After having read the class notes from lesson 1 and Rachel Pollacks seventy-eight degrees of wisdom I would like to give my first impression of the first card, the fool.
Firstly I like to think of the cards of the major arcana as a spiritual journey from innocence and naivety through the reality of the world reaching spiritual enlightenment at card 21 the world. Card 21 the world shows the enlightened being at the end of the journey there are no physical restraints (she is naked) and no earthly possessions and the worries that are associated with it, she seems to be above all this so she is at the highest point. All the other cards represent stepping stones like a "stairway to heaven".
The fool and world show joyful dancing, the others are stationary, the are fixed from them there is only one way to go but the fool and world arent fixed they have the potential to move anywhere, more so the fool as his card is numbered 0 which isnt a number but a lack of number and therefore a lack of position and freedom of movement. The fool contains all numbers and symbolises infinite possibility. When the journey has begun the numbers following sequence but the fool has no number as he has not yet begun his journey.
The fool can be any person and is every person before they begin their journey. He is true innocence and the perfect state of joy and freedom. He is a dreamer with his head in the clouds blissfully unaware of the reality in the world below. He could represent the person who is at one with the spirit, the radiant self. He has unlimited potential, anything is possible. Scientifically the higher up you are the greater the potential energy you have, as the fool is on the edge of a cliff we imagine him to be high up and therefore have a high potential.
I think that the fool is infact not a type of person as the others are but as a movement I think the fool shows “the fall”. Almost all cultures have stories of a fall from paradise, in christianity this is the expulsion of adam and eve from the garden of eden. The fool is in his own personal paradise, he is blindfolded and has his head in the clouds living in his perfect dreamworld, separate from the real world below.
The transition between the fool and any other number card represents the split between potential and reality the split between mind and body. The mind has no constraints it is free to wonder anywhere and everywhere in the universe, the body however is in a fixed physical state and subject to tiredness hunger and sickness.
The fool is shown on a cliff edge looking up into the sky unaware of the drop below him. This is everyone at some point in there lives, they are born into the world as a fool as a dreamer but at some point will have to face reality. The fact that the fool hasn’t realised his fate shows how life can throw things at us, often things that we are not expecting or seem to difficult for us to manage and cause us to grow up before it seems fair. This could be linked to the connotation of the fool with trickery however in this case I think it is the fool that is having the trick played on him instead. Again with reference to Christianity it could show the serpent tricking adam and eve. Or it could be a person who is still in a childlike state who is encouraged (by the dog) to grow up and live in the real world.
Either way, through trickery or encouragement it is a card of courage and relies on the innocence of the person, the complete faith and trust that he has to take a leap into the deep end. Because as hard as it may be to leap it is often what is needed to give you strength and the kick start you need to overcome the obstacles you will face later.
I envision a waterfall with this card with the fool blissfully unaware and slowly getting closer and closer to the edge because at some point you will fall back down to earth, it is inevitable. But only through falling can you begin your journey and once again be happy, joyful and dancing but this time you will not be ignorant the knowledge you have gained through your journey will have removed your blindfold. You will understand the world and the higher planes.
If you draw this card it often means new beginning and difficult times where we will need courage and optimism to realise that we need to have faith in our inner selves.
I'm not a human being having a spiritual experience, I am a spiritual being having a human experience :)