The eternal traveller, ready for the lesson. Mind open and free, bounding into the unknown.
People who devote their energies to spirituality are called "fools" in our time; this could be a modern interpretation of the message contained in this card. If a reverent approach to life is considered foolish, perhaps society needs to rethink its premises. People waste massive amounts of energy on "Not Looking Foolish." The Fool defeats the Cold-Eyed Rationalist. The Fool is credulous, but his credo is in the Abstract Mystery.
The Fool's face looks up in awe - this is one of the most important impulses to cultivate. Awe implies gratitude, another important impulse to practice and develop. The Fool is amazed and ready to partake of the universe that has been handed to him.
AWE is the Hallmark of a Religious Experience
The Fool is "ingenuous" - that is, innocent, trusting, un-manipulating, un-cynical. This characteristic, combined with awe and gratitude, produces a Healing Elixir, a nectar that dissolves negative emotions. Hatred, rage, resentment, envy, jealousy, hopelessness, vengefulness, bitterness, cynicism, and self-loathing dissolve in the presence of True, Innocent Gratitude, with no ulterior motive. Being truly grateful for every breath, for our bodies, our food, and all of the other small miracles of life is enough to melt, or "sweeten" negative emotions of any stripe.
"Luck is being ready"
- Brian Eno
The Fool's innocence and openness make him ready for opportunity. His cheerfulness is a vital ingredient in attracting people who can help; just as a resentful or pouting attitude seems to drive them away. He is not carrying a lot a baggage - this is another way of saying he has forgiven, and is free from entanglements, resentment, and cynicism. There is no chip on his shoulder.
The Fool lives in the Here and Now. His connection with the life force is immediate. He sees richness and depth in every detail; appreciates each moment.
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an Hour.
- William Blake
The Fool travels light, and he has a slight build. Because he is grateful, he wastes nothing, is frugal, and treasures simplicity.
Waste Betrays Gratitude
An obvious question is "Gratitude to Who? Or to What?" The fact that we cannot describe "God-ess" is not what is important here. The point is to engender "gratefulness" within ourselves; and to only make metaphors for the object of our feelings. Metaphor is our only tool for describing the Eternal - it is a boundary between Chochma and Binah, where undifferentiated wisdom becomes word.
The Fool's androgynous appearance shows another compulsion dropped - he (or she?) has reached a harmony with the Male/Female halves and is either self contained, or has perhaps transcended the entire issue of sex. From this perspective, the Fool has a kinship with the Hermit, and the Lovers, both ruled by androgynous Mercury.
The Fool's dog shows unconditional loyalty, affection, vitality, enthusiasm and vital force.
People may think you're a fool, but maybe you're fooling them. So what of the opinions of fools? ... Just don't fool yourself. The basis of theft is pretending we can fool ourselves, or the All Seeing Eye of the Creator.