First Step: The Fool’s Journey

“We are both taking a leap.”

So said this morning my best friend, the artist Wondrous Nora. Fabulous in so many ways, far too many to count. And yet, this silly girl has the nerve to keep insisting that she’s not an artist.

What?

Why in life do we continue to fight against ourselves, against our inner urges, our natural drives and talents? Why do we continue to deny who we really are, while we try to fit ourselves into what we think other people think we should be? Isn’t that just a whole lot of work?

Why yes, yes it is.

And that’s what brings us to taking a leap. On that note, might I also bring to your attention my other best friend, the kitchen gardening coach/guru behind Indie Farms. (Yes, I am blessed with fabulous women in my life, it is true.) Starting this business required quitting THE JOB, and — just read this post. She’s amazing.

What am I building up to here, and how on God’s great Earth does it relate to tarot?

Well, you could tell that I this career of mine as a professional tarot reader was inevitable, because I even found a way to work it into my other blog about life in Rome. But to actually go live with this site, and proclaim to the world, “Why, yes, yes, I am a professional tarot card reader,” it took a bit of foolish and brave energy.

Ah, The Fool. The lovely, naive, trusting, brave, happy fool. We all need more “foolishness” in our lives, I’d say. And sometimes, being The Fool as we see in the tarot takes a huge “leap of faith.”

The Fool is the first card of the Major Arcana in the tarot, card ZERO to be precise. Why zero? According to the book “I Tarocchi dei Visconti” (in Italian) it says:

The Fool is numbered zero because folly has always been considered an anomalous state of intellect, something that takes for granted a sort of detatchment from everyday reality.

In fact. A “detatchment from everyday reality” is sometimes what’s needed in order to take the next big step in your life. I also just love this video I recently found, which I also think symbolizes a sort of “Fool”-ish way of approaching life. (Note: F-bomb alert! If you’re sensitive to swears, skip it.)

So how do we get to that point that Ice-T (you didn’t know he was a philosopher, did you?) talks about? That “edge” he talks about “where it’s so dangerous, and so profitable on the other side…is where creation lives.”

Seriously. It’s where creation lives.

In order to create something new, to create “something out of nothing,” you have to start the journey. Haven’t you heard the phrases “You have to start somewhere!” and “Fake it til you make it!” These are phrases too that encompass the beginning of the Fool’s Journey. “A leap of faith.” Trusting, before having the physical proof to know where it’s going to lead you, but walking forward anyways.

The Fool is about to walk off the edge of a cliff, without knowing exactly where he'll land.
The Fool is about to walk off the edge of a cliff, without knowing exactly where he’ll land.

Look at The Fool on the card. He’s blissfully unaware that he’s about to walk off a cliff. His little dog is even trying to warn him (people who will tell you that you’re crazy, you’re FOOLISH) but he’s not listening. It’s go time. He’s moving forward, no turning back now.

“What’s the worst that could happen?”

A calculated risk. In life, sometimes that’s what’s needed. When you see The Fool in a reading, know that it’s time to start The Fool’s journey. If it shows up reversed, then consider what the risk of walking off the cliff will cost you in terms of the other responsibilities in your life.

Once, The Fool reversed turned up in a reading as the possible outcome for a client who was married with children, but madly in love with a widow and having an affair. Let’s be clear about one thing: there’s no place for moral judgement in my readings. We’re all on this planet as students of life, to create and to learn from our creations. But in this case, The Fool reversed is a sort of signpost, a caution, telling the client “Hmmm… you might want to reconsider the risk you’re taking. You might stand to lose too much… you might be in for a fall.”

The Fool has a place in all of our lives, at the right time, under the right circumstances.

Have you ever consciously embarked on The Fool’s Journey? Where did it take you? How much courage did it take you to make that first crucial step into the unknown?

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4 comments

  1. Thanks for your lovely words for me, my friend.
    The Fool came out in my life in so many ways (you know that) but it really takes courage to just follow your inner call and stop listening to everything you “believe” is true… To start listening to that little voice that tells you “Just do it” (And no, it is not Nike, someone calls it “intuition”).
    As Anais Nin once said:
    “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
    I’m taking the leap and I’m so happy we are doing it together.

  2. […] The Fool is one of my favorite cards for encouraging people to “jump without a safety net.” It’s been a full year almost to the day since I wrote that blog post on my personal blog, and in a way it appears to be a bit of foreshadowing about my new adventure. The Fool does encourage us to be foolish, to explore new paths and start a new journey. Read more about my ideas on The Fool in this post! […]

  3. […] Rome is where I found my soul, and the place I go back to. The United States is where I derive the basis for most of the cultural and moral values that sustain me. But ultimately aren’t so many of us now simply children of the world at large? When we step back to reflect on these questions, it’s clear that despite all the chaos, strain, and stress that technology has brought into our daily lives, it is truly a divine time to be alive, especially for those of us curious enough to step off the cliff for the next adventure. […]

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