0. The Fool

I’ve decided to pause on the daily draws and to move through the deck systematically, beginning with the majors. I’m doing this for two reasons:

  • In the Alternative Tarot Course, I’m beginning to learn about the majors and would like to focus my attentions there.
  • I would like to get a better feel for the flow of each suit’s story. So once I finish the majors, I’ll go through each suit individually from Ace to King. That way, when I do draw a card in a reading I can understand it not only individually, but also within the context of its broader role in the tarot story.
The Fool
Efflorescent Tarot

So here at the very beginning is The Fool!

Card Meaning

Her satchel can represent several things. It could be her trust that she’ll find what she needs on her journey and so doesn’t need to bring much with her. It could also represent her experiences from past lives she brings with her into her new earthly journey. It could also be her experiences from this life; she just doesn’t let them weigh her down or control her.

The dog can represent her playful intuition leading her to various adventures. Our own “animal instinct.” She doesn’t overthink things and doesn’t worry about making backup plans. This doesn’t mean all of her plans work out, but she isn’t afraid to fall down and laugh at herself. However, sometimes her random adventures lead to incredible opportunities she would not have found had she been concertedly planning each of her steps. Beautiful relationships and experiences can be found when we aren’t actively seeking them out.

The Fool is innocent and childlike and sees potential in the wide world rather than fear and inhibition. She reminds us to live in the moment. The number zero is “nothing,” and the shape is wholeness. It’s hard to tell whether The Fool is wise or just silly, but maybe she’s both 🙂

The Fool
Gypsy Palace Tarot

Rachel Pollack’s Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom reminds me of my high school Shakespeare lesson: the fool in King Lear is able to speak the truth to the king when no one else can through his use of humor. She also provides a beautiful interpretation of The Fool, when portrayed “grotesquely” (such as, perhaps, Huszka’s Fool in the Gypsy Palace Tarot) as how she is seen by the outside world. The World, then, is the view of the same individual from the inside as seen by herself. What a lovely idea!

Of course the shadow of The Fool is immaturity, being gullible, and unnecessary risk. The opposite (or reverse) is being overly cautious and taking life too seriously.

Elemental Association

If I were to assign an element to The Fool, I think it would be earth. The Fool follows wherever her fancy strikes and isn’t burdened with thought or emotion. Her driving force is the pleasure of the world around her, which can be symbolized by the stick (or “wand) she slings over her shoulder to carry her bag. So perhaps earth and fire.

Personal Relation

My inner fool (or inner child) has been discouraged for a very long time. As a kid I was expected to be serious and adult-like. This has been hammered in to me for so long that it has become a part of me, even though it is a part of me I would very much like to shed. Or at least seriously tone down.

The Fool - animals
Animal Wisdom Tarot, Animism Tarot

Often in my life, others are allowed to be goofy or uninhibited without reproach. But when I forget myself and let go I’m frequently scolded. It makes being goofy come very rarely for me. When it does happen, it feels awfully nice, though it is short-lived.  I’d like to get to a place where my inner “fool” can come out and explore the world much more frequently before being scared back inside for another indefinite period of time.

As I’ve discussed before, I do hold myself and other to high standards. But what frustrates me about this situation is that I feel like others are holding me to a high standard they aren’t holding themselves or others around us to. Just me. While I may need to adjust my high expectations to have a more realistic view of others and myself, I feel like at least I’m consistent. I don’t like being singled out and held to a higher standard than others. Fair is fair, and that’s not fair. The Fool might respond to this situation by saying, “Who cares? Don’t adjust your behavior to conform to these scoldings. Let the silliness live on!”

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