Wednesday, 11 September 2013

the fool dwells within

Your inner child longs for you to embrace it. It lives within you and it's the part of you which seeks spontaneity, adventure and freedom. It's the part of you which lives for today and chooses not to place too much focus on tomorrow. I often feel that The Fool can be overlooked as a symbolic representation of the inner child and as my experience as a Tarot reader has grown, it's often something I've come to include in my interpretation of this wonderful card. The Fool doesn't have any grandiose ideas. He isn't ruled by ego drives. Instead, he chooses to roam, to discover and to abandon his preconceived ideas in favour of finding out what's hiding behind the next corner. He's hungry for life and not concerned with proving himself to others.

When clients and friends talk to me about their desire to break out of their current situation and do something completely different, I often think of The Fool. With a few essential possessions packed, The Fool sets off without much of the baggage he owned in his past life. He travels light, he's free-wheeling and he has refused to be tied down to only one vision of success. Sometimes the expectations of peers or the pressures from childhood conditioning may convince you that you are not entitled to change direction or seek out new territory. You may feel as though you're on a train track - a distinct pathway which has already been set out for you without your consent. The Fool is an offering of inspiration for all those who wish to exert their own sense of personal freedom, with or without the consent of those who may try to guide you in the opposite direction. He reaches out through time and space and says, 'This is your life.'

What might The Fool look like in contemporary society? An artist, perhaps? A wandering musician going from gig to gig? Maybe he'd be an eco warrior or activist of some kind, going where the action is with very few material possessions and his heart full of a sense of social justice. Or perhaps he'd be a backpacker, jet-setting on a budget from country to country, taking endless photographs. But the truth is that The Fool is an archetype and archetypes live within us all. We make contact with them in our own way and we don't have to change our lifestyle to do it. All we have to do is work out how to get in touch with the fool which dwells within. I connect to my fool archetype through being less of a perfectionist, less micromanaging, more inclined to the joy which comes from not knowing.. My inner fool is in the driver's seat when I free up my schedule so that something unscripted can happen and when I trust that just putting one foot in front of the other is enough.

I've written and spoken about The Fool before, never failing to mention that it's important not to get stuck with this image of him as a bumbling idiot. A more traditional fortune telling interpretation of this guy might conclude that he is walking to his death at the cliff edge because he's failing to pay attention to what's going on around him. I believe that this image of him as naive and uncertain is valid to an extent - there is a warning element present within every card and we shouldn't lose sight of that. But there is much to celebrate with this card too, particularly for those who need to give themselves permission to shift. If you are thinking of launching into a new phase of life but you're feeling held back by expectations and obligations, The Fool tells you to cut loose go for it.