The card carries a warning, though. It's shown by that little dog nipping at The Fool's heels, trying to warn him to watch his step and notice the cliff right in front of him. This doesn't mean he shouldn't be on this trek, not at all! It just means he needs to be present in the moment, and he needs to pay attention to what's around him. Above all, he needs to respect the journey he's about to take.
This is what it's like for a writer when s/he's ready for a new beginning, a new book. As writers, we have to reach a place of fresh beginnings in our minds and hearts to start this journey. There's a fabulous sense of freedom and a surge of energy that come with that. It's a wide open chance we're giving ourselves to write an incredible story. What a great feeling. There is a certain delightful naiveté to this state of being, which is where the name, The Fool, comes from in Tarot. But I think we can consider ourselves Sojourners once we've committed to write that book, especially if it's not our first. We know about that little dog's warning. To succeed, we must enter the journey not only with an open heart, but a willingness to pay close attention to what we come across along the way, and perhaps change direction as we learn from it.
The Fool's journey will be long and exciting, possibly arduous. He will meet fascinating, wonderful, disturbing, and dangerous people and situations on the path that he must travel. There will be challenges, joys, and unexpected discoveries, both pleasant and not so pleasant. Will the sojourner take advantage of all that's on offer as he goes on his quest, learning from every danger, thriving from every gift, or will he ignore the dangers, underutilize the gifts, and be an actual fool (step off that cliff)?
The Fool's journey in Tarot is a beautifully wrought metaphor for a seeker's life, or a writer's quest. It is laid out through twenty-two cards called major arcana, each of which represents a major step along the way. I'm thinking it would be fun to follow The Fool's path, and learn from his encounters. I'll be posting each Monday on his steps for a while, reporting on the wisdoms he acquires as he goes.
Next week, we'll see what The Fool finds when he opens that pack, because according to Tarot, that is the next step. The pack contains tools, and they are revealed to The Fool on The Magician's table. Whew, I'm so glad he's going to make it to see The Magician. He didn't step off that cliff.
I'm about at this stage in my new novel. I've got those tools in my hands and am plying them as best I can. I wouldn't mind some advice from The Magician about now. Okay, I'll just reveal that I already did ask him which tools to use first, and how to reach my goal of finishing my book as I've envisioned it. And he said, "Sojourner, that's the wrong question." But he wouldn't tell me what he meant yet. I'll get it out of him before next week, promise!
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.