22 Lessons from the Major Arcana Part 3: The Devil - The World

 22 Lessons from the Major Arcana Part 3: The Devil - The World and Major Arcana Tarot Cheatsheet!

By now, the Fool has completed both the first and second legs of his journey through the material and mental worlds. On the third and final part of the Fool's Journey, he starts exploring the spiritual world and communing with the divine. Here, the Fool overcomes his final challenges, ascends to the heavens, and finds enlightenment at last.

This post is part of a series that dramatises the Fool's Journey through the major arcana. I'm also going to write short stories exploring each of the minor arcana and court cards as well to really help bring the tarot to life for you through fiction!

Posts in this series will include:

If this is your first time here, start with part 1. Otherwise, welcome back and let's continue with our journey!

Keep reading to get your FREE Tarot Cheatsheets!


On the third and final part of the Fool’s Journey, he starts exploring the spiritual world and communing with the divine. Here, the Fool overcomes his final challenges, ascends to the heavens, and finds enlightenment at last.

The Devil


The Devil's Lesson

The Devil teaches us to confront the darkness within ourselves. This card urges us to examine and overcome our worst fears, doubts, and dark thoughts. You cannot truly free yourself from the shadows until you taste it yourself and choose the light within.

 The Devil Tarot Card Meaning

The energy was shifting around you as you walked down the path. The lush green scenery of the Garden was now gone. The environment shifted around you as you walked through the long road that seemed to cut straight through this place.

This realm seemed not to follow any type of mortal logic and instead coalesced and formed itself according to the god or angel that dominated each space.

There was no life here and the father you walked the darker it got. Darkness wrapped around you like a heavy cloak. It made you feel uneasy. You squeezed your lover's hand. 

"I sense a dark energy at the heart of this place. It's bad, very bad" said your lover. You looked at Snowball who whimpered and walked with his tail between his legs. 

Bad seemed like an understatement. A looming sense of dread enveloped you. "We have to find a way out of here!" You looked around trying to find some way out of here but the path itself was now gone.

"Shit!" your heart pounded and your hands trembled. You felt the dark energy draw closer and closer. 

"There's no where to run to, little traveller, if you want to go further you must pass through my realm" said an ominous voice, the sound of which seemed to reverberate through your bones.

"Stop this! Show yourself!" You were not sure you had it in you to fight this thing. But you had to try.

The fiend laughed, a deep rumble like stones falling down a mountain. Then, the pitch back shadows seemed to move. Shadowy tendrils coalesced in the darkness into the form of a hulking goat headed beast sitting atop a stone pedestal. It had long sharp claws, skin the color of blood, and long forked tail. One hand was raised and the other holding a torch pointing downwards. 

You gasped and drew back instinctively. Beside you, your lover screamed, and Snowball started barking. "The devil!"

It smiled exposing sharp teeth. "That is but one of many names I go by" he began. "Won't you care to join me for a while? I can offer you all the pleasures of the world for but a small price" 

He waved his hand and two figures appeared, chained to the pillar. A naked man and a woman, the spitting image of you and your lover. Their eyes were closed and they seemed to be enjoying the experience. 

"What mockery is this?!" You felt like vomiting. 

The devil got up from its pedestal and stalked towards you. Unable to run, you were rooted to the spot. "You two would make fine additions to my collection. Not convinced yet? Let me show you what I can offer". You felt him peel back the layers of your very soul and fell to your knees. "Ah, yes, there" he said. He showed you an image in your mind's eye.

It was you as an emperor with all the world at your feet. You had completed your journey and returned to the material world with an army of demons. You claimed the whole world under your banner and the people worshipped you. They venerated you and begged you to guide them on their journey. You showed the loyal ones how and executed the ones who defied you. 

The scene shifted and you were back with the devil. "That's not what I want" you said. You looked away, unable to bear his gaze.

He laughed. "Don't lie to me, traveller, for I know your deepest desires. You want nothing more than to be successful in your journey. I offer you a means to do that. Just offer yourself in service to me" he said, with a menacing smile.

In that moment, you thought of all the wonderful people that you had met and who taught you along the way. You thought of your lover and the pure bond between you. You thought of the Angel of Temperance and the overwhelming sense of peace you had felt.

You held onto those memories and feelings. Slowly, you felt the darkness lifting. You were able to move again. With a strength you had forgotten you had you stood up.

"No! Not like this" you said, defiantly. Suddenly, the devil was gone and you were back on the road with no trace of darkness in sight.

DOWNLOAD THE FREE TAROT CHEATSHEETS!

If you're having trouble remembering the card meanings and want a quick reference to look them up when you need to, download my free printable cheatsheets for the majors, all four suits, and the court cards to help you learn!

The Tower


The Tower's Lesson

The Tower card teaches us that sometimes we need to tear down the limiting structures we have built for ourselves in order to move forward and rebuild better, stronger, and wiser.

 The Tower Tarot Card Meaning

You had left the devil behind hours ago. Or was it days? You didn't feel much of a need to eat or sleep here. Not having a routine to fall back on made it extremely hard to tell time in this realm. 

The scenery had shifted again and it seemed like you were now walking through the highlands. The path you were on grew steeper and steeper as you climbed to the top of this mountain that you had found yourself on.

Snowball was now cheerful again and scouted ahead as usual. Your lover seemed relaxed as she walked next to you. The energy was light again and even the air smelled fresh and clean.

You were beyond glad that you wouldn't have to face the devil again. What would the powers that be throw at you next? Whatever it is, you no longer felt afraid. 

Snowball ran back down the path towards you, barking, and urging for you to follow him. Well, looks like you would find out sooner than you had expected. 

You followed Snowball up the path to a plateau. At the edge of the cliff stood a tall, purple robed man, glowing with an ethereal light.

Snowball didn't approach him this time, however. He stopped a few feet away. You took your dog's cue and remained at a distance to get a feel for what was going on here. 

The tall being lifted his hands and the sky rumbled. Dark clouds gathered and the wind picked up speed. "What is happening?" you whispered to your lover.

"Look at his hands!" she said.

In his right hand, the figure held a lightening bolt and prepared to strike something. He seemed like he wasn't paying attention to you so you edged a bit closer. Close enough to see what was down below. 

There was a hole in the storm clouds and through it you could see a city. A human city, with living people! The entire city was built around an enormous, gold-capped, tower that reached for the heavens. 

The figure hurled lightening bolts at the city with all his might. The lightening struck the tower, blowing the cap right off! You heard distant screams coming from down below and gasped. He's trying to hurt those people!

"Stop! Please!" you called out. 

"Don't get involved in this, you fool! It is not our fight!" said your lover. 

Ignoring her you ran towards the figure. "Tell me! Why are you hurting those people? Why are you destroying their homes?"

"I've been expecting you, traveller" said the figure. "I am the destruction that is necessary before new growth can occur. This city has stood for many centuries but that tower, once a beacon of hope, is now a self-imposed prison"

You looked at the destroyer sceptically. "It doesn't seem that way from here" you said. 

"I had a feeling you wouldn't believe me. Let me show you" he said.

With a wave of his hand, you were no longer on top of that mountain. Instead, you found yourself inside the tower. You were no longer you, no longer in your own body. Instead, you were in the body of the queen of this place. 

In the blink of an eye you knew her life history. Her ancestors had built this place, meant to be a new home for their people. As time went by the tower grew taller and ever more extravagant. At the time the impregnable tower made the residents feel safe and helped them prosper. 

These were the stories told to her, growing up. But now? She wasn't so sure. There were cracks in the wall and no one ever left this place. She longed to see what was outside these walls but never had the chance, instead choosing to continue the work of her long dead ancestors.

And now? She didn't know what she felt watching lightening strike the tower, only that she had to get out. Another lightening bolt hit and she screamed and the tower shook and a few souls fell to the ground. 

"Everyone! Follow me!" she called out. She mustered all the courage she could and led her people down the stairs. "Quickly now! We don't have much time!" she said. 

A few minutes later they were all gathered outside, watching their city crumble to the ground. Somehow, it felt oddly cathartic to see that tower fall. Without ever realising it, she had let it become her prison. She didn't know what she would do now, but she wouldn't repeat the mistakes of the past.

The scene faded away and you were you again, back in your own body. It took you a moment to regain awareness of where you were and what it was that you just experienced. 

"Now do you understand, traveller? I may not come often, but when I do I destroy all that does not serve. It will not be comfortable. It will be painful. But my work is necessary. Do you see?" asked the destroyer.

You processed the thoughts and memories of the queen of that place, comparing it to the words of the destroyer. He was right, you realised. "Yes, I do see" you said. "Thank you"

The Star


The Star's Lesson

The Star card tells us that no matter what situation we find ourselves in, there is always hope. We have always been connected to the stars above and the earth below even though it may not feel that way. It urges us to have faith, be optimistic, and heal yourself in its light.

 The Star Tarot Card Meaning

You were now travelling down the mountain into a valley. It was dark so you couldn't see many details but honestly, you probably wouldn't have noticed much anyway. 

You felt emotionally exhausted after your tempestuous experiences with the devil and the tower. You longed to see the end of this journey, to achieve the completion that you so dearly sought, but you began to wonder when you ever would. 

Seeing your expression, your lover squeezed your hand. "The worst of it is behind us" she said, her eyes filled with hope. "I feel it in my bones" 

You squeezed her hand in return. "I hope so" you said. "When you say it like that I believe it". Just having her with you gave you the strength to keep going.

After a while you felt the scene shift again and you found yourself in open land. Above, there were seven stars that shone particularly brightly and one bright beacon of a star that dominated the sky. The whole scene was lit by starlight, a light that wasn't there only moments ago. 

In the centre of this place was a naked woman bending down next to a pool of water.

She held two jugs in her hands and poured water from one of them onto the land, and from the other into the pool. The water itself glowed as if it was the essence of starlight distilled into the liquid, the nectar of heaven brought down below.

In the background, there was a bird standing by some trees. In its eyes, you saw a deep intelligence and you knew that it was a messenger from the heavens.

The woman, the bird, the water, everything here seemed to glow with the light of the stars. Just being here filled you with an overwhelming sense of peace. This was the calm serenity that you didn't know you needed.

"I sense that you and your party need healing, traveller. You have overcome many challenges to get here. Come, bathe in the waters of the Pool of Healing" she said in a soothing, almost musical, voice. 

You approached the pool, undressed, and stepped in followed by your lover and even Snowball. As the healing water touched your skin you immediately felt all of your cares melt away. You sighed in relief. 

Seeing the water work its magic, the woman smiled. "There is always hope, traveller, never lose that"

You felt her words lift your spirits. "Who are you?" you asked in wonder.

"I am the Lady of the Stars" she began. "I am the guardian of the Pool of Healing and I bring hope, healing, and renewal to lost travellers like yourself" she said.

"Thank you for this gift, my lady, you don't know how much I needed it" you said, with tears in your eyes. 

She inclined her head in response. "You are made of stardust, traveller. I have simply returned you that connection to yourself that you have lost" 

Being here made you feel connected to the universe in a way that you didn't before. You wished you could stay here forever. "Stay here as long as you need to" she said, smiling softly.

The Moon


The Moon's Lesson

The lesson in the Moon card is that though the path ahead may not be clear, we must trust our intuition and follow our instincts. It also warns us that nothing is as it seems. We need to learn to distinguish between our own fears and illusions, and reality.

 The Moon Tarot Card Meaning

You bid the Lady of Stars farewell and left the Pool of Healing feeling optimistic, refreshed, and with the strength necessary to continue your journey.

You weren't sure how long you had spent there. It was still night time although the bright stars you had seen before were gone now. Instead, the sky was cloudy and the land dark, lit only by the light of the moon which shone brightly above.

The moon was huge. much bigger that you had ever seen it in the material realm, and dominated the night sky. Something about the moon that night called to you and you felt a powerful, instinctual, urge to go towards it.

"Do you feel that?" you said, turning to your lover. 

Her eyes were fixed on the moon as she walked. "More than you know" she said, mysteriously, and said nothing else. Snowball too, seemed restless and anxious. 

The moon was the only thing in this place that remained fixed. The land shifted around you every few minutes. Sometimes you saw scenes from your old life, before your journey, sometimes it showed you visions of the devil and the tower.

You tried to ignore these visions and keep going. Soon, the scene shifted once again and you found yourself on a path bisected by a stream. On the other side stood two towers. The moon shone brightly between those two towers. That had to be the way out. You just knew it. You had to get across.

Beyond the stream, blocking the path ahead, was a dog and a wolf, who were both howling at the moon. Snowball started howling as well. "Stop it, Snowball!" Snowball ignored you and kept howling.

You looked down and saw a crayfish, crawling out of the water, onto the other side of the stream. Something was very off about this. It made you feel uncomfortable.

At that moment, the crayfish grew larger and larger, morphing into a gigantic, twisted, version of itself. The dogs grew in size too, morphing into wargs! You squeezed your eyes shut and opened them again. For an instant it looked as if the animals had shrunk. You opened and closed your eyes again. The animals and crayfish were once again large and menacing. 

Your heart was in your throat and your breath quickened. Okay, breathe, just breathe. This is not real. This is some kind of trick. 

"What is this?!" you called out to no one in particular.

"I am your subconscious, your dreams, illusions, and fantasies" said a soft voice. Where was is coming from?

"Show yourself!" you said.

"I am already here, traveller, look up" Up? It was then that you realised the voice was coming from the moon.

"Let me pass!" you said.

"It is not I that is stopping you" it said. "It is your own subconscious. Do not repress or resist it, traveller, only then will you be able to pass"

You took a deep breath, and forced yourself to relax. When you felt calm enough you looked at the monsters. "I am not afraid of you" you began. "I accept you. I accept all that is inside me" 

For a long moment nothing happened and then they were gone, the dog, wolf, crayfish and even the stream. It was as if they were never there to begin with and the path ahead was clear. You continued on the path, between the two towers, and left the area.

DOWNLOAD THE FREE TAROT CHEATSHEETS!

If you're having trouble remembering the card meanings and want a quick reference to look them up when you need to, download my free printable cheatsheets for the majors, all four suits, and the court cards to help you learn!

The Sun


The Sun's Lesson

The Sun card teaches us to find the joy in all situations and reminds us of our own personal power. It encourages us to confidently shine our inner light and to manifest our desires as conscious creators.

 The Sun Tarot Card Meaning

No sooner than had you passed through the Towers of the Moon, than the whole scene shifted once again. The was a blinding, warm, yellow light. You shielded your eyes with your hands. After a few moments you could see again.

You blinked as your vision readjusted and took a good look around you. Instead of being in the dark, dimly lit, landscape you were previously in you were now in a bright and sunny garden. 

Yellow and red flowers decorated the bushes. There were more beyond the wall on the far end of the garden. Sunflowers! They stood tall and proud, reaching for the bright sun above. 

You felt a certain lightness that hadn't been there before. It felt so good to be in this place of light and happiness after travelling so long through the darkness. There was not a single shadow in sight here and your heart was glad for it.

Snowball ran around, excitedly, with his tail wagging furiously. You grinned as you looked at your lover. She shot you a wide, happy, smile in return. You then looked around for a stick and took turns playing fetch with Snowball. You laughed joyously, revelling in the happy moment.

You head a child's laugh in the distance and turned in the sound's direction. Approaching you was a  beautiful, chubby, little child riding on a white horse, and carrying a red banner. His blond curls shone like a halo under the light of the sun. Seeing him, you couldn't help but smile. 

"And who might you be, young one?" asked your lover, in a sing song voice. 

"I'm Joy!" exclaimed the child excitedly, raising its arms up in the air. 

"So it seems" you said, with a laugh. The child exuded a certain vitality, energy, and happiness that you had not come across before. 

"I'm playing knights and maidens with horsie! Wanna play too?" he asked innocently. 

You gasped in mock surprise. "Knights and maidens! My favourite!" you exclaimed. 

You whiled away the time playing with Joy, feeling more carefree than you had ever felt since your own childhood. 

"My child has not had a companion besides for his horse for years" said a loud voice. It seemed to be coming from the sky. You tried to look up but had to lower your gaze. The sun was too bright.

"Daddy!" exclaimed the child happily. The voice was the sun, you realised, and Joy was his child. 

"He's been a pleasure" you said, with a smile. "You're the sun, aren't you?" you added.

"Yes, that I am. I am power, energy, and growth. I am light itself and I illuminate all shadows" began the sun. The same power that is in me is within you. Are you ready to shine your own light, traveller, to embrace your truth?" asked the sun.

"Yes!" you said, without hesitation. 

"Very well" said the sun. A door suddenly appeared on the wall and swung wide open. It was time to leave the Garden of the Sun. You passed through the door and through the field of sunflowers beyond.

Judgement


Judgement's Lesson

The Judgement card, more than any other, urges us to free ourselves from what is holding us back and embrace our true calling. It is time to be reborn, to shed the skin of our old lives, and live according to a higher truth.

 Judgement Tarot Card Meaning

You stepped out of the field of sunflowers just beyond the Garden of the Sun and came to a large open plain. There were a group of other souls gathered here, talking to each other excitedly. You made your way to the group.

You tapped the man standing closest to you on the shoulder. "Excuse me, can you tell me what is going on here?" you asked

"Oh! It's another traveller!" he exclaimed. "Welcome! We're all waiting for the angel" he said, brightly. 

A look of confusion passed across your face. "What angel? and what is this place?"

"This is the Field of Judgement and we are all waiting for the Angel of Ascension" he said. 

Before you could ask him any more questions the clouds parted. You heard the trumpet first. It was a call that reverberated through your very bones. The call grew louder and and louder. Then, he, appeared, the Angel of Ascension, floating in the clouds above. 

He was so large! The angel's wings seemed to cover half the sky! The angel held a long golden trumpet with a flag bearing a red cross. He brought the trumpet to his lips and sounded it again. Beyond the angel, the clouds began to circle, forming a long passageway that ended in a bright white light. 

The souls gathered here rejoiced at the sound and raised their arms in the air. One by one they dematerialised and floated into the light above, disappearing from sight.

Soon, you were the only one left. Even your lover and Snowball had already floated away into the light. The angel blew his trumpet again and you felt your body start to vibrate. "What is this? What's happening to me?" you called out.

"You are transforming, traveller. You're waking up now and and there is no going back. You are destined for a higher purpose and when you hear my call it means that it is time to embrace your calling" said the angel. 

Could you really do it? What would it be like? "Have no fear, traveller. You are safe, you are light itself, and you shall be reborn. Will you heed my call?" said the angel, sensing your hesitation.

"Yes" you said. You felt a massive spike of energy in your body, a buzzing that seemed to be coming from deep beneath your flesh, from within your soul itself. You stopped resisting it and within an instant you were transported into the light above.

The World


The World's Lesson

The World card teaches to revel in our happiness and to celebrate our achievements. Everything is as it is meant to be. We have come full circle and have accomplished our goals.

 The World Tarot Card Meaning

You emerged on the other side of the tunnel of light and immediately felt an immense sense of peace, fulfilment and completion.

You looked around you and, sure enough, you found your lover standing with you on your left and Snowball on your right. Relief washed over you. They had made it too. 

It was only then that you realised that you weren't standing on solid ground. You were floating in the sky! 

Directly in front of you there was a naked woman draped in a purple fabric. She was floating inside a large green garland and held two crystal wands, one in each hand. Surrounding the woman there was an eagle, a bull, a lion, and an angel. These were the four elements. 

The whole scene was order and perfection itself. "Who are you?" you asked the woman, in wonderment.

The woman smiled. "I am the Soul of the World, dear traveller. I am here to tell you that you have completed your journey. You have attained mastery and your process of integration is complete" she said.

"We did it!" you exclaimed and laughed as you hugged your lover and petted your dog. "We really did it!" 

The Soul of the World smiled at your enthusiasm. "What now?" you asked her.

"Whatever you want, dear traveller" she said. "The world is at your feet"

You thought for a moment, considering what to do with all the knowledge and accomplishments you had gained. "Home. I want to go home and teach others how to embark on the same journey"

"A wise choice, traveller" she said, and with a wave of her hand, you found yourself standing outside your village a changed man.

 

DOWNLOAD THE FREE TAROT CHEATSHEETS!

If you're having trouble remembering the card meanings and want a quick reference to look them up when you need to, download my free printable cheatsheets for the majors, all four suits, and the court cards to help you learn!

Alright, so the Fool's Journey is now at and end.

He has travelled through all three worlds: material, mental, and spiritual. He has learned the lessons of each of the major arcana and has attained enlightenment. His work here is done.

But ours is not!

We're going to continue our journey, from the point of view of a new protagonist, and explore the four kingdoms in the land of tarot: the Kingdom of Wands, the Kingdom of Cups, the Kingdom of Swords, and the Kingdom of Pentacles.

Keep reading to see more of the world of tarot brought to life!

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Tarot Card Images: Llewellyn’s Classic Tarot by Barbara Moore, Eugene Smith © 2014 Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. 2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125. All rights reserved, used by permission.