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Shadowscapes study: The Fool


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Shadowscapes study: The Fool


The first card in our study will be The Fool. Please share your interpretations here. Here is the artists description which can be found on the Shadowscapes website:

The Fool

It begins with a whispered voice. Serpentine, the song threads through her days and her thoughts, beckoning. Come...come...come.... "Where?" she asks, curious, but there is no response.

She ignores the summons, until one day that siren song unexpectedly explodes and fills her to the brim. Its pulse is undeniable. "Where?" she asks again, and this time the steady beat of her heart is the response.

The Fool has come a long way, traveled from far beyond to come to this pinnacle that rises up upon the edge of the world; and yet her journey is just about to begin. She senses this with instinctive perceptions as she rises up upon her toes, caught up in the breathless embrace of the wind in the moment before the plunge. Her heart pounds and flutters in her chest with the force of a hundred beating wings struggling to break free of the cage of her being; until she feels she must be sprouting wings from her shoulders to glide forth from that place, transformed.

Wait! Don't! cries a thin trailing voice from within. Caution! Fear! it rails. Hold back!

Unheeding, she steps forward, and....

Meaning: The Fool is a symbol for new beginnings and adventures, pleasure, passion, thoughtless and rash. Like the Fool, you may stand upon the precipice gazing out into the unknown; and there is either an oblivious foolishness to the terrible plunge you may experience, or else a wild spirit of adventure and great faith and knowledge in that which can and will bear you up and guide through the times to come. There are unlimited possibilities opening up for the seeker.
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One of the things that really strikes me with this card is that no matter what happens, she knows she will be protected. The birds will carry her, the hands will catch her. The fox, her guide, will guide her in the right direction. Below her is love, butterflies, flowers and light, but there's also bees which can sting and sharp rocks which can hurt as well as darkness and shadows. Knowing all that, she still willing to jump because the good outweighs the bad.
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She stands atop a rocky outcropping, arms outstretched and it looks like a shy trusting smile upon her face as if in total trust and faith that she will be okay whatever situation comes. I feel the exuberance from this card, an excitement felt on a long journey just beginning...What will she see? What will she learn as she travels along her path? I am intrigued by the stone monkeys she stands upon, one with a heart, one with a rose and one with a butterfly. Signifying the courage, beauty and transformation she will encounter on her way?
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I also like the fox. The fox representing (sly) intelligence seems to be looking at The Fool saying, "silly, stupid girl..."

Red is the color of the senses or the sensory world. So the red ribbons held by the birds that surround and hold The Fool make me think of the sensory ties that hold The Fool back, which are so easily broken if only The Fool has the courage. (These ribbons are also shown in The World, but in The World they have been broken and are wrapped around her arms.)

Finally, I view the statue that The Fool stands on as representing memories of the past, visions of the future, feelings, and desires. These are the elements of the previous journey, the things that could entice The Fool to not break the sensory ribbons and make the leap...
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I liked that the light surrounding her, coupled with the frill of her dress, outlines a bird in flight. Unlike the Fool in the Raider White deck, she does not carry her belongings with her. Rather, she stands completely open and free, on some sort of milestone that reflects her journey up until this moment. The monkeys also intrigued me... like the fox, they're also animals of mischief and cunning; but they further reflect humanity in general (primates being the most similar species). More interesting: even as these monkeys are set in stone, the things they hold are not.

Their belongings are dynamic; they change rapidly and dramatically. And for all their vigor -- as the Fool herself must -- they eventually perish. The monkeys must handle their things with care and a loose grip if they are to flourish. All of their things flutter, and bring both pleasure and pain. You can tell the mood of a heart by how it beats. It glows, it blooms... yet it bleeds and breaks. A rose is beautiful, with a pleasant scent; but it has many thorns, and it's petals are easily plucked. The bees and the butterflies I read as part of the same image -- the butterfly is calm, passive, quiet and graceful -- but the constant flutter of wings could easily give way to the bee, who is loud, busy, and ready to sting. There's a nervous energy between them, of anticipation and fear.

For all that the Fool is or does, the fox merely watches. And despite having traveled with her all this way, he still can't comprehend the leap of faith that she is about to take. So who is the real fool? The Fool herself, or the fool (the fox) that followed her? Like Stepahnie says, being wise does not negate being a fool of a different sort.

What do you guys make of the sun tattoo on her right foot?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkscape
What do you guys make of the sun tattoo on her right foot?
I didn't (think of it), other than as a decorative element, until you mentioned it. But now that you mention it...

I view The Sun as embodying purpose, and since the right foot is often the foot that takes the first step, now I think that it means the call of purpose is what drives The Fool to take the leap, to take the first step off the cliff...

I should know better than to think anything in a Shadowscapes card is merely decorative!
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That's a great insight! I pondered that tattoo myself but I like the way you see it, thank you.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r0sered1ster
That's a great insight! I pondered that tattoo myself but I like the way you see it, thank you.
You are quite welcome. I also liked your assignment of "courage, beauty and transformation" and have been pondering it, so thank you as well!
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I didn't even notice that tattoo, thanks for pointing it out. I'm ordering the book so I can use the big pictures for my studies. I'm going to have to think about that.

On a side note - I'm working my way through "21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card" with this deck also and wonder if anyone else has this book? I've used it for other decks and wow, you see so much more on each card when using this book.
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So, what's everyone's take on the monkeys? They're both looking at the flower in their hand--almost glazing and unaware of the The Fool above.

I like The fox but I really enjoy the play here on which one is the real fool, her or him? Her for faith or him for being rooted in his ways/belief?

It really gives me a new perspective on the blind faith and the stirred emotion to feel compelled to step forward or leap into the unknown.

~kloeyy
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