If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.
If you were especially curious about what card was going to turn up in this week that is being impacted by Saturn stationing retrograde yesterday, Wednesday’s Full Moon eclipse in Sagittarius, and this coming Saturday’s Mercury Retrograde, you aren’t the only one. So, honestly, I laughed when The Fool jumped into my hand. It literally just flew into my hand when I shuffled the cards.
Normally, I might expect to see him appear on a New Moon, or some other time of new beginnings, because that is definitely his forte. But as usual, the Tarot has a more nuanced sense of timing than I do, and a little poking around confirms that The Fool knows exactly why he’s come to call this week.
Stepping From Innocence
Sometimes disliked by those who revere analytical logic and the feeling of being in control, The Fool is a card of joy, risk-taking, and spontaneity. In the Waite-Smith deck, he sports a jaunty red feather. His arms are spread wide and his heart is unshielded. With his hand in the position of the Gyan Mudra, he holds a white rose – symbol of both passion and purity. Poised on the precipice, he is accompanied by his companion dog who is either warning or dancing with him (or a bit of both). His tunic is covered in circles divided into eighths – possibly referencing the eight quarters and cross-quarter holidays of the Wheel of the Year.
The eight-pointed star is often associated with cosmic perfection. So The Fool stands outside the narrative of the Majors, for he is the Zero in the Tarot – the beginning and end of the Major Arcana journey, but not a part of the story itself. The eight-pointed star is also associated with the morning & evening star (planet Venus), and the Star of Ishtar (also associated with Venus).
Which points to the fact that while it is convenient to speak of The Fool as “he,” this figure is certainly androgynous. Many Tarot devotees have also suggested that the card may represent sexual innocence, as well as experiential naivety.
The Fool is that longing within that sometimes reaches out to be at home everywhere, and sometimes feels it is nowhere. His Zero is apropos: he is outside of things, and yet fully integrated within himself. With The Fool as our guide, we can do so knowing that we are headed for totally uncharted territory. Rather than the Minors’ focus on, say, matters of the mind in the Swords, or security and resources in the Pentacles, remember that the Tarot Triumphs offer us powerful life lessons that affect all aspects of our lives.
The Fool shows us that even as we take advantage of the astrological gifts of assessment and retrospect, we must keep moving. Trusting Life is the name of this journey, and it will ultimately move him (and us) beyond doubt and second-guessing. Never mind the many unknowns. At long last (and rather abruptly) our culture’s glorification of stasis and dominance has been irrevocably exposed as illusion. Mystery has been our companion all along.
This week, how might you take your own step of faith, knowing that the beloved Earth will rise up to meet you? If you are poised to embark on a journey — whether it be literal, or one of the mind, heart, or spirit — mind the details but do not fear. Here is the wisdom of slipping out of our bonds, letting go, and especially turning away from the need to be in control of everything.
As the world opens back up again, be willing to get off the beaten track. After all, if there’s a beaten track ahead, it is not yours.
As The Fool stands on the edge of a stride into the unknown, he carries a small satchel on a stick. He travels with only the essentials, eschewing all that is weighty or complicated. However, look closely and you will see that the stick upon which his bag is attached is a magic wand. Is he aware of its power? He asks you “are you aware of your own”?