protected. The High Priestess not only offers illumination, revealing secret paths and hidden dangers, but also a still, quiet place between the pillars of dark and light, where one can pause, see, feel and reflect on what one really wants to do with an idea. If the High Priestess Card is in Upright, it shows Intuition, Wisdom and Secret knowledge and the feminine side of the male personality (intuitiveness, protectiveness etc.). It also directs that something remains yet to be revealed, but patience should be maintained. The Card also means Duality and mystery.  It expects the seeker to look for Hidden Influences which affect both home and work and intuitive insight which suggest new solutions and the influence of women. If Reversed - Lack of personal harmony and problems resulting from a lack of foresight, suppression of the feminine or intuitive side of the personality, relying on Face value and surface knowledge, Repression and ignorance of True facts and Feelings.  In women, an inability to come to terms with other women or themselves, is showed. Also, this Card warns that Things and circumstances are not what they seem.

The Empress:  Encouraged by the High Priestess, the Fool strides forward, impatient to make his future a full-grown reality. This is when he comes upon the Empress. Her hair is as gold as wheat, she wears a crown of stars, and a white gown dotted with pomegranates. She rests back on her throne surrounded by an abundance of Grains and a Lush Garden. It is possible that she is pregnant.

Kneeling, the Fool relates to her his story. The Empress then miles a motherly smile and gently gives him this advice: "Like newly planted grain or a newborn babe, a new life, a new relationship, a new creation is fragile. It requires patience and nurturing. It needs love and attention. Only this will bring it to fruition". While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea time and space to decide on a form, the Empress is either the womb or nursery where it grows till it reaches a certain level of maturity. This is why the Empress' symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things and gardens, as wells as sex and love. Venus is the Goddess of artists, and helps them painstakingly develop their pieces from clay to statue, from first brushstroke to masterpiece. The Empress can also be about the not so nice aspects of a mom. She can smother, not know when to let go, be possessive and jealous of those who would take away her "baby." It is important to realize that plants can die from over-watering as easily as they can from neglect. Like any good mother or good gardener, One must have patience and the ability to adjust and improvise as their "baby" (idea, venture) sprouts and grows. If the Card is Upright, it shows promotion of well-being and security, creativeness in financial affairs, love and parenthood, maternal care, domestic stability, abundance and material wealth. It also depicts fertility, security, achievement of goals and growth. And depending on the surrounding cards, it may represent sometimes, marriage and pregnancy. If the Card is Inverted/Reversed it reflects possible domestic problems, financial difficulties, lack of affection and achievement, creative blocks and possible problems with a relationship, infertility, sterility or promiscuity and/or unwanted pregnancy.

The Emperor: The Fool has now reached a stage where he must find a way to manage whatever he has discovered. How to do this? He approaches a Great Emperor seated on a stone throne. The Fool is amazed by the way the Emperor is instantly, eagerly obeyed in every particular, at how well his Empire is run and organized. Respectfully, he asks the Emperor how he manages to do all of this. And the Emperor answers: "Strong will and a solid foundation of laws and order. It's all very well," he explains to the Fool, "to be imaginative, creative, instinctual, patient; but to control one must be alert, brave and aggressive.

The Emperor, as Aries, the Ram, naturally follows the Empress. He is Mars (the planet that rules Aries) to her Venus, her Lover and Compliment, Father to her Mother, Civilization to her Nature, Imposed Order to her Artful Creativity. He is the "All Father" giving his children the structure they need in their lives to help them become responsible adults. Aries is also, however, the first sign of the Zodiac, metaphorically the "infant." Like an infant The Emperor is filled with Enthusiasm, Energy and Aggression. He is Direct, Guileless and all too often irresistible. Unfortunately, like a baby he can also be a Tyrant: Impatient, Demanding and Controlling. In the worst of circumstances, the Emperor is a despot, imposing his will capriciously on his subjects. In the best of circumstances, he signifies an intelligent, enthusiastic leader that everyone wants to follow, the great monarch of an orderly, lawful, thriving Empire.
The Emperor card is the "Who's the boss?" card. It is an important question. The Card means being in control over your environment, your body, your temper, your instincts, your love life. This card gives the permission to be aggressive, brave, bold and in command. The Emperor can also be a warning to think about whether one's Empire has become an unwelcome chore. If it has, are you now a bad leader, demanding, unreasonable, unhappy? It might be time to abdicate the throne. If, however, what you have been building has merely gotten to a point where it's outgrown the nursery, then the advice is to switch from loving mother to structured, organized father i.e. to set down laws, discipline and rules and to plan out the future and lead the way. Upright - Competitiveness, forcefulness in development and execution. Authority, structure, governmental and corporate identities. Worldly power, self control gained through experience. Ability to shoulder responsibility. Also points at powerful individuals, who share your ambition and you can work together with the possibility of long term achievement. If Reversed - Loss or dislike of authority, corporate governmental or parental.  Immaturity and indecision, weakness, manipulative friends or colleagues.

PS: I am sorry for the length of the post. I hope you all find it as intriguing as I did. :) :) Oh, and no, I cannot read Tarot. This is just a background so that when next time, you come across some Reader, you would know what's up for you all, people! :D
PPS: Next up are the rest of the Cards of Major Arcana. I hope you all stick till the end! I believe in you! :) :) Till the next time people, remember that knowing something which people think weird, is not a sin...when you learn you also acquire the strength to take a path less traveled. And that is what makes us different, makes us unique. Lots of love and Blessed Be!


DawnZhang said...

I love this. I am still beginning on my journey with Tarots. I would love an altar which holds Tarot cards but I still need to learn a lot of them. I loved reading this post. Do you know anything about Runes? I came across them a lot so I started reading them and am trying to begin a journey with them as well. Wonder what She got in store for me. I loved your blog! :)


Mystical Skeptical Me said...

@Dawn: Hey pretty girl! I am not a practicing Wiccan...but I love to research... :D :D I would someday be one...not yet out of the broom closet. :D ;) However, your enthusiasm is infectious...I love the way you are in love with my blog! :D :* Blessed Be! :D Having said that Sister... No, haven't read Runes, you can read them??? I came across them for spells I think, when I was researching on Doreen Valiente.. :D Thank You Thank you for showering so much love on me... :D

meoww said...

mishti..you know i was going to love this post beforehand..!!!!
superbbb..m soooo glaaad m finnallyyy getting to read all this..^_^
looking forward to the next post..!!
and no don't bother about the lenght..
it held me captivated throughout..!!
mwaaahss and hugzzzz

ohhh and the blog's new look..!!!
and the pic..!!!
masha allaaahh..!!

cheers !!

Mystical Skeptical Me said...

@Meoww: :D :D Coz you are like me.....I knew! :D :D :* Thank You Thank You! Yayyyyieee! I thought the length would scare people! :| Ahahahhahah :D Thank You .... Stars and me ;) Shukriya...aapne humari taarifon ke pull baandh diye *Blush*! :D :D Blessed be! Mwaaah! :* :*

Cяystal said...

I am intrigued by Tarots. HELL intrigued. And dude, doesn't the Death card sound rather mysterious and well, hauntingly beautiful? Its my dream to leave back all that pesters me in the past, for it only brings stagnation and ultimately leads to only one thing, nothing.
greater and lesser secrets. Sounds pretty cool.I'd love to know both. :D
I didn't know the whole card thingie is attached in the form of a story. and hence I love you for giving me so much information. A lot like n info overload :D
Ultimately, I think the Fool card is most intriguing. Its the one I'd connect to, however stupid that sounds. The dog might just be anyone who is attempting to guide you away from the evil that awaits you and how often do we ignore.
This post made my day, no week. Since my Blog is called Pentagram, you definitely know how much occult et al enamors me :D

Mystical Skeptical Me said...

@Crystal: Welcome my Lady, I was expecting you here :D :D :D Very Much! Death card turned up for me once, and I was young...I freaked out like crazzzyyyy! Yes, it's a beautiful depiction of something old or dead that has to be changed! To leave the past behind...is tough for us people who write...for that is what inspires us sometimes...we just need to come to terms with them, love. :D
Yeah! I didn't know Arcana means Secrets....And the Story is the way...to make it easier to read when the cards are spread... :D Too much info na??? Yes...everything Starts with The Fool, which are us essentially....No, it's not stupid at all... :D :D Yes, the Dog...like a loyal friend... Awwww......I am blushing now.... :D :D I love Pentagram...yes, The Symbol and your Blog!!! :D :D For the same reasons as you do, My lady! And I love you too! :D :D

Keirthana said...

Whoa! So much of info. Frankly, I found it difficult to fathom sometimes but I was captivated by your writing through-out. Maybe I am not as gifted as you to see beyond the normal. Anyway, I found the post very interesting to read.

Mystical Skeptical Me said...

@Keirthana: Awww, I am sorry. You can ask me if anything bothers or confuses you, okay??? And honey, we all are gifted. No one has less or more... :D :D Believe me...this is just science like any other... :D :D And I am there no? To remove any doubts :D :D *Hugs* Thank youuu!! :D

Keirthana said...

Sure dear. Got your post on the second read. And it feels good to read about such intriguing things :)Thanks a lot for opening me up to the mystical world :)

Mystical Skeptical Me said...

@Keirthana: :D Awww....I am always there, like you are for me :D :D

Nia Charms said...

OMG such a long post. I must admit I took 2 visits to read it and get it. I envy you how do manage to keep up your interest in writing throughout?

I usually get bored writing after the 2nd para.

Btw I am not particularly a believer of Tarot. But I must admit your post got me all curious.

And now I am looking forward to more of these.

AndAndAnd awesome post.

P.S: Its the first time I got to know whAt the Death card actually means.

Mystical Skeptical Me said...

@Nia: I knowww, too long na? I couldn't cut down, you know. I tried to delete a lot, but then it stopped making sense, so I let it be. :| I got bored too, honestly, isliye toh 5 cards ;) :D Yayyy...thank you thank you for saying that... :D :D
Death Card no?? I almost died, err, literally! :P :D