Welcome to the second incarnation of Lunar Looking-Glass, my spot for Tarot, spirituality, and whatever else catches my fancy. I'm a big fan of comparing Tarot decks; I have quite a few scanned ones, and even more that I like to scout out on the web (which I will always credit properly, and remove if anyone takes issue with me showing off their work). So be prepared for a few pretty pictures along with my musings! Today's is from the Era of Aquarius Tarot, by Marina Bolgarchuk, a Russian deck that's apparently a bit of a tough find.
I can't think of a better way to start things off than The Fool. The Major Arcana are said to be the Fool's Journey, after all, a young man or woman (or neither, or both, or whatever your gender identity) setting out and encountering the different characters and ideas of the Tarot as he-or-she evolves and grows. We're the Fool, the idea goes. We enter our journey with the cards looking to improve ourselves, whether that's communion with God/dess or enlightenment or just becoming the best human beings we can possibly be.
And if you want to get into more esoteric thought (which I'm just now scratching the surface of!), the Fool is numbered '0' because s/he's everything and nothing. S/he can be anywhere on the journey of the Major Arcana, taking in anything, becoming anything, learning any lesson. S/he's pure, untapped potential. S/he's the "pattern" in Richard Bach's One, a massive field of choices where you can land anywhere.
The thing is? It isn't until you get there that you realize how that's freaking scary.
It's so easy to have a plan. We're given one from the beginning, aren't we? At least in the First World nations, you're a kid, you go to school, you grow up. You graduate high school, quite possibly go to college, you choose "what you want to be when you grow up." No one tells you that you'll change your major a few times, or your career at least once as you grow up. No one tells you that your relationships will shift, your interests will get more diverse, your worldview is going to grow and change. One of my favorite musicals is Avenue Q, a foul-mouthed adult take on Sesame Street for twenty-somethings. And the biggest life lesson they close with, after the true nature of the Internet and how charity is a great cure for the blues, is that "everything in life is only for now." The good, the bad, the ugly - it's all changing, forever. No wonder the Fool's optimism and penchant for taking chances is sometimes called, well, "foolhardy." How can anyone feel ready to face the world when it can always shift into something you never planned for?
Well, I was once told something during a rough patch that I think sums it up perfectly. "You're scared right now because you're in the middle of it. But if you imagine hovering above it for a minute, and looking ten years into the future, you'll see how this point in life led you to then. You'll see the bigger picture of it, and it'll look so much smaller then."
If the Fool is everything and nothing, that means s/he's the mastery of the Magician and the self-bondage of the Devil. S/he's the consequences of Justice and the hope of the Star. S/he's everything in the World, and s/he's herself right back at the beginning again. The journey is the destination. Every moment of our lives, we're learning more about everything, and that makes us more us.
And that's still freaking scary. But it's scary awesome.