Klimt Tarot Study Group--The Fool


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letty  letty is offline
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Klimt Tarot Study Group--The Fool


I figured I would start an individual card thread for this deck and see if anyone is interested in looking at this deck card-by-card. I am really loving this deck, but I really want to talk about some of the art choices with some other people. It differs a great deal from traditional depictions, so I figure it might be useful for us to think about how these different depictions can work with traditional interpretations.

This deck contains the bottom, older male figure with his head in his hands from this Klimt painting:

http://www.ntupoet.idv.tw/seiku/club...klimt/phil.jpg

In the background, there seems to be a brightly colored tapestry on one side and something that looks a bit like tree bark on the other.

This card is very different from any other fool I've seen before. First off, the card appears to be much darker and less possibly "positive" than other fools, which are often depicted as young, carefree, either about to go over the edge of a cliff or walk on air. I always think of the fool card as the beginning of a journey, the possibility of something fresh and new. This card, though, would seem to have a completely opposite meaning---the figure is old, naked, and seemingly in despair.

I've been thinking about this depiction for a while. It makes me think of Shakespeare's King Lear, and how Lear and the Fool go out in the night, unprotected from the weather, and Lear strips down naked and kind of becomes the fool himself by stripping away all of the trappings of royalty and seeing the world the way it really is--so becoming a "fool", by doing something as foolish as running around naked--can be a way to see the world clearly, maybe? When I think of Shakespearean fools, I think of people who are able to deflate pompous ideas, who are able to have free, unbiased minds. Maybe the nakedness of this fool speaks to the idea that the fool knows that the things we care about in the world (our clothes, for example) are truly unimportant.

There is also the idea of the "holy fool", somebody who looks foolish to the world but has an inner wisdom that the world can't understand.

Well, I've exhausted myself here What are your ideas? I'm really eager to see what you all think and how you understand this card.

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the old fool


Its almost as though klimt's fool is despairing because he finally realized that none of it matters, that he should have chosen to remain naked and uninhibited all along. He seems to be despairing over the lack of new chances that age has brought him.
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the fool


WELL

for me this one , although at first seemed weird and I didnt like it, slowly began to make sense.

first of all the young care-free fool is as we all know the modern despiction , but back in the day it was ussualy an old man , an old hobo. with so little posetions he could carry them all in a pouch. that fool was hapy when he realized that none of it really matered at all , back in the day it was the " fool of the town " who could very well be a madman.

MADMAN. wich is the name given to it in spanish and most latin countries Ithink italian too (?)

so for me as a spanish speaking person (mexiCAN! ) the rider waite fool card was hard for me to undertsnad , he doesnt look mad at all , he just looks happy and stupid.

another thing to remember is the fool of the town ussualy had mental problems , be it down syndrom or some other condition.

he was said to be possed or enlightened for he had vissions of other worlds and beings that werent really there. they culdnt understand it and for this they mocked him. they made a fool out of him.

here are some earlier representatiosn fo the fool for you to compare too.
http://www.art.com/products/p1172731...rent-packs.htm


and lastly. forgive my terrible english I hope some of it made some kind of sense.
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its always easier to undrstand it when you live it , or with story at least.


And now I'll tell you an anecdote of how this fool just made sense to me (and Iím sure it will make sense to you too), and drew me closer to this deck.

I was eating at a park with a friend (Chinese, yum) there were some hippies selling stuff on the floor nearby, then came around an old man, a hobo I guess who looked weird had no shirt on and his belly made us uncomfortable s: (and I donít know for sure but Iím pretty certain he smelled awful) he was even very similar to the Klimt fool.
He approached the garbage bin right next to us. searching for food most likely, then a man who seemed in a hurry , with long sleeve shirt passed by , and without even really looking at the old man , he took the change from his pocket and placed it on the man's hand and still didnít looked at him.
The old man examined the coins on his hand as if he had never seen something like it, he squinted his eyes. and drew his face nearer to his hand ( instead of drawing the hand to his face) and when he apparently comprehended what it was , or maybe when he just finally saw them. He turned his hand ,dropping them on the bin and walked away light heartedly , my friend and I were kind of shocked at this , we didnít understand it
, one of the hippies nearby unsuccessfully tried to retrieve the money from the bin , then left and tried again a second time later
when we were done eating and since he didnít achieve it we tried our hand too and we DID find the money , but we also realized at what he made us do!
HE made a fool out of us! XD we were searching for money on the garbage can! Even more foolish than he was! He searched for food a basic need; we were searching for maybe a dollar ! We didnít even need the money! But we couldnít understand why he'd throw it away, And walked away so cheerfully, he didnít cared what anybody though, thatís why he was on the garbage AND he didnít need it either. we in change did care and we still did the same! We were the actual fools, he wasnít! He was wise!

He was the wise fool.

My friend and I agreed it was his plan all along, but thatís beside the point lol.


EDIT maybe it isnít beside the point, maybe it was a lesson._. From him, from life?
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that is a wonderful story!

I love the Klimt tarot and it is always helpful to get away from comfort zones.

which I believe this particular deck encourages.

my original feeling with this deck was that he is stepping from the ordinary everyday world into the world of magic, chaos, wonder, endless possibilities...but this is the moment before he dare look to see his new world.

its a Shoerdinger Cat moment (and yes, i know I haven't spele that correctly!); it's those liminal spaces,

however i love your story; a perfect illustration of the Fool & his role.
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I love your story, Minotauro! It puts the role of the fool into a perfect context

I've been reading Rachel Pollack's 78 Degrees of Wisdom and she makes some comments about the Oswald Wirth Fool that I think can be applied to the Klimt...

Quote:
"An older tradition than that of the Waite, it pictures the archetype as that of a grotesque wanderer. This image has been interpreted variously as the soul before enlightenment, a newborn child entering the world of experience and the principle of anarchy. Elizabeth Haich has provided an interesting interpretation of Wirth's grotesque image of the Fool. Placing him between Judgement and the World, she describes the Fool as what the outside world sees when it looks upon someone who is truly enlightened. Because the Fool does not follow their rules or share their weaknesses, he appears to them in this ugly distorted way. Haich describes the Fools face as a mark, but there not by himself but by the outside world. The last card, the World, presents that same enlightened person, but viewed from inside, that is, by himself."
The Fool for me has also been about trusting your own instincts and taking chances at the right time rather than relying upon logic and overthinking. This may be more of a reversed meaning, but the Klimt Fool holding his head in his hands suggests to me either fear of stepping into the unknown, or regret for not trusting his instincts when he had the chance.


(So glad to see some discussion on the Klimt! It's one of my most loved decks, but I haven't looked at it in so long )
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astronautica View Post
I love your story, Minotauro! It puts the role of the fool into a perfect context
thank you <3

I've been reading Rachel Pollack's 78 Degrees of Wisdom and she makes some comments about the Oswald Wirth Fool that I think can be applied to the Klimt...


Quote:
Originally Posted by astronautica View Post
The Fool for me has also been about trusting your own instincts and taking chances at the right time rather than relying upon logic and overthinking. This may be more of a reversed meaning, but the Klimt Fool holding his head in his hands suggests to me either fear of stepping into the unknown, or regret for not trusting his instincts when he had the chance.
is this from the newest edition? Im just staring to read that book ( love it) but I dont remember that from the fool Im at the lovers card , is this from further along the book? or should I get the newer copy?


I think for me , this image could represent the upright position too. as a begining , I think the man holding his hands is the moment the madness begins , its the new fool , its the man who perhaps has lost everything and has no other option but to start anew? with all the complications and problems this brings. maybe this is why I like this fool too , he has nothing to loose at all, he has even less than the rider waite fool , but he's also concious of what he has lost , he's concious of how hard the trip will be , imagine the rw fool before he even took the first step!


but I'll surely like your interpretation and I'll remember it when the fool comes reversed , and I like even more how this one card can be read reversed and upright with the same image! :'D

could this be also when he realizes he's a fool? could be when the madness the visions and halucinations began? or when the people started mocking him?

and all of those interpretations , its all still about begining

Quote:
Originally Posted by astronautica View Post
(So glad to see some discussion on the Klimt! It's one of my most loved decks, but I haven't looked at it in so long )
I just bought it! XD this has the pottential to be THE deck =P
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velvetina View Post

my original feeling with this deck was that he is stepping from the ordinary everyday world into the world of magic, chaos, wonder, endless possibilities...but this is the moment before he dare look to see his new world.

its a Shoerdinger Cat moment (and yes, i know I haven't spele that correctly!); it's those liminal spaces,
I love your interpretations , but thats because it kinda fits into my own , for me the fool will always be , the mad-man. this card for me could be perhaps the begining of that madness? I think if we suddenly started to hear things or see visions , wouldnt we also cover our face in fear? X) I think I would , because I wouldnt understand it , like a fool

Quote:
Originally Posted by velvetina View Post
however i love your story; a perfect illustration of the Fool & his role.
thank you
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Im just so glad that story made sense! XD Im so glad I wrote it all down and Im glad it got the ball rolling for this deck study gripu again =P lol
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Ohh, that was my own interpretation of the card! The part about the Fool's grotesque-ness being a mask was taken from the book And I think there's only two editions of the book? I've got the second one, it's quite fantastic!

Quote:
I think the man holding his hands is the moment the madness begins , its the new fool , its the man who perhaps has lost everything and has no other option but to start anew? with all the complications and problems this brings. maybe this is why I like this fool too , he has nothing to loose at all, he has even less than the rider waite fool , but he's also concious of what he has lost , he's concious of how hard the trip will be , imagine the rw fool before he even took the first step!
That's a really interesting way of looking at the card! I've never really thought of the Fool as meaning starting again after loss... the RW Fool has a much more positive energy to it, but I think the Klimt Fool goes a lot deeper. I guess one of the big differences between the two is that the RW Fool keeps his experiences in the pack on his shoulder where he is aware but unburdened by them, whereas the Klimt Fool is actively troubled by his. Maybe it's also saying that in order to move forward and make a fresh start, one must unburden themselves from past experiences?

I've been meaning to work through the Klimt card by card for a while now... so many of the cards are so different from the LWB meanings and from the RWS interpretations!
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