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Playing the Fool

the Fool Tarot

What does it mean to play the fool?

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The Fool card is numbered zero in the Tarot deck, placing him outside ordinary (or ordinal) conventions, a card apart. And throughout history, fools have stood apart. They’ve been our madmen and mystics, our shamans and court jesters. Are they foolish? Perhaps. But the Fool knows that stepping outside ordinary reality is the first step in the mystic’s path.

However, routine is not the enemy of creativity or enlightenment. In a way it’s a blessing, because when we have routine, we have an opportunity to break it, to step outside ourselves, to take the leap and play the Fool. That break from the norm can crack us open, freeing us to see in new ways.

April Fool's DaySo while April Fool’s Day may seem, well, foolish, it can be more than just a silly day of annoying pranks (annoying for me, at least, when I fall for them). Its history stretches back to the ancient Romans, who celebrated holidays where the normal conventions of behavior did not apply, and people were given the opportunity to shun the rules and play the fool.  Is it any wonder these holidays, such as Roman Hilaria and Jewish Purim, occurred near the spring-fever equinox, a time bursting with possibilities?

Aleister Crowley perhaps said it best: “The Fool stirs within all of us at the return of Spring, and be cause [sic] we are a little bewildered, a little embarrassed, it has been thought a salutary custom to externalize the subconscious impulse by ceremonial means. It was a way of making confession easy. Of all these festivals it may be said that they are representations in the simplest form, without introspection, of a perfectly natural phenomenon.”

The Fool asks us to see with fresh eyes, to take leaps into the uncomfortable and daring, to start afresh, to break the rules, to play the Fool. What will you find when you give it a try?

About the Author

Of Mice and Mechanicals Kirsten WeissKirsten Weiss is the author of The Hoodoo Detective, book six in the Riga Hayworth series of paranormal mystery novels.

Other books in the Riga Hayworth series of urban fantasies include: The Metaphysical DetectiveThe Alchemical DetectiveThe Shamanic DetectiveThe Infernal Detective and The Elemental Detective. Kirsten is also the author of Steam and Sensibility, a steampunk novel of suspense. Its sequel: Of Mice and Mechanicals, will be available April 17, 2015.

Find her at and @KirstenWeiss



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