Sometimes you’ve got to jump off cliffs and grow wings on the way down.
~ Ray Bradbury
If you are at all familiar with the Tarot, you know it is often described as the story of The Fool’s Journey. For those not familiar, all you really need to know is that The Fool is an archetype for the starting point for all of our journeys. He is often depicted poised on the edge of a cliff, one foot firmly on the ground, the other lifted and ready to take a leap of faith. He is accompanied by a dog that is said to symbolize the inner self (who can become hostile when we don’t pay attention) and holding a white rose of purity and passion. He carries a bag on a stick and in the bag are the things we all carry and call experiences, but his experiences are there to help, not to hinder, because they are lessons learned, not guilt and regret to be dragged around like a great pile of stones.
The Fool represents true innocence, a kind of perfect state of joy and freedom, a feeling of being one with the spirit of life at all times; in other words, the ‘immortal’ self we feel became entrapped in the confusions and compromises of the ordinary world…
…’Innocence’ is a word often misunderstood. It does not mean ‘without guilt’ but rather a freedom and a total openness to life, a complete lack of fear that comes through a total faith in living and in your own instinctive self…
… The Fool bears the number 0 because all things are possible to the person who is always ready to go in any direction… His innocence makes him a person with no past, and therefore an infinite future. Every moment is a new starting point.
~ Rachel Pollack, Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom
I have long been fascinated with the Tarot, not for divination purposes. Maybe you can, maybe you can’t, is how I feel about predicting the future using cards or any other divination tools. It can be easy to fit vague prophecy into a specific event. That said, I’ve had at least one uncanny reading done for me so I’m open to possibilities.
My fascination with Tarot is more about the stories and archetypes, as well as the insights that can be gained when it comes to the past and present, and making decisions. The archetypal characters, images, and stories can be enlightening, and entertaining. There are so many different decks to explore with a lot of variations on the same story, and the artwork is often amazing (or at least interesting).
As a few of you might remember, I purchased the Osho Zen Tarot last year. It’s become my favorite because the images and the stories or meanings that go with them are so, well, Zen. Meditative. Insightful. Osho’s take on The Fool is:
Moment to moment, and with every step, the Fool leaves the past behind. He carries nothing more than his purity, innocence and trust, symbolized by the white rose in his hand. The pattern on his waistcoat contains the colors of all four elements of the tarot, indicating that he is in harmony with all that surrounds him. His intuition is functioning at its peak. At this moment the Fool has the support of the universe to make this jump into the unknown. Adventures await him in the river of life.
The card indicates that if you trust your intuition right now, your feeling of the ‘rightness’ of things, you cannot go wrong. Your actions may appear ‘foolish’ to others, or even to yourself, if you try to analyze them with the rational mind. But the ‘zero’ place occupied by the Fool is the numberless number where trust and innocence are the guides, not skepticism and past experience.
Why am I rambling on and on about Tarot cards? The simple answer is that yesterday I decided to take a leap of faith. It involves something I have wanted to do for a while, but held back for a variety of reasons including a feeling of not being good enough, and thinking it would be foolish to even try. After making the decision and following through, I drew my card for the day and wouldn’t you know it? It was The Fool.
One thing you might not know about me is that I dropped out of high school when I was fifteen years old. I did pass the GED (high school equivalency exam) a few months later, and took a few college classes during the year that should have been my junior year in high school. I eventually dropped out of college, too. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, and it seemed a waste of time and resources (money) to keep taking classes when I was neither disciplined enough nor interested enough to follow through.
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to write. I’ve been journaling forever, or so it seems, and blogging is, of course, a form of journaling for me. As a child I wrote stories, and as a teen I wrote (bad) poetry. I still write (possibly bad) poetry. Being a person who calls herself a writer, however, felt way outside of my field of expertise. Although I am smart enough to know better, there are times when I allow my inner critic to translate my lack of higher formal education into a lack of confidence and even ability, even when I’m sitting here writing which should prove that at the very least, and without passing judgments about good or bad, proper or improper, I have the ability to write.
Over the past few years I’ve played with the idea of signing up for NaNoWriMo, but didn’t feel like I was qualified. That’s silly, isn’t it? Those of you who have participated in NaNo know there are no degrees required. At the NaNoWriMo website, this is pretty much the only requirement I’ve come across:
Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.
In case you haven’t guessed already, in a moment of (in)sanity, I signed up for NaNoWriMo yesterday. I am a Rebel NaNo writer because I am not writing a novel (defined as a long work of fiction). Rebel is cool, and yes, there is a category and forum for that. I have had an idea for a book swimming around in my mind for a couple of years, and it is time I sat down and tried to do something with it. NaNoWriMo starts on Sunday. I have a lot of work ahead of me. The really neat thing is this: I think I can do it.
A note about some of today’s images: My father has asked me to put together a book for him using Bible quotes and my images. I did a similar book a few years ago, self-published through Blurb, using old quotes (way beyond copyright issues) and photos representing the colors blue and purple. Dad really liked it, ordered a bunch of them, and gave them away as gifts. While talking with him today, Dad directed me towards a few of his favorite Bible passages, and so, I’ve been looking through old photos to see what I might have that fits. It dawned on me as I was looking that I still have many photos from our trip to Canada and Maine that I haven’t shared yet. I might pop a few into a post here and there from time to time.
I reckon that is more than enough from me on this windy, rainy, cloudy with sunny spells Wednesday. We are experiencing a King Tide here on the Eastern Shore today. Have you ever heard of a King Tide? I hadn’t heard the name before a few days ago, but I know what it is. It is a non-scientific term for higher than usual seasonal tides. I usually call it a “higher than usual” tide, and they often occur during the new and full moon phases. I was out about an hour ago and our woods are flooding, and fish are once again swimming on the Woodland Trail.
Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be back again on Saturday for the coffee chat. After that, I’ll post the Walktober round-up (on Monday, November 2), and then it will be wait and see. I have no idea what I’m getting into with NaNo or how much time it’s likely to take each day.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂