Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
~ Mark Twain
In this week when many are preparing to start a new school year, and the world has perhaps been weighing heavy upon us, it is with a glad heart that we welcome The Fool.
In his hand, the Rider-Waite-Smith Fool holds a white rose – symbol of passion, beauty, and purity. He is about to take a fall into the unknown, despite, or perhaps encouraged by, the little white dog at his heels. He carries his “baggage” with him, indicating he has not entirely abandoned his history or life experiences.
Yet there is nothing weighty or ponderous in his bag. And the stick upon which it is attached is a magic wand. One could surmise that The Fool is unaware of his own power.
The Fool is the Zero in the Tarot – the beginning and end of the Major Arcana journey, but not a part of the story itself. And rather than the Minors’ focus on, say, matters of the mind in the Swords, or security and resources in the Pentacles, remember that the Majors offer us powerful life lessons that affect all aspects of our lives.
So, like last week’s card, we are offered a powerful time-out-of-time — a magical portal that is neither here, nor quite there. But rather than it being the Eight of Cups’ issues that center on love and emotions, The Fool invites a complete reboot, right down to the soul level of our lives.
Play Days and First Days
The Fool is the perfect companion as we take our final days of vacation, leaving behind for a little while longer our serious grown-up cares, in order to enjoy playtime. (You are giving yourself that, right? If your workaholic adult self wants to deny you, here is a New York Times article to convince even the toughest inner critic).
And as our summer holidays wind down, lots of people are preparing for the new school year that begins soon. Perhaps for you, too, “Back to School” was an annual ritual of fresh beginnings: the first day of school, wearing crisp new clothes, in a new grade, promising new friends, new teachers, and unknown experiences ahead.
Although we may be long out of our school days, the allure of all those virgin notebooks, packs of loose leaf paper, pencils, and day planners in the stores now is a temptation we still love to indulge, whether we really need those items or not!
Thus, The Fool is our perfect companion for the end of Summer’s carefree days, with Fall plans still yet to be. We stand on the cusp of a new beginning.
I Double-Dog Dare You
The Fool dares us to break free of convention, and to tell the real truth. He is the part of us who knows that to be more creative, we must be willing to embrace failure. For without taking that flying, crazy, wild step, we will never move forward, much less, succeed.
The Fool is only a fool to those who judge him. In his own mind, he is simply following his bliss. The Universe supports the Fool’s crazy wisdom, for he embodies our true humanity.
To fall in love is to be The Fool. And no breakthrough, no cure, no discovery, no accomplishment in human history was ever made without someone being ridiculed as a Fool for trying.
Taking the risk of authenticity is the scariest, most necessary thing we will ever do. And we are required to do it over and over, many times, every day.
But dare we must, or else join the ranks of the sleep-walkers who are hypnotized in their nightmares. I am sure you, as I do, see them every day.
The Life-Healing Antidote for Our Need to Control
What crazy, foolish, you-ought-to-know-better thing is your spirit crying out for this week? For truly, you must take that step.
Please don’t over think this! The point is that we must be willing to look incompetent, silly, childlike, and raw.
No more waiting, dithering, second thoughts, and self-doubts. This is our “get out of jail free” card. Now is the time to step forward, though we might not know to what distant lands our journey may take us.
Sail away from your safe, stale harbors.
Our true path is made only by the walking; our life’s purpose only reveals itself as we move towards it.
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Postscript on Monday evening: I dedicate this week’s card to Robin Williams. Thank you for your wild humor, acrobatic intelligence, and for walking the path of the thoughtful rebel. May your journey now be gentle and may you be received with honor among the Great Ones in the lands of the Ancestors.