As we rejoin The Fool on His Journey through the Major Arcana, we find our hero still glowing from His day under The Sun’s influence. He is walking a bit taller, His step a bit surer. He has seen the fullness of His authentic Self beneath the bright light of The Sun. He made His way safely through the madness of The Moon’s domain, and emerged into The Sun’s welcoming embrace.
With His first steps away from the garden, The Fool is immediately aware of the fact that His Journey is near its end. The feeling hits Him squarely between the eyes and deep in His Soul. This knowledge compels Him to consider all He's experienced during His time on the road.
Deep in thought, The Fool very nearly walks into a small man standing in front of Him. Apologizing for His error, The Fool introduces Himself to the man. He discovers the man is a shaman, and His presence in The Fool’s path at this precise time is no coincidence. The shaman calls Himself Judgment, and He is come to help The Fool with His own.
“As you come so close to the end of Your Journey, you must take a personal inventory of all you did, said, and witnessed. This is your opportunity to see how far you’ve come on Your personal path. You will be able to celebrate your accomplishments and forgive your mistakes, all in the name of fully stepping into the new, evolved version of You.”
“How do I do this?” The Fool asks. “I will guide you,” Judgment tells Him.
The shaman directs The Fool to assume a sitting position. He will be guided through a deep meditation for this experience. The Fool complies and settles His body and mind in preparation for what is to come.
As Judgment takes Him under - drawing The Fool deeper and deeper into His subconscious - He feels His whole being relaxing, opening to the experience. He sees scene after scene of His Journey. He smiles as He relives the happy connections He’s made along the way. He beams with pride at how well He navigated some pretty thorny situations, avoiding disaster on several occasions.
“This is so awesome!” He exclaims to no one in particular. “I feel so much joy and satisfaction seeing how much I have learned and grown and how well I have done at managing my behaviors in such practical and compassionate ways!” The Fool is practically beaming with pleasure at this point.
But a moment later, things change. The shaman guides Him even deeper into His trance state. New images begin to surface. These images are not quite so shiny and lovely. Suddenly, The Fool is reliving every mistake He’s made during His time on the road. Every cruel or careless word He’s uttered comes back to haunt Him. Every stumble, every fumble, every wrong turn, and every hurtful act are rising up to greet Him. And all with the accompanying challenging emotions: shame, guilt, embarrassment, pain, and remorse.
The Fool is no longer enjoying Himself. He feels tears welling up and sliding down His cheeks. He begs the shaman to release Him from this misery. The calm voice of Judgment then washes over The Fool, telling Him that this is the most powerful part of the process. "It is how we react to our mistakes that truly form who we become", He says.
The Fool understands. For the first time, He is able to see His errors for what they truly are: Lessons to be learned. And, with great relief and revelation, He realizes that He did learn from them. Every single failure taught Him valuable lessons. With this understanding The Fool is able to forgive Himself. He is able to see who He truly is … the person He has become as a direct result of every single moment on this Journey He’s been walking for so long. It’s as if He’s looking into a brand new mirror with a brand new reflection. And He loves what He sees. He got a glimpse of this version of Himself while standing under the light of The Sun, but now He becomes fully embodied as His next level self.
“This is the gift of Judgment,” says the shaman. “It only has power when it is born of YOU. If you are able to judge yourself from a place of wisdom and love, then you will find yourself continually expanding and elevating in the most beautiful ways.”
The Fool feels fresh tears on His cheeks, but this time they are tears of love and gratitude for this gift that Judgment has given Him.
The shaman brings The Fool back to the present moment. His meditation is complete. He has passed His own Judgment, and will move on to the completion of His Journey. He embraces the shaman in deepest gratitude, and bids Him farewell.
The Fool, then continues toward His final destination. He is a new and improved version of Himself, and He understands that life is all about the continual evolution of the Self.
Be sure to tune in next week for our final installment in The Fool’s Journey TarotTuesday blog series. Only one destination to go, blissmakers! See you there!