Monday, November 10, 2008

The Fool

At left is The Fool from The World Spirit Tarot. What makes this Fool different than most is the birds. Okay, yes, she's standing on a rooftop instead of a cliff, but it's still a precipice and a dog still tugs at her in what looks to be a useless attempt at stopping her from falling.

The LWB that accompanies this deck doesn't have much to say about the birds. The birds do carry flowers usually held by The Fool himself.

The birds don't mean much to me at the moment symbolically, but I don't doubt that I'll draw this card for someone one day and suddenly the birds will have meaning. At least for that reading--this is how the tarot seems to work. The symbols on any tarot card can jump out at you quite differently from one reading to the next. The rooftop (instead of a cliff) might have some very special meaning in a specific reading one day as well. For now, it's just a symbol of a blind leap of faith.

Oops, wait a second, I do see meaning in those birds. The meaning is negative, however, I see them as a symbol of the Fool's attempt to do the impossible. She loves the birds so much she has climbed up onto the roof to be with them and is so caught up in being with them that she's about to step right off the roof. Perhaps she has forgotten that she doesn't have wings and can never be a bird. While I'm not one for squelching dreams, the fact is that if you haven't gone to med school, you can't be a doctor. The Fool needs more preparation before she can fly like a bird. In a nutshell, she's putting the cart before the horse.

Essentially, I see this Fool as I do most of them. A carefree spirit moves ahead with no thought to the consequences. The logical, cautious part of the self (the dog) is ignored even when it tries to be heard.

The Fool, like all the cards, has a good side and a bad side. Sometimes we need to just MOVE for movements sake, other times acting this way can lead to ruin. The trick is knowing when to give in to our carefree nature and when to allow logic and good sense to take the lead.

Looking back at my last tarot journal I am reminded of other meanings The Fool has for me.

Inspiration in any form.
Creative energy.
Following your heart/dreams/ideals despite outside pressure.
A new journey, a new beginning, a clean slate.

But The Fool can also carry a message to the querent, "Look before you leap!" There are other messages The Fool might be bringing to the table such as, "Are you holding yourself back?" "Are you acting rashly?" "Are your attitudes and actions harming others?"

My favorite note on The Fool from my old journal is, "The Fool should be too busy getting back on his horse to worry about how he looked while falling off of it."

If I were going to associate a rune with The Fool, it would be the blank rune. Yeah, yeah, you rune traditionalists hate the blank rune but I'm not a traditionalist. The blank rune fits The Fool nicely.

The Magician

At right is The Magician from the Celtic Dragon Tarot. Except for the dragon spirit guides and the book open on her table, this Magician is par for the course.

This Magician's book makes me think of the Wiccan "Book of Shadows" which is a personal (for each witch) journal of belief, spells, magic, and the like. I love that this Magician has her book of spells at hand and I can't help but think of her as a witch in this deck.

Like other Magicians, the tools of her trade are around her. Her tools are also the suits of the Minor Arcana--a cup, a wand, a sword (in this instance, her sword takes the shape of an athame which has a handle shaped like the head of a dragon), and pentacles (in the form of accessories).

The candle can also be seen as a symbol of her energy, a sign that she works "in the light," or it may simply be viewed as a light source. Sometimes a banana is just a banana, after all.

In the positive, I see The Magician as someone who has great talent and skill. They have everything they need to accomplish whatever goal they set for themselves. The card represents creative power, manifestation, turning ideas into reality, greatness or the desire for greatness. This card could come up for anyone with a strong desire to manifest someone in their life or for someone with great potential to do so.

In the negative The Magician may represent someone who is wasting their talent or whose abilities are hidden or stifled. The lazy genius comes to mind with this card's darker side. I also think of greedy televangelists when I see this card negatively. Its dark side could certainly represent a trickster.

I associate the rune Dagaz with this card because so often The Magician is depicted with the symbol of infinity somewhere on the card. The symbol doesn't appear on this card, but that doesn't mean I won't think of it if I am working with this deck.

High Priestess

At left is The High Priestess from my mini The Illuminated Tarot. It's a really tiny deck, I love it. She has larger ones. It's one of my favorite decks.

The upside of HP: That in you which is sacred, your higher self. Otherworldly experiences, intuition, meditation (usually a message to start doing it), psychic ability. To me, this card IS mysticism. She represents spirituality, perhaps the occult, she's the inner goddess (men have her too). She can speak to us through our subconscious, through our dreams.

She sits between the conscious (her throne on solid ground) and the unconscious (the ocean behind the veil), she is fairly quiet and calm.

I'm not much for the symbolism of the pillars of Boaz and Jachin. Those pillars tie back to Solomon's Temple and that kind of history and lore has never appealed to me. I see the pillars primarily for their opposing colors. Nothing is black and white, the High Priestess knows this and so she stays in between them--in the gray area.

I do love the crescent moon at her feet, what's more magical than having one foot on the moon?

In the crook of her arm is the Tora--I see this book not as the ultimate law but as a book of secrets. The High Priestess knows things--through meditation things are revealed to her. To me, that's what that book represents.

You can see the phases of the moon in her crown. Very feminine, and very wise as it reminds us that there are cycles to everything--rythyms. Awareness of life's rythyms make it easier for us to ride the waves life throws at us. This is one of the secrets the HP knows.

The pomegranates on the veil (beetween the earth and sea, between the conscious and unconscous, between the body and soul) to me have no deep and special meaning. I've always liked pomegranates and for that reason alone I like just about any tarot card with pomegranates on it. This fruit has deeper meaning for others, however, but that's between them and their cards. I can't discount the symbolism of the forbidden fruit, however. She's tasted the fruit, her eyes have been opened. But the cool thing about pomegranates is all those crazy seeds--and the uber feminine shape of them, of course. But all those seeds, seeds of wisdom come to mind.

This card doesn't have a downside for me. At worst it appears to tell someone that they should be meditating more or, at the very least, taking more time for quiet contemplation.