Though it’s technically been Spring here in the Northern Hemisphere for a little while now, it’s only recently started feeling like it.
April is my birth month, and has always felt to me like when the world starts really waking up from Winter.
This put me in the mindset of new beginnings and I thought it would be interesting to look at that theme from the viewpoint of my other love – Tarot.
I use tarot heavily in my coaching. In fact, it takes up the largest portion of our first session.
But I use it even more in my day to day life!
Tarot is not only for fortune telling – though it can certainly do that (and anyone who has had a year ahead reading from me can attest to that fact).
It can also be an amazing tool for growth and self discovery.
So with all that said, let’s look at The Fool*** – the first and biggest new beginning in tarot, and what it can mean to put its principles into practice in your own life.
Look at that bright, glowing sky! You can almost smell the crisp mountain air around you as you feel the sun warming your face. It just makes you feel happy.
You start to think about all the things you could do on such a beautiful day…
But wait a minute, what’s this person doing?! They seem to just be meandering around without a care in the world, and they certainly don’t seem to be paying any attention to their surroundings.
They’re dressed pretty fancy to be wandering around the mountains with nothing but a little bundle tied to a stick, their cute dog, and that flower.
They seem woefully underprepared for whatever journey they’ve set out on.
They also seem to have no idea how the world works and what it does to people who don’t pay attention to what goes on around them.
You just know they’re about to walk right off that cliff. You’re ready to shout out to them to open their eyes and look where they’re going. They’re in danger!
Lucky for them, that little dog has more awareness of their surroundings than its human does. That dog probably keeps its human out of all sorts of trouble. That dog is going to catch their human’s attention.
Tarot’s Fool is complete and total innocence.
They are unaware of what the world is like. They have no idea what the rules of life are.
Therefore, they don’t have to follow them.
They don’t allow society any say in their life because they don’t even know anyone else believes they get to have a say!
They are truly free from the weight of societal expectations.
That’s why their bundle on a stick (which many believe to be a Wand, which in tarot represents the element of Fire – the energy of doing) is so small. They carry only that which they know they need.
And they’re right. When we don’t carry the burden of expectations – ours or other people’s, our baggage becomes quite light. We keep only what we need and are surprised to find we don’t need much!
The Fool is just starting their journey in life on their own. They have been sheltered and allowed to believe fully in themselves and the idea of infinite possibility.
The idea that they won’t succeed in whatever they endeavor to achieve doesn’t even cross their mind.
It’s not that it’s an impossibility in their mind – it’s not even a concept!
This may at first blush seem to put them at a disadvantage. Being unaware of societal norms and limitations means they can easily find themself in a sticky situation quickly.
But let’s not forget that dog… that little dog!
That dog is their guardian. Their divine protection. Wherever they go, the dog goes. As long as that dog is around, our Fool can explore the world and start their exciting adventure knowing they will always be protected – even when times seem difficult or dangerous.
And that dog will always be around watching out for its human.
That dog represents Spirit/The Universe/The Divine/The All.
It is always with us because it is a part of us, and we are a part of it.
The Fool asks us to find a place within ourselves that most of us think we’ve lost.
That wide eyed innocence. That unshakable belief in ourselves that we had as small children.
It’s not lost, it’s hidden deep within us.
This card asks us to rid ourselves of the weight of other people’s expectations, and any expectations we’ve placed on ourselves that do nothing but burden us.
The Fool is the beginning of a new and exciting journey to a new phase in life.
When we get this card in a reading, it’s time to take a leap of faith. Faith in ourselves. We may not know where that leap will take us, but it’s time to jump.
***A note going forward for this series on gender, race, sexual/romantic orientation, body types, and disability.
I am using the Rider Waite-Smith deck for this series.
I’m using this deck because most modern decks are based on it. (Also, the image rights aren’t exclusive so I don’t have to deal with copyright issues!) But it is very much a product of its time – 1909.
It is Eurocentric, other races are simply not represented, “traditional” gender norms and body types are everywhere, it is heteronormative, and everyone seems to be able bodied (and this very card is ableist in its title!).
When I talk about tarot, I will always use they/them, because the gender of the person/people represented on the card is irrelevant.
It is the energy of the card that matters. We all contain both masculine and feminine energy within us.
There is a huge push for diversity in the imagery of new decks and artists are delivering amazing interpretations that represent what society truly looks like.
You have so many options available to you for a deck that you can find yourself and those you love in.
I do not want you to feel shut out of tarot because of the images in an outdated deck.
Tarot is for absolutely everyone.
In my tarot practice I focus on Shadow Work and the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that are holding you back from your best life.
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