From Zero To Hero And Back Again: Musings on the Fool in the Tarot.
Traditionally, the Fool is depicted as a vagabond, a wandering and gullible figure, carelessly about to step off a cliff edge. with naught but a bundle on a stick, and a snapping dog at his/her heels. As ever the picture is not the whole story, but it is the trigger, or the entry point, for many tales of the Fool and his emergence into the world. He is the First card in the Major Arkana, yet he is numbered “0” and that is the prime mystery, right there. The Fool is creating something, from nothing. Bringing the breath of spirit into human form, as indeed The Fool is “The Spirit of Aether,” represented by the element of Air. With no experience of life to base anything on, The Fool is either courageous or amazingly “foolish” You can either perceive him/her as an enfant sauvage, wild and untameable or envy The Fools lack of inhibition and conditioning by social mores and structures. Perhaps he is the kernel of our authentic selves, unsullied by learned habits and behaviours, untutored by social hierarchy. But, to this world he is indeed born, and so the Fool has to learn to survive within it, adapt and absorb and observe the protocol that furthers our knowledge of what it is to be a Spirit experiencing a human existence. To me, what he possess that we loose at our peril, is our intuitive selves, our default position, that eternal connection to all that is, the essence of soul. He/she relates to many figures in myth and many cultures; we can associate him with the Green Man, a burgeoning rising of sap in the Spring, of Parsifal the pure in the Grail quests,perhaps even the Greek dionysus. But we need to see the Fool as ourselves, the seeker, the journeyman the pioneer and adventurer. The Fool is unaware of limitations, and is often irrational when encountering what he sees as unnecessary obstacles, but when faced with repeated situations where he/she cannot make progress, some more subtle methods or angles will be looked at. The Fool takes us from toddler through to old age, his watersheds are the other 20 cards of the Major Arkana, so wherever you find yourself, you are always “The Fool”, because there is never a moment when you cannot learn something about yourself. The Fool is pure potential, and as such, trusts that when he/she leaps off the cliff, he/she will be upheld by nature, or will find that the leap was an illusion, and that the abyss was but a footstep below. The Fool will not make a mountain out of a mole hill, or beat himself to death over perceived mistakes, or “wrong” decisions, and that is the greatest lesson when The Fool appears in your cards, learn, bless, and then move on. Know that by living in the moment you are in exactly the right place to receive all the lessons you need to continue your journey, all the tools you need have been given to you in the guise of the challenges and situations you have lived through and learned from. If you are embarking on a new venture, be assured The Fool asks you to believe in your own abilities, that you have come far enough along the path to exercise some intuitive wisdom, and trust your guts when it comes to people and opportunities. Above all, bring with you an open mind and sense of freedom, listen and observe. The Fool has yet to experience Judgement, so weigh each person, event and opportunity on its own merits, in as unbiased an attitude as possible. When The Fool appears negatively aspected, it could be a certain irrationality has crept into your thinking. Your decisions are clouded by personal issues, or even animosity. Your ability to let things flow has become stymied by worry or anxiety. Perhaps you are having a problem releasing the past, so cannot progress on to your desired destination. Time to strip yourself back down to your components, be very honest with yourself and have a look at the shadow that’s needed your attention, and address it, with love, then bless it and allow it to leave. You may have to do this a few times, before you feel you have “put it to bed.” The Fool reminds us to be as a child, to have fun and to engage in joyful pursuits, to be open to new adventures, and not to be paralyzed by fear; whether that is physical, emotional, mental or physical. If we are fearful, we must examine why and where thats coming from, because we need joy, love and spontaneity to live out our full potential on this Planet. The Fool is ultimately, very wise indeed. Knowing when to utilize his/her gifts when presented to you in a reading, is one of The Fools keys, another is always to remain mindful that we are all connected to the Earth and all the wonders of nature, The Fool knows of no distinction, after all.
Dance in Beauty xxx