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Another Question: The Fool's Stance On The Cliff...?

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 29 Mar 2002, and now archived in the Forum Library.



Kiama  29 Mar 2002 
After comparing all the Fool cards from my decks (44 Fool cards take up alot of space...!) I noticed that different decks have the Fool in different stages of his ourney off the edge of the cliff.

Some, like the RW and Arcus Arcanum, have the Fool moving towards the cliff.
Sme,l ike the Osho Zen, have the Fool just after he has fallen off the edge.
Some, like the Cosmic Tribe, have the Fool completely free of the edge, and flying away.
Some, like the Hermetic, have the Fool standing completely still near the edge of the cliff.

What does this mean, and which one do you think is more appropriate? Should our journey-man be contemplating his journey, or should he be actively going for it, actually doing something, taking that first leap of faith...?

Kiama 


Marion  29 Mar 2002 
*smiles*
and would these questions have anything to do with your starting your journey towards university and future?? 


Maan  29 Mar 2002 
Not only is he pictured in at an onther stage of his journey but sometimes he even walks the wrong way.
In RW from right to left and in Arcus Arcanum from left to right.
Most of the "new" decks have the fool walking like Waite's Fool. BUt The Marseille style decks let him walk the opposite way.

Something to do with the left and right brain haf's???? 


Umbrae  29 Mar 2002 
I have always observed the cliff as allegorical.
Have you ever spent any time hitchhiking? Same thing. A car pulls over and the door opens, you are about to step off the cliff. Who knows what dangers/pleasures await in the car/over the cliff.
Only by surrendering to fear an ego can you ever discover the truth!
BTW: the older decks never show us how big the cliff is…It may be 6 inches…it may be 6 miles…
Oops, a car just pulled over, gotta go… 


zorya  29 Mar 2002 
do any decks prior to Waite have a cliff at all? 


mermaid1622  30 Mar 2002 
Quote:
Originally posted by zorya
do any decks prior to Waite have a cliff at all?


According to Robert V. O'Neill's research, yes -- the Goulinat deck (an occult deck preceding Waite's) and Visconti-Sforza (15th-century deck). http://www.geocities.com/~ninalee/oneill/0.htm

mermaid1622 


Geenius at Wrok  30 Mar 2002 
You know, it's a shame that the pictures on cards can't be animated, because I think the Fool should walk a few yards past the middle of the cliff into mid-air, suddenly realize what he's done and then fall, à la Wile E. Coyote.

Hmmm . . . Coyote . . . Trickster . . . Fool . . . ! 


jmd  01 Apr 2002 
Though the Visconti-Sforza has a cliff, so do many other cards in the deck... and I do not think it should be considered in the same iconographic sense. 


DesertHowler  25 Sep 2003 
While looking at different decks on the web I noticed the different positions of The Fool. In my Universal Waite he is ready to take the step that will send him over the edge. It is similar to the position I take before dropping into the hole I use for Shamanic journeys. I look up in the air, I don't know why, and take the last step to drop into the hole to enter NonOrdinary Reality.

In this respect, I don't see The Fool as a fool. He knows what he is doing and where he is going. This is a totally calculated step of faith.

DH 


catlin  25 Sep 2003 
Some of the "egyptian" looking decks have the fool confronted with a crocodile instead of a cliff.

Do you see a difference between the danger/unknown depicted as a cliff or depicted as a crocodile? I think the crocodile more related to instinct or animal half in human beings whereas the cliff is more related to unknown to me. 


Dark_angel  25 Sep 2003 
A lot of my decks don't have a cliff (the Vampire Tarot shows a man with a theatrical bent who's playing to his own script in the theatre of life), but most have some sort of obstacle which he is either overcoming or about to tackle, possibly without realising, more likely without caring. The Gothic Tarot shows a young man wrapped in a cloak standing at the entrance to a house, a large dog beside him. He may not be stepping off a physical cliff, but he is facing his own mental one; leaving safety for the unknown. The Adrian is probably my favourite Fool ever - he is shown leaping through the air, he has leapt off the cliff and found that he can fly.

The cliff's always been symbolic rather than vital, but then I have quite a strange deck collection. The key ingredient of a successful Fool card is, to me, that he has sufficient energy and vitality that you believe he could jump over that obstacle if he wants. If he's walking away from the cliff, he may well have flown without realising; he has more important things to think about than a little obstacle in his way.

xxx 


Dexter  26 Sep 2003 
Well I pulled just two Fools, one from the RWS and the other from the Robin Wood. In the RWS it always gives me the feeling of potential. He looking up at what heights he could sail to and not worried about the fall. The Robin Wood Fool makes me feel like he has no thought as to what he is about to do. He's looking straight forward neither up or down and playing his flute and won't even realize where he is until he hits the ground. The dog in the RWS reminds me that he's kind of yapping away as a warning that you can make that leap to change but there are still responsibilites behind that you must think of and that will follow you over the edge. You cannot leave everything behind even though you might wish to make a clean break to change. Everything leaves some residual mark behind no matter how small. 


Macavity  26 Sep 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by catlin Do you see a difference between the danger/unknown depicted as a cliff or depicted as a crocodile? I think the crocodile more related to instinct or animal half in human beings whereas the cliff is more related to unknown to me.
A good thought. Others seem to think of it as instinct too? I always imagined it to originate with the Egyptian "Book of the Dead" judgement scene - as the "destroyer of souls" awaiting the heart of the deceased. }) And, e.g. Clive Barrett sees THAT as inferring the creation aspect contains the seed of it's own desctruction. Mr Crowley talks a lot about Harpocrates, who is either "threatened by" or depicted as normally standing on the back Nile Crocodiles(!) but, by dint of innocence, is immune from attack? Hmmm.

Recently I came across the observation that the Marseille Fool carries his stick at the same angle as a child's "hobby horse" and being significant. Guess so... Bit short tho' ;)

Macavity 


Diana  26 Sep 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by Macavity

Recently I came across the observation that the Marseille Fool carries his stick at the same angle as a child's "hobby horse" and being significant. Guess so... Bit short tho' ;)


Dear Macavity: If you have a Marseilles deck (and don't you dare tell me you don't!!), then take a look at the Arcane Sans Nom (XIII) and the Fool.... and compare the two.

Also Kris Hadar told me why the stick that carries the Fool's bag looks like a spoon. If you are interested, and if you are good, I will tell you as well..... 


Kaz  27 Sep 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by Diana
Also Kris Hadar told me why the stick that carries the Fool's bag looks like a spoon.

i would like to know what kris hadar said about that.... 


Macavity  27 Sep 2003 
Meeeee to... NOW. Presumably an emergency "Foundu Kit" in the IJJ decks? :laugh: I thought it might have been a Camoinism - based on a simple knot. Diana: I do intend to get the Hadar (when/if solvent!). Sadly application is less easily obtained... })

Macavity 


Diana  27 Sep 2003 
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?postid=188920#post188920 


wolfen045  01 Oct 2003 
The Golden Dawn deck has a naked child leading a wolf on a chain. They are standing beneath a tree with yellow roses. I assume this card is meant to show nature as subservient to humanity. That would go along with the image of a crocodile on the Egyptian style decks.
It is interesting to compare theCrowley's Thoth deck with the Rider-Waite Smith deck which are both done by former members of the Golden dawn. The Fool cards in these three decks are all very different from one another. My favorite is the Thoth because it is more dynamic than the other two. Blessings,wolfen 


The Another Question: The Fool's Stance On The Cliff...? thread was originally posted on 29 Mar 2002 in the Using Tarot Cards board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the threads in Using Tarot Cards, or read more archived threads.

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