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MystiqueMoonlight 
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Thoth - The Fool


Know naught! All ways are lawful to innocense. Pure folly is the key to initiation. Silence breaks into rapture. Be neither man nor woman, but both in one. Be silent, babe in the egg of blue, that thoust mayest grow to bear the lance and grail! Wander alone and sing! In the King's palace his daughter awaits thee (Aleister Crowley)

Correspondence:-

Colour = Yellow

Herb = Ether

Astrology = Air

Rune = Elhaz (merkstave) Or Yr which is the 25th original rune of the older Futhark symbolising the axis on the cosmic plan of creation.

Hebrew = Aleph (meaning ox). The dual principle representing all that exists and all that does not, the positive and the negative, life and death. It represents humanity as a collective unity and so the ruler of Earth. Aleph is the glyph of power and stability.

Let us now analyse the card...

The green colour of the Fool is indicative of the creative power of spring. In the Thoth deck his image is that of Greek God Dionysus.
The crocodile is the Egyptian God of creativity and is of great power. Note the elongated umbilical cord which is in 4 spirals about the Fool given that of spiritual, intellectual, emotional and physical. This indicates one's ability to change in all those areas...for self-development if you will.

The first spiral of the umbilical cord surrounds the heart. Emotional rebirth.
The second carries the symbols of the dove (love for oneself and for others, sensitivity, some may even understand it as inner peace) The butterfly indicates metamorphasis or improved change of self. The Caduceus indicates improvement of health or personal well being.
The third spiral has 2 naked people in an embrace. Indicating analysis of relationships, self loving, emotions or partnerships and the improvement thereof through self actualisation.
The fourth spiral hols the crocodile and tiger. The crocodile initiating creative career development and the unfolding of that ability by the rose he is wearing. The tiger indicates fear. Note the tiger is biting at the leg of the Fool but he seems somehow oblivious to it's presence. It has lost it's power over him because he pays it no mind remaining focused on his goal ahead as he stares out from the card.

He holds a cup in one hand and a torch in the other, indicating the meeting of opposite forces, a transformation is about to take place (alchemy). The grapes behind him show fertility and the white spots on the background indicate Fall (time for harvest). The coins in the bag have the astrological symbols on them indicating wealth on all levels of understanding. His horns are a reflection of his expanded perception. Note between his legs the flowers, he is in the process of transformation.

Unlike the RW card, this Fool is in the process of self actualisation clearly shown by the symbols around him and his position or stance on the card. This is not a person engaged in folly, but someone who really is in the process of development. Whilst the number of the card is "0" it may be placed at the end of the majors becoming card number 22. I suggest laying out all of your majors in numercial order and take a look at the process of development they indicate. Now take the Fool and place him any where amongst those cards. Do you see how his position within the majors can influence the lessons our Souls have to learn?



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Kaz 
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Kaz 
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Mystique, could you explain the correspondances you posted?

the fool is, according to BoT, associated with many things, parsifal, greenman, wanderer, etc. other symbols you see in the card, like crocodile also have their own story.
just recently we had a discussion about this card in #tarot on irc, why the hebrew letter aleph is associated with this card.
Quote:
Wander alone and sing! In the King's palace his daughter awaits thee (Aleister Crowley)
what's behind this?
if you go back in history to the time when succession was not through the first born son of the king, but through his daughter, the new king was always a stranger, a foreigner the foundation of the legend of the wandering prince, always being `the fool' of the family.
so, this fool is a wanderer.
in the book of changes, hexagram 56 is called the wanderer, here you find a similar story about a wanderer.
the wanderer in this story does not become king by marrying the kings daughter, but he does get a high position in government. the 5th line in the hexagram talks about the wanderer shooting a pheasant, shooting it down with the first arrow he shoots, which will bring him in the end praise and office.
this is a parallel to the story of parsifal. parsifal, according to BoT, can be considered a western form of the fool tradition, being the pure fool. his first act was shooting the sacred swan. also, parsifal acquires the sacred spear and the wanderer acquires an ax.
in line 6 of the hexagram the nest of the bird burns, making the wanderer laugh at first, later he needs to lament and weep. he looses his ox (cow) through carelessness, bringing him misfortune.
the hebrew letter aleph means ox, so here you find a reason to associate aleph with the fool i am sure there are many more reasons........
by loosing his ox, the fool/wanderer looses what the ox symbolises: modesty, adaptability, also docility, the ox being a castrated bull in order to make him gentle enough to work the fields.
so loosing his ox traits, letting himself go, forgetting he is a wanderer needing other peoples kindness, will cause him finding not so friendly receptions by other people, but maybe things like contempt and being insulted (line 1 in hexagram).
crowley said that the key to understand his tarot is in the relation between the fool and adjustment. associated with adjustment is the hebrew letter lamed, meaning ox-goad, a tool for controlling the behaviour of the ox, and adjustment is about law and just enforcement of it, controlling human and society.

kaz



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MeeWah 
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Kaz: Your associations are intriguing as I have not come across those regarding The Fool, but this is a different deck than those I use. You beat me to it when ye mention Greenman. This version of The Fool strikes me as having qualities of the Greenman. That may be due to the green garments, the sense of Spring & the grapes; leading to an association with Bacchus or Dionysus. See this:

http://www.romaine.net/academia/clst.../dionysus.html

There is an earthbound quality to this Fool instead of the airey quality attributed to other versions such as the RWS Fool. I am not sure that the correlations are appropriate.

Perhaps the association of The Fool with Adjustment (if Adjustment refers to the traditional card of Justice) relates to self-knowledge & self-control. Without focus or self-discipline, one cannot actualize a purpose or a goal.



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meewah
"my" associations are not invented by me, i have read this stuff somewhere and took notes. i know i am far from complete in what i posted even. cant give credit to the right "owner" though.
but i do use the book of changes so thats why it grabbed me.
the fool is associated with air they say, if you look at the "astrological" correspondance on the card, right from the word fool, its a triangle with a thingy in it, its blurred on my card, so i cant see what exactly it is. you should be able to see if its the symbol for air.
i hope Mystique will post his correspondances, coz i dont know the why of most of them, and thats the most intruiging part.
dionysos is indeed one of the fools, gonna have a look in the BoT to see whats more on it.
i agree with you on a more earth feeling with this card.

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Meewah,

You've hit the nail on the head when you mention the Fool in relation to the Greenman or Dionysus.

The King and his daughter do not necessarily relate to the monastic kingdom of the mundane world.

As for the correspondences, and this is where the air association comes into play, Ether is that quality of air as is the astrological glyph on the card. However because the image of the Fool depicted on the card is that of Dionysus you have the Earth quality embued. Therefore one could associate Crowley's Fool with that of Air/Earth qualities. The green of his clothing is assocaited with Spring, the coming of renewal, rebirth, metamophasis and the clour is yellow that of air.

To help you understand this more take a look at the correlation with the Rune and Hebrew glyphs.

It is almost, at first analysis, that this card is a contradiction of itself. Or would we say that the Fool contradicts that which we have come to accept within our mundane (earthly) existance?

As I mentioned earlier, here we have a depiction of the Fool not in folly (about to step off a cliff, dressed nicely and a little white dog in toe), but a Fool who is focused and seems to have some level of awe about him. Hence the suggestion of placing him in various positions within your major card's sequence.

Kaz, I have not seen the BOTL deck so I cannot comment on it unfortunately.



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The Thoth Fool stands (literally & figuratively) in marked contrast to the traditional, RWS-based Fool. There is tension in his stance that suggests a purposefulness & intensity not usually associated with The Fool. Thoth's knows its purpose, albeit his eyes appear crazed, obsessed or drunk (he "carries" grapes)--perhaps on too much wine &/or too much knowledge. Or perhaps he is gazing intently at what lies before him.

The RWS Fool has an air of carefree innocence, abandonment; even an apparent lack of destination. As if one lives for the moment or from moment to moment.

Is there a significance in four spirals as opposed to three or another number?

The caduceus with its snake seems symbolic of the spirit or life force which can be raised in either direction (up or down).

Is not the caduceus associated with Mercury, which is associated with the intellect, communications; relates to The Magician? & is not the snake associated with knowledge?

Edited--to correct typos I just noticed. I ought to know better than to type when sleepy!!



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MystiqueMoonlight 
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Meewah,

I wouldn't quite say the look in his eyes is crazed. It is more of an intensified focus on what lies ahead. That is why he is oblivious to the tiger biting at his leg.

The Mercury association is a very good observation.

Did you read the description of the 4 spirals above?



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Mystique: I read the description of the 4 spirals & referred to the Thoth Fool I have (the images on this green deck are blurry) but I do not think I understand the spiral progression in that order or why there are 4--unless the number is significant & refers to the 4 elements; a foundation or structure such as the human life & probably other things.

I can relate to the symbols within each spiral, & they make more sense to me if they ascended from the bottom spiral up. That is, the lowest spiral could represent the base or primitive nature. The next spiral the union of opposing forces, an assimilation that is necessary for procreation & progression. The next representative of the assimilation of knowledge & appropriate use of will (the snake & caduceus); which transforms one to a higher level (butterfly from caterpillar) & recognition of/contact with the divine (the dove). The last or top spiral refers to the heart chakra, where love is learned. Attaining unconditional love or divine love would be an ultimate goal, as that would free the soul of karma.



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MystiqueMoonlight 
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Meewah,

what a great way of looking at it. I never thought of it in that light.

The 4 spirals do infact have a correlation with the 4 elements and yes the chakras are also interplayed in their theory.

Very good. Gee you're going to bring a lot to this study group.



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