0. The Fool
The unnumbered one, the zero, one of the twenty-two trumps of the Major Arcana in the set of tarot cards, the Fool is also known as the Jester. As you know, tarot cards are often used as the items of divination. There are some notable decks of tarot cards such as Tarot Nouveau and Tiertarock which are the French suits. There are some other suits like de Marseille, Piemontese, Rider-Waite, Thoth and Visconti-Sforza which all of them are Italian suits. Besides being used as the items of divination, tarot cards are also used as the items of symbolism. Moreover, even the psychologists are using tarot cards for their works and the early psychologist who used the symbolism of tarot cards in psychology is Carl Jung.
As an enthusiastic of occult things, I will explain to all of you about the significance of tarot cards. Tarot cards are split into two categories. The first one is Major Arcana, which are also known as Trump cards and the other one is Minor Arcana which consists of four standard suits which will be explained in some other time. Major Arcana consists of 22 suits and it starts with the first one, or rather the zero-one, the Fool Arcanum (a singular for Arcana).
The Fool is depicted as the starter of the deck, the one that starts with number zero which represents infinite possibilities. Fool Arcanum represents innocence, divine inspiration, madness, freedom, spontaneity, inexperience, chaos and creativity. Since the tarot cards are commonly considered as a depiction of a man's journey, the Fool is considered as the starter of the journey of a man where in the beginning, the man is painted with inexperience and will have to face infinite possibilities in his long journey.
The Fool Arcanum is often depicted in the suit as a jester laughing very close to the cliff, accompanied with a dog at his heels while lifting a bag over his shoulder. While the image of the Fool Arcanum varies between the decks, this is the common depiction of the Arcanum.
While the image of the suit reflects the true nature of the Arcanum, the number 0 is the perfect significator of the Fool Arcanum. It is because that number zero is considered as the starter of a journey if we view the tarot cards as the depiction of someone's journey. In the beginning, a man has no idea what will happen in his journey because he is still on the starter point. There are infinite possibilities for a man will become, no matter how and when and why.
The journey that is depicted by the tarot cards is even mentioned as a Fool's Journey, which is a traditional view of tarot cards and is frequently used to introduce the meaning of Major Arcana for the beginners. The Fool is even interpreted as a protagonist of the story where the protagonist starts with his humble beginning before his development which is parallel to the arrangement of the Major Arcana. While the development of the protagonist in a story is parallel to the Major Arcana, it depends on how the Fool, our protagonist makes his choice. There is a common understanding for tarot cards that whatever the choices the Fool makes, it will eventually bring him to a mutual end, the end of the journey to be exact, the end of the card, the twenty-first Arcanum of tarot cards that will be mentioned later.
The beginning of a journey is fascinating that it can be used for literary works or even any type of stories. While there are many clichés exist in writings regarding the start of a journey where a farm boy is destined to be a Chosen One, fighting an evil Overlord who happens to be his missing father, some promising authors can pull out some outstanding masterpieces. While Star Wars is often mentioned as the source of many cliché plots for many current works, no matter in literary form or not, it is known as one of the most triumphant example of a Fool's Journey. The protagonist starts as a humble peasant boy, a perfect allusion of the Fool Arcanum where there are many possibilities that may happen when the story develops.
While Star Wars is a perfect example for a Fool's Journey, the real embodiment of the journey goes for a video game instead of literary works. It is known as Persona 3, a rather controversial RPG. While the controversial part comes from some elements of the story, the Fool Journey is explicitly stated in the plot of the game when the unnamed protagonist is considered as a Fool (not a stupid person, okay?) and even his journey in the game is known as the Fool's Journey or the Journey. In the game, the protagonist is a silent one, has to be named by the player and his personalities are up for the player, fitting the theme of the Fool Arcanum, the infinite possibilities. While it is a great game that has even won some gaming awards, it is good to be played for fun because of its rather suicidal themes and dark atmosphere.
To end the explanation, the Fool is the start of everyone, a humble beginning of a man in his journey. An author can use it in his story for the protagonist because the Journey of the Fool is commonly associated with the protagonist. Then, look at the number of the Arcanum. It is zero, represents emptiness. It's empty, but by certain choices, we can get limitless outcomes. Until then, I hope this article may help you for the ideas of story-making. Soon, some more depictions of the tarot cards will be made. Whatever it is, enjoy your life.
The next Arcanum: The Magician