New Beginnings with the Fool

The extended tarot card meaning this week was for the Fool and so I thought it a good idea to explore the themes expressed in this card further. You will need your favourite tarot deck and your tarot journal or pen and paper to note down any ideas or inspirations that come to you during this exercise.

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New beginnings come in many different ways and styles, they can be monumentally large or just the beginning of a new personal project. The Fool is more about the impetus to act rather than the nature of the new thing in front of you. So to explore the many different ways a new beginning may be shown in a reading, let’s go through our decks and pull out all the cards that make an impression that signify a new beginning in some way.

Let’s start with the obvious ones:

  • The Fool – the first card of the deck & the one that sets everything off from the journey of the Fool to your own new start.
  • The Aces – universally seen as a new beginning of some kind.
  • Ace of Wands – is the creative energy, a new project or creative endeavour; a passionate union; a new start
  • Ace of Swords – represents the creative idea; gaining clarity; a brilliant idea;
  • Ace of Cups– the beginning of love, a spiritual connection to the divine, sometimes indicates pregnancy and so new life.
  • Ace of Pentacles – represents the beginning stages of something tangible; prosperity; growth; material abundance; new enterprise; improving finances or wealth.

Let’s now also look at other cards in the pack that may be obvious cards denoting a new beginning and some others that may not seem so obvious at first sight.

Before we do that, go through your pack and put aside all the cards that you think show a new beginning, the beginning of something new from the big to the small.

Lay out the Minor Arcana cards first. I always follow the order of Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles based on the flow of elements from the Kabbalah, and popularised by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Follow with the Majors, in the natural order of the arcana.

I will lay out the cards that stood out to me. Compare them with your own and see where we may agree or disagree.

Please remember that there are no absolutes in tarot. There are themes and core meanings but tarot is a subjective art and what one card may mean to me, may mean something else to you. Neither of us are wrong, so let us be flexible in our approach.

INCLUDING THE PAGES

Returning to the Golden Dawn for a moment: if we are to include the Aces, we must also include the Pages/Princesses. For the Golden Dawn, the Page/Princess was the throne of the Ace – the vehicle in which it is carried. So if an ace can indicate a new beginning, so can its corresponding Page. Where the ace may express the element of the suit, the Page will take that forward and bring the elemental essence into being.

Page of Wands – can create new projects and explore old themes with a renewed sense of self. Renewed vitality and vigour suggest a new phase in life.

Page of Cups – creative endeavours with a romantic or spiritual flavour – poetry, embarking on an intuitive or spiritual course: reiki, mediumship and so on.

Page of Swords – creative endeavours based in the literary arts and ways to communicate an idea. This Page, more so as a Princess, wants to break free from the old to discover the new.

Page of Pentacles – new courses of study, research, apprenticeships – learning something new that will provide tangible results: money, promotions, a healthy body, a new job and so on.

MINOR ARCANA CARDS THAT SHOW A NEW BEGINNING

3 of Wands – one of the less obvious cards that may, or may not show a new beginning. Is that ship coming in, or starting a new voyage?

2 of Cups – indicating partnerships in love, friendships and business – is it a new partnership or the solidification of an established link?

8 of Cups – unlike the 5, all the cups are standing and yet you are still leaving – under a full moon, full eclipse or under cover of darkness, your bags are packed and you are leaving one life, or situation and heading into a new one.

6 of Swords – travel by boat this time, from one shore to another, again not in full daylight. In the modern sense, this may well be the card of the refugee hoping for a new life in foreign lands.

10 of Swords – if the sun is setting, it will rise again in the morning and while all looks ruined and it seems hopeless, knowing the sun will rise indicates that there will be a new tomorrow, albeit different from today.

Some of these options will be deck dependent. The Thoth Tarot calls the 6 of Swords, Science, so it may not be possible to reconcile our lists together. That is the beauty of tarot though, it allows individual thoughts to develop so we can explore a theme or topic from many different angles.

MAJOR ARCANA CARDS THAT SHOW A NEW BEGINNING

The Lovers – a commitment is a new beginning: an engagement or marriage. So is a choice which takes you from one way of doing or being to another.

The Chariot – possibly a stretch, but the Chariot can take you somewhere new, or out of something not so good for you – the devastation by the Tower being one. Numerologically, they are related. The Tower, 16, reduces to 7. 1+6=7.

The Wheel of Fortune – life can change in a heartbeat with the Wheel – fortunes are won or lost – here today or gone tomorrow. The fact you have little choice is irrelevant, the change is gonna come.

Death – something is going to end, but as one door closes, so another door opens. Nature does not exist in a vacuum and neither does your life. Something will replace the hole you now see. As a transition, you are moving from one phase or place, to another.

The Tower – when walls come tumbling down, the scene has changed. While it can be devastating, the Tower can bring with it the change you either didn’t know you needed or refused to see. A change is gonna come.

The Star – healing and hope bring a new lease of life to someone who has been suffering and immobile, one way or another. These are life-giving waters and that is life-changing.

Judgement – the calling from one path to another. Usually spiritual in some way, or a complete change of position. Again, life changing. The Thoth Tarot calls this card Aeon because Aleister Crowley belived we had moved to the Age of Aquarius already and that the old themes of sacrifice and redemption were now not relevant or valuable.

A FINAL PLAY WITH THE CARDS

There is always something else to find or read in the cards and so it’s a useful exercise to put your cards out in a tableau of sorts, with the Fool at the top, the four aces below the Fool and the four pages below the aces. There is not much to see here, but there is with the remaining cards.

If we pair the cards numerologically, we find they match up nicely into the following pairs:

2 of Cups & Judgement – 2 and 20. 2+0=2

6 of Swords & the Lovers – 6 and 6

The Chariot & the Tower – 7 and 16. 1+6=7

8 of Cups & the Star – 8 and 17. 1+7=8

10 of Swords & the Wheel – 10 and 10

3 of Wands & Death – paired as the remaining cards without the same numerology as above. However they would be matched in the Pythagorean way: 3 and 13 – adding the ten, a dekad, rather than reducing all numbers to a single form.*

Have a look at the cards above, and indeed your own if they differ, and see how you may find correlations between them. For instance, does the Star provide healing to the 8 of Cups and its pain of leaving someone or something behind? What other ways can you see a complementary, or antagonistic quality in these pairs?

Let me know in the comments!

*See my post, Virgo Through the Eyes of Tarot for a further look at the Pythagorean method and philosophy of the numbers.

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