The Journey of the Soul

Arcanum I
The Bateleur

Jean Noblet
Paris c.1650

Jean Dodal
Lyon c. 1701

Nicolas Conver
Marseille c. 1760

A new being wishes to come into the world : the earth breathes him in, he incarnates, here is the Bateleur. He is in a state of total consciousness, entirely linked to the world which envelops him and which he perceives as an earthly paradise. The form of his hat evokes the symbol of infinity : the infinity from which he emerges, the infinity of his consciousness. He looks to the left, that is to say, to the past. This regard expresses nostalgia for his state before incarnation.

There are only three legs to the table in front of him : this being walks on only three legs, he limps. He has a fracture from which he will suffer all his life. On this flesh-colored table, one sees the objects which represent the young person’s potential. At this stage, everything is still possible, no-one can predict how his life will evolve. The disparity of objects expresses this. The young Bateleur is a sleight-of-hand artist who will draw his life from out of his hat.

In his right hand, the figure holds an acorn, the fruit of the Druids’ sacred tree. Already in this first arcanum, the master makes his point : the Tarot is the fruit of ancient knowledge.

The wand generally held in his left hand symbolizes intuition, the magic capacity to perceive and transform. The Bateleur stands at the entrance to life. These are the elements with which he must juggle in the great game of existence. It is a new occasion for working towards becoming fully conscious.