ENCORE TAROT

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Fool
The star of the story told by tarot, the Fool, sets out on his journey, leaving the safety of his
home behind. He has with him a faithful companion, and the Four Tools of Magic. He seems
oblivious to all of that, focused only on his journey.
He reminds us to be the star of our own story, and to embark on our own journey with the
innocence, joy, and faith of a child.
What might the mask hanging ominously overhead say to us? Should we cast off our own false
masks and live more authentically? Does the mask represent the judgement of others as we
embark on our expedition?
The mask may speak to the shadow side of this card, where our behavior might be too risky, or
too immature. Sometimes it is bold to laugh in the face of danger. Sometimes it’s simply unwise.

Fool
The star of the story told by tarot, the Fool, sets out on his journey, leaving the safety of his
home behind. He has with him a faithful companion, and the Four Tools of Magic. He seems
oblivious to all of that, focused only on his journey.
He reminds us to be the star of our own story, and to embark on our own journey with the
innocence, joy, and faith of a child.
What might the mask hanging ominously overhead say to us? Should we cast off our own false
masks and live more authentically? Does the mask represent the judgement of others as we
embark on our expedition?
The mask may speak to the shadow side of this card, where our behavior might be too risky, or
too immature. Sometimes it is bold to laugh in the face of danger. Sometimes it’s simply unwise.

Fool
The star of the story told by tarot, the Fool, sets out on his journey, leaving the safety of his
home behind. He has with him a faithful companion, and the Four Tools of Magic. He seems
oblivious to all of that, focused only on his journey.
He reminds us to be the star of our own story, and to embark on our own journey with the
innocence, joy, and faith of a child.
What might the mask hanging ominously overhead say to us? Should we cast off our own false
masks and live more authentically? Does the mask represent the judgement of others as we
embark on our expedition?
The mask may speak to the shadow side of this card, where our behavior might be too risky, or
too immature. Sometimes it is bold to laugh in the face of danger. Sometimes it’s simply unwise.

Fool
The star of the story told by tarot, the Fool, sets out on his journey, leaving the safety of his
home behind. He has with him a faithful companion, and the Four Tools of Magic. He seems
oblivious to all of that, focused only on his journey.
He reminds us to be the star of our own story, and to embark on our own journey with the
innocence, joy, and faith of a child.
What might the mask hanging ominously overhead say to us? Should we cast off our own false
masks and live more authentically? Does the mask represent the judgement of others as we
embark on our expedition?
The mask may speak to the shadow side of this card, where our behavior might be too risky, or
too immature. Sometimes it is bold to laugh in the face of danger. Sometimes it’s simply unwise.

Fool
The star of the story told by tarot, the Fool, sets out on his journey, leaving the safety of his
home behind. He has with him a faithful companion, and the Four Tools of Magic. He seems
oblivious to all of that, focused only on his journey.
He reminds us to be the star of our own story, and to embark on our own journey with the
innocence, joy, and faith of a child.
What might the mask hanging ominously overhead say to us? Should we cast off our own false
masks and live more authentically? Does the mask represent the judgement of others as we
embark on our expedition?
The mask may speak to the shadow side of this card, where our behavior might be too risky, or
too immature. Sometimes it is bold to laugh in the face of danger. Sometimes it’s simply unwise.

Fool
The star of the story told by tarot, the Fool, sets out on his journey, leaving the safety of his
home behind. He has with him a faithful companion, and the Four Tools of Magic. He seems
oblivious to all of that, focused only on his journey.
He reminds us to be the star of our own story, and to embark on our own journey with the
innocence, joy, and faith of a child.
What might the mask hanging ominously overhead say to us? Should we cast off our own false
masks and live more authentically? Does the mask represent the judgement of others as we
embark on our expedition?
The mask may speak to the shadow side of this card, where our behavior might be too risky, or
too immature. Sometimes it is bold to laugh in the face of danger. Sometimes it’s simply unwise.

Fool
The star of the story told by tarot, the Fool, sets out on his journey, leaving the safety of his
home behind. He has with him a faithful companion, and the Four Tools of Magic. He seems
oblivious to all of that, focused only on his journey.
He reminds us to be the star of our own story, and to embark on our own journey with the
innocence, joy, and faith of a child.
What might the mask hanging ominously overhead say to us? Should we cast off our own false
masks and live more authentically? Does the mask represent the judgement of others as we
embark on our expedition?
The mask may speak to the shadow side of this card, where our behavior might be too risky, or
too immature. Sometimes it is bold to laugh in the face of danger. Sometimes it’s simply unwise.

Fool
The star of the story told by tarot, the Fool, sets out on his journey, leaving the safety of his
home behind. He has with him a faithful companion, and the Four Tools of Magic. He seems
oblivious to all of that, focused only on his journey.
He reminds us to be the star of our own story, and to embark on our own journey with the
innocence, joy, and faith of a child.
What might the mask hanging ominously overhead say to us? Should we cast off our own false
masks and live more authentically? Does the mask represent the judgement of others as we
embark on our expedition?
The mask may speak to the shadow side of this card, where our behavior might be too risky, or
too immature. Sometimes it is bold to laugh in the face of danger. Sometimes it’s simply unwise.

Fool
The star of the story told by tarot, the Fool, sets out on his journey, leaving the safety of his
home behind. He has with him a faithful companion, and the Four Tools of Magic. He seems
oblivious to all of that, focused only on his journey.
He reminds us to be the star of our own story, and to embark on our own journey with the
innocence, joy, and faith of a child.
What might the mask hanging ominously overhead say to us? Should we cast off our own false
masks and live more authentically? Does the mask represent the judgement of others as we
embark on our expedition?
The mask may speak to the shadow side of this card, where our behavior might be too risky, or
too immature. Sometimes it is bold to laugh in the face of danger. Sometimes it’s simply unwise.

Fool
The star of the story told by tarot, the Fool, sets out on his journey, leaving the safety of his
home behind. He has with him a faithful companion, and the Four Tools of Magic. He seems
oblivious to all of that, focused only on his journey.
He reminds us to be the star of our own story, and to embark on our own journey with the
innocence, joy, and faith of a child.
What might the mask hanging ominously overhead say to us? Should we cast off our own false
masks and live more authentically? Does the mask represent the judgement of others as we
embark on our expedition?
The mask may speak to the shadow side of this card, where our behavior might be too risky, or
too immature. Sometimes it is bold to laugh in the face of danger. Sometimes it’s simply unwise.

Fool
The star of the story told by tarot, the Fool, sets out on his journey, leaving the safety of his
home behind. He has with him a faithful companion, and the Four Tools of Magic. He seems
oblivious to all of that, focused only on his journey.
He reminds us to be the star of our own story, and to embark on our own journey with the
innocence, joy, and faith of a child.
What might the mask hanging ominously overhead say to us? Should we cast off our own false
masks and live more authentically? Does the mask represent the judgement of others as we
embark on our expedition?
The mask may speak to the shadow side of this card, where our behavior might be too risky, or
too immature. Sometimes it is bold to laugh in the face of danger. Sometimes it’s simply unwise.

Fool
The star of the story told by tarot, the Fool, sets out on his journey, leaving the safety of his
home behind. He has with him a faithful companion, and the Four Tools of Magic. He seems
oblivious to all of that, focused only on his journey.
He reminds us to be the star of our own story, and to embark on our own journey with the
innocence, joy, and faith of a child.
What might the mask hanging ominously overhead say to us? Should we cast off our own false
masks and live more authentically? Does the mask represent the judgement of others as we
embark on our expedition?
The mask may speak to the shadow side of this card, where our behavior might be too risky, or
too immature. Sometimes it is bold to laugh in the face of danger. Sometimes it’s simply unwise.

Fool
The star of the story told by tarot, the Fool, sets out on his journey, leaving the safety of his
home behind. He has with him a faithful companion, and the Four Tools of Magic. He seems
oblivious to all of that, focused only on his journey.
He reminds us to be the star of our own story, and to embark on our own journey with the
innocence, joy, and faith of a child.
What might the mask hanging ominously overhead say to us? Should we cast off our own false
masks and live more authentically? Does the mask represent the judgement of others as we
embark on our expedition?
The mask may speak to the shadow side of this card, where our behavior might be too risky, or
too immature. Sometimes it is bold to laugh in the face of danger. Sometimes it’s simply unwise.

II High Priestess The High Priestess offers us gifts while wearing a crown of candles. If we wish, we might identify her as St. Lucy, a Roman martyr who was put to death in the year 304, and who is celebrated on St. Lucy’s Day (December 13th). A legend states that she offered bread to persecuted Christians hiding in the Catacombs of Rome, wearing a crown of candles so that she could keep her hands free to distribute the food. As sustenance, she offers a pomegranate and a book. Before her, a scroll is spread open, revealing text. Hovering over the text is the triple moon symbol. Let’s consider the symbols one by one. The crown of candles can represent illumination, inspiration, or philanthropy. The pomegranate can have many meanings, including life, eternal life, rebirth, fertility, and abundance. The closed book indicates knowledge, hidden knowledge, secrets, and privacy. The open scroll suggests an older form of knowledge, one which is available to everyone. The triple moon symbol floating over the scroll tells us more about the kind of knowledge it contains; that pertaining to cycles of time, indicated by the waxing, full, and waning moon, and specifically relating to the three phases of womanhood (traditionally considered as maiden, mother, and crone). Two owls grace the card with their presence; since ancient times, owls have served as a symbol for wisdom. Because owls are most often active at night, they are also connected to the moon and feminine mystery. Behind the High Priestess we see sunlight shining on dark waters, suggesting sunrise or sunset. Water in the tarot always signifies emotions, deep feeling, and the subconscious. We may also relate it to Jung’s concept of the collective unconscious, a vast sea of instincts and archetypes that is shared by all humans. In a reading: Instinctive knowledge, ancient wisdom. Illumination, a light in the darkness. A deep understanding that explains the cycles of life while also standing outside them. Hidden or modest charity, anonymous philanthropy.

0 Fool In most tarot decks, the Fool is a carefree figure, smiling or laughing, or simply expressing a cheerful mood as he sets off to find his future, with a dog either pouncing on his backside or barking a warning as his master steps off a cliff. Traditionally, the Fool has meant foolishness or folly, impetuousness, a mistake. More positively, he can stand for having the courage to step into the unknown. More simply, the card can mean a beginning. The Fool in this deck is different in several respects. He holds a masquerade or carnival mask, suggesting the merriment he provides king and courtiers as a court jester. But he’s lowering the mask, and, despite his clown makeup, he wears a serious expression as he gazes at a Fool card of his own. The Fool card he holds belongs to an older version of tarot called Tarot de Marseille, a pattern produced since the 17th century and still available today. The Marseille Fool features a somewhat harsher and starker character, who combines the archetypes of the court jester and the vagabond. The older card leans more towards the negative characteristics of folly, madness, and homelessness. Our Fool invites us to consider the range of meanings from positive to negative, and the tension between them. Perhaps he wants us to consider the older Fool as a warning against foolish behavior. Or maybe our Fool is showing us the older, starker Fool to remind us of the superficiality of conventional standards of security and respectability. The Fool’s canine companion is likewise seriously considering his counterpart on the older card, perhaps pondering the damage said counterpart is inflicting to the older Fool’s pants. Modern tarot authors often see the dog as the Fool’s animal nature which assists him on his journey, but the older deck suggests a more destructive force that can annoy or injure the Fool if he doesn’t pay attention. Here again, we have a contrast and a tension between positive and negative extremes. However serious our Fool appears, he retains his subversive nature—notice how he’s actually a disembodied head and pair of hands. He exists more as an idea or a feeling than as an actual personality. He reminds us to constantly question the conforming effects of society and whether we’re being supported or stifled by our surroundings. In a reading: Throwing caution to the winds. The impulse to embark on a new endeavor regardless of risks. Undermining or subverting an oppressive situation. Carefully considering the continuum between recklessness at one extreme and too much conformity at the other. Negatively, doing something you’ll regret; a mistake.

 

 

Some Foolish Thoughts by Ciro Marchetti: If we use the analogy of the “Fool’s Journey” to describe and provide a rationale for the characters and scenes of a tarot deck, then clearly this figure is the main participant. He represents us, the reader or querent. Through his “travels” we can relate and draw comparisons to our own. Between the Marseille and Waite-Smith decks, we have somewhat contrasting depictions. Pamela Colman Smith’s rendition, so we are told, suggests the Fool is stepping off of a cliff, accompanied by his (or her) companion dog, the two either blindly or innocently unaware of the inherent dangers that their act might represent. This I find too fanciful a concept, and on a personal level I consider the Marseille Fool to be the more appropriate analogy. I consider the “Fool’s Journey” not as some innocent first journey, but rather a wary start to yet one more of the many that has preceded it. In this manner the numerous journeys provide a more relevant comparison with multiple readings. Unlike Pamela’s theatrically attired figure, the older Marseille clothing seems worse for wear. In historical terms the fool or court jester can be viewed in several ways. Certainly in the more fortunate cases, he may have enjoyed a steady employment of sorts, even one of relative privilege, such as in the case of King Lear, where he may have even had some sway and position in court via his access to the king. However, for the majority, it must surely have been a tenuous position. It seems highly unlikely that even the funniest or most talented of fools would have had a sufficient repertoire of tales and performances to have kept their royal employers amused on a constant basis. Although I have no specific historical reference to support my views, I consider it more probable that fools would have been hired for specific occasions, celebrations, birthdays, and so on, and somewhat like our contemporary stand-up comedians, may have travelled from “gig” to “gig”. If so, then one can extrapolate that while they may have been welcomed upon their final arrivals, between venues they may have encountered unpredictable receptions along the way. In many cases this foolish profession was not one of choice but rather lack of alternatives. Often due to either physical or mental abnormalities, the humor may well have been fundamentally of a derogatory nature rather than comic, but presumably at least a source of income, even if a minimal one. The Marseille dog is clearly no pet; it’s shown aggressively tearing at the Fool’s legging, a symbol that for me suggests the lack of welcome he may have encountered on many occasions upon arrival, unannounced, at each village or town along his way. Each of his journeys represents (as with a tarot reading) its own experience and outcome. This foolish contradiction is portrayed in this deck, where we have a Fool and his dog looking at their historical precedents. One might imagine them comparing and contemplating both the similarities and differences between them, before they set off like us on another journey, another reading.