What is the Fool?
Boundless undirected energy, madness, confusion, subject to Ananke and the fates
Asleep, unknowing, unconscious equilibrium.
The Fool is Chaos.
Pictured above, Aleister Crowley, creator of the Thoth Tarot
In the Tarot de Marsailles
The Fool wears the bells of a clown.
The animal recognises one of its own and pushes him forward.
He carries a spoon and bag for begging - he is at the mercy of others and his environment, and is subject to chance.
In this card there is idiocy, slavery and subjection.
The card represents cosmic Chaos at the personal level, with its illusions, fantasies, childishness and irresponsibilities.
In Crowley’s Thoth Tarot
The Fool is hanging in the air, a symbol of having no goal or lack of direction.
His blank stare is an expression of not looking. He blindly goes about his business.
He has no inner existence and is nothing 0.
The horns represent his animal-like nature, a life without consciousness as a lustfully-driven bull.
In contrast, the territory of the Gods, consciousness, the truth, rises inside the pyramid behind him.
For Crowley the Fool was 0, the initial and final equilibrium - the first Chaos and final entropy. The card is ultimately the real death card.
The innocent Fool is the character common to legend.
He is representative of a truth that appears to the vulgar as fable, parable, legend, even creed.
As the Green Man, the Fool stirs within all of us at the return of Spring with its symbology of the Easter Egg.
The loops about him represent an egg from which he will burst - an Eros figure, representative of light and new life.
To have a life, not just of the body, but also of the self, is to be saved.
Salvation is not obtained on reasonable terms, hence it comes from the Fool. Reason is an impasse, reason is damnation; the Law is to be overcome. Only madness, divine madness, the unreasonable, offers new life. The holy fools know this.
Parsifal was in the tradition of the Fool - maximum innocence developing into maximum fertility
So too was the son of Isis, Harpocrates, the child who represented birth, awakening, and the original spark of consciousness, which is held within- his finger is always over his lips.
He stands symbolically astride a crocodile, which like the vulture was thought to possess some mysterious method of reproduction.
Harpocrates was the god considered to be the cause of all generation, of all nature. The sun gleams between his legs. Not surprisingly, the Greeks conflated Harpocrates with Eros.
The Fool is the son of Isis who exclaimed "I am all that has been and is and shall be”.
Isis is all - begetter and devourer.
The Fool is the son of the god “I am”.
He is the holder of the Word.
© John Dunn.