The Fool says: Why so serious?

Hey ho, let's go!
Hey ho, let’s go! Balbi, Gran Tarot Esotérico, Marseille by Camoin, Barbara Walker, Crowley

Goodbye to the Life I used to live –
And the World I used to know –
And kiss the Hills, for me, just once –
Then – I am ready to go!

Emily Dickinson, poem 279

I wish the Fool had been playing up tricks in my mind lately, he always brings a sense of cheerfulness that I was sadly lacking. As the winter seemed to stretch forever, I was feeling sluggish and withdrawn, nothing to do with the spring in the step that our friend The Fool has.

What a jolly bunch of fellows we’ve got today, all going resolutely towards the East (except the one from Crowley, who bizarrely looks at the spectator in a static position, but Mr Crowley always liked to do things his own way, didn’t he?) I seem to remember that the one in Rider Waite looks to the left, I suppose that it’s up to the artist to depict the symbolism of this card but I personally prefer it going to the right.

The innocence and wonder that fills our hearts when we start a journey! The Fool is our soul before the Fall, when everything is new and good and bright and we still don’t know the many lessons that lay further ahead in the way. His fair hair is yellow, the colour of spring and new beginnings. He still carries the baggage of his previous life in a bundle and the dog is trying to stop him in his journey. That’s my favourite part of the card, as that’s no longer a symbol of bigger-than-life things but a small sample of everyday life.

It’s remarkable how he is the only one of the Major Arcana that has survived in common playing decks, as a Joker. Barbara Walker in The Secrets of the Tarot says:

“So the Fool was permitted to stay with, if not exactly in, the deck of cards, because he had no heresies to teach.”

Didn’t he fooled them? He wasn’t so innocent after all 😀

When I started reading the Tarot, I really didn’t like the Fool; his nimbleness and innocence made me suspicious and I thought that behaving that way was wrong. Ah, that stubborn teenage belief in all things black and white!

It can be used as a charm, although not on its own as it needs some counterweight to secure us to the ground, for the following situations:

For artists or just anyone who is about to embark in a creative pursuit: it will act as an antenna to open up our senses to new ideas and be non judgmental of our efforts. Combine it with the Ace more suitable to your purpose.

– With the 9 of Pentacles and the 2 of Swords: Very favourable for online-based businesses. Maybe because of its connection to Uranus, I think the Fool is very technology oriented. The 2 of Swords represents communication and the 9 of Pentacles gives fruition to our endeavours.

Many faces.
Many faces.

In the Secret Dakini Oracle, there is a card related to the Fool, but with an interesting twist: it’s the Fool but after he’s finished his journey through the 21 Major Arcana; he has attained enlightenment and knows that everything, the good and the bad, are parts of the journey, are just jokes of Brahma. He is many things, as shown by his numerous faces, but he doesn’t get caught up in self-definitions. I like that, as sometimes we focus in just one part of us, in sorrow, in anger, in self-pity… and forget that we may as well choose lightness and humour as our persona.

So that’s my intention for today: be merry and forget about inevitability, things don’t have to be just because, we are free to choose. I’ll go watch something amusing 😀 Suggestions welcome!!

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The Secret Dakini Oracle – review and musings on how to create your own oracle

Dancing Durga
Dancing Durga

I recently purchased The Secret Dakini Oracle, the book and the cards. Being honest, I didn’t know a lot about dakinis or Durga, whose fierce image appears on the cover, but I felt somehow intrigued by it, so I went ahead, made a bid and crossed my fingers hoping I’d be lucky enough to win it. You know how this ended up, don’t you? 😉 After all, I chose the name of this blog because No 28 “Cosmic Carrot” made me laugh the first time I heard about it.

This copy was originally released in 1977. The cards were printed by AGMueller. I wasn’t familiar with this card maker as my all decks have been from other makers so far, I must say that they are of outstanding quality more than 30 years on. This copy hadn’t been used much by their previous owner, fact that explains their mint condition. They have really vivid  colours and a lovely satin feel. I’m afraid I’m going to give them a worse life that they had before; I plan to use them for meditation and self-guidance quite often!

I was expecting that they were going to portray fierce goddesses or even abstract symbols of the many sides of femininity, but what I got was completely different. I was a bit disappointed to be honest at the beginning.

The artwork consist on collages of different things: the head of a snake between two mirror apples, a dark unicorn resting on a tree, Lord Ganesh on a throne made of jeweled spider webs… This technique seems to have been the flavour du jour during the 70’s, but somehow it doesn’t make the deck feel dated in the slightest. I found these whimsical and sometimes random mixture of pictures quite inspiring.

In fact, making collages has been used by artists in order to nurture their creativity or as a release of their inner demons. A very dear friend of mine, who was following The Artist’s Way method and got a bit bored with the Morning Pages, decided to create one of them a day during several months and she reported that revisiting her earlier work did wonders to kick-start her creativity when it was flagging. Let’s not forget that tarot readers and artists are closer that it’s usually assumed, we both think in images.

Example using the Celtic Cross
Example using the Celtic Cross

I did a reading for the husband, who had never had a reading done and surprisingly volunteered as guinea pig for the experiment**, and I wasn’t following the descriptions on the book to deliver the reading but they were surprisingly spot on. In fact, he said that I was just making things up as I went along, so I ended up handing over the book to him so he could read how the author had described each card. You can see what was going on in his life on the picture! I won’t go into depths apart from the fact that they provided a pretty accurate description of the question while also delivering a profound spiritual message.

They are 64 cards in total, the  first 22 follow more or less the Major Arcana and the rest are inspired by the elements of the Minor Arcana: fire, water, earth and air. And it made me think that I may create my own oracle one day: like a magpie, taking inspiration on different things.

My first card would be “Important message” and it would be from that scene in the Bible where king Belshazzar is having a banquet and a mysterious hands writes on the wall: “MENE MENE TEKEL UPHARSIN” There you go, Rembrandt had thought of it before me. The passage in Dan 5:6, in case anyone is interested.

As always, plenty of information about dakinis in wikipedia. Although a visit to your local library to pick up a couple of books on Tibetan buddhism would be great as well. That’s my plan for tomorrow, anyway!

*A quite interesting link on collage, art, copyright and fair usage : What is fair use?

**I think the delightful Milky Way picture on the back of the cards won him over, these science-loving guys, huh?