Tuesday, May 26, 2009
When we look at the card of "The Fool" in the tarot deck we see
a person standing at the edge of a high cliff about to take the next
step while gazing upward into the Infinite. There is a dog at the
feet of The Fool and this dog is also at the edge of the cliff, standing
on its two hind feet, with its front feet already over the edge.
Naturally, we wonder: "Why is this person so willing to take the
next step off of the cliff and why is he gazing up at the heavens
instead of watching where he is going".
Like all of the other cards in the tarot deck, this card is full of
Symbolism. So, let's break down some the principal Symbolism
contained within this card in order to get a better understanding
of what this card is telling us.
The Fool: Although The Fool appears to be a masculine archetype,
the face contains an air of femininity. This gives The Fool an
androgynous appearance which Symbolizes a combination and
Union of both the male and female essences. This means that
The Fool does not experience his Journey through either a male
or female perspective. He experiences it through both perspectives.
This androgynous (Hermaphroditic) portrayal of The Fool reminds
us that The Fool's Journey is a journey that is available to any man,
woman, boy, or girl who wishes to participate in an Adventure.
Mountains Symbolize the higher realms of consciousness. The
higher the mountain, the higher the realm of consciousness. The
highest mountain peak would Symbolize the highest realm of
consciousness that we can experience while still on earth.
In addition, when viewed from afar, mountain peaks are the
highest points on the Horizon and represent the loftiest
Border Between Realms; the highest borderland between
heaven and earth.
The Precipice upon which The Fool and his dog are standing
symbolizes the Threshold where one Journey ends so that
another Journey can begin.
(Also: The Precipice Symbolizes the mental obstacles we create for
ourselves which deter many of us from taking the next step in order
to achieve and experience our dreams.)
The Dog is "Man's best friend". The Dog is Instinctive and is a
Symbol for loyalty, trust, protection, and companionship.
White symbolizes Purity and Enlightenment.
Because the Journey of The Fool takes place in the higher realms
of consciousness (mountains) it Symbolizes a Spiritual Journey. It
is a Spiritual Call to Adventure which involves dreams, aspirations,
imagination, and finally Enlightenment.
The Fool gazes up into the heavens because that is where his
dreams, aspirations , and imaginings reside. The heavens also
represent the highest realm of Divine Consciousness that The
Fool can look up to for Spiritual Inspiration and Guidance.
Knowing that no physical harm can befall him in a Spiritual Quest,
The Fool unhesitatingly steps off the precipice when his current
Adventure comes to an end. He knows that only by ending, and
leaving behind, his current Adventure is he able to begin his next
one. Therefore, with great anticipation and excitement he proceeds
onward and upward into the next chapter of his life's Journey.
The Fool's Dog, being an instinctive animal, also understands that
there is no danger in stepping off of this Spiritual precipice. So it too
follows its master onward and upward. In addition, because the Dog
is a loyal and protective companion, The Fool need never feel alone
in his Travels into new and uncharted realms.
The White Sun that is shining behind The Fool is a Symbol for the
Pure Enlightenment which is forever accompanying The Fool and
nudging him onward.
And finally, although The Fool is currently standing atop a high
mountain, there are much higher mountains in the distance. These
higher mountains remind The Fool that there are still more
Journeys, and higher realms of consciousness, to be explored,
experienced, and conquered. And the only way for The Fool to
conquer these mountains is for him to continue to follow his dreams,
aspirations, and imagination until he reaches the highest mountain
peak of all...The Peak of Enlightenment!
Note: for literary simplicity I have used the masculine gender
in referring to The Fool. However, the feminine gender applies
equally as well.
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Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.
© copyright Joseph Panek 2009