Notes on The Fool (The Wanderer)
Four Pillars Society Tarot by Gary Rosenberg (GAR) and Nyxsaurius Fallsong
Legend: Through the Tiger’s Maw and Cracking Egg, a new existence has begun
A black translucent egg is seen hovering over the mostly formless ground. Within the egg can be seen what appears to be a brain and a heart. The egg is cracking and there seems to be some kind of energy radiating through, enveloping the egg as if it were about to crack open. On top of the egg is a cream-coloured top hat with a pink band. At a strange angle, a tiger can be seen. Hanging from the tiger’s maw is the bindlestiff that is normally carried by either vagabonds or the Fool in many tarot decks. The Tiger is walking away from the egg. Around the card can be seen various barely formed sigils that seem to be almost shifting in a manner as if they were constantly reforming in synch with the egg.
Potential and Possibility have amazing potency. The only limits come from the imagination or lack of it. If you combine the Fool’s (0) Possibility with the Focused intent of the Magus (1) then manifestation will occur. Nothing and Everything in a constant dance. Yet no matter how much becomes manifest, potential never becomes diminished. Each time the egg opens, an existence runs its course, the fool’s quest begins and ends again and it all returns and begins again. The realized heart of the Fool from earlier existences finds its way by chance into a new cycle of becoming.
About the Archetype:
Many people see the sequence of the Major Arcana as representing a journey towards self-actualization. This journey may be a physical one, a psychological one, or a spiritual one. Following the Golden Dawn teachings, this journey starts with The Fool. The Fool’s number is 0 and as such he or she holds the potential for all things. The Fool is beyond duality and indeed one way of looking at the Major Arcana is as the journey back after the fall into duality (represented by the Magician and the High Priestess) and the reconciliation thereafter. The Fool is both seed and egg, representing the potential to be all. He / She is the hero of Joseph Campbell’s Hero cycle. We represent the Fool anytime we embark on a new phase of life, especially ones where we leave our safety zones and enter the unknown. Consider Alice jumping down the rabbit hole or Jack about to climb the beanstalk. It is not accidental that so many of these metaphors seem somewhat Freudian. In adolescence, we individuate from our families and awake to our own sexual identities, almost a literal fall to adulthood.
Above everything else this breaking away and embarking on our own adventure is exhilarating as it is frightening. Jack joyfully climbs the beanstalk as Alice slides down the rabbit hole as Dorothy travels to Oz. They maintain their curiosity, their nerve, their instincts, and their intelligence.
In typical depictions of the Fool, he has his belongings tied onto a staff he carries representing the qualities he brings into the adventure. In my version, the guitar symbolizes exactly that. The dog barking at his feet represents the Fool’s instincts and intuition which help guide him or her along their way
Planet: Uranus (Element of Air) When the tarot was first popularized, the only planetary attributes that were used were the Sun, Moon, and the five classical planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn). Uranus was not discovered until 1781. This was followed by the discovery of Neptune in 1846 and Pluto in 1930. Originally The Fool, The Hanged Man, and Judgement were said to be ruled by the elements of Air, Water, and Fire respectively while the World had both the planet Saturn and the element of Earth attributed to it.
Air is the element of thought and any undertaking begins with an idea. We wish to learn something or find out what will happen when trying something and we do it. Often this requires a leap of the imagination if not faith. Air is the element of Spring and of all new beginnings and starts.
Uranus is often called the ‘awakener’ astrologically there can be many startling changes in whatever area of our chart Uranus is travelling through at the time. The influence of Uranus is innovative, intuitive, and inventive and encourages us to use the talents we have in ways we had never thought of before.
In a Reading:
When the Fool turns up in a reading it is often an indication that we cannot reason ourselves out of our current state. Instead, we need to trust the adventure and our instincts and jump. It may indicate that we have embarked on a new stage of life and we need to go with it in a spirit of openness and joy. The Fool tells us to trust our hearts and let go of fear-based thinking. It is possible that the Fool is cautioning us against reckless behaviour and telling us that we are close to ‘falling off a cliff’. Usually, we seldom come that close to disaster without feeling it on some level so once again the Fool is telling us to trust those instincts.
The reversed or badly aspected Fool quite often tells us we need to reason things out more than we have and that our actions of late may have been a bit foolhardy. It may indicate that in pursuing our own path we may have been inconsiderate and neglectful of those around us. It may also be an indication that we need to connect more with our inner selves.
At first glance, the most relatable part of the card is the Fool’s bindlestiff. Traditionally it was held by the Fool however he is nowhere to be seen. The Tiger of Chance, which holds the Spark of Life in the Four Pillars Legend, could be easily blamed for eating him. That isn’t the case though, the mind and heart of the fool seem to be in this egg of sorts. Knowing the Fool it could be another leap he is about to take.
It is also worth noting that the top hat seems to be a part of the egg as if they are both a part of the same being. Could this be another trick of the Tiger? It would seem that until the egg hatches anything is possible.