Monday, April 25, 2011

You've Got What It Takes to Succeed: Week 2 with Tarot's Fool

FoolLast week we met The Fool from Tarot and found out he's a lot like us when we start off on our magnficent quest to write a book. Filled with excitement and possibility, he's practically giddy with imagining what he may accomplish. But as the little dog nipping at his heels warns him, he needs to watch his step, and learn from all his upcoming encounters in order to find his true path. There will be 21 incredible, enlightening, scary, joyful encounters along The Fool's journey to success, and each Monday we'll travel with him to find out what he learns.

This week the journey begins! So okay, hold on, here we go. First stop: The Magician. The Magician is #1 in Tarot, an indivisible number, the power of self-fulfillment. Wow.

When the Fool encounters this remarkable personage with the symbol of infinity floating over his head like a halo, the Magician says, "What do you have in that pack on your staff?"  And the Fool willingly hands it over. Raising his wand to heaven, and pointing his finger at the earth, the Magician does his abracadabra thing and voilà! The pack falls open on his table to reveal all the possibilities for the Fool's future. There's a Sword, a Wand, a Cup, and a Pentacle.  All tools with powers to get the Fool to his destination. Here is everything the Fool needs to achieve anything he wants, become anything he wants. What shall he choose?

The Sword represents Air: pure mind, thinking, speaking; anything to do with words or thoughts. With the sword, he can cut through any nonsense, or cut to the quick.
The Wand is Fire: passion, ambition, creative endeavors. The wands offer energy, dedication, focus, and the ability to work hard.
The Cup is Water: emotions: love, hate, elation, depression, bliss (you get the idea). What can't we do or be with these at our dispoasal?
The Pentacle is Earth:  the body and the physical, represents health and money. If we're going to indulge in air, fire, and water, we'd better be grounded, and pentacles do that for us, plus let us experience the fruits of our labors in a healthy way.

"Were those really all in my pack?" the Fool asks. "Or did you create them with your wand?"

The Magician smiles but will not answer. He says instead, "We can create things by willpower and desire.  These are the tools to do that."

"But what tool do I use first, and how do I use it to achieve my goal?" the Fool asks. (Oops, that was really me asking how to finish my book as brilliantly as I've envisioned it, at the end of last week's post, remember?  And the Magician answered: "That is the wrong question, Sojourner.")  So REVISION: The Fool asks, "How shall I proceed?"

And at this question, the Magician waves his wand, and Presto! He reveals NEW IDEAS.  Tarot says that The Fool had these ideas all along, he just didn't know it.  But now that they've been revealed to him, he can pick those tools up and get a move on.
The question now is, what will he do with these ideas?  Seems like he should know. I've (I mean He's) thought about this book (I mean goal) for a while. But now that his hands are filled with these incredible, powerful tools, he's afraid to wield them to make his idea a reality. That puppy nipping at his heels has taught him a thing or two about being careful. He needs a little bit of guidance on how to use those tools well. For that, he'll have to journey forth until he happens upon the next powerful and amazing personage on his path: The High Priestess.  Now that is one mysterious lady.

Next week The Fool will sit at her feet and learn some secrets, or more likely, he'll learn how to learn his own deepest secrets.  Hmmmm.

My interpretation of The Fool's Journey as it applies to the writing life is my own, but the journey itself is long-established information from a variety of sources.  Those I've relied on most heavily are: TAROT BASICS by Burger & Fiebig, AECLECTIC TAROT by Thirteen, and EVERYDAY TAROT by Fairfield.


  1. Linda, I love the fool and his journey. We are all on that journey, and once we know how to use our tools... Wait, we do know how to use them.
    Why don't we?

    Fear. Why are we afraid? How will the fool conquer his fear and move forward. Oh... are those the secrets?

    I mean he has the tools! Why doesn't he just use them? I can hardly wait to read next week when the fools secrets are unearthed.

  2. I'm excited to follow you (I mean him!) on the path to discovery! It's interesting how we have the right tools, it's just a matter of realizing that and then figuring out how to use them. So true!

  3. Karlene, you are so right! Why don't we just use those tools? What's holding us back? Fear? Confusion? Past bad experience when we, oops! stepped off that cliff and did not fly? We can do it! If the Fool, can, we can.

  4. It will be an excellent path of discovery, Heather. I'm (I mean he's) pretty darned excited about this.

  5. What an awesome series! I love the symbolism.

  6. Thanks, Matthew, I'm glad you like it. Metaphor and symbolism galore in this journey of ours! Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

  7. This stuff is fascinating! What will the Fool learn next?

  8. We shall see, Lydia! I sure hope he has an open mind and a strong will.

  9. Oooh, a sense a romance in the works. :D

  10. See that, Stina! The Fool's Journey takes each of us where we want and need to go. Cool! (Personally, I love a good romance!)

  11. Someone once said, "Persistence is a fool's best asset." I guess a fool and a writer do have things in common.

  12. I never heard that one, Em, but it makes you think, doesn't it? Yes, persistence, the hallmark of successful writers (and fools?). In Tarot the Fool is really the Journeyer, or the Sojourner--only foolish if he doesn't pay attention to what's around him. And if he doesn't persist in his journey, all those powerful discoveries will never be made. So it does fit. Thanks for that perspective.

  13. I'm in the process of tying up loose ends in one project and just starting another. So, I'll be tuning in for more! Love this post! Fun! :-)

  14. Hey, Maria, great to see you! Yup, fun. Fun and secrets. What could be better? So glad you dropped by.

  15. This is very interesting, not only as something new to learn, but as to how it applies to my own growth as a writer. Thanks for taking us on this journey.

  16. You're welcome, Laura. The Fool really does have some incredible lessons to share with us, the kind that resonate no matter what your journey is about. So glad you're along for the ride! (And I agree, it seems especially poignant for creative types, like writers, who must delve deep to express themselves well.)

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