It is almost time for the Fool's journey to end, for he is about to achieve his quest. And what a journey it's been! You may be surprised to know that after all the transformations he's been through, he once again looks exactly like this----------------->
How can that be? He's been turned upside down and inside out; into an old old man and, at times, no more than a smear of protoplasm on the basement floor of self-discovery. And yet here he is. About to take that momentous last step.
Before he could do this, the Fool had to call up his past—everything he learned about himself during his journey that no longer serves him—and finally put it all to rest (Week 20: Judgement). That, as he found out, does not mean exorcising his past from his life, or even tucking it safely away under lock and key where it can't affect him—that's not possible. It means accepting all that he's been and done, without judgment, at which point it vanishes as an active force. He did that, and now he is who he is, no more and no less, and he is fully in the present. Ahhhh.
With an open heart, the Fool turns to the path to take the last step. He finds himself once again standing at the edge of that same cliff where we met him. But this time, instead of stepping carefully away from the precipice, he steps right off the cliff . . . and soars. Higher and higher, until the whole of the world is his to see.
He dances above the world and experiences it in all its fullness. He sees that the end to his long journey has come, and that, waiting for him in the world below is well-earned praise, celebration and success.
From this vantage point, he looks back to where he began—at his idealism and assumptions, his willingness to expose and pursue his desire, and he knows none of this would have happened without that.
He realizes there is no separation between his body and mind and his quest. In the end, it is all one.
What else will happen? He sees that in addition to all the celebrating, there will be new opportunity. Maybe he'll become a teacher, or a sought-after lecturer. Long, fantastic trips are in his future, too. He feels whole, and happy.
Tarot's Fool is no fool, though. Soon he'll think about possibilities, good and bad, and be open to the experiences they may bring. He'll think about how important it is to stay open, to be a good citizen, and to be a good fighter. Aware of his mind and his environment, he will not fail to respect any important opportunity and the realities around it.
But for now, the Fool wants to enjoy this moment, and to recoup his energies. He bows as he steps out of the dance, and retreats to his garden (the one he planted with all the parts of himself that survived Death. They thrust their new green shoots into the world, he nurtured them, and the garden is lovely and luxurious now). He just needs to soak up the pleasure he has earned, which he does as he accepts his rewards with great joy.
When he's rested, he has a decision to make. He hates to leave his garden, but he must move; a new quest beckons. Now he will begin from a new position of strength.
He feels a new spark of energy for a new idea. He is fearless, ready to move along the path that unfolds in front of him, and to do whatever he can to achieve his new quest. This time, he's wiser, smarter in the ways of the world, and far more aware of his own true strengths. He asks the question: "Should I do this? Is this the quest for me?" In the distance he sees something. Could it be? Yes, it's. . .The Wheel of Fortune. Sometimes, you just get lucky. Yes, indeed, this is a lucky new day for the Fool.
So while my story of The Fool's Journey has come to an end, the Fool will go on, as will we. It's an amazing journey. When we are aware and present, open to what is on offer to learn—the effects on us are tremendous. We are so lucky to be writers. Every focus in life has its journey, but the creative journey is like a star exploding. The star is no longer ours at journey's end, it belongs to all it touches. And the explosion creates new galaxies with the fiery pieces that fly off from it. Beautiful, mysterious galaxies. Who can resist exploring those?
I believe that if the Fool were to wish us farewell, he'd say, "Be wise, be well, and good journey." It doesn't get better than that.
Links to Fool's Journey posts: 0—The Fool; 1—The Magician; 2—The High Priestess; 3—The Empress; 4&5—The Emperor, and The Hierophant; 6—The Lovers; 7—The Chariot; 8—Strength; 9—The Hermit; 10—Wheel of Fortune; 11—Justice; 12—The Hanged Man; 13—Death; 14—Temperance; 15—The Devil; 16—The Tower; 17—The Star; 18—The Moon; 19—The Sun; 20—Judgement
My interpretation of The Fool's Journey as it applies to the writing life is my own, but the journey is long-established 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