Tarot Series: The Fool


I thought I might try something that would challenge me to come up with literary recommendations and to tell some stories about myself that would match the theme of each of the tarot cards. All 78 of them. This could prove to be challenging, but if I work at it over time, I am hoping to complete them within the next year or so.

So. Tarot cards.

I should probably preface this series by saying that yes, I do read tarot cards, and yes, I do love them. I don’t think believing in tarot cards should be a controversial subject. They’re not very creepy or scary, and they actually match up with many theories such as the archetypal theory of Carl Jung. If a person were to work their way through each of the tarot cards in order (particularly the major arcana), then that person would have gone through the process of individuation. They would have completed one of many cycles of becoming a whole, autonomous individual on a mental and spiritual level. Etc.

I have two decks. The Shadowscapes deck is a rather traditional deck with absolutely gorgeous art, and it is pictured above. The Osho Zen Tarot deck, which I haven’t photographed yet, is a Buddhist-themed deck with emotions rather than traditional names. If you remove the Master card, though, you are left with the traditional structure of a tarot deck and can read the cards as you would any other deck. It’s really rather nice. I tend to go to the Shadowscapes deck when I want an unbiased reading and to the Osho Zen deck when I want a more spiritual, how-to-calm-down reading.

The Fool is the very first card in a typical tarot deck. If you have ever looked at a tarot deck, you will probably know that each deck gives a slightly different description of the individual cards. We’re not going to worry about that very much. I’m going to focus on the meaning that I have derived from the cards over time, and to me The Fool is a person stepping out on a journey. The card radiates potential. Everything that is, was, and will be is unknown. The Fool is a card of beginnings, of new journeys, and of new life stages.

With this in mind, I shall recommend some books that I think match this card. Feel free to add any others in the comments!

  1. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. This book is about a woman’s recovery from her divorce. While the movie takes on the typical “finding yourself to find romance” storyline, the book is about breaking away from what society tells you happiness is and instead finding your own happiness. It’s a great book to read when you want to feel like you’re making big changes in your life.
  2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. While that may sound strange, The Lord of the Rings is soaked through with archetypes. I read this book in elementary school (sorry I don’t mean to sound pretentious I just liked the movies and so it happened), but I didn’t understand the themes until I went to college. I was a bit depressed because I was going through so many changes, and then I picked up this book again and found all of the themes in the first book to be very comforting for what I was going through. There’s a lot of road imagery, for a start. I’ll have to break this book down another time, but seriously, go check it out if you’re in a Fool mood. It’s filled with fresh starts.
  3. Tangled (Yes, the Disney movie). Tangled is filled with new beginnings! The entire movie is about a young woman breaking away from a lifetime of emotional abuse. If you watch carefully, you’ll even notice that Flynn isn’t even in the scenes where she’s growing into a person who won’t be abused until the very, very end. I know it’s a movie, but movies have plots, and plots are literary. Shhh.
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