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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenest
or do you like the prancy look?
heh heh. I have a lot of troubles with the way the fool card is usually portrayed. My favorite, at the moment, is the fool from the soprafino. It strikes close to home- he looks a lot like some of the "fools" I've come across in my life. Of course, he's missing that innocent look that is supposed to be there, so it doesn't perfectly capture the meaning- but it works better than the prancy ones.
Top   #11
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I'm not a fan of the Fool either. He does look piggy. To me, the Fool should be more... jester-like? lol

But yeah, not my favorite card. Not my least favorite, but... definitely down there.
Top   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinbuddha
My favorite, at the moment, is the fool from the soprafino. It strikes close to home- he looks a lot like some of the "fools" I've come across in my life.
Post a pic for us TB.
Top   #13
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hmmm, perhaps this fool does have all the answers, but in his amazement of it all he is unable to understand it. I am starting to notice details in this card I didn't before, the bird, buttefly and egyptain scarab to the left and center, the three flowers below the fool, the two figures below the flowers. The fool has a hold of the fire and crystal to the upper left and upper right, al eaf is also to the right of the fool. the cluster of pentacles with astrological symbols off to the right. A man would be a fool to take on so much at once, soa fool this man is. And it looks as if the tiger and aligator are going to eat him alive.
Top   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenest
Post a pic for us TB.

I assume that you mean I should post a pic of some of the real-life fools I'vce come across. Unfortunately, I don't have any pics handy, as a lot of that stuff is in storage. Some of the people that come to mind, I don't have any pics of, since they were just "neighborhood characters" and I was avoiding photography at the time I knew them.

The Soprafino tarot fool is pictured on the aeclectic site.
Top   #15
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I'm gonna come right out and say it: I LOVE the Thoth Fool!

For my money, I don't have any patience with the "strictly sweetness and light" reading of the Fool. Rachel Pollack did this talk at the Reader's Studio in April where she talked about the psychologizing of Tarot... She was talking about the PC "innocence" overlay that's softened the original meanings of madness or stupidity. One of the things that I love about Lady Harris' rendering is that it's SO much closer to the batshit Marseilles version, and the feathered, tattered Visconti-Sforza which he resembles. There's some real danger in there...

I've actually been thinking a lot about this very topic... As I type this, I'm trapped upstate NY right now, drafting a play set in the 15th century. For the past 6 months, I've been doing all kinds of research on medieval fools, natural and artificial...

A large percentage of royal fools were severely handicapped. In fact in the courts of Spain and the Netherlands in certain periods only employed Natural fools (i.e. disabled), some of them so insane and/or deformed that they were kept chained in public areas so they could serve as "entertainment" without jeopardizing anyone's safety, including their own. The jovial, sanitized, friendly Jester is largely an invention of the Victorians (like the prevailing bloodless views of faery, angels, and Greek mythology). But I'll concede that's totally a subjective taste thing.

The way I see it, Crowley, and thence Harris, are trying to pump some mojo back into the iconography of this Atu. And there's some of Erasmus' layers of dangerous Folly in him too. The kind of Folly that tears dogma apart and champions delusion and ridicules corruption, risking everything cause it values nothing.

Erasmus describes him perfectly, and after you read this take a look at Harris' painting and see if you don't see the ghosts of these ideas hovering. This is Folly's self-description:
Quote:
I was suckled by two jolly nymphs, to wit, Drunkenness, the daughter of Bacchus, and Ignorance, of Pan. And as for such my companions and followers as you perceive about me, if you have a mind to know who they are, you are not like to be the wiser for me, unless it be in Greek: this here, which you observe with that proud cast of her eye, is Philautia, Self-love; she with the smiling countenance, that is ever and anon clapping her hands, is Kolakia, Flattery; she that looks as if she were half asleep is Lethe, Oblivion; she that sits leaning on both elbows with her hands clutched together is Misoponia, Laziness; she with the garland on her head, and that smells so strong of perfumes, is Hedone, Pleasure; she with those staring eyes, moving here and there, is Anoia, Madness; she with the smooth skin and full pampered body is Tryphe, Wantonness; and, as to the two gods that you see with them, the one is Komos, Intemperance, the other Negretos hypnos, Dead Sleep. These, I say, are my household servants, and by their faithful counsels I have subjected all things to my dominion and erected an empire over emperors themselves.
Anyways, I wanted to leap to his defense,not cause he needs it, but because he's my saving grace at the moment.

Scion
Top   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scion
I wanted to leap to his defense,not cause he needs it, but because he's my saving grace at the moment.
OK!

I was begining to think that nobody liked this card. I think even Crowleys ghost posted about thinking the pig-snout was a bit too much.... Your post, for he most part, talks of the fool in what I would consider negative terms- what with the insane jester tied up in the castle courtyard, yet you close by saying he is your "saving grace". I'm having troubles seeing how this line of interpretaion leads to a saving grace.

My philosophy of the tarot looks for balance, so what is it that balances the fool?

I really want to understand this card (or failing that, I'd like to at least be able to accept), so I'd like to hear more from someone who loves it.
Top   #17
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Many interesting points Scion.

I have been mulling over this idea of innocence lately. Many real life "fools" do have an innocent streak in the sense that they are like little children with no concept of personal responsibility. They haven't matured to the point where they realize that mommy (or whoever else happens to be handy) can't come to their rescue every time they do something stupid. What bugs me isn't the "innocence" aspect of The Fool per se, but the way it is sometimes portrayed, as if being stupid and irresponible are positive qualities that should be nurtured. Wandering off the edge of a cliff to an untimely death? Getting your legs gnawed off by a wild animal? Getting you brains smashed in while sleeping under a bridge? Well, it sounds romantic, but I'll pass.
Top   #18
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As you say! In theory, responsibility is anathema to the Fool except as a target, unless the responsibility be a way to disrupt an irresponsible court.

I don't know that the Fool can be nurtured, because the Fool cannot be controlled... A kind of wild energy that defies balance in the natural order because it is the very imbalance in the natural order that keeps the natural order form being imbalanced, if you see what I mean. It's not a virtue, but rather a fact that is often forgotten or hidden or stuffed somewhere out of scrutiny. Which goies back to the royal fools: they were wild cards that relieved pressure and spoke truly at court because they were in the court but not of the court. The zero of nobility: fed on the same food, under the same roof, surrounded by the same folk, but fundamentally apart. I'd say that the Fool is the chaotic "nothing" that underlies the entire geometry of creation.

As for innocence... Innocence has a soggy reputation these days. Joan of Arc was innocent, and she led armies and burned at a stake for her beliefs (or delusions depending on your bent). I think that innocence has a singular ferocity. And madness has an honesty, which is of course the virtue seen in court fools. They are too crazy/stupid/foolish to prevaricate.

And thinbuddha, I take your point about balance, but even too much Temperance is intemperate. In a way, the Fool balances the entire Major Arcana because he is nothing, has nothing, knows nothing, expects nothing, and yet he resolutely remains a part of them: a part of the Trumps, apart from the Trumps. He even functions that way in the game of Tarock.

I wasn't being negative about the Fool at all, TB, but if anything maybe you sensed my impatience with the fluffy, happy fools in some decks that safely and pleasantly walk in elaborate court costume under sunny skies. Like a medieval king, Crowley was chaining something powerful and potent and dangerous and beautiful to the Great Hall of his Atus: a force that is primal and essential and shocking and sweet and wild-wild-wild. The balance to balance is disorder. Not for nothing is the fool the path that links Kether with Chokmah: it is the leap from the Divine unknowable into the beginnings of manifestation... the first step of "making."

This all sounds very high-falutin' but I do love that Fool, snout, sun and all... and I have been meditating on him a LOT this past 6 months.
Top   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scion
This all sounds very high-falutin' but I do love that Fool, snout, sun and all... and I have been meditating on him a LOT this past 6 months.
No, not at all. Sounds like you have a real understanding of the FOOL. Excellent post, thanks for sharing.
Top   #20




 


 


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