Mary El Tarot - The Fool


Ok, lets start off here with the Fool.

Mary El Fool

He's a fine fellow isn't he? Two dragons, one orange, one blue snake around him in his butterfly mask and shoes. Do the dragons symbolise emotional and temporal energy? The strong orange of the butterflies suggests the Sacral chakra, pleasure, freedom, sex and lack of inhibition. He has a semi-erect penis which also suggests sexual pleasure, abandon and leaping before you look.

All the flowing lines and energy in this card make me think of that impetuosity when starting a novel new project or love affair.

Laura Borealis

Thanks for kicking this off, Milfoil!

I see the dragons as Fire and Water, but they could also be emotional and temporal energy. (What do you mean by temporal energy? having to do with Time?)

Each dragon has an open palm with an I Ching hexagram. They look like hexagrams 1 and 2 to me -- the Creative and the Receptive. This goes along with Fire and Water, yang and yin. Two "opposite" forces that complete each other. (See list of hexagrams here.)

The overall image seems to be a caduceus, with the Fool himself as the staff, and the dragons winding about him.

I love all the monarch butterflies! Monarchs are amazing. Their annual migration -- to a place that none of the butterflies have ever been -- is a wonderful metaphor for the journey of the Fool.

Just some beginning thoughts. I can't wait to actually have this deck in hand.


Caveat: I don't actually have my deck yet and am basing my impressions off of the online idea if they're clearer or less clear than the actual cards.

Laura, great point about the whole image being a caduceus! I didn’t see that at first, but yeah, I see what you mean. Very cool choice, if that was White’s intention.

I’m getting something a little different from the Fool—are we sure it’s a he? I’m seeing breasts… or at least a hint of them. Or, maybe I’m simply seeing what I want to see, which is an androgynous (or “intersexed”) figure. (IIRC, didn’t the author state on her website that one of her intentions was to achieve a better sex balance in her deck?) Given that the Fool is supposed to embody both the feminine and the masculine, or from a different perspective, is simply supposed to exist outside of the traditional female—male dichotomy, I like that I’m seeing an intersexed figure. The butterfly mask, while symbolizing a metamorphosis of the Fool, could also communicate that the Fool’s sex is irrelevant. In any event, Milfoil, I like your interpretation of the semi-erect penis—“sexual pleasure, abandon, and leaping before you look.” Makes sense to me! To add to this, to me, the penis is more a communication of energy and how it’s directed than of the Fool’s actual sex.

So, it’s difficult to tell from the online image—or maybe it’s intentionally ambiguous—but is the figure supposed to be in the air (almost looks like green hills or something behind and below), or is there really no material context at all in the card?

The monarch butterfly shoes are a nice touch—a creative statement of the Fool’s transformative journey.

Laura, I’m getting the same thing (water & fire) with the blue and orange dragons.


For the this is one of the most intense and interesting Fool cards out there. The rushing river of the twin dragons, the Tigris and Euphrates she says in the book. The shear chaos yet order going on. This is Fool that is taking a large step off the mountain. Wether by choice or not the journey has begun. The fact that his face and feet are still covered leads me to believe that both is mind and path are still transforming. Oh and my what a big bang we will be getting from this card.


I love the idea of the caduceus! Why didn't I see that?

The metamorphosis of the butterflies and the unintentionality of the beginning. How many things do we do in a day which sets us on a course of action that we could never have predicted?

The myriad of energy lines or streamers around the figure seem to suggest the many possibilities from this first step, as if to say your fate lies in your own decision making. Which one will be followed and become stronger? However, I can also see the figure cutting through lines/possibilities which are in the way or confining.


I like the cosmic-ness of it. It just has a Big Bang, sudden glory quality about it. Only milliseconds ago-just belched out of Kether vibe about it.


Laura, I’m getting the same thing (water & fire) with the blue and orange dragons.[/QUOTE]

Agreed. I think there is fire and water here. Also air of course as he's sailing through it. No earth though. Totally ungrounded in expansion and journey.

Bat Chicken

I don't even have the cards yet and taking a close look at the Fool just makes me even more amazed by this feat of Tarot. This is my favourite Fool. I thought none could beat the Thoth, but then there is a lot of Thoth in this Fool!

It would appear to me that Marie has taken a slightly different approach to say similar things. The sun is in the solar plexus of this Fool instead of the groin. I am guessing this is sun by the the luminous appearance. There is that kundalini-like squigle running from his semi-erect penis that might indicate that massive (sexual) potential the Fool contains.

The butterfly mask makes me think of this Fool as being in a state of 'becoming'. I couldn't get that word out of my head. Transformation didn't seem to do the image enough justice - for me - it wasn't quite there. His face is hidden so we cannot know him. He is beyond our knowing.

Yes - that caduceus of dragons! Love that! :) The red and blue indicates a balance to me. Perfect balance and makes me think of Temperance and alchemy.

The re-occurance of lions and tigers in this deck along with the fact that a tiger/cat usually appears in this card and that dragons are their extreme opposite/rival is interesting. I am not sure what to make of it. I think this is more alchemy.

The ribbons that I might have interpreted as Qabalistic Ain Soph Aur look like a veil. I would go so far as to suggest that is the indication of "Air", the Fool's element.

Bat Chicken

...I see the dragons as Fire and Water, but they could also be emotional and temporal energy.

Yeah - I really like that idea - fire and water. I was walking this afternoon and it continued to bug me. All the elements are there - except Earth? Am I missing something?

Laura Borealis

All the elements are there - except Earth? Am I missing something?

I only have the scan to look at right now, but when I peer closely at it, I see a horizontal line around the bottom quarter of the image. Like a distant horizon, maybe. Earth is there, but far away... the Fool is not well grounded, but has taken a leap of faith into uncertainty.