If you have studied Tarot you have likely heard of "The Fool's Journey" - a conceptual and metaphorical journey of The Fool – card 0 – through the other 21 Major Arcana Cards. The Fool departs on his journey, innocent and hopeful and naïve; and encounters each of the Major Arcana cards where he learns an important life lesson and then continues on his journey.
As I reflect on this Fool's Journey I contemplate how it is a classical and traditional way to learn about the Major Arcana – but in reality there is no set order in which the Fool might encounter each of these lessons. Tarot is like a book in which the pages are constantly rearranged and placed in a different order; this is the nature of the lessons and the readings we give with the cards. Yes, Card 2 The High Priestess comes after Card 1 The Magician. But every time the Fool embarks on his journey, he might not encounter The Magician before he meets The High Priestess.
Then I asked myself – what if we look at The Fool's Journey in terms of The Wheel of The Year; with an astrological "Order". This combines our Tarot learning with any Astrological study we might be doing – and helps us engage with The Wheel of The Year in yet another level of intentionality. We would meet cards in sets of two or three cards and see how they work together – the Astrological Sign of the Season, and the Planetary Rulers of the Season.
It would look something like this:
0, 17, 21 / 18, 12, 10 / 4, 16 / 5, 3 / 6, 1 / 7, 2 / 8, 19 / 9, 1 / 11, 3 / 13, 20, 16 / 14, 10 / 15, 21 (Dates are approximate and may be slightly different each year)
Aquarius Season (Jan 20 – Feb 18)IMBOLC – Feb. 1 The Star (Major Arcana 17. Card of Aquarius) The Fool (Major Arcana 0. Card of Uranus) The World (Major Arcana 21. Card of Saturn)
Pisces Season (Feb 19 – March 20) The Moon (Major Arcana 18. Card of Pisces) The Hanged Man (Major Arcana 12. Card of Neptune) The Wheel of Fortune (Major Arcana 10. Card of Jupiter)
Aries Season (March 21 – April 19)OSTARA – Spring Equinox – March 21 The Emperor (Major Arcana 4. Card of Aries) The Tower (Major Arcana 16. Card of Mars)
Taurus Season (April 20 – May 20)BELTANE – May 1 The Hierophant (Major Arcana 5. Card of Taurus) The Empress (Major Arcana 3. Card of Venus)
Gemini Season (May 21 – June 20) The Lovers (Major Arcana 6. Card of Gemini) The Magician (Major Arcana 1. Card of Mercury)
Cancer Season (June 21 – July 22)LITHA – Summer Solstice – June 21 The Chariot (Major Arcana 7. Card of Cancer) The High Priestess (Major Arcana 2. Card of The Moon)
Leo Season (July 23 – Aug 22)LAMMAS – Aug 1
Strength (Major Arcana 8. Card of Leo) The Sun (Major Arcana 19. Card of the Sun)
Virgo Season (Aug 23 – Sept 22) The Hermit (Major Arcana 9. Card of Virgo) The Magician (Major Arcana 1. Card of Mercury)
Libra Season (Sept 23 – Oct 22)MABON – Fall Equinox – Sept 23 Justice (Major Arcana 11. Card of Libra) The Empress (Major Arcana 3. Card of Venus)
Scorpio Season (Oct 23 – Nov 21)SAMHAIN – Nov 1
Death (Major Arcana 13. Card of Scorpio) Judgment (Major Arcana 20. Card of Pluto) The Tower (Major Arcana 16. Card of Mars)
Sagittarius Season (Nov 22 – Dec 20) Temperance (Major Arcana 14. card of Sagittarius) The Wheel of Fortune (Major Arcana 10. Card of Jupiter)
Capricorn Season (Dec 21 – Jan 19)YULE – Winter Solstice – Dec 21 The Devil (Major Arcana 15. Card of Capricorn) The World (Major Arcana 21. Card of Saturn)
You will notice that some cards have repeated through the year; sometimes there are three cards in a season rather than two. This is because in Traditional Astrology the Inner Planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) each had rulership over two signs. I like to include Traditional Rulerships with the Modern Rulerships – because I do not believe the discovery of Outer Planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) have overthrown the traditional rulers as much as joined them. When we encounter a card for the second time, we can begin to see it's dual nature and find deeper meaning. As The Fool goes on his journey sometimes he might meet certain people or lessons more than once – but we know that there is more than one thing to learn from a friend or teacher or place we visit.
What do you think of this alternate order to The Fool's Journey? Would you like to explore it more with me over this next year? I will be posting a series here on this blog; 'The Fool's Journey Through The Wheel of The Year' where we can take a deeper look at each part of The Fool's Journey as we progress through The Wheel together. Check back often or subscribe so you don't miss any posts!
(This series is also being published through The Ever Green Hearth)