It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.
~ Bilbo Baggins (from The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien)
During this magical week of Lughnasadh (and Imbolc in the Southern Hemisphere), plus a Blue Moon, The Fool returns.
The Fool is all about potential, new beginnings, and risk-taking. It’s time for a complete reboot, a clean slate, and taking a very important leap of faith.
Sporting a jaunty red feather, with his hand in the position of the Gyan Mudra, he holds a white rose–symbol of both passion and purity. Poised on the precipice, he is accompanied by his companion dog who is either warning or dancing with him (or a bit of both).
His cloak is covered in circles divided into eighths – referencing the eight quarters and cross-quarter holidays of the Wheel of the Year. Not surprising, then, to see him visit the week of this pivotal, ancient Sabbat.
As he stands on the edge of his leap into the unknown, he carries a small satchel on a stick. He travels with only the essentials, eschewing all that is weighty or complicated.
However, look closely and you will see that the stick upon which his bag is attached is a magic wand. Is he aware of its power?
Dancing Into the Unknown
The Fool is one of my favorite cards in the Tarot, because how people react to him is always very instructive. There he stands, the bliss ninny stepping off the side of a cliff, holding his rose, and gazing off at some invisible (to us) wonderment.
He makes many of my clients very uncomfortable. He is exactly what is wrong, they complain to me, with their husband/wife/child/co-worker. He represents exactly what they most fear, if they begin to explore what and who they would rather be.
Does he not see the danger? Shouldn’t he be taking someone’s advice, playing it smart, following the rules?
He is the antithesis of our need for control. Once you step out your safety zone, there is no telling where you might end up.
And sometimes, that is precisely what we need.
The Fool follows the completion of The World card, and he precedes the manifesting of The Magician. The Fool is the zero in the Tarot – he is the beginning and the end of the Major Arcana journey, where all potential exists, all things are possible.
Zero is a very radical concept. Author Charles Seife discusses it at length in his acclaimed bestseller, Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea.
He explains, “This innocent-looking number, from its birth as an Eastern philosophical concept to its struggle for acceptance in Europe, its rise and transcendence in the West, and its ever-present threat to modern physics…has pitted East against West and faith against reason, and its intransigence persists in the dark core of a black hole and the brilliant flash of the Big Bang.
“Today, zero lies at the heart of one of the biggest scientific controversies of all time, the quest for a theory of everything…For zero, infinity’s twin, is not like other numbers. It is both nothing and everything.”
The zero may remind us of the Japanese symbol enso, a core concept of Zen wisdom. It is the symbol of mystery, absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and the void.
So here is our Fool of nothingness and everything; innocence and enlightenment; the Great Emptiness, poised on the edge of Becoming.
Endings, Beginnings, and Sky Signs
Those of us in tune with Nature can now clearly see the proof of the waning daylight, even though Summer’s heat may still be its fiercest. There are winds of change in the air, and stirrings of transition.
As the growing season has peaked here in the Northern Hemisphere, we prepare to mark the first harvest festival, Lughnasadh. On this first of three thanksgiving celebrations, what gratitude will you voice, dance, and share?
We also have a rare Blue Moon this wee — when two Full Moons occur in one month’s time. This is a window of magic and opportunity. Don’t miss it!
This week’s lunar energy begins with high-flying Sagittarius, which Elisabeth Grace describes as “pushing boundaries, the higher (and more high-flying) the better. Sag is optimistic, fiery and opinionated, and its drive fuels the action … What’s your big idea? Have you told the world about it?”
And Richard Noelle writes, “July has a turning point feel to it – sometimes even a wheel slipping off the road and over the cliff feel. But there’s no crash and burn, no matter how close to disaster things may seem at times. That’s because there’s a last minute ‘angel on my shoulder’ feel to the flow of events.”
What a perfect description of The Fool!
By the way, you might want to know that the reboot may be literal. As Ralfee Finn explains, “Uranus [planet of rebellion, contrariness, and surprises] went retrograde on July 26 and stays retrograde until Christmas Day. All week long, as Uranus ‘turns around,’ certain facets of daily life related to technology are going to be screwy.
“Be patient and pretend it’s a Mercury Retrograde iteration, and just to be safe, back everything up now—really…now. As it makes its ‘course correction’ Uranus squares Mars, so do your best to refuse the temptation to throw your computer, tablet, or smart phone at the wall. Just breathe, please.”
What Will You Risk For Bliss?
How about a breath of completely fresh air? How about dropping the pretense and compromise, instead reaching for your highest heights? Isn’t it time to take the risk of being truly you?
That is The Fool’s gift to you this week, with impeccable, no foolin’ timing.
What power might be present in the tools you carry? What is in your own traveling baggage? What have you already said goodbye to? What new journey beckons?
The Fool is only a fool to those who stand on the sidelines, judging him.
In order to grow into who we truly are, we must be willing to chance it. Taking the risk of authenticity is the scariest, most necessary thing we will ever do.
Leap and look foolish we must, or else join the ranks of the sleep-walkers who think they are safe in their nightmares. I am sure that you, as I do, see them every day.
This week, if you were to simply follow your bliss, what foolish steps would you take? What new path lies before you, beckoning to your wildest, truest desires?
Do not overthink this. Time to get swept off your feet, Frodo!
In the old ways of our ancestors, under this Blue Moon of Lughnasadh, let us, you and I, dance on the foolish edge.
For ours is none other than the dream of the Dreamer.