Although I am no expert on the Tarot (or even a beginner!), I know it can be very helpful as a projection object. Through synchronicities and universal symbols and archetypes, the cards become a mirror for us.
I enjoy taking a quote or the title of a book and explore it for myself and see what I find. And I also like exploring universal symbols in the same way.
So what about The Fool from the Tarot?
The first thing I see is someone who seems to enjoy the sun and the beauty of life and is about to step off a cliff. Perhaps the dog is trying to warn him?
In a conventional sense, that’s obviously foolish. Here is someone living in his own world and not taking care of the basics of his own life, and that can sometimes happen to all of us.
It’s more interesting to me to explore this in a bigger view. For instance, I can see how The Fool represents awakening.
Stepping off a cliff is similar to stepping into the unknown. We are always stepping into – and living – in the unknown, whether we know it or not.
This moment – and life – is ultimately a mystery. We cannot know anything for certain. Even what seems the most certain to us is ultimately not.
At the same time, we know many things in a provisional sense. We know our name. How we appear to others and in the mirror. What labels we have in society. How to go about our daily life. And much more. All of this is very useful in a practical and pragmatic sense. Even if there is no ultimate or final truth to any of it.
Many will admit that this is accurate, although most of us will also cling to certain ideas and identities as if they were ultimately true. And from this way of living, deeply embracing and embodying all as the unknown may seem attractive, foolish, and slightly disturbing.
The Fool is dressed in a tunic decorated with stars and leaves. He encompasses the whole universe and all of life. He knows about Big Mind and that it’s his true nature. Big Mind may even notice itself as all there is including The Fool knowing about the ultimate mystery of all.
The dog is perhaps warning him from stepping off the cliff. In this view, the dog represents the parts of us scared of embracing the unknown. The dog may also be excited that he is knowingly stepping into the unknown. When we are more free from the constriction of beliefs and identifications, it can free us to more deeply embrace and embody our animal nature. (We are also more free to follow our inner guidance and live a more kind and authentic life.)
The flower may represent beauty and enjoyment of life and nature. Embracing the unknown, we open for gratitude and appreciation of what is – both what our personality likes and what it doesn’t like.
He carries a small bag. In it, I imagine he has whatever he needs for his journey. He doesn’t need much and he carries the little he needs with him. [Note: After writing this, I was informed that the bag contains the whole tarot deck. The Fool carries with him all the archetypes and the wholeness.]
There is a circle above him. Perhaps this represents zero or not knowing. Or the unity of all life. Or the oneness recognizing itself – including as this human self who doesn’t know anything for certain and always steps into and lives in the unknown.
The sun is shining. When we discover ourselves as that which all our experiences happen within and as, we find that which is independent of the “weather” of experience. A metaphor for this is the clear sky above the weather where the sun always shines. (At least, during the day!)
Interpreting The Fool in this way, it becomes a very beautiful image and archetype. He becomes the holy fool.