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What the Cards Mean: The Fool

THE FOOL: We begin this story, well at the beginning…with the cave. In the beautiful Mythic Tarot deck it shows us the cave from which The Fool emerges. The cave is the womb or subconscious murk from which the concept of the individual Fool has been percolating. The Fool emerges from the dark and foggy nothingness into the light, just as a baby that is being born. In most tarot decks the cave does not exist, and merely shows The Fool about to begin his journey by thoughtlessly stumbling off of a cliff, like a child that is taking its first steps and veering too close to the coffee table… The Fool has no experience; he simple is. Anyone who has witnessed a young person stepping out into traffic without looking both ways, or making life decisions because they feel good and have no logic or sense to them will understand The Fool. “Be careful! You don’t know what can happen to you out there!” We say. The Fool just shrugs and bursts out the door into the world of which anything and everything can harm him. As a mother, you cringe with worry as your Fool disappears from sight. Is The Fool making the right choice and taking a risk that will reward him? Or will he end up getting hurt or looking foolish? Only time will tell. The impulse, the drive, the ambition, it lives within all of us, old and young. If I take this risk, if I do this thing…will I end up dangling off of a cliff? Or will I end up on a blissful journey of self-discovery? Or could both be true? The tarot reflects both the light and the dark, both the creative and the destructive, both the love and the hate, because the prism of human consciousness displays facets of all of the above. Thus The Fool is a great risk that can provide great reward; the pulse that jumps your heart, the kiss the makes you woozy, the great idea that keeps you awake at night. If you ignore it your life may never reach its full potential. But if you pursue it, even if it all falls apart, at least you’ll know. But who knows where that failure could lead…

Keywords: New journey, exciting adventure, follow your bliss. Just do it. Proceed with caution, watch where you wander. Seek help from those who have gone before you.

Illustrations from the Rider Waite Smith Tarot Deck were reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902. c. (March 7, 2018) by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.

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