The Fool – Study Group Post #2

A leap of faith. The first step on a long journey. The Fool card in the Mary-el tarot is unnumbered making it able to move anywhere in the whole deck.  That’s appropriate as the whole idea of the Mary-el tarot is contained in this one image.  The composition as a whole is a living caduceus, two snakes winding up a winged staff most commonly seen used as a symbol for medicine (rightly or wrongly).  He is the wand of the Magician a.k.a the hand of God which is a way you can look at all of creation, each atom, each being. The two snakes/dragons are the undulating poles of yin and yang, the symbols of which appear in their claws.  The Fool himself is the central staff topped with butterfly wings symbolizing transformation, and the monarchs in particular migration. Some correspondences for these 3 bodies:

Fool Red Dragon Blue Dragon
Element Air Fire Water
Hebrew Letter Aleph Shin Mem
Tao Yang Yin
Conscious Superconscious Subconscious
Son/Sun Father Holy Ghost
Neutral Positive Negative
Child Father Mother
Unity Male Female

This list could go on and on, but as you can see it’s a basic trinity, however you want to name each of the 3 aspects. The Fool is leaping from this spiritual 3-ness into the real world of manifestation.  That happens through a life cycle.  All things go through a process in their life cycle, a journey, and this card represents that I believe, from nothing to something, innocence to experience.  This is the first step but also contained within (the sack in the traditional fool card) is the whole journey ahead. One of the things I want to point out here at the beginning of this study group is that many things and ideas will be portrayed throughout this tarot and some of them will agree with each other and some of them will not.  It will be helpful if you allow yourself to hold more than one truth at a time, or the possibility of it.  For whatever reason, be it our limited capacity to understand or the nature of our perceptions – reality is not that simple.

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18 Responses to The Fool – Study Group Post #2

  1. Marie White says:

    My apologies on being so slow to get this study group moving! I am still battling the burn out I slipped into after completing the deck and book and publishing process. Also, I am totally open to discussing the symbolism in other decks as this tarot was not created in a vacuum, its all part of the same iconography of each idea.

    • LisaM. says:

      No worries-you’ve been a very busy lady.

    • Debi Ann says:

      Do it in your own time. I’m thankful for it and I haven’t had a lot of time either. I’m loving the opportunity to participate and am interested in discussing Mary-el more than other decks. Just my 2 cents.

  2. LisaM. says:

    I really like this Fool because of how you explained his being a living caduceus and that he’s inside the sack (womb?)-meaning he is all that he needs to take that leap-to be born into this world of wonder.

  3. Marie White says:

    Hi Lisa,
    It is interesting to think of the Fool like an embryo in the womb and that being what the Fool carries on the stick. The Fool being portrayed in a trinity can be a person’s soul while the embryo his body on the way.
    I love wondering what’s in the sack! Other ideas are his heart, his destiny, his potential, and his god-given gifts and talents.

    • LisaM. says:

      I also had read that he carries the sword, wand, cup and disk in his sack…which I see as an embryo-we all are composed of these four elements and Spirit.

  4. Debi Ann says:

    I have learned from others that the Fool traverses the book (Mary-El) and resides between the cards. I like that as you always have the opportunity to utilize what the fool has and is offering. Especially risk taking, trying something new, healing a situation. I want to be the Fool that sits on the outside looking in and whispers in ears. The (My) Great Spirit Guide?
    I laid down the Fool card and ask what my spirit/soul need right now. On the left came the 2 of Wands, and on the right, the Page of Disks. What came to me immediately is there is a portal waiting for me to find and go through and if I wrap myself in the earth, center, rest and look at things through the eyes of the Fool, I will identify/find it. Any other ideas?

    • LisaM. says:

      Very cool-
      You have the Fool taking that leap of faith through the Two of Wands (from the womb) and taking form as a newborn baby. What new ideas need to be born?

      • Debi Ann says:

        Ooooo Lisa! Great insight! I need to contemplate the new ideas as I am in a rut and need some. Thanks!

        • LisaM. says:

          I really do like how the Mary-El sparks my intuition…like you said as well as just about everyone else who made comments on like FB and in reviews. Just letting go and listening has always been tough with other decks-not this one-the more I work and play with it, the more instantaneous my intuition is…has this been happening with everyone?

  5. wintergreen says:

    I have been looking at the various hand positions throughout the deck. I’m guessing they’re mudras? What does the Fool’s left hand signify?

    The quality of light in the “womb” is so lovely, as though the world were seen from within a drop of dew.

    • LisaM. says:

      What lovely imagery your words conjure up…I never paid attention to the hands before-although I did in the Five of Swords-who’s hand is she holding so tightly to?

    • Marie White says:

      I did use mudras. I don’t think this one was a mudra though, I think it was more along the lines of him crossing his fingers for luck. Also the symbol on the same wrist was meant to be the gaping jaws of Chaos, crocodile or Ammut type figure (
      Even though the fingers are crossed it is similar to the benediction hand position where the 3 extended fingers represent the trinity and the 2 bent fingers represent the dual nature of God as both a spiritual being and a physical being. I think that describes the Fool as well and us, as we are both spiritual beings and physical beings, and the Fool is moving from one to the other symbolically.

  6. The butterfly’s reminded myself of Psyche as All Mind and also a nod to Project Monarch, silly musings I am sure

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