Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Day

Consider the Fool.  He lives amongst the Tarot's Majar Arcana of 22 archetypes and is represented by the number zero.  However, the zero here does not symbolize "nothingness" or "emptiness" or a "void".  Rather, as in many Eastern cultures, the Fool's zero connotes perfection and embodiment and fulfillment.

Graphically, the Fool is depicted as a youth standing on the edge of a precipice.  He carries hiw worldly possessions in one hand and a rose in the other. The sun is shining and he does not appear to be aware of the impending danger posed by the cliff below his feet. A small dog barks at his heels. So what does it all mean. It's important to know that the Fool is not a "foolish" person. He is not a simpleton. Nor is he the Trickster often represented by the King's Fool who dares to speak the truth but only if veiled in riddles and humor. No, the Tarot's Fool symbolizes the uncorrupted soul.  He represents a pure heart and the unbridled spirit of humanity. 

The Fool encourages risk and ventured into the unknown.  He urges us to find faith in ourselves to embrace what we don't understand or are not familiar with.  This is how he wants us to approach our lives and Life Journey e.g. with enthusiasm and wonderment. 

Be spontaneous, he tells us.  A meaningful life if not lived by logic and intellect alone. That would be tantamount to reading a poem by counting its words to quote Jay Haley the renowned psychologist.  This point is emphasized by the Fool and his rose which in mythology and religion represents passion and love.   In fact, the rose is identified with Venus/Aphrodite and later with the Virgin Mary.

In Tarot readings, the Fool reminds us that without adopting our ability to see the world with fresh eyes there can be no enlightenment. All the other cards of the Tarot and their significance in our lives become meaningless if we remain unwilling to challenge our preconceived notions and premises.

Perhaps Rumi said it best when he instructs us to "Become a Fool",

"Since intelligence only incites you to pride and vanity,
Become a fool, so your heart stays pure.
Not a fool who is lost and astounded in Him.
If, through astonishment, your reason leaps out of your head
Every hair on your head will become a new head.
Every hair on your head will become a new intellect."

Wonderful words to live by.

Amy bows low to at the feet of all her holy teachers and  asks for humility and grace.

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