The Fool’s Journey
Explore the riches of The Fool’s Journey
This unique 26-week interactive online course
begins September 2020 – please join my newsletter to keep up to date.
Join me for this unique course to explore the riches of the Fool’s Journey: an archetypal life-journey which derives from the sequence of the Major Arcana (or Trumps) of the Tarot, beginning with the Fool. My Fool’s Journey is founded on an approach to the Tarot derived from archetypal psychology, and uniquely, it will focus on narratives, imagery and archetypes from our native British and Irish traditions. It is grounded in my professional qualifications and practice in psychology and mythology, and in the expressive arts, as well as my long-standing study of and personal practice with tarot.
I’ve been preoccupied with mythical journey models for a good couple of decades, and I’ve spent a large amount of time researching them – from Joseph Campbell’s classic ‘Hero’s Journey’ to the neglected ‘Heroine’s Journey’, and the ‘Eco-Heroine’s Journey’ which I defined in my book If Women Rose Rooted. But I’ve always been fascinated by the great riches of the Fool’s Journey. Whether or not you’re interested in Tarot for divination, the cards of the Major Arcana offer up some of the richest and deepest universal archetypal imagery in existence. The beauty of them is that, like all genuine archetypal images, they are readily adaptable to any cultural and personal overlays. The Magician, the High Priestess, the Tower, the Star – make of them what you will; it’s what they’re there for.
The twenty-two stages of the Fool’s Journey (one for each of the Major Arcana) offer the possibility for deep and extended exploration of our individual passage through life: our soul-journeys. As with all of my work, the Journey I offer here is not just a journey to self-realisation, but a journey back to a profound sense of belonging to the wider world of which we’re a part.
the fool’s journey: an outline
The Fool’s Journey begins with the Fool as the representation of innocence. He or she (for simplicity, let’s stick to ‘she’) sets off and encounters (through the Magician and High Priestess) the two poles of existence – masculine and feminine, light and dark, action and stillness, conscious and unconscious. She embraces the mother (the Empress) and the father (the Emperor). She begins her formal education in the traditions of her time (the Hierophant); she embraces the urge for sexual union (the Lovers); she achieves control and mastery and rides victoriously through the world (the Chariot); she begins to learn the Strength that comes from taming her inner passions …
And yet sooner or later, the Fool begins to question this outward life and begins to search for answers, turning inwards (the Hermit), glimpsing the great patterns and connectedness of the world (the Wheel of Fortune). She looks back over her life and comes to a decision (Justice): she must learn to let go, and enter the Underworld (the Hanged Man). She puts her old life behind her, and a process of rebirth begins (Death). Emerging from the Underworld is a balancing act (Temperance) between the old material world (the Devil) and the new. The Fool finds release in crisis – a sudden change or upheaval (the Tower) which leads to revelation and to hope and inspiration (the Star). The Moon stimulates her creative imagination, but she needs the grounding of the Sun to keep it in healthy balance. And so the Fool is reborn, and makes a deeper Judgement about the purpose of her life. With that, she returns to the World, having integrated the disparate parts of herself so that she is able to bring something valuable and necessary back into it.
To me, ‘The World’ is a card which represents the anima mundi: a term which ancient philosophers and alchemists used to refer to the spiritual essence of the world – the ‘Soul of the World’. These ancient worldviews held that psyche was embedded in all matter, and animated everything from the stars to the plants and animals of the Earth. And so my conception of the Fool’s Journey is that it represents a pilgrimage back to a sense of genuine, grounded belonging to this beautiful animate Earth in which we are so deeply enmeshed.
HOW IT WORKS
The course will last for 26 weeks. In between the introductory and concluding classes, each week you’ll receive an email containing a link to download a full-colour PDF containing notes on one of the 22 stages of the Fool’s Journey. There will be notes on the imagery associated with the Major Arcana card we’re working with, and its interpretation, and notes on the mythical, psychological and ecological aspects of each stage of the Journey we’re following. There will be questions to reflect on, and practices to work with. There will also be live video calls every 4 weeks, and a private forum to discuss the work with other participants.
Our foundation deck will be the classic Rider-Waite Tarot, but we’ll also explore imagery from other decks and other artists, especially those which are relevant to our own native traditions.
ENROL FOR THE COURSE
The cost of the course will be £250.
Please sign up to my newsletter (below) to be kept informed when enrolment opens, in May 2020.
THE FOOL’S JOURNEY WILL ALSO BE ONE OF THE SUBJECTS OF A WORKSHOP I’LL BE LEADING AT THE ROWE CENTER, MASSACHUSETTS, IN APRIL 2020. DETAILS COMING SOON!