The Fool: New beginnings, taking chances, spontaneity, leaping before you look
A confession: I own far too many tarot decks. I absolutely adore the artwork of Pamela Coleman-Smith, seen below on the famous Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck. But there are so many decks out there with symbols that explore the nuances of the cards and their many interpretations.
So for this week, we’re going to look at one of my favorite cards in one of my favorite tarot decks: The Fool in the Wild Unknown tarot by artist Kim Krans.
The Fool: Rider-Waite-Smith (left) and Wild Unknown (right)
This little bird, The Fool, is ready to fly. But what if the branch breaks? What if a strong wind comes along and pushes the bird away? The Fool doesn’t need to worry about any of that. All they have to do is spread their wings and take off.
The message of The Fool is that now is the time to start. No need to be overly analytical or worry about the possibilities. It’s time to embrace a brand new beginning and take the leap into the unknown. Also: don’t mistake The Fool for someone foolish. They are a free spirit who knows that there is nothing to fear when we let our intuition guide us.
On our creative journeys, all we truly need is an idea and some courage. If we’re feeling the pull toward a new project, creative direction, or hobby, then The Fool tells us we can trust our instincts in this moment.
Think back to when you were a child. Maybe, on a rainy afternoon at home, you wanted to draw a picture. Did you meticulously outline your vision, or justify it with a detailed business plan? Heck no! You busted out some paper and a box of crayons and got to work!
The Fool is pure creative energy without the need to overthink things or delay our action. We can connect to The Fool within us when we embrace our free-spirited and childlike nature — and just go DO something.
Now onto our activities for the week. Since it’s week one, these are fairly simple exercises. The only things you’ll need are a journal and something to write with (or your phone/computer if you prefer to type).
As in all of our activities, there are no wrong answers! The work you do doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. So don’t worry about coming up with the most clever, impressive, or creative answers. You’re free to share in the comments or keep things to yourself for now.
July 5, 2020, marked the full moon in Capricorn. The full moon illuminates to bring us clarity and show us our full potential. This is the perfect time to reflect on who you are and how far you have come.
Try this visualization exercise: Create a quiet space for yourself free from distraction. Put on headphones with relaxing music, if that helps. Think back to yourself one year ago, five years ago, ten years ago, or even all the way back to your childhood. Imagine that you are sitting across from your past self, at whatever age you choose. They are so proud of the person you have become. You are having a conversation about what you currently create or what you’d like to make manifest.
Visualize this conversation unfolding. Don’t try to edit; let your mind wander. Ask yourself these questions:
- What does your past self tell you?
- What does your past self want to know about the current you?
- If you could travel back in time, what wisdom could you share with your past self?
- Does your past self have any advice or encouragement for you now? What is that advice?
When you get done, spend a few minutes free writing. Write down any insights you gained from this conversation. If you find yourself feeling stuck at any point, ask yourself: what would past me do, or what would they expect me to do with the tools I have today?
“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
This activity is suitable either before or after your visualization with your past self. Write down a list of your “obsessions.” Think not only about what currently fascinates you, but what has captivated you in the past.
Some questions to consider:
- What ideas get you excited?
- What can you not stop thinking about?
- What makes you feel your most creative?
- What fascinated you as a child (or fascinates you now as an adult)?
I’ve answered these questions many times, and when I do, I can see patterns emerge. I find that the things I really love are all similar to (but not, of course, the same as) the things that I want to create.
Say, for example, that you’re a painter. Right now, maybe you’re fascinated with the works of the Surrealist movement. You’re going on late-night Wikipedia deep dives, watching documentaries, and planning visits (someday!) to galleries with Surrealist art exhibitions. If you’ve never tried painting in that style, however, your current obsession could be a huge neon sign pointing to your next creative dare.
After all, you’re already thinking about it. Now it’s time to get those thoughts out of your head and onto the paper!
Share your results
I truly wish for these first two exercises to illuminate new possibilities for you. On Monday, July 13, we’ll power up and create a magical (physical) space for ourselves with the help of The Magician.
What came up for you during these activities? Share your results and any questions you have in the comments below.