Our purpose in life is not a thing that we must choose or figure out; it is revealed by moving towards it.
In this week of High Summer, where last week’s Lion apparently continues its journey with us, with both the Sun and New Moon roaring into the sign of Leo, it is with a glad heart that we welcome The Fool.
Sometimes disliked by those who revere analytical logic and the feeling of being in control, The Fool is a card of joy, risk-taking, and spontaneity.
In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, The Fool sports a jaunty red feather. His arms are spread wide, his heart is unshielded. 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 tunic is covered in circles divided into eighths – referencing the eight quarters and cross-quarter holidays of the Wheel of the Year. How fitting that we are nearing the cusp of the First Harvest.
As he stands on the edge of his tumble 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?
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 Tarot Trumps offer us powerful life lessons that affect all aspects of our lives.
So, after last week’s Major about courage and passion, it’s time to follow through. Now is the moment to launch into the unknown. The Fool invites a complete reboot, right down to the soul level of our lives.
A Double-Shot of Leo
I have been absorbing with a glad heart these fierce, hot, juicy days of full-on Summer. But on Saturday, the Sun shifts from the nurturing, emotional, Solstice-bringer of Cancer to gregarious, fiery Lughnasadh-celebrating Leo. And less than 24 hours later, the New Leo Moon will also align with the Lion’s brilliant, extroverted sparkle.
Annie Heese of Cafe Astrology tells us more about this time of the Sun in Leo:
In Leo, the Sun is proud, outgoing, and playful. The Leo Sun is intensely individual—not content with simply being just one of the team.
It’s time to shine, add a touch of color and drama to our lives, and perform. Like the flowers and fruit of the season–blossoming and ripened–this is a time when we want to enjoy ourselves and express ourselves.
We are more generous and grand in our gestures and attitudes.
And with the Moon in the Lion’s sign, she explains:
The New Moon in Leo presents an opportune time to commit to personal goals that express the positive energies of the sign of the Lion:
- build our self-confidence by discovering our paths as distinct individuals, and express ourselves confidently;
- uncover our unique creative powers;
- make a conscious effort to deal with others in a more personal, involved, and loving manner, rather than falling back on reason and intellect which detaches us from our feelings;
- begin a new romance–whether that’s with a person or a creative hobby–or re-commit to our enjoyment of an existing romance;
- commit to adding more leisure time and “play” time to our lives;
- allow ourselves to assert our individuality by taking an educated risk;
- allow our “inner child” to come out and play;
- commit to plans related to games, sports, recreation, speculation, hobbies, children, romance and dating.
Who in the Tarot could be a better companion for such times than The Fool?
Play Days and Changes Ahead
The Fool is a splendid companion for those of us taking our Summer vacations, leaving behind for a little while our serious grown-up responsibilities and cares.
(You are giving yourself that, right? If your workaholic adult self wants to deny you or load you down with conditions, here is a New York Times article to convince even the toughest inner critic).
The Fool awakens our creativity, innocence, and joy. He is our ideal playmate for Summer’s carefree days.
His designation of the Zero is how we can step outside of our busy day-to-day agendas. What would life look like for you, if you were given a fresh, clean slate?
Summer is now at Her most glorious crescendo, but after the climax, the descent must come. Indeed, despite this time’s luxuriant tangle of beauty and abundance, there are already subtle signs of the waning of the year, if you are paying attention.
School supply sales are popping up like toadstools after a Summer shower, and I have seen several bright crimson buckeye leaves, along with a lemony yellow poplar leaf that has fallen into the glossy arms of a camellia on our Faery path.
The hummingbirds are feasting and fattening up, and although bird migrations are still only a faint murmur on the horizon, the earlier setting of the Sun points toward the inevitability of Lughnasadh, First Harvest, arriving week after next.
If you are still, even in the breathless heat, you can sense the shifting winds of change, heat lightning and thunder far away, and the stirrings of transition. We have come to a threshold of endings and beginnings and the pause between.
The Fool bids us to leap without looking into what is yet to be.
I Double-Dog Dare You
He dares us to break free of convention, and be boldly honest. We invoke The Fool when we speak truth to power. He cares not one bit if he is criticized or laughed at.
Yet unlike some in the current spotlight who have gained positions of power by pretending innocence and playing the fool, this archetype is incapable of guile. He is a guardian and guide whose candid boldness is never tainted by hubris or manipulation.
Thus, he bestows the gift of seeing through deception by our insistence on simplicity and transparency.
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 in the eyes of those who judge him. In his own mind, he is simply following his bliss. Thus, the Universe supports the Fool’s leap, for he embodies what is most tender and noble in our humanity.
No breakthrough, no cure, no discovery, no accomplishment in human history was ever made without someone being ridiculed as a fool for trying. And as you well know, to fall in love is to risk being The Fool.
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, throughout our lives.
But dare we must, or else join the ranks of the lost, who are paralyzed in fruitless caution. I am sure you, as do I, see them every day.
The Juicy Antidote for Our Illusion of Control
Here in North Carolina, the leaves are so lush, you can’t see our house from the road. The beautiful fruits of the season, which I was utterly unable to tolerate last Fall, are at their most luscious peak and happily melt on my tongue. Though the self I was only a year ago is forever gone, I welcome with open arms the new woman, yet unknown, who is rising from the ashes.
I am releasing what once was, but is now gone — especially the illusion that I was in control. As I am liberated from that self-inflicted burden, I am free to dive in to all the potential and mystery of what is yet to be.
What about you?
Please don’t overthink this! The Fool’s great gift is to turn our backs on criticism and perfectionism, instead embracing “beginner’s mind.” He reminds us that we must be willing to risk failure.
Who cares if we look incompetent, silly, childlike, and raw? So what if we end up having to clean up a mistake or two, as long as our hearts are true?
Even though success cannot be guaranteed, you will always lose out on the attempts you do not make.
What crazy, foolish, you-ought-to-know-better thing is your spirit crying out for this week? For truly, you must take that step.
No more waiting, planning, wishing, dithering, second thoughts, and self-doubts. This is your “get out of jail free” card.
To discover your true purpose, dance with joy into what is uncertain, and kiss your life’s adventure full on the lips.