The Fool enters this world to remind us to live and love fiercely while we are here. She stumbles and gyrates about like a twig in a breeze; sometimes bumbling into everything and getting stuck in everyone’s hair, and sometimes gracefully landing on a Lilypad like a seasoned dancer. Whether she’s making us laugh with her buffoonery, delighting us with her dance, or infuriating us with getting tangled up in our hair, she reminds us to stop and take a moment to notice. What we notice, is up to us entirely. She reassures us that in the great cosmic play of the universe, perhaps when things are at their most frightening and all the minor chords are bellowing in a deep sinister threat, that cosmic or not, it is still a play after all. Don’t be afraid, don’t pull back, let it all out! Let your freak flag fly!
What do you have to lose?
None of us are getting out of this alive.
In tarot, The Fool is the card that ties the end and the beginning of the major arcana together. The Fool contains all possibilities and has the potential for anything. She is blithely unaware of the dangers that the world presents. But this is not out of stupidity, but a planned forgetfulness. She must trust in her intuition and instincts and not fall prey to her ego once she is manifested into the world. As the zero card in the deck, The Fool comes from nothing to journey through the major arcana and come out at the end to The World, complete, ready to return to the void until a new spark ignites and new journey begins.
As the Sacred Fool, she isn’t just a Fool for God, she is the Divine Feminine incarnate. The Sacred Fool, The Holy Spirit, Sophia – She is born into this world of matter out of Nothing. Which is to say, Everything. She is the Nothing that is spoken of when we say that God was created by Nothing or that Nothing existed before God (DuQuette 2017). She contains all in the pause between the ending of one Universe and the beginning of a new one.
In this cyclical Universe that is born, grows and eventually dies, only to be born again in the next Big Bang, Sophia caries with her the previous age. She is the spirit that is born into each new Universe to experience it all. She accepts this sacred duty to experience everything! She passes on to each being an instinct and intuition she learned from the previous incarnation. But she is here, now, to follow her instincts and experience new things. She thrives on discovery. In this universe of new combinations, she is learning she is nuanced and capable of making choices. She is evolving and not static.
At the same time, she comes from the ancient mystery. She knows she comes from the whole, that all is one and that she is always the same. The immutable Source that she came forth from has no beginning or end. And so, neither does she. She cannot change because she contains everything within her own being.
Her first great trick is of individuation. She is born into matter and so immutable and ever changing with each incarnation. She contains both forms. She holds the paradox.
Sophia inhabits the archetype of the Sacred Fool and invites us to do the same. Whether we are spirits who have had thousands of incarnations or we are merely material beings that exist for a brief period before being snuffed out by oblivion – we only have this one unique life in this combination of mind and body at this time and in this space in the universe. We can make ourselves into whatever we want to be if we carry within us the free spirit of the Sacred Fool.
DuQuette, Lon Milo. (2017). Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot.Newburyport:Weiser Books.
Payne-Towler, Christine, and Dowers, Micheal. (2016). Tarot of the Holy Light. Noreah/Brownfield Press.