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The Fool

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Jaykob  Jaykob is offline
Join Date: 29 Jun 2003
Location: NH USA
Posts: 22
The Fool

After reading through the board some I realized that most of you seem to see the fool as the pre-step towards individual growth. From what I've read, there are many people who do not put the Fool before the magician. I've actually read from a few sources that many believe the Fool actually belongs right before The World or even after it. To me, it's the most intriguing card, and the one I ponder over the most. In a way I almost think it belongs in both places, the beginning and the if the path was cyclical.

When I look at the Fool in the Universal Waite deck, I don't get the impression that he's necessarily foolish at all....I dunno, the card doesn't even seem to express warning or negativity in any way to me. Infact, it seems like nature itself, the sun beating on his back, the rose in his hand, and the little dog yipping behind him are actually encouraging him to walk off the cliff. I don't know...again, one of the cards I contemplate most on.
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sagitarian  sagitarian is offline
Join Date: 08 Dec 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,215

The fool is definitely an interesting card, and very open to interpretation.

I view the fool as representing a person starting a new profound journey, one that will mean a lot to them in the end. Perhaps a teenager that's just beginning to date, or a graduate just started college, or a college graduate just starting off in their career of choice. Usually it's a card with limitless hope, and all the reason in the world to know you will succeed. It speaks of confidence in beginning this new journey. I believe the dog to be a companion along the way. Wether this is a literal pet companion, or if it's a long term best friend going with you, or a spiritual guide of some sort, in any case, you're not alone.

There is that whole theorized aspect of the fool dealing with the major arcana, called the fool's journey, where as the end aspect is yes, the fool is the world in the end, and vice versa actually, in some regards. In Thirteens basics, the fools journey is posted in the major arcana cards. Food for thought anyways, quite interesting to read I thought.
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Wisp Wings  Wisp Wings is offline
Join Date: 18 Feb 2003
Location: Arkansas, USA
Posts: 339
Wisp Wings 
Smile ... The Fool ... walking the path ... The Fool ...

__________________________________________________ _
"In a way I almost think it belongs in both places, the beginning and the if the path was cyclical." -- Jaykob
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I belive this statement is correct!

If you layout the Major Arcana cards 1 through 21 as three rows of 7, it shows 3 different grouping of the cards. Note that the Fool isn't in this. Our regular playing cards came from the Tarot to start with and our Joker today was the Fool. As the Joker is wild and can be used in various ways and totally change its station in the heirarchy, so can the Fool. Some books see that he can and should show up between every one of the Majors. He is as the wild card certainly free to do so. When you think of each of the cards as a portal that we must pass through and learn from, literally experiencing their essence, you can see how that the Fool is leading us to "new beginnings" (like the student in life's class). With looking at it as this saying the "Fool's Journey" applies. The Fool above all the other Majors is the one card that is always representive of us personally. The Fool is us as a Shapeshifter into the other Majors as we learn the lessons offered of the other cards.

As for the statement quoted that I referred to in opening this post, the Fool is cyclical. It stays in that same position after the World (completion, ultimate attainment), not moving and at the same time is just before the Magician as being the beginning. Jung saw the Fool as being "the Divine Child". Perhaps it is from this "Alpha and Omega" view he saw this. In being a cycle, this is seeing the Major Arcana cards as one continuous ring. For me I deeply see the Fool and especial in this cyclical view as being reincarnation. In viewing the Fool as this, I see how he can be at any position at any time. He can be a beginning, an ending, knowing what he has yet experienced in this go round (as being between other of the Majors). How I see this card in a reincarnational aspect is the Dog is representing our soul, that which is non-changing time after time and being our constant loyal companion. Our soul nudges us to speak to us the needs we have, as the image of the dog is close to the heel of his companion. We have that silence, knowing communication with our soul. The bright yellow of the sky is the Divine Being/s with us, watching over us and giving blessings. The form of the Fool is all the rest of our own complete being as we go through a cycle to another lifetime. It is another finish on earth and starting yet again. This being from (the walk to the cliff) the decision made in another realm, to our approaching (the cliff's edge) leaving that realm, when with our leap of faith we are stepping into an earth life, thus starting another of Fool's Journey with more lessons to learn again.

With the Minor Arcana, the Ace and Ten has much the same relationship that the Fool gives as the cycle nature of prior Magician and after World. The Ace is the spark of the beginning to start, it is the feel of the essence yet to be, the Ten is the highest level of reaching what the Ace foreshown. When these same cards were to repeat, it is to a higher level than last traveled.
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Wisp Wings  Wisp Wings is offline
Join Date: 18 Feb 2003
Location: Arkansas, USA
Posts: 339
Wisp Wings 

"He can be a beginning, an ending, knowing what he has yet experienced in this go round (as being between other of the Majors)."

I just re-read this, I thought ought to clear up something. I didn't mean to imply that I ever see the Fool as being an ending or the ending, only that with his exploration and newness he brings to all, even his bumplying around follies, he is the energy that following after endings. He is the start of something new. He is that movement that by his very nature is cyclical.
Top   #4
NeXoRiouS  NeXoRiouS is offline
Join Date: 02 Apr 2003
Location: Afghanistan
Posts: 346

Without the fool, there won't be a start. Life is a cycle. After completion by the world, it will eventually jumps back to the fool. As in a new phase of life. Reaching out for something different.

It's as though mastering a skill till it reaches perfection then proceed to another which interests you. Ignorant of what's about to come your way, you showed no fear and displayed yourself as full of confidence for being able to cope what's underlying for you.

If you don't take the next step, how would you even know if you would be able to reach the end?
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Inana  Inana is offline
Join Date: 08 Feb 2003
Location: Spain
Posts: 1,318

A comparation came to mind the other day looking at the Marseilles Majors. Its quite crazy, but i think it fits quite well in what you are saying here.
Look at he Fool as an spermatozoon, with all the genetical content inside to develop in something bigger. Then pair it with the World, it can be the ovule, is where the Fool can end the first part of the journey to be something bigger.
Through the World, the Fool finds completion, when putting together the parts, understanding what has arround and being connected to it, it becomes the baby. That figure dancing in the World card can be the baby on the womb, the Fool ready to born in a completely and more developed way, connected with life.
This way to look at it has helped me to understand better the Fool and the meaning of his journey.

Wisp Wings, i like too to see him as the Joker in the poker cards decks.
Top   #6
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Ravenswing  Ravenswing is offline
Join Date: 11 May 2002
Location: wondering around in the World of Innocence
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through your own eyes...

I see the Fool as the identity principle of the Tarot. He dances around where he will, peering at all the others and giving them life.

In a sense, He is outside the Tarot looking "in". Think of Him as the set of vowels in the English language. It is they who determine what word a grouping of consonants becomes.

(Take the consonant group THR. Placement of vowels will make various words from it. So the Fool does with the Tarot)

No matter what cards come out in a reading, the Fool watches...

fly well
jump blind
Top   #7
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Yatima  Yatima is offline
Join Date: 14 Jul 2003
Location: Vienna, Austria
Posts: 108
Cool The Fool as chaos or as outcast?

It seems to me that the Fool is to be interpreted either from the Platonic tradition (which is quite older than the Kabbalistic adaptation in the late 1600s) or from medieval living conditions.

As to the Platonic background, we may find the Fool as incarnation of the moving, changing, restless world of becoming between the Sun, the Good, the Form of Forms, the Truth (we can never see directly but all in light of it) and the chaos of formlessness that Plato in his Timaios named the "chora."

The Fool wanders in light of the sun, the light of Goodness; for his "becoming"/"view" all seems good. But on the other hand, he is well aware of the abyss of chaos, the dark origin of all becoming.

Interestingly, the dog (or cat) makes sense in this scene. It really is related to the Fool's foolness rather than his wandering at the eges of the abyss. While the Fool is aware of the chaos, allowing for forms to form becoming, he is not aware of the dog that is always behind him. The dog here stands not for warning not to fall down the cliffs, it is the unconsciousness of the Fool of the dark side of the chaos: it is life and becoming but also perishing and death. He does not see the darkness "in" himself hindering him to strive for the pure form at the edge of chaos without danger. It is sin, waiting unconscoius for his "fall". So "work the dog"...

But, yet, maybe we should just forget this philosophic perspective and see the Fool as medieval person who is different than the people settled, working, living, dying in the order of society.

Than the Fool is the wanderer between the worlds that nobody wants, the "other" we tend to through out off our villages, cities, countries.

The dog, than, really forces the Fool to leave, to be ever on the leave. Like in Schubert's "Winterreise" when in the dawn the dogs bark at the wanderer to force him to leave thereby just reminding him that he has nothing to dream in beds, so why not eternally be an "outcast"...
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Little Baron  Little Baron is offline
Join Date: 18 Aug 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 9,963
Little Baron 

Very muxh identified with your post Ravenswing; couldn't have explained it better.

Best wishes

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Major Tom  Major Tom is offline
Papa Toad
Join Date: 06 Aug 2001
Location: Texas, USA
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Major Tom 
Re: through your own eyes...

Originally posted by Ravenswing
He is outside the Tarot looking "in".
This is well put.

I see the Fool as "above".

I wrote an explaination in this thread:

The Fool could also be viewed as the "source" of Tarot, the animating principle.

Much more beneficial to the individual to view as my friend Diana says, the Magician as the one on a journey.

I suppose it depends on whether we're talking about divinatory meanings or self-development meanings.
Top   #10



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