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Tarot - the Fool's Circle of Life

The Fool

by Danielle Astrid Ricard

For ease in writing, I will use the gender pronoun that best matches the illustration most commonly used - no sexism intended. To listen to Musical accompaniment, look for a small link in the text!

This Archetype is the first, number 0, of 22 Trump or Major Arcana cards in the Tarot. While the remaining pip and court cards portray more mundane realities, these cards represent higher energies, karmic forces, powers beyond our control, and superhuman strengths. In the Thoth Tarot deck, the Fool is ruled by Air

The Fool

~ Innocence ~

The Fool introduces us to the Tarot with a sweet, innocent smile. Like a newborn babe, this man/woman/child with eyes wide open and complete trust in his surroundings has not a care in the world, save his immediate needs... and these he pursues fearlessly. Notice his stance, the look on his face, the cat biting him on the leg. Nothing seems to bother him, not even the precipice he is about to walk off of!

This gentle Archetype is at the beginning and end of our journey through the Tarot. The Fool represents the human spirit, born in complete innocence. From this tender beginning, we experience the trials of life, striving throughout to find those things we need - basic security, love and connection, reason and understanding, and the spiritual drive to keep moving forward. Then, we die with the knowledge and wisdom we have gained through material existence - only to relinquish it for a time in order to return to that perfect bliss of pure spiritual existence - the Fool, once again released to his heavenly origins.

The Fool then is only a complete Fool for an instant at birth, and slowly but surely loses his innocence. From time to time we each touch upon this pure sweet energy. To be able to hold onto this gentle spirit that lives within us, our child-selves, and feel the power of perfect grace, is a gift that we may hopefully embrace and cherish.

From the Merryday Tarot - numbered 0 & 22, the Fool, the Wizard....

So why does the Fool saunter so aimlessly toward grim death? The answer is simple - The Fool is not concerned with life or death. The Fool simply is. Were it not for the Sun, our fiery star - there would be no life. The Fool is the breath of fire, the wind, first consciousness of the beginning of life. He is of the Sun, and he is the Son of heaven. His optimism is boundless because he has a direct link with the world of spirit - the crown chakra is open to the light. He is barely aware of the barriers and negative forces that exist on the material plane - and herein lies the Folly we on earth perceive.

We each carry at least a bit of healthy fear and doubt to warn us from courting disaster. Most of us do not operate on complete trust and faith on a daily basis. But when we do, the experience can be likened to euphoria, epiphany, heightened levels of adrenaline, or a deeply meditative state. In such moments we may be capable of amazing, death defying feats and heroism. We unite with the highest spiritual force there is. Most who have such experiences are changed forever, and may seem to either lead a charmed life, or possibly feel overwhelmed by the absolute power. While we may cherish such experiences, the world is not all bliss. Although it can be at times, the reality is - blind faith without some cautionary force to balance our actions can bring grave disaster in the material world.

Those of us who live our lives more prudently may feel exasperated by those others who seem naive and foolish - the ones who actually step off that cliff and make perfect idiots of themselves. Yes, maybe they appear to be fools, but at least they were not afraid to take a chance, and this is the raw power behind this archetypal force. The lessons one learns from having tried and failed are that much more potent, and we are all better off living in trust rather than in fear. Those who dare to embrace the tremendous hope and fearlessness the Fool represents are one step closer to pure joy, and to achieving the knowledge that we are indeed perfect, blessed and protected... if only we believe.

 

Back to Intro - and Links to Other Pages in this Series

MEDITATION: Contemplate the innocence within you... take yourself back in time to the earliest, and/or sweetest, most carefree moments in your life. Feel the great connection with spirit, and the complete lack of fear.

PERSONAL DISCUSSIONS: When have you felt the energy of the Fool? Have you seen it in other people? Have you had happy/sad experiences with this energy?

TAROT EXPERIENCE: Recalling a time when you may have you drawn this card, what were the circumstances surrounding it, and what did it mean to you? How do you feel this archetype affects the cards that come before or after?

More Foolish Considerations: silly, possessed, holy, zero, vacuum, balance between masculine/feminine principals, silence, peace, any more ideas???

 

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