I Am the Fool

I am the Fool, just like in the tarot deck, the one who is ready to step off into the unknown, to begin a new journey. I'd love for you to put on your fool's cap and join me. I have been studying and playing with the tarot for a while and decided to dive in and work with the archetypes in a different way -- by creating my own archetypal images of the major arcana using SoulCollage®. I have created an online course that will last for 22 weeks, starting on January 8, that will allow us to make a different SoulCollage® card each week as we start at 0, the Fool, and progress through the Major Arcana until we end at 21, The World, where we will no doubt have learned a lot about ourselves and changed a little in the process.

If you don't know what SoulCollage® is, go here for more information: What Is SoulCollage? If you are interested in learning more about the tarot, haven't tried SoulCollage®, and would like to try your hand at creating your own Major Arcana cards, this would be an easy and fun way to dive in -- like The Fool, stepping off the precipice.

Some of the first SoulCollage® cards I made were recognizable to me as archetypes from the tarot such as The High Priestess, The Empress, The Magician, The Lovers, and Death. They just came through instinctively, but since making these early cards, other iterations have wanted to come forward. Lately, I have been playing with some of the symbols found on classical tarot decks such as Rider-Waite-Smith, and intuitively finding my own meaningful symbols to add.

When beginning the tarot journey, it's a good idea to get familiar with the 22 cards in the Major Arcana --  the archetypes that symbolize life's journey from the Fool or beginner to the integrated human represented by The World Dancer. As you gaze at the 22 cards, ask yourself: Which card resonates with me the most? Which card most intrigues me and which am I most repelled by?

The Fool has always made me happy, even excited. Oh, good, I am about to start a journey! Oh yeah, I am reminded, I don't know anything about this new adventure, and I get to learn. This archetype says that it is okay to not know, to make mistakes, to take risks, as I'm doing with this course. I have been leading e-courses on goddess archetypes -- scaling the heights and plumbing the depths of the divine feminine for the past few years, and I felt ready to make a detour. When I turned 60 this year I felt something inside of me shift and I took a pause from my usual and expected course. In fact I stopped doing what I thought I should do and just let myself be. The Fool came back to me as a starting point.

I made this first Fool card when I started my journey with the goddess archetypes about 5 years ago. I called her The Crone Fool because here I was in my mid-50s embarking on a creative journey that I knew not where it would lead, but I knew it was where my soul needed to go. The prancing, youngish-oldish woman on the top of the mountain danced on a whimsical, colorful background that my daughter created when she was 10 years old. I gave my Fool wings that have the word magic on them. She's wearing a crown, signifying her queenly status and divine inspiration; yet she is playful and joyful, unconcerned about what she should be doing or how she should be acting at her age. That resonated with me. The white dog symbolized purity and instinctual nature, the loyalty of the imaginative realm, once engaged. She is in movement, as the Fool is usually depicted -- active, and on her way. One of the things I started doing at this same time in my life, is going on pilgrimage with other women to other parts of the world to encounter the sacred feminine soul and spirit of the land in Greece, England, and this year, Ireland. While on pilgrimage we are The Fool, traveling light with our knapsack, containing both inner and outer tools needed for such a trip, ready to foray into the Unknown, learning about people and places, and encountering the Self in liminal space and time.

As a therapist I am struck by how often people reveal their biggest fear is when they face the unknown and are about to try something new, because inherent in that fear is the possibility of looking foolish, of making mistakes and being judged for them. There is a little inner smile that I wear when I hear about these fears, for they are universal and certainly ones I have experienced as well, but so often signaling the call to adventure. This is the first stage of the hero's or heroine's journey as Joseph Campbell delineated. It requires that we don't know. It requires that we enter the mystery. It requires that we start something or start over. For only then can we ever hope to know ourselves, to grow and change, to experience life in its full range of musicality--the high and low notes and everything in between. It requires that we make mistakes, that we fall down, that we see ourselves from that position, ignominious as it may be. It requires that we relinquish our pride for a moment and laugh at ourselves. It requires that we stop caring what others may think. It requires that we return to beginner's mind, and in a sense, throw caution to the wind and take a leap of faith. It is one of my favorite cards.

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I made another card as I began this new journey, this time with an androgynous figure -- containing wholeness, both masculine and feminine qualities -- against a background of yellow, symbolic of the sun, of unlimited potential, divine intelligence, a spiritual journey. It seems apparent that this youngster is going to grow and change, that he/she is spontaneously walking forward toward consciousness, with mountains to climb and a willingness to step off the cliff, the little dog of instinctual nature nipping at his heels, eagerly urging him on. The youth is looking up, not down at the path or lack thereof, inspired by the warmth and shining rays of the sun. He is holding a rose, symbolic of the heart and the unfolding Self.

The Fool is the Number 0, the one who contains wholeness within the seed, the one who will come full circle, the one who is all and nothing, the beginning and the end, the one who is the mandala, the cipher, the eye of God. For it is true that within every wise man is a fool and within every fool, a wise man. We are the one and the many and life lies before us if we will but begin.

So here we go! Hop on your cosmic chariot and join me in the New Year of 2017 as we learn about the tarot and it's symbolism, history, alchemical and mystical-religious origins, explore 22 different tarot decks, and most importantly create archetypes and reflections of our own soul, as we advance on the journey towards wholeness.

Go here to register: From Fool to World Dancer: The 22-Week SoulCollage® Journey