The Fool’s Playlist – Exploring the Major Arcana Through Music (15-21)

The first post in this series is available here, and the second is available here

The Major Arcana cards represent the biggest, deepest, most spiritually important aspects of our lives. But it can be hard sometimes to relate their energy and importance to bloodless words on a page.

Music helps with that, though. Music can connect us to the energy of the cards in a way words can’t. So here are my current picks for songs to represent each of the cards. This post covers cards 15-21.

As before, if you disagree with my choices or have alternate/better suggestions let me know in the comments!

Devil:  Hotel California, Eagles

The Fool coming out of Temperance is feeling pretty stable, right? They’re secure in their new sense of self and ready to continue moving forward. Now that they’ve cleared out the more obvious issues, though, underlying toxic behavioral patterns suddenly stand out in stark relief. These can include serious addictions, but can just as easily be things like codependency, self-doubt, insecurity, ignorance, hopelessness, and even imposter syndrome. The Devil card encapsulates all the many things we do to sabotage ourselves from moving forward.

I can never think of this card without thinking of the classic Hotel California by the Eagles. The singer is driving down the highway full of energy and direction, as we all are when we leave Temperance. Then he grows weary, as we all do, and wants to take a break. When we relax is when those underlying patterns spring up, seemingly out of nowhere, and hijack all of our hard work. Since the Death card the Fool has been exhuming parts of their past they’d rather not consider, and their devils offer them easy ways to avoid dealing with them. “How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat/Some dance to remember, some dance to forget”. Like with all of our devils, “we are all just prisoners here of our own device”. And the final lines? “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!” It’s so easy to both know freedom rests in our hands and still feel trapped by our devils, to think we’re not good enough/strong enough to leave the personal prisons we’ve built. It’ll take something cataclysmic to prove us wrong.

Tower: Falling Down, Duran Duran

The Devil is a tenacious bastard. Gradual weaning away from our personal demons isn’t going to free us, not completely. The Fool needs a sudden change, a cataclysmic event, to finally shed those chains and rewrite these deepest of patterns.   Eventually, awareness and focused self-improvement will help mitigate Tower events, but they’ll never go away completely. It’s probably a good thing. We’d hate to get complacent.

I’ve never heard another song that so clearly gets the Tower. The art of the actual card shows us noblemen falling out of a Tower that’s been struck by lightning. In this song – Falling Down by Duran Duran – we hear what those noblemen might be thinking as they plummet to earth. What I love about this song is that the singer doesn’t yet understand why he’s falling. That’s true for most Tower events, I think. We rarely understand why our lives are crashing down around us until long after the fact. It takes distance and a completely changed perspective for us to look back and go “oh, of course that’s what triggered the Tower’s fall!”.

The Star: Lucky Star, Madonna

After the Tower falls the Fool stands blinking in the aftermath. The walls of ego that held them high but confined them to its limits are gone now, and the Fool can go wherever they like. But where might that be? Well, when all seems darkest, look for a light. The Star represents hope, a guiding light we can see and follow now that the Tower is out of the way. Our view of this beacon fills us with a child-like faith in the world and we’ll trustingly follow where it leads.

This is the song that actually kicked this whole project off. I was listening to an 80s playlist when it came on and the second verse snagged my attention. “You must be my lucky star, ’cause you make the darkness seem so far/And when I’m lost you’ll be my guide, I just turn around and you’re by my side”. That’s very much what the Star is – a guide out of the destruction of the Tower and into a more illuminated future, simply waiting for us to acknowledge it before it guides us onwards.

The Moon: – These Dreams, Heart

After the trials and travails of the last few cards, the hope and peace felt at the Star are like balms to the Fool’s senses. And the Fool, becoming drunk on them, enters the Moon. I think that’s where the Moon gets its Jekyll-and-Hyde reputation. On the one hand, it is very much a card of instinct and intuition. With our conscious minds quiet we can explore things we never would have been able to see otherwise, and the insights we get here can be as deep as they are revolutionary. It’s hard to navigate by moonlight, though, and what looks to be a monster might merely be a stately oak. Or vice versa. Our minds can play tricks on us here, and in the aftermath of everything the Fool has experienced of late they may be particularly vulnerable.

The dreamy and mysterious nature of the Moon card is perfectly captured by Heart’s These Dreams. We try to tell time on “a watch with no hands”, and “words that have no form are falling from [our] lips”. We clutch candles, but it’s hard to remember to do that when we’re “hiding away from the pain” we’ve endured over the last few cards. We may even want to live forever in a place where “our feet never touch the earth” and we can “walk without a cut through a stained-glass wall”, and the seduction of that makes staying in the realm of the illusory Moon tempting indeed.

The Sun: Here Comes the Sun, The Beatles

The lure of the Moon is strong, but eventually morning does come. It’s time to let a little sunshine in! The bright light of the Sun shreds the illusions of the Moon, showing the Fool that their deepest and darkest places really aren’t that deep or dark. They can finally banish the shadows, accepting that they’re worthy of all the love and joy they can possibly find. The Sun allows them to see the world as the beautiful, happy place it can be, and they understand that it can always be this way if they would only get out of their own way.

Once we see the meanings for this card there’s really only one choice for the song, isn’t there? The Beatles perfectly nailed the energy of the Sun with “Here Comes the Sun”, cheerily assuring us that while it’s been dark and hard up to now, smiles are returning and ice is melting. When the Sun appears, everything really is all right.

Judgment: Killing Me Softly, The Fugees

After traversing the three Celestial cards the Fool is ready to tackle the rest of the journey. And really, the only thing left at this point is looking back over where they’ve been thus far. There’s an element of analysis to this card that’s similar to what we see with Justice, but we’re now far beyond ideas of simple cause and effect. It’s not about fairness anymore, it’s about progress. From here the Fool can see what they did, acknowledge how it affected others, do their very best to make amends to everyone affected (including themselves), and endeavor to do better on the next go-round.

 

The song for Judgment is Killing Me Softly by the Fugees. (The older version works too, of course, but I like this one.) The singer in this song is listening to what seems like their life coming from a stage. That’s how we have to approach this card – as something we experience outside of ourselves and then handle to the very best of our abilities. The process can be profoundly uncomfortable, but once we’ve done it we’re ready to leave it all behind and embrace our new future.

The World: On Top of the World, Imagine Dragons

Now that our Fool has finished processing they’ve completed the Fool’s Journey. This piece of it, anyway! They know that there are more journeys in their future and that the call to set out on a new adventure will soon become too strong to resist. They also know that, just like before, they’ll rush off half-cocked to start the whole cycle again. That’s for tomorrow, though. Today is for celebrating and appreciating the view from where they stand. It’s pretty damn spectacular!

The song for this final card is On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons. The Fool has crossed the highest mountains and deepest rivers, paying their dues, all the while dreaming of being where they are right now – on top of the world.

 

And that completes the Fool’s Playlist! May it provide inspiration and solace on your  next journey!

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s