Tarot Card Meanings: The Fool

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The Fool (“Le Mat”) – Card 0/Card XXII

As announced yesterday, I’ll be spending some time in the coming weeks putting up material on this website that’s aimed at capturing some basic Tarot card meanings for each of our 78 members of the deck.  I’m trying to do this in such a way that the results will focus on the basic traits of a card that are common to all of the major decks’ portrayals of that card.

Today marks the inaugural post in this series, as I take a gander at THE FOOL. What I put forth in that entry will hopefully feel applicable to whichever version of the Tarot’s Fool you know best, be it the Rider-Waite-Smith version shown above, the Crowley-Harris Thoth version, the Tarot de Marseilles version, or something other than those.

As always, your feedback is more than welcome!  Do you have questions about The Fool?  Did I not cover something about the card that you feel is important?  Is there anything you’d like to see included when I get to subsequent cards?  You can always reach me via my CONTACT page…

For now, I hope you enjoy those new thoughts on The Fool!

Site Upgrade Underway: Tarot Card Meanings Section!

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Site construction underway…

As a sort of public service to site visitors here, I’ve decided to start building in some free resources.  The first order of business under this heading will be to write up and post a list of generally accepted TAROT CARD MEANINGS.

Full disclosure: I was born and raised in the US, and I spend virtually all of my time in the mode of the English-speaker…and this state of affairs definitely informs my Tarot practice.  With that in mind, I’ll be writing up this section based on studies of the three most influential decks in this English-speaking sector of the Tarot world: the Rider-Waite-Smith deck (“RWS”), the Crowley-Harris Thoth deck (“Thoth”), and the Tarot de Marseilles deck (“TdM”).  To be very clear, though, I realize – and hopefully you will, too – that these are not the only decks in the world, and that people who speak languages other than English as their primary tongues may prioritize other decks than these.  No one way of doing things in this regard should ever be seen as “The Right Way.”

My opening entry for this new section just went up today, with more to follow until I’ve covered all 78 cards in a standard Tarot deck.

Once I pass that milestone, I plan to do a similar Resources page that puts forth generally accepted meanings for the Elder Futhark system of Runes, and I’ll put together yet another section to capture some commonly used meanings for the various symbols that comprise modern Astrology (including the Planets, the Signs, and the Houses).

This will all take some time, so please bear with me!  And any suggestions and requests are more than welcome.  Please reach me via my CONTACT page.

Divination Referencing Divination

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If systems of divination – such as Tarot, Runes, or Astrology – can be seen as microcosms of the larger Universe that they peer into, then doesn’t it make sense that these systems themselves must appear somewhere within their own boundaries? That is, if Tarot, for example, does exist in the Universe, and if Tarot is a model of that Universe…then doesn’t Tarot also have to appear within Tarot?

So where does it do that? And where do the Runes refer to themselves? Where does Astrology talk about…Astrology?

Let’s take these one at a time, starting with Tarot. I believe I first saw the following idea put forth by Mary K. Greer in her book, Tarot for Your Self. The notion here is that Tarot captures itself – among other things – within the borders of the High Priestess card.

This conclusion makes fabulously good sense to me, and feels utterly on point, and I feel certain that I would have landed on this same association for myself even if I’d never read Ms. Greer’s book.

As you may know, The High Priestess is a keeper of arcane knowledge. She sits between the polarities of Light and Dark, and of Life and Death, calmly luminous in her twilight, threshold state, just sort of eternally knowing stuff. I like to think of her as the sort of cosmic Librarian who presides over the vast institution where the Akashic Records are kept. She’s the gatekeeper to all wisdom that ever was, is, could be, and will be…and if you approach her with the right mixture of curiosity and respect, she just might share some of her secrets with you…and couldn’t we say the exact same things about Tarot?

Over in the realm of the Elder Futhark Runes, I direct your attention to the P-Rune, the one called Perthro. This is a very mysterious and very mystical symbol. Some Rune scholars hold that Perthro is arguably an intruder into this Runic alphabet, as there’s some evidence indicating that the Germanic tribespeople who employed the Elder Futhark didn’t actually even have a P-sound in their spoken language! And if that’s the case…then what is that letter doing there? Who invited it, and why…? Well…maybe it’s there to contain all the other letters, is one possibility…

Just look at the shape of it. If you were to rotate it 90 degrees in a counter-clockwise fashion, it would look very much like a Rune pouch sitting on a flat surface, with its mouth slightly open, allowing access to the Runes inside. Visually, then, it certainly feels like a Rune that talks about the Runes.

But also consider the meanings that are most commonly associated with Perthro. It’s directly translated most often as meaning either “dice-cup” or “vulva.” The former term indicates an actual prop that was once used in a game of chance played by the people who worked with the Runes back in their pre-Viking day. The latter term makes reference to the external portion of the female genital anatomy…which has certainly been characterized by no shortage of people as a gateway to mystery! These attributions could definitely be seen as compatible with the possibility that Perthro is where the Runes refer back to themselves.

And in more general terms, when Perthro appears in a reading, it’s taken to mean things like magic, secrets, fertility, and creativity. Again, the overall vibe feels very consistent with a symbol that’s meant to embody the Runes themselves as a whole.

And finally, what about Astrology? Where does this particular esoteric science indicate itself? Probably the most commonly held viewpoint on this one would be that if you want to see Astrology talk about Astrology, you look at the very individualist Planet called Uranus, and also at the symbols most closely associated with it, including the Sign of Aquarius and the Eleventh House.

Uranian energy tends to be very unique and innovative, and it can correlate with instances of genius and eccentricity. It can be very progressive and forward-looking. It often operates like a lightning bolt: it builds in mostly unforeseen fashion, and then erupts in a flash of brilliance…quite like the way in which epiphanies triggered by the study of an astrological chart can manifest.

But like I said, Uranus and its associated symbols are the ones that are most often cited as carrying the energetic signature of Astrology itself…but I don’t know that I see the fit here as being quite as terrifically on point as saying that The High Priestess is the Tarot card that talks about Tarot, or that Perthro is the Rune that encompasses the Runes.

It’s my own belief that in the astrological realm, it makes some sense to see any divinatory system as also correlating with the dreamy Planet, Neptune (not to mention the Sign of Pisces and the mystical Twelfth House). We obviously have no standardized and measurable proofs we can consult when assigning these kinds of values to our divinatory symbols, so much of what we arrive at here will be down to personal taste…but I don’t feel quite as ready to say “Uranus is the astrological symbol of Astrology” as I am ready to champion The High Priestess and Perthro as the self-referencing members of their own respective divinatory sets.

But whatever system of divination you favor, if it’s one of those that involves the use and interpretation of a given set of symbols, you can almost bet that one of those symbols will refer back to the very same system of divination that it hails from. And when these are the specific symbols that start to appear for you with some frequency, it could be a sort of uber-message telling you that you, personally, have some special bond with that particular system, and you might do well to dive into it more deeply…

Come learn Tarot, Runes, or Astrology with me!  I offer PRIVATE LESSONS in these systems, and for Tarot, I also offer the 10-session TAROT TOOLKIT ONLINE COURSE:

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TAROT READING: The Week Ahead

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If you’re reading about this reading, then this reading is for you. Here’s what’s on tap for this upcoming new week:

King of Swords * The Hierophant * Knight of Wands

It looks like everyone will be conspiring to have you gazing back into the past this week. You’ll be inclined to fixate on the way things were: what you were once like, how the world used to be, what you did, what you failed to do. Past passions and former ideas making up your worldview will rise to the forefront of your consciousness again and again. And when you’re not dwelling on these things, other people will be there to do it for you.

But you can’t live in the past. You can learn a lot from it, but then you need to apply those lessons in the present, and you also need to leave some bandwidth available to start addressing the future. As we all know, the future will march inexorably toward us, join us in the present for a split-second of intimacy…and then fall behind us as more of that ever-growing past.

So this week, while you and everybody in your vicinity will seem to be extra-focused on yesterday…look for that one person who stands out with their more forward-looking approach. If you can spot the individual who points out your own road into tomorrow, then you just may have found your next important teacher, mentor, or inspiration. Soak up some of their knowledge, and put some of it to use in sowing some seeds for your future.

Learn Tarot with me! Through PRIVATE LESSONS or via the TAROT TOOLKIT ONLINE COURSE, I can teach you Tarot card meanings, deck structure, and how to interpret interactions among the various cards as you read for yourself and others!

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TAROT SPREAD: The Soul-Coffee Spread

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It’s New Spread Saturday again! This is a monthly photo-challenge event on Instagram in which Tabitha Dial and I invite anyone and everyone who’s interested to create and share their own original Tarot spreads. You can track the goings-on over on IG by using the hashtag #newspreadsaturday.

It’s easy to participate, too: just cook up your own original Tarot spread, take a photo of cards laid out in the proper configuration for that spread, and put up a post on IG explaining what each card position in the photo means. You can use that same hashtag to look up past and current entries if you want some guidance and inspiration on how to go about contributing. Here’s my own new spread for this month: the Soul-Coffee Spread…

Coffee is a passion shared by millions of people around the world. If you’re a fan, there’s nothing quite like that much-needed cup of joe lighting up your insides with its life-giving blend of taste, aroma, and sheer pick-me-up.

But what serves the same purpose for your spirit? What gets you all revved up and ready for the world?

What’s your ideal cup of metaphorical soul-coffee like?

1 = INTAKE. Small, medium, or large? Tall, Grande, or Venti? Petite, Moderate, or Frigging Gargantuan? Whatever your spiritual go-juice is, when you ingest it, do you do that in small quantities, or do you need to have barrels of it on hand? Do you sip it delicately, or do you guzzle it down in great gulps? What’s your intake like?

2 = TASTE. Some like their coffee strong and bitter, so that swallowing it is almost like a trial…others want it so sweet that a child could happily drink it. Is your soul-coffee harsh and demanding…light and sugary…or something in between?

3 = INTENSITY. You can find coffee drinkers who favor decaf – they like the taste and the smell and the ritual of the coffee, but they don’t want the caffeine. You can also find some for whom the caffeine is the whole point, and the liquid coffee part is just a delivery system. Is your soul-coffee about the pleasures of taking it in…or is it about the rush that it provides you?

4 = ORIGIN. Do you favor a boost that comes from local, homegrown, familiar sources? Or do you feel most drawn to the exotic fare that hails from far-off lands? Where does your soul-coffee originate?

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Weekend Tarot Reading

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L-R: The Ace of Books * The Lovers * 7 of Swords – from the Epic Tarot published by Lo Scarabeo

If you’re reading about this reading, then this reading is for you. It’s what’s up for the weekend just ahead!

🔮  Ace of Books (= Wands) 🔮  The Lovers 🔮  7 of Swords 🔮

This weekend affords you opportunities for interacting with the people you love the most. This is great news! A theme will evolve throughout the weekend, though, of you being confronted more than once with the need to choose how open versus how closed you should be with those loved ones.

On the face of it, this should be a no-brainer, right? Our society teaches us that being open and honest is the virtuous path, while keeping secrets is “bad.” But should we all vomit forth every bit of Truth, no matter how harsh those bits might feel upon receipt by the party on the other end? Questions such as “Does this haircut look good on me?” and “What did you think of my kid now that you finally met?” and “How do you like that song I just wrote?” can put us in a very uncomfortable spot if the true answer would be something along the lines of, “Frankly, he/she/it sucked…”

But then what if we do hold back? What if we tell a “white lie” so as to not hurt someone’s feelings? Does every untruth and every lie by omission constitute another straw on the camel’s back of trust in a given relationship, no matter how well-intentioned those untruths and lies may have been? How open is open enough, and how closed is too closed?

Maybe use the following formula as your guidelines in these dicey situations this weekend (attributed to the Buddha, but refined by the Victorian Era poet, Mary Ann Pietzker):

Is it true?
Is it necessary?
Is it kind?

Happy Friday, everyone!

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Providence Provides!!!

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The Fall Equinox is fast approaching, and with it comes the season of Autumn. Old things fall away, and it’s a beautiful process to behold… As a card-carrying October baby, I’ve always prized this as my favorite season, and this year, it gets spiced up by the added fact that I’m casting off some old things of my own, and moving to a new residence. As of next week, I’ll be making my HQ in the promising city of Providence, Rhode Island, USA!

I aim to become exponentially more productive with my writing after I land for good at my new digs, and it’s interesting to note that famed horror-master H.P. Lovecraft hailed from Providence. It’s also interesting to note that across one of the adjacent streets from my new residence is this huge, sprawling cemetery, shown in this pic here!

I’m not saying I’ll suddenly be conversing with the dead (including Lovecraft himself), or that they’ll suddenly be conversing with me…but I’m also not ruling it out!

And my other metaphysical pursuits roll onward. As always, I’m happy to provide READINGS, TEACHING, REIKI SESSIONS, and COUNSELING via the internet, but if you’re in or near Providence, or if you know somebody who is that would be interested in engaging my services in person, please feel more than invited to reach out to me to set something up!

Meanwhile, I’ll be over here working on getting to know the locals better…both the corporeal and the not-so-much…