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Author Topic: The Fool  (Read 317 times)

EclecticWheel

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The Fool
« on: June 12, 2019, 08:11:07 pm »
To start off this post, I would like to say that the reason I am a participant on this and other forums is in part that I am interested in the intuitions, beliefs, and views people as individuals have.  I do read more formal books on religion and religious history, of course, when I have the time and dedication.  That is also interesting.  But there is nothing like one on one conversation or even a web forum such as this to understand how people as individuals think.

I would like to talk about the Fool.  Does your tradition or other traditions you know of have the concept of a Fool?  If so, what do you think about that?  What does the Fool mean to you if anything?  Do you have any personal associations with that concept?

In Christianity even in the New Testament there is the "fool for Christ's sake."  Such a person rejects worldly concerns, at least in appearance.  A holy Fool in Eastern Orthodoxy is a form of the ascetic life.

The Tarot also has its Fool.  I associate that particular character and symbolism with beginnings, including a phase of my own spiritual beginnings.  Someone foolish and largely blind, but still nevertheless stumbling upon Wisdom.  The Lady Wisdom (the "Anointed Sophia," as I call her) is an important devotional focus of my path, my devotion to the Christ as described in feminine terms.

And I have a friend whose views in my rather humble estimation in many ways are foolish.  I am very skeptical of absolutist views of conduct, absolutist worldviews.  Worldviews in which it is easy to declare many to be wrong, but which is the most grave offence to have declared against one's self.  I consider this to be morally and politically dangerous, again as estimated by my own moral and political standards.  Your mileage may vary.

Nevertheless that friend whose views often seem to be in my opinion so foolish or misguided will sometimes provide me with striking insights.  The point I guess is that we learn from people whose views are different from our own, even if those views seem foolish at first glance or even after heavy evaluation.  I remember that friend describing to me how becoming a great saint is a matter of style, and that has stuck with me. Find your style What does it mean to be a god, whether we are speaking in terms of theosis or some other paradigm?  What does it mean to me in the context of my individual life?  (This may not be relevant to your particular path, but it is a consideration for me.)

Again, in my own life phases the period in which I was inundated with the energy of the Fool was a time of deep searching in the midst of pain and outer peril, searching for meaning and insights.  It was a period of youthful religious experimentation, making mistakes, learning from them, a period of deep but sometimes erratic exploration.  A time of just going with any "religious impulse" that arose and getting totally lost in it.  That is an approach I try to avoid these days, but it did get me somewhere at one time.

This phase of my life is still present to me in some ways and always, I suspect, will be, but I have matured since then, and I try to incorporate new aspects of spirituality that I am exploring into my path with great caution and care.  I try not to add more than is required, and I have to be careful about this because I am OCD and have periodic times of obsession with certain topics.  Finding that balance between my true spiritual needs and my OCD can be a painful struggle.  And sometimes a spiritual element may be better incorporated in my case through passive contemplation than active and structured ritual pursuit.  I have enough rituals.   :)


During the phase of the Fool I did not have such regards.  Nevertheless, I benefited from that period in my life.

I would be greatly interested in other reflections on the Fool, whatever that may mean to you from your studies of the Tarot or religion or in your own life and perspective, should you wish to reflect on that.  Thanks again for reading.
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Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

Klaw

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Re: The Fool
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2019, 10:27:20 pm »
I would like to talk about the Fool. 

The only association I have with a form of the fool would have to be Loki and Coyote, both being tricksters. I have yet to find a benefit in my interactions with Loki. Coyote teaches the great healing powers of laughter and to not take yourself too seriously.

PerditaPickle

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Re: The Fool
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2019, 03:50:28 pm »
I would like to say that the reason I am a participant on this and other forums is in part that I am interested in the intuitions, beliefs, and views people as individuals have.  I do read more formal books on religion and religious history, of course, when I have the time and dedication.  That is also interesting.  But there is nothing like one on one conversation or even a web forum such as this to understand how people as individuals think.

I agree.

Does your tradition or other traditions you know of have the concept of a Fool?  If so, what do you think about that?  What does the Fool mean to you if anything?  Do you have any personal associations with that concept?

No, not really - the only Fool associated with me, off the top of my head, was my younger self!

During the phase of the Fool I did not have such regards.  Nevertheless, I benefited from that period in my life.

I guess that the same could be said of myself, I learned some life lessons and wouldn't be precisely the same person I am today without those experiences.

Aisling

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Re: The Fool
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2019, 06:46:30 pm »
What does the Fool mean to you if anything?  Do you have any personal associations with that concept?

Within the sphere of tarot, I do see that the Fool as the unwary beginner, the uninitiated who seems to be unaware of the peril that is faced. 

However, when it comes to my path, the Fool takes on the role of masked, knowing trickster - the court jester who not only grasps the political workings of the court in which s/he serves but is also able to sway those workings through humor and entertainment. 

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Donal2018

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Re: The Fool
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2019, 04:04:40 pm »
I would like to talk about the Fool.  Does your tradition or other traditions you know of have the concept of a Fool?  If so, what do you think about that?  What does the Fool mean to you if anything?  Do you have any personal associations with that concept?...

The Tarot also has its Fool.  I associate that particular character and symbolism with beginnings, including a phase of my own spiritual beginnings.  Someone foolish and largely blind, but still nevertheless stumbling upon Wisdom.  The Lady Wisdom (the "Anointed Sophia," as I call her) is an important devotional focus of my path, my devotion to the Christ as described in feminine terms...

I would be greatly interested in other reflections on the Fool, whatever that may mean to you from your studies of the Tarot or religion or in your own life and perspective, should you wish to reflect on that.  Thanks again for reading...

I have UPG about the Fool and other aspects of Tarot. I am heavily influenced by Milton's Paradise Lost in my personal gnosis. I often look at the Tarot from a Judeo-Christian perspective. It is clearly structured around aspects of Kabbalah, and I look at it from an esoteric Christian Kabbalah perspective. I use Rider Waite decks because the visual symbolism is clear and deliberate.

So, when I see the Fool, it often represents to me the idea of Lucifer before his Fall from Heaven. Thus, the Fool represents to me a kind of unwitting separation from God and/or the Divine and Sacred, however you define it.

Looking at the Fool in the context of a Tarot spread, this view is not absolute. Separation from God need not be permanent. In fact, separation from God can be the starting point of a spiritual journey, the Fool's Journey, moving from disconnection towards reconnection and integration.

As such, one of my interpretations of the Fool in a Tarot spread is often that the client I am reading for needs to reconnect with the Divine, and not in a simple or brief way. Rather, it is about a project of dedicating oneself to a spiritual process of self-improvement. It is the starting point.

Anyway, those are some of my thoughts on the Fool archetype. There are other aspects and interpretations, which sometimes have to do with whatever other Tarot cards appear in a particular spread. More could be said, but I will leave off at the moment.

Jenett

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Re: The Fool
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2019, 04:13:02 pm »
I would be greatly interested in other reflections on the Fool, whatever that may mean to you from your studies of the Tarot or religion or in your own life and perspective, should you wish to reflect on that.  Thanks again for reading.

A slightly odd reading recommendation - there is a book in Laurie R. King's Kate Martinelli series (contemporary to the mid-90s [1], San Francisco), called To Play the Fool. While it's a mystery (Kate is a police detective), it draws on King's early academic work in comparative religion and how she explores the concept of the fool has some really interesting aspects.

(This blog post from her suggests some of the aspects.)

[1] I footnote because while it is quite progressive for the time it was written, there are some aspects that have aged less well in terms of how we talk about orientation, etc. now. Dated more than a problem, but ... it's a book from the 90s. A lot has changed.)
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Klaw

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Re: The Fool
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2019, 04:43:23 pm »
A slightly odd reading recommendation - there is a book in Laurie R. King's Kate Martinelli series (contemporary to the mid-90s [1], San Francisco), called To Play the Fool. While it's a mystery (Kate is a police detective), it draws on King's early academic work in comparative religion and how she explores the concept of the fool has some really interesting aspects.

This brings to mind a novel Coyote Blue by Christopher Moore. Great example for a fool.

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