When starting on the Royal Road of Tarot where exactly do we begin? Most look at the numbers on the Arcana and start with 1. As human beings in existence the place we begin is generally where we are. People are not balanced at the beginning of any new endeavor. The old name of the Magician was The Juggler. Juggling is a skill which has to be practiced in order to be developed. So the Magician is not a starting point but a process.
Other’s may look at the numberless Fool and believe this is the place to begin. The Fool of Tarot was unnumbered and ungendered. In time it was assigned a zero or cipher. It is nowhere and everywhere, shifting in space. The Fool is best associated with oddities, synchronic phenomena, warning signs and things which like it’s rank in the deck cannot be classified. One can think of The Fool as carrying all the X-files in his pouch, those things people see and blink at closing their eyes as their belief systems reject, deny or ignore the unfamiliar usually at their own peril! Again The Fool is not a firm or formed starting point in the physical realms.
Many will say why not start at the end/beginning or card 21 which is The World? The World card represents existence and all contained therein. However, this is a vast fluid plane, an entire playing field and not all of its levels are mapped out! The beginner can easily be overwhelmed at the outset by too many possibilities. Not to select a starting place is a choice as well, one which delays the start of training.
The proper place in my estimation to begin study of the Tarot Trumps as a tool to self development is to be found within the book of the 10th Major Arcana – The Wheel of Fortune. This is where mankind finds themselves moving in circles/space and cycles/time between their Beast of Instinct, Tyrannical Ego and Human Intelligence around a center point of Consciousness.