Playing the Fool

preview 00. The FoolOne way to help familiarize yourself with the  22 Major Arcana of the Tarot is by means of a simple game called Playing the Fool (aka The Pilgrimage of the Fool ). This is a variation on another game called, Joy to the WorldThe rules to Playing the Fool are as follows:

Gently randomize the order of the cards– taking care not to bend them in the process –and lay them out, face down, in three rows of seven, as follows:

T  T  T  T  T  T  T
T  T  T  T  T  T  T
T  T  T  T  T  T  T

Turn the remaining card face up and play it in its proper position, numerically speaking. Turn the face-down card that was in that position face up and play it in its proper numerical  position, and so-on, until all the cards have been played and only the unnumbered Fool remains. When the game is over, all the numbered cards should be face up in their proper numerical positions as follows:

 1    2    3    4   5    6     7
8    9   10  11  12  13   14
15  16  17  18  19  20  21

If The Fool turns up before the last play of the game (as is usually the case), play it face down in the position of another face-down card of your choosing and continue the game as before, until the last card is played in place of The Fool (wherever it happens to have finally ended up). When the last numbered card is played and only the unnumbered Fool remains, the game may begin again:

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from… ~ T. S. Eliot

NOTE:  It is considered by some to be very auspicious when The Fool does not turn up until the very last play of the game.  This doesn’t happen often, but if you keep playing, chances are it will happen for you.  Best wishes, in any event, as you continue on your pilgrimage– have fun –but try not to play the fool too often!  🙂

preview 21. The WorldVARIATION:  If the Fool turns up early, it would be more than appropriate to play it in position 21, in place of the World, and then (symbolically speaking–after all the other cards are played) to consciously enter into lifethe eternal life of the kingdom –by playing the World to the right of the Fool — in position 22 –as follows:

 1    2    3    4   5    6     7
8    9   10  11  12  13   14
15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22

“The world is a work of art.  It is animated by creative joy. The wisdom that it reveals is joyous wisdom — that of creative-artistic elan . . . . Happy is he who seeks wisdom in the first place, for he will find that wisdom is joyous!  Unhappy is the one who seeks the joy of joyous wisdom in the first place, for he will fall prey to illusions!  Seek first the creative wisdom of the world — and the joy of creativity will be given to you in addition” (Letter 22, page 644).

Best wishes, in any event, Dear Unknown Friend, as you continue immerse yourself in  this current of the living tradition…

–>  Teeny Tiny Tarot © Trumps

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