"If we don't plant the right things, we will reap the wrong things. It goes without saying. And you don't have to be, you know, a brilliant biochemist and you don't have to have an IQ of 150. Just common sense tells you to be kind, ninny, fool. Be kind."
Anyone remember the BBC’s April Fool's day spoof programme about the spaghetti tree? It had many seriously taken in and for a moment, thousands truly believed that spaghetti really did come from a tree. This is the Fool in action, chaotic, unpredictable, pointing a finger towards the inadequacy of mental process, ideologies, social position and the superficial illusions of incarnate forms.
When it comes to Tarot, the whole world and his wife offer programmes about the Fool’s journey.
So ubiquitous is this theme that it almost denies the essence of originality, innocence and courage which is central to the Fool archetype.
It is obvious why this theme is so popular. Through the eyes of the Fool we are constantly reminded of our physical birth, that birth which explores our potential, that birth which brings our light into limitations of time and space and where we are reminded that we can’t achieve participating in the Great Work without perception and experience.
Tarot is progressive by nature.
Each card an experience in itself which quietly and calmly slides into the embrace of the next card waiting patiently for cohesion and meaning. The unfolding of each archetypal image is an opportunity for self to awaken to self and to understand the enormity of our jumping from that cliff into a world which requires persona, imagination and aspiration.
This world is all about self.
This world is all about self and as such we gamely confront all that opposes one, hinders one and blinds one. Even the least confrontational amongst us have complex mechanisms that reduce the limitations that thwart the development of oneself. After all, we as a species, need a predator in order to grow. Then we go and delay and deconstruct all our best efforts by the addiction of needing to fix, needing to be understood, needing to be represented by social agency, all the while feeding need. This is the Fool in a first world context claiming a right to first world privileges. Hungover from the satiety of living one becomes engrossed in the observation of others, all the while missing opportunities and underestimating the beauty we already possess. This results in complacency and apathy, the pathos of Chaplin...and we all go down the road, into the sunset, twirling our stick and adjusting our Bowler hat.
Is that what the Fool is truly about? The Fool, a dream made manifest.
We need that dream; that drive to create a world. The potential of the Universe lies within each of us, it requires willpower and vision to unpack it and make it a reality.
We mimic the creative forces at work. ‘As above, so below’. It is the same laws that govern the highest Archangel and the least developed human being.
Do we really have free will?
I sometimes wonder but I do know that the Universe has our back at all times and whatever we want she will conspire with our heart to create. Whatever it is that we want to see happen in our world has to start with a dream, the golden rule being that the dream should not become a fantasy. Each of us has the power of possibility and potential. Our vision, our fertile and fecund spirit wants to be vast and brilliant but we have futility as the enemy. Futility is energy poured down the drain. Many avenues appear to lead to success but some of these avenues are but cul de sacs. As our good friend the Emperor reminds us; focus and discipline set us free.
The Fool teaches us that there is no true knowledge without risk.
Whilst we take that leap of faith and plunge in we also have to be aware of inappropriate life choices. Fool opens our eyes to the shallow and fickle world we inhabit but also reminds us that it doesn’t have to be like that, with vitality and purpose we can overturn all that which would hold us down.
Vulnerability, irony and paradox are sources of power and can lead to profound success. By harnessing the energy of the Fool we become strong. Fortitude creates prudence, patience and inner peace. Fool lies down with the Lion and we become the passion, a life force that is eternal and free, we learn that it is through non attachment to an end result which brings about our greatest of achievements.
Before signing off, let’s not forget the Fool’s dog. The Canis Major who follows Orion, of Isis, Osiris and Innana, but all of that is for another blog.
‘’Fate is a dog, walking always behind a man, well able to bite. It clings like dirty rags saying: “Who is my man? Let him know it.”
Ancient Sumerian proverb
A SPREAD FOR YOU TO TRY
Don’t forget to prepare yourselves for reading the cards by sitting quietly in your happy zone, take some breaths, still the mind and let the thoughts flow in and out, take some breaths into each of your energy centres and focus on the cards. Shuffle, see yourself as the Fool and draw 7 cards.
1. In what way am I the Fool?
2. How has this assisted me?
3. How has it hindered me?
4. Which area of my life do I need to be more of the Fool?
5. What disadvantages does the Fool bring to me?
6. Does the Fool appear in my everyday life?
7. What lesson does it bring?