The Fools Journey through the Major Arcana

If you place the Major Arcana in numeric order from 0 (The Fool) to 21 (The World), they form a story often called “The Fool’s Journey”.

The Fool’s Journey is a powerful metaphor. When you divide the Major Arcana into three groups of 7, it is also a way of memorizing the order of the Major Arcana.

Though there are 22 cards, and you can’t divide that into 3, remember that the Fool’s number is 0 and he is the hero of this story, and though his journey that we see the landscape of the Major Arcana unfold.

The first group of cards in the Major Arcana is made up of the forces that prepare him for the journey.

The Magician and the High Priestess are his spiritual parents, while the Empress and the Emperor are his physical ones.

When it’s time for our hero (Fool) to leave his home, he receives his education from The Hierophant.

The Lovers represent his passion, which is that which drives him on this adventure.

The Chariot is the moment he actually sets off on his quest.

But our hero has obstacles in the way of finding his true love.

The Fool’s story continues in the next group of 7.

Strength represents his first successes, his mastery so far on his journey, but The Hermit tells him that danger lay ahead.

The Wheel of Fortune shows that things have been set in motion. The experience he gains overcoming this hurdle leads him to an important insight, which becomes plain in the Justice card.

The Hanged Man represents him succumbing to his challenges, leading to a defeat – Death. It is a moment that transforms him, allowing him to tap into hidden reservoirs of courage and strength as he gains insight and understanding into his predicament. This process is shown through the card Temperance.

The Fool’s story reaches its conclusion in the final group of 7.

The Devil is the part where things can’t get any worse, and our hero is lead astray. The Tower is when everything comes crashing down for him, and like the phoenix he must arise from the ashes.

Once the dust settles from that upheaval, the Star shows him the first glimmer of hope. The Moon then lights his path to victory. The Sun is his astounding moment of glory, while Judgment is his triumphant victory over all that has been wrong in the past. The final card, The World represents order restored, and the circle is now complete.