The ancient system of Tarot is the precursor to our modern deck of playing cards, and is thought by some to have been the carrier of secret mystical knowledge during the times of the inquisition. The Fool reminds us that we have limited perspective as we walk through our life, and that we carry with us little but trust that life will take care of us on our adventure. Every morning when we wake up, we trust that we will meet the same world we left the night before. We trust that the Sun will bring day and the Moon night. We have little control over our destiny other than the choices we make from day to day, and in that we are very like the innocent Fool of the Tarot.
The Fool is the zero card – the point of beginning and hence its association with Aries, the first sign in the zodiac. According to the research of Dr. Robert O’Neill, 15th century morality plays, “the Fool appears as a character called “Nought” who is subject to derision because he plays no attention to [conventional] morality.” In Shakespeare’s plays it is only the Fool who has the courage to reveal the truth through riddles and games, thereby showing the most profound wisdom.
The Fool is a shamanic character as well. While medieval playwrights cast the Fool in the role of the mentally disturbed, indigenous traditions all over the world respect those who see visions and hear voices as shamans rather than cast them aside as mental cases. The Fool as the Zero point is the perfect circle which has no beginning and no end. It is the perfect archetype for our journey on Planet Earth.
This year let’s celebrate April Fools day with more than practical jokes and goofs. Let’s follow the example of Aries, who lives by instinct. Let’s remember that part of ourselves that is wise enough to see through the blinders of our social conditioning, and yet open enough to trust our instincts and our internal barometers as we walk courageously through the journey that is our lives. ——–