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Join Date: 26 Sep 2006
Location: WI USA
Posts: 349
MAAT Study Group- The Fool

Cross Quarter Day Vernal Equinox

The MAAT Tarot Fool represents the holy man, shaman, or trickster of
the tribe. He is not a ruler though he advises rulers. He is not a
leader yet he shows people how to act or not to act. His persona
shows up in virtually every human culture.

He is special and set apart from other walks of life. He stands at
the point of balance between decreasing darkness and increasing
light. In ancient societies he would have been the holy man using
sacred hunting magic to shape-shift, bringing in the herds, insuring
success in the hunt and, consequently, assuring the survival of the
people. He is the healer who walks between the worlds and banishes
the evil spirits causing disease. He could also bring back the
knowledge of plant medicines that would cure the body.

This Fool was the bringer of dreams and messages from
the land where time doesn't exist. He is Joseph in his coat of many
dismembered color pieces breaking the rules of fashion, as well as
the rules of nature, relating visions of the future to Pharaoh. He is
the one who slips between the worlds into the land of the Dead,
retrieving the Goddess from her winter slumber. Maybe the Fool tricks
Death because, in his innocence, he simply doesn´t realize it
can´t be done. Or maybe it is because he has never quite put both
his feet into the physical world and keeps his connection to the
Atisokanak, the Anishnabe Spirit world.

He is the young Fool in love, who wears his heart on his
sleeve. We are all Fools when we´re in love- inspired, obsessed,
seeing only the good in our beloved. The innocent Fool has the
ability to operate in the twilight between good and evil because he
is pure of heart. He has the magic (Love) to awaken the sleeping
earth and bring her back to life. He is the return of the Greenman
every spring. Like the proverbial Fool he returns again and again
thinking, "This time it will be all good!"

In Medieval Europe the Fool was the Jester, who made the king and his
court laugh by conveying truth with his ill-mannered antics. He is
the arrogance of youth boasting of his abilities and proclaiming his
grand intentions. He is the lunatic babbling the words of unseen
spirits. He is the `insane one who mutters prophecies. He is the
sacred clown who shows us ourselves and teaches us to get real. And
ironically, he is the one you go to when there is no hope left.

The shaman's world consists of three layers: the lower
world, the middle world and the upper world. The lower world is the
place of power animals. The middle world is the place of time travel.
And the upper world is the place of spirit guides and teachers. The
shaman can travel to these worlds through the use of his drum or
rattle, connecting with its rhythmic beat, sending him into trance.
Once in trance he slips into these other realms to retrieve the
knowledge he seeks. The Shaman/Fool embodies Yang energy and seeks
its knowledge.

The traditional Tarot image of The Fool has a dog biting
him. This summons images of the Shaman/Sacred Clown being dismembered
by his power animals. Going through `shamanic death´ is often
referred to as being "dismembered to remember." The image also has
the fool about to fall off a cliff, plunging unexpectedly into the
underworld. Shamans, like Fools, seldom chose their roles in life but
are more likely chosen and reluctantly so. His little guardian/dog
nipping his heels pushes him into his first journey down the 'rabbit
hole' or off the cliff into the unknown.

This image also brings to mind the constellation Orion
who is always followed by the Dog Star, Sirius. The ancient Egyptians
associated this constellation with their god Osiris, god of green
vegetation. Osiris is also known as god of the dead, judge of the
dead, and the embodiment of the sun's journey at night, (the sun at
midnight). Osiris was murdered by his jealous brother and brought
back to life by his magician-wife Isis, only to be torn to pieces by
his brother and re-assembled by Isis again. (Coincidentally, Isis is
associated with Sirius the 'dog' star) There are theories that the
pyramids of Egypt are linked to the three stars in the belt of Orion.
The Great pyramid at Giza aligns with the constellation Orion.

Orion is also associated with Hercules, mortal hero of
ancient Greek and Roman mythos, who undergoes many trials as he seeks
immortality. The constellation Orion, though very prominent in the
night sky, is not included in the Zodiac. Orion is set apart from the
Zodiac much like the Fool is set apart from the trumps and, as the
Shaman is separate from the tribe. The Spring Equinox is the time of
the year that is set apart from all other times, as it is the magical
time of increasing daylight. Spring coincides with the high magical
time of remembered triumph, like the ancient Passover rituals when
the tides of tyranny turn and freedom can be won against great odds.
The Vernal Equinox is a perfect time for initiations of priests and
priestesses, puberty rites, cave initiations, and vision quests.

Other Names: April Fool; Village Idiot; Coyote; Court Jester;
Heyokia; Hermes; Loki; Pied Piper of Hamlin; Joseph and the coat of
many colors

Symbols: Golden bough with bells of gold; branches with leaves;
rabbits; coyotes;

mismatched clothes; long exaggerated hoods; three horned hats; Yang

Attributes: Young virgin male; extrovert; exuberant; light hearted;
silly comedian; irreverence

In a Reading: A trusting individual who takes a leap of faith
thinking things will be `all good´ only to find he things are much
more complicated than he anticipated. Taking a jump into the void or
unknown circumstances.
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