Words with the Fool – A Meditation

FoolThe Fool has been coming up religiously in my own readings now for the past few weeks, calling for my attention.

Yes, yes… I thought impatiently one afternoon. I need to take that leap of faith. I felt irritated – with myself, with the cards, with the Fool for his glib “I’m just gonna jump off this cliff whilst you hang around wondering whether you should”.

I hadn’t asked the cards anything specific. Instead I’d chosen to ask show me what I need to know. I’d been feeling flunky, slightly off colour with a headache and a curiously flat feeling emotionally. Like something or someone had just knocked the wind out of my sails, yet no one had. Possibly it was the Sun-Saturn opposition that was knocking around in the skies that day. Whatever it was, I was beginning to annoy myself.

So, the cards were cast and moodily I glanced over them. There he was again, the Fool, the Fool, the Fool. Only this time he stood out in the position of the ‘unconscious’ in the Celtic Cross. A little idea fluttered in my mind. The Fools said, go deeper…

And suddenly I remembered that I’ve a ton of reading material, meditations, podcasts and more jam packed onto my PC which I never get around to looking at. For me, the Fool is often about studying just as much as the deeper interpretations. Just remembering, just making that connection in my mind, I realised that I was hungry for new inspiration, challenges and experiences. The number 0 caught my eye. I realised I’d just read it as the word ’empty’. This too is the Fool, he’s like a vacuum waiting to be filled. The Fool was reminding me not only to take a leap of faith but also to be open to experience, willing to learn. Look at his arms I thought as I mulled over the card – his arms are wide open.

So I looked up, stretched my arms, opened my chest and breathed in…

Instantly I felt different.  By throwing my arms open I was also opening up my heart, laying it bare. Yes, it’s a vulnerable feeling but there’s something joyous in standing like that – chin up, arms wide open like you want to embrace the world: which is exactly what the Fool does too.

So in remembering I had all this ‘stuff’ on the PC that I’d been noting down ‘to listen, to watch, to read’, I remembered Biddy Tarot’s Soul Meditation on the Fool which I still hadn’t listened to. In true Fool style, I figured the time was now because really the Fool is just about the moment isn’t he? No past, no future – he lives for the now.

Settled on my comfy couch with the lights turned low, I let Biddy take me on a journey. It’s only 20 minutes or so but it felt longer. It felt like I was within the card. I’ve meditated with cards in the past but it’s something I haven’t done for ages. This in itself reminded me that perhaps some of my ‘flat’ feeling was a sense that I’d plateaued in my learning. The Fool in the base position of the spread encouraged me to go deeper and reminded me that there is always something more to learn no matter how many times I’ve seen the Fool’s face!

In the meditation, I found myself looking over the edge of that cliff. Little White Dog who I decided to call Toto despite the fact that Dorothy’s Toto was black, was barking excitedly, all tail wagging and smiley teeth. Dogs are about loyalty. Perhaps Toto represents being loyal to your spirit. Being true to yourself generates a feeling of pure joy.

I looked into the eyes of the Fool, then I was the Fool staring out over the cliff. In real life, I hate heights (unless you get me in a plane in which case I’m like an over-grown excitable child) but in the meditation, I found myself caught up in the beautiful sight of a golden rainbow arcing from the cliff edge to the other side. I leapt, almost without thinking and slid over the rainbow with Toto following behind me, still excitedly barking. We landed with light bumps in a soft meadow covered in daisies as far as the eye could see. It was late Spring, early summer perhaps. The air was warm, the sky a beautiful clear blue and somewhere in the distance was a little town. Still stood in the golden rainbow light, I realised that I was the pot of gold.

daisesDaisies are symbols of purity and innocence. They are beginnings. The word Daisy is rooted in old English and means ‘day’s eye’. It refers to how the daisy closes its petals at night and the re-opens them at sunrise. I also found myself thinking about making a daisy chain when I was a kid. It was the hot summer of 1976 and I spent hours making a huge daisy chain that went right around the garden, along with my daisy crown.

The things is, when you begin something, you don’t always know where it’s going to go. The daisies made me think that over time, we make the necessary connections – whether mental connections to develop an idea or people connections. In time, all our beginnings make a chain of experience that we can wear like a crown and be proud of them.

It was almost time to come back from my meditation but the Fool had one last gift for me. We were back on the cliff edge by now, standing once again gazing out towards the meadow. The Fool reached into his knapsack and gently drew out a beautiful baby duck all yellow down and softness. My first thought was fledgling.

As I closed my hands around my gift, I was reminded to treat my new projects tenderly, to give them time to grow, to handle them carefully. The Fool cast my mind back to when I was a child, a student, a beginner. Yellow is the colour of mind and communication to me so this symbol suggested to keep my mind open, ready and willing to learn.

Of course I couldn’t stop the song The Ugly Duckling sweeping in as a musical score at this point when baby bird appeared. Danny Kaye was suddenly all singing and all dancing in my mind. In itself, the actor once again reminded me of a magical part of my childhood where his films would help me to escape into wonder. Again, themes of innocence. Then I remembered Danny Kaye was also famous for The Court Jester!

The Ugly Duckling story told me that we don’t always know how things will turn out or where our leaps of faith will take us. That’s kind of the point. If you judge what you are starting before it’s even got off the ground, you run the risk of finding it wanting because you have a set idea of what you think it ‘should’ look like. It hasn’t had time to grow! The Fool let me know that when you make your leap of faith, you have to cast judgement aside. You can’t force it to be anything other than what it is. Let things grow and develop naturally without forcing it. Stay in the moment.

Daisy photograph [public domain] thanks to AcrylicArtist on MorgueFile