If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.
If you were especially curious about what card was going to turn up in this week that is being impacted by Saturn stationing retrograde yesterday, Wednesday’s Full Moon eclipse in Sagittarius, and this coming Saturday’s Mercury retrograde, you aren’t the only one. So, honestly, it was a delight when The Fool jumped into my hand.
Normally, I might expect to see him appear on a New Moon, or some other time of new beginnings, because that is definitely his forte. But as usual, the Tarot has a more nuanced sense of timing than I do, and a little poking around confirms that The Fool knows exactly why he’s come to call this week.
Stepping From Innocence
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 Waite-Smith deck, he sports a jaunty red feather. His arms are spread wide and 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 – possibly referencing the eight quarters and cross-quarter holidays of the Wheel of the Year.
Or perhaps you can see them as eight-pointed stars, as discussed in Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone’s essential classic, Secret Language of the Tarot, which we are currently studying in our Tarot Meetup. The eight-pointed star is often associated with cosmic perfection.
Thus, The Fool stands outside the narrative of the Majors, for he is the Zero in the Tarot – the beginning and end of the Major Arcana journey, but not a part of the story itself.
And as our long-time Meetup member and presenter, Melina, explained last week, the eight-pointed star is also associated with the morning & evening star (planet Venus), and the Star of Ishtar (also associated with Venus).
Which points to the fact that while it is convenient to speak of The Fool as “he,” this figure is certainly androgynous. Many Tarot devotees have also suggested that the card may represent sexual innocence, as well as experiential naivety.
As The Fool stands on the edge of a stride 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?
Creating the World With Your Steps
And speaking of the Amberstones, in their online course, The Birth Cards (tremendously worthwhile for the earnest Tarot explorer), they offer one of my favorite insights regarding The Fool:
The Fool is your beginning — the mystery and delight of your first steps, the moment when everything is new and sparkling for you. You have no past, no future, not even a present — only pure possibility, as yet unrealized…
The Fool creates the world with his steps — the ground rises to meet his feet. There is no ground until he steps.
You create your own world with your steps. Whatever decision you take, even if it is to do nothing, creates your experience moment by moment.
You can consciously choose to put your foot where you will, although you can’t predict the outcome just by where you step.
You can do this unconsciously as well. But nothing happens without a step…Your choice in any moment is to know that you are The Fool or to be unaware of it.
The Fool’s gift is that whether you are aware or not, with every step, you are birthing your world. And thus, the interconnected web that unites us all unfolds by your presence upon it.
This Magical Super Moon
The combination of interwoven star energy this week is unusually powerful. Astrologer Dana Gerhardt notes:
It’s the Super Flower Wesak Blood Moon! The May Full Moon is traditionally called the “Flower Moon” because of the abundance of flowers in gardens this month.
It’s also celebrated around the world as “Wesak,” the Buddha’s birthday. This year the May’s Full Moon will also pass through Earth’s shadow, creating a total lunar eclipse, during which the Moon will appear red, hence the “blood Moon.”
What’s more, this Moon is at perigee, coming closest to Earth in its current orbit. That means it will look bigger and brighter than the average Full Moon, making it a “Supermoon” (the closest Supermoon of 2021). At the least, we can expect a bright night with high ocean tides.
(The last time we had a moon like this was in January 2019, with the Super Blood Wolf Moon.”)
She also offers some beautiful ways to align with this very special lunar energy through ritual.
Wild and pure indeed is The Fool.
And April Elliott Kent’s essay on the Sagittarian influence (in tropical astrology) of this eclipsing Full Moon is quite evocative. She writes:
Some of us are meant to be outsiders, I think. An eclipse in Sagittarius evokes the Stranger, the wanderer within you, who was fated to leave the people to whom she belonged in order to have strange new experiences far from home.
Sagittarius is usually presented as such a happy, positive sign, but being a stranger is not always a great feeling. To make the whole world your home, you might have to let loose of the specific places and situations that give you a sense of belonging.
The Fool is that longing within that sometimes reaches out to be at home everywhere, and sometimes feels it is nowhere. His Zero is apropos: he is outside of things, and yet fully integrated within himself.
Blessed by the retrogrades that are impacting us this week and aided by the Moon’s eclipse (for only 14 minutes of totality), what shadowy cobwebs need to be understood and released? As Elisabeth Grace likes to REmind us, retrogrades are life’s gift to us, so that we can REview, REflect, and REboot.
With The Fool as our guide, we can do so knowing that we are headed for totally uncharted territory. 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 Triumphs offer us powerful life lessons that affect all aspects of our lives.
Get Out of Jail Free
Wave after wave of change has been crashing upon our heads at an ever-accelerating pace. Paralysis is not an option, and there is no “there” to go back to.
The “good old days” really weren’t so good for everyone. And in any case, despite our vaxxing up, taking masks off, and trying to restore “normal,” the past is very much history.
The Fool shows us that even as we take advantage of the astrological gifts of assessment and retrospect, we must keep moving. Trusting Life is the name of this journey, and it will ultimately move him (and us) beyond doubt and second-guessing.
Never mind the many unknowns. At long last (and rather abruptly) our culture’s glorification of stasis and dominance has been irrevocably exposed as illusion. Mystery has been our companion all along.
This week, how might you take your own step of faith, knowing that the beloved Earth will rise up to meet you? If you are poised to embark on a journey — whether it be literal, or one of the mind, heart, or spirit — mind the details, but do not fear.
Here is the wisdom of slipping out of our bonds, letting go, and especially turning away from the need to be in control of everything.
As the world opens back up again, be willing to get off the beaten track. After all, if there’s a beaten track ahead, it is not yours.