The Fool’s Journey

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There are 22 cards in the Major Arcana, each with significance and meaning. These cards reflect life lessons and spiritual development, but did you know they also tell a story? Often referred to as the Fool’s Journey, the 22 Major Arcana cards take us on an incredible journey of personal growth and spiritual enlightenment.

Here, we watch as the Fool enters the world and gains power and information. There are people he meets on his journey that help him and obstacles in his path. Every experience is necessary for him to find wholeness, but not all experiences are positive.

In the end, we find him at his completion. But, the tale is cyclical. The Fool has expanded and evolved and is now ready to begin another journey. We can see ourselves in The Fool and learn how to move forward on our own journey through this classic tale.

Key Takeaways

  • The Fool card represents the Fool himself at the beginning of his journey.
  • The first five cards of the Major Arcana (The Magician – the Hierophant) reflect external influences and significant people in the Fool’s Journey.
  • The next seven cards of the Major Arcana (The Chariot – Death) represent the Fool stepping out into the world and going through personal growth and reflection.
  • The following seven cards of the Major Arcana (Temperance – Judgement) reflect the Fool connecting with the universe and aligning himself with his higher power.
  • The last card of the Major Arcana (The World) shows the Fool at completion.

The Fool (0)

The Fool is the first card of the Major Arcana, and he is the protagonist in the Fool’s Journey. He represents us at the beginning of our lives, full of excitement and innocence. A card of new beginnings and risk-taking, the Fool reflects the need to step out into the world and take a leap of faith.

The Fool is beginning his journey here, with his future unknown. However, he knows he must step out of his comfort zone to experience the depths of the world. So, he does. He packs a bag, has his trusted dog by his side, and gets on the road.

The Magician (1) and The High Priestess (2)

tarot the high priestess

The Fool has started his journey and is excited to experience more of the world. Before long, he encounters the Magician and the High Priestess. Here, he gets to know the powers of the external and the powers of the internal.

The Magician is a card of manifestation and creation. He knows how to work with the four elements to create his own reality and tells the Fool about his magical powers.

The High Priestess enlightens the Fool in her own way. Unlike the Magician, she turns inward for her powers, exploring the divine wisdom she has within her. Through self-reflection, she discovers cosmic knowledge and secrets.

The Fool is inspired by what he learns from the Magician and High Priestess and knows he can work with his powers for enlightenment and growth. He also knows that there is so much more to explore.

The Empress (3) and the Emperor (4)

The Fool reflects on his life and the people that have shaped him. Of course, his mind wanders to his mother (the Empress) and his father (the Emperor), and he sees them in a new light. He has a new appreciation for the motherly love and support he received from the Empress, knowing she worked hard to protect him from the harsh world.

He thinks of his father and his secure, stable energy. The Emperor enjoys rules and places down regulations to keep the Fool safe. However, the Fool is stepping out on his own path and, therefore, pushes away from his father’s rules. This will lead him into difficulty but also provide him with enlightenment and growth.

The Hierophant (5)

Like many of us starting out on our spiritual journey, the Fool turns to tradition and institutions for guidance. The Hierophant represents a religious figure who has gained a tremendous amount of respect from society. The Fool listens to his teachings and immerses himself in traditional spiritual beliefs.

However, the Fool soon realizes that the Hierophant cannot teach him everything.

The Lovers (6)

The Lovers card represents the current choice in the Fool’s Journey. He is learning more about his spiritual path through the Hierophant but believes there is more to discover. Is it time to break out from the norm and pave his own way forward?

The Chariot (7)

tarot the chariot

Now, we see the Fool taking the reigns and tapping into his personal power. He is starting to listen to his intuition for guidance for the first time. He has learned from those he has encountered but also knows he has an inner voice that must take the lead.

The Chariot symbolizes his willpower and direction. He is now in control of his journey, leaving the comfort of tradition and family ties behind him.

Strength (8)

Of course, moving forward by himself brings him challenges. The Fool is moving forward on his journey and faces struggles while doing so. Thankfully, he is able to tap into his inner strength and courage to overcome the ups and downs in life. He develops a caring and compassionate nature, knowing that this is much more powerful than brute strength.

The Hermit (9)

For the first time in his journey, the Fool retreats from the world to develop his spiritual consciousness. He takes on the energy of the Hermit and turns inward to explore the hidden depths of his soul.

This time of solitude brings the Fool closer to true enlightenment and understanding. Things are beginning to make sense for him, and he knows that asking questions and reflecting on all the possible answers allows him to listen to his soul.

The Wheel of Fortune (10)

The knowledge he has gained from introspection and self-reflection brings the Fool a realization. He now understands the ebbs and flows of the universe and how everything is interconnected. The Wheel of Fortune allows the Fool a little release from his heavy thoughts. He recognizes the strength of the Wheel and how fate and fortune are ultimately a powerful force outside of him.

The Wheel of Fortune symbolizes the Fool surrendering to destiny and higher powers. He knows that the universe is there to guide him, and he is ready to listen.

Justice (11)

tarot justice card

With the Justice card, the universe asks the Fool to reflect on his past decisions and accept that every action has a reaction. Karma and cause and effect come into the Fool’s life, and, with his recent enlightenment, he has to address his past.

Justice allows the Fool to let go, make amends, and bring balance into his life. He must reckon with his past to truly evolve and find spiritual enlightenment.

The Hanged Man (12)

The reckoning that Justice brings leads the Fool to embrace pause and reflection. He is now the Hanged Man, taking time to sit in wait and embrace stillness. This time brings the Fool new ideas and perspectives. Here, he is letting go, embracing the energy of the universe, and surrendering his power.

Death (13)

Now, the Fool is going through a rebirth and an ego death. He is well on his way regarding his spiritual journey and is reckoning with the powers of the universe. He has addressed his past and taken time to resolve his mind. Now, he emerges from the cocoon of the Hanged Man a new person, and this transition is incredibly important for his spiritual growth.

The Death card allows the Fool to release his old life and put old habits behind him, with his mind focused solely on the future.

Temperance (14)

The realizations and dramatic changes the Fool has faced gain a little respite with the Temperance card. He has experienced challenges and ego death on his journey and is now concentrating on bringing balance into his life. Here, he embraces peace and moderation, taking life slowly for a while.

The Fool knows that there is no need to rush at this point. He has worked hard but now is the time for self-care and health. He takes time to find an equilibrium and balances his mind, body, and soul.

Devil (15)

tarot devil

With the focus on equilibrium and balance, the Fool recognizes the need to work on release in the physical world. The Devil represents constraint and bondage, highlighting temptation. The Fool works to untie the shackles that have been on him since birth. He breaks free from short-term pleasures and material dependencies, knowing that these won’t bring him true happiness.

The Fool releases the Devil and is another step further towards complete enlightenment and peace.

The Tower (16)

By letting go of temptation and bondage, the Fool goes through his Tower moment. The Tower signifies revelations and sudden change and represents a time when beliefs are crumbling down. The Tower sets the Fool free, allowing him to release his past self and embrace the truth completely. It is painful, but it is necessary.

The Star (17)

After the storm comes the calm. The Fool has gone through realizations and revelations and is pretty shaken up. However, we now see a shining light guiding his way forward. The Star arrives to bring hope and serenity into the Fool’s journey. He aligns himself with his faith and slowly pieces together the rubble that the Tower brought.

Now, he has the hope and strength to carry on.

The Moon (18)

Shining directly opposite the Star sits the Moon, bringing a different force into the Fool’s world. He has the calm hope that the Star brings, but the Moon also illuminates the anxieties and worries that the Tower left.

Fears and illusions deep within the Fool’s soul come to the surface, and the Fool works on releasing them. The night is long, but the Fool lets go of his anxieties and focuses on the light of the Star.

The Sun (19)

tarot the sun

As the night turns into day, the Sun brings the Fool positivity and warmth. He has released worries, overcame his traumatic Tower moment, and tapped into hope and inner guidance. So, he is now basking under the light of the Sun, full of enthusiasm and hope.

The night was long and dark; therefore, today, the Sun shines brighter than ever. The Fool sees the world as if he is seeing it for the first time. Everything is in HD, and he feels the awe and wonder he felt as a child. Yet, he is not a child. He is nearly at the end of his journey.

Judgement (20)

The Fool’s past, present, and future are aligning. He is now at a time of absolution and resolve, connecting his soul with higher powers and knowledge.

Judgement represents the Fool’s personal reckoning and spiritual awakening, and he is now able to truly see himself and his soul’s path. There are no illusions and no distractions. The Fool is connected with his higher self and embraces it fully.

The World (21)

Now, the Fool is at a place of completion and certainty. He has accomplished his spiritual journey and has come to a full circle. Because of his experiences, he knows his place in the world and what he wishes to do. He is ready to guide others and spread the knowledge that he has gained.

As this journey comes to an end, another begins. The Fool is the Fool again, ready to explore more of what the universe offers.


Question: What is a Fool’s Journey?

Answer: A Fool’s Journey is the story told in the 22 Major Arcana cards in Tarot. It represents spiritual growth, personal development, and self-discovery.

Question: Does the Major Arcana Tell a Story?

Answer: Yes, the Major Arcana tells the story of the Fool and his journey towards spiritual enlightenment and awakening.

Question: What Are the Steps of the Fool’s Journey?

Answer: The steps of the Fool’s journey begin with the teachings of others before moving to his own inner reckoning and rebirth. Then, the Fool connects with the universe to achieve spiritual enlightenment.

Step Out on Your Own Fool’s Journey with Tarot

The 22 Major Arcana cards describe the Fool’s Journey and the trials and tribulations he faces to achieve spiritual awakening. However, its true message is about us. We are like the Fool and must step out on our journey to discover our soul’s path.

Of course, it isn’t easy. But, like the Fool, we have the strength and courage to achieve our potential and end up at the World.

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