The Fool
The Magician
Stage One
The High Priestess
Stage Two
The Empress
Stage Three

The Emperor
Stage Four

The Hierophant
Stage Five

The Lovers
Stage Six

The Chariot
Stage Seven
Part Two
Part Three

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A fire of ambition kindled within, the Fool quickly made his way through the town towards the castle. This was set halfway up a forested hill, yet no matter how far he climbed the Castle seemed always to remain in the distance.

Persevering, he eventually reached a garden on the edge of a moat surrounding the Castle. The sun was setting as he slaked his thirst in the sweet water, then lay on the soft grass to rest his aching legs. Though tired, he found it difficult to sleep. He had resolved that tomorrow he would approach the castle and discover the secrets of the noble folk within. He was determined that he should no longer be treated as a Fool, or at the very least he wanted to know the reason why.

By the light of the moon the garden seemed a grey and eerie place, and though the Fool had never before felt afraid to spend the night under the stars he now hoped it would soon be dawn. As he tossed and turned, imagining the welcome or rejection awaiting him the next day, he saw in the castle lights a line of carriages approaching. Apparently a Night Ball was in progress, for he glimpsed finely-dressed ladies and their handsome escorts within the glittering vehicles. Like a moth to a candle, the Fool was drawn in their wake towards the Castle.

Inside, a grand party was in progress. Crystal glasses glittered upon tables loaded with delicacies. Lights of every colour were strung from the beams, and upon a revolving stage an orchestra played to an audience of masked dancers. They made a path for him, yet as he passed before their gaze he felt shame and resentment that his body was dirty, his clothes ragged and untidy. Worst of all, as he lifted his head towards the ladies, he could scarcely bear to look upon their glittering beauty, which seemed to mock his shabby state.

The music stopped. There was a sudden hush. Everyone turned toward the regal figure of a lady, robed in deep blue and white satin, with a head-dress held by jewelled clasps. At a signal the dancers unmasked. The Fool found that every one of them bore his face! "Behold your many faces," said the Vision, in a voice as light and supple as silk. "You see others not as they are, but as you are."

He awoke suddenly with beads of perspiration on his face. At the same moment the amber sun slid up from the horizon revealing a garden edged in flowers of every colour, the bluest of hyacinths, reddest of roses and daisies of brilliant white. Birds sang from the trees and a water fountain formed rainbows against the morning sun. These birds sang in tune with one another, yet each song was clearly distinguishable. The chorus was so enticing, so totally in harmony, that the Fool was eager to greet the day. As if at some signal the music stopped and he heard the girl's voice again.

"We have made the silence for you just as we made the sounds. The birds have stopped their song in order that we may speak together. I am not their master, but they allow me to conduct their music. We are all here to help one another, yet only one may sing the lead at any time."

As his tension ebbed away into the warm morning sunshine, the Fool felt no need to speak for the Popess seemed to know his innermost thoughts and could respond to them.

"Every different dream you have fulfills the need of a different part of you. When you are awkward, you are forcing parts to bend to your will. Those parts which you dislike will haunt you, distorting and resisting all your actions. As you go about your daily business they will resist you in numberless ways, creating bad feeling. Yet every part has a positive intention for you, the whole person. Move towards your parts and listen to what each has to say. Find a way of arranging your dreams in a form that is acceptable to every part, for the path to grace lies in this arrangement. Once you have found this path, you will no longer depend upon circumstances for your well-being, for you will carry your well-being with you."

"Meanwhile, travel lightly with your dreams and their attendant problems. Call upon the appropriate parts to help you at the right time, and if you do not yet feel confident then simply limit your ambition to your ability. Remember always, there can be no ambition without dissatisfaction; no worthwhile dream without some price to pay. Yet perhaps, even now, you can appreciate the unfolding drama of this story that is your life."

And as the sun became brighter, so the radiance of the beautiful girl diminished, until the Fool could see nothing save the solid Castle towering over the crystal lake.


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Copyright © 2000 by Jenny and Chris Gilders,
Tarot cards by Rider-Waite, U.S.Games, Inc.