Monday, June 27, 2011

Sometimes You Just Get Lucky: Week 10 with Tarot's Fool

It's time for The Fool to come out of hiding, back to the world he left behind last week when he found a tiny cabin in the deep woods and holed up. There, he became The Hermit and rested and thought by day, then wandered the land by night, shining his lantern into the darkness to search for knowledge, meaning, and self. (Post 8, The Hermit. Previous posts in this series are listed at the bottom of this entry.)

He comes into the sunlight now as if being pulled up from the dark, from a low point on a wheel. He squints and shields his eyes from the bright sun. With his newfound knowledge he knows better than to expect anything, but he still has the Hermit's staff, and with that in hand he walks bravely, if slowly, back into the world. (He's thinking about some of those nice things some agents said to him about his writing, even though they rejected his novel a couple of weeks ago.) He steps back onto his path, then feels a pull to look back to see where he just came from. There, standing in the muddied forest, is a great wheel, turning clockwise and festooned with figures and beasts that rise and fall with its rotations. He realizes with a start and with wonder that the wheel did, in fact, just deposit him back on his path.

This is The Wheel of Fortune. Strangely, as The Fool continues on his path throughout the day, good things begin to happen. When he goes past a water wheel, a young woman standing there hands him a drink of water in a golden chalice, then urges him to keep the chalice because she likes him. (He goes to a workshop and gets excellent constructive feedback on his opening chapters, and two of the people there who he likes best ask him if he'd like to be part of a critique group with them!)

Then he sees a young man standing near a windmill, swinging a sword. He stops to watch him, cheered by the sight, sharing in the joy of the young man's energy and skill. "Here," the young man says, handing him the sword. "You take it. I can see you're ready for it." (Encouraged by his writing friends, he polishes those first chapters, and sends off a small batch of queries.) 

Finally, as he treks along carrying his sword and chalice, he sees a rich merchant in a wagon on the side of the path. The merchant is sitting directly over one of the wagon's wheels. "You look like a fine seeker," the merchant says as The Fool nears him. He reaches down to the wagon bed and pulls out a bag of money, which he holds out to The Fool.

"What is this?" The Fool asks, afraid to reach for the bag and wondering who this odd man can be.

The merchant smiles, a genuine smile of good will, and explains that he likes to give away money. "Today, you're the lucky recipient." (Two of the agents he queried asked for partials, and another one, a great one, asked for the full!)

Sometimes you just get lucky, The Fool realizes. (He personally knows other writers who queried the same agents, and he knows that their work is wonderful. But none of them got a positive response. Only he did!) He didn't spend all that time wandering in the dark as The Hermit without learning to look beneath the surface, though. And he realizes that the way he walked toward the merchant on the path, with a bounce in his step, and the profound pleasure in his heart showing, was exactly what the merchant was waiting for. (His queries were polished and professional, and those agents who asked for more recognized not only quality in writing, but a story they could sell. One they've been looking for.) 

He moves on down the path, then pauses to consider where he is in his journey. He has come far, he realizes, and has far to go. As he hoists the pack on his back to a more comfortable position, he reflects on the fact that today he has received the gifts of chalice, sword, and money, and that he brought The Hermit's staff back into the world with him. These items are exactly the same as the belongings in his pack that were revealed to him at the beginning of his journey by The Magician (Week 2, see link below). Chalice (cup); sword (sword); money (discs, pentacles); staff (wand). He thought he'd used them up and his luck had gone, until today. They are all he needs to be whoever he wants and achieve his most cherished goals.

Luck, fate? He knows it's a different journey than he expected. Yup, sometimes you just get lucky.


Links to Fool's Journey posts:  0—The Fool1—The Magician2—The High Priestess3—The Empress4&5—The Emperor, and The Hierophant6—The Lovers; 7—The Chariot8—Strength9—The Hermit

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


  1. Linda, Thanks for another great post of our fools journey. At first I wanted to scream, "Go back in hiding!" But I know we must emerge. The greatest message for me is the journey. I may have come far, but I, too, know I have so far to go. Life is all about the journey.

  2. Karlene, I know what you mean. At least hiding in the cabin in the woods is part of the journey!

  3. Gah, I wanna be the lucky fool!!!! LOL! ;)

  4. You will be Laura, never doubt it!

  5. LOL! I love this! Yes, the journey definitely never turns out how we expect. I think letting go of those expectations and embracing the journey is the key. And I think the fool (me) has learned that. :)

  6. You are very wise, Heather! That's when good things happen, all right.

  7. The wheel of fortune is such a cool card. Love how you're putting all of this together on the journey!

  8. Oh, we all know in one way or another. Luck plays a great part to our success. Yes, we need to be talented, learn our craft, and plug away day after day and night after night. Then, it happens, we are in the right place at the right time or we managed to be "lucky" enough to send our query to the right agent who just happen to be looking for what we had to offer....

    Let's hope we all make it to the right place and at the right time. It's part of life's many exciting turns.

    Thanks for the comment on my first page Linda. I did manage to add a simple sentence to the second paragraph to tie it all in.

    Good luck on your entry.

  9. Yes, Lydia, I love that card! We make our own luck, but then, somehow, it shows up unexpected!

  10. Fingers crossed for all of us, Michael! Can't wait to be an overnight sensation after 20 yrs of hard work! Seriously.

    I saw that new sentence--excellent!

  11. This was intriguing. I haven't read them all, but I enjoyed this one. A fascinating journey indeed.

    I will keep my fingers crossed to be The Fool :)


  12. You might have to stand in line, Donna! But really, we all get to beThe Fool sometime. (Oh wait, that sounds like a song...about the wrong fool!)

    Hint: you have to be the Hermit first, but anyone who's completed a novel and revised it has been there. If you qualify . . . keep your eyes open for that Wheel.