The Thoth Tarot- 0 - The Fool card
What is not real, never was and never will be.
What is real always was and cannot be destroyed.
The fool is the universal principle that is associated with the state of unconscious energy, that is us before and after death. In other-words, the un like self- conscious state that is a brain but is the Soul/Psyche/Spirit. Many of us know that we " have a spirit" but few of us know that we are Spirit and have a body and seek not spirituality but rather are Spirituality bringing whole-conscious, Solar-Psyche- liberation and expansion to Earth anima and animus!
Rather than just being assumed as being mystical, trans-personal, transcendent, ecstatic in its nature, the Fool represents the power of wonder and ecstasy that is so apparent in the very young, before they succumb to indoctrination and form a "cultural identity". The cultural identity is not real so Qabalists call it "reality" which we all know as relative. The Real is the infinite part of ourselves; The Real Person and/or The Higher Self! Reality is only as one "thinks it to be" and if anyone has learned anything, it is that don't believe everything one thinks.
The dark side of our personality is "seen" by the use of a "transversal light”; as stated by Jung, " of a transversal light that travels along a different spectrum". We may know this dark spectrum of light, as dark energy and its twin, dark matter. Here in our Dark Psyche, is it possible to bring a special illumination, using a language all its own, accessing an area or areas of the Psyche, that complement the self-conscious. As many of us know, behind the "scenes" of our self-conscious, operates the sub or Unconscious, "emitted by an anomalous sun, nocturnal and dark", (Binah-the Dark Sephiroth on the Qabalistic Tree of Life) that if viewed with love and using our True Will, facilitates the right balance of Self, so that it may fulfill its own identity. Hence, Crowley's statement, “Do what thou Wilt, is the whole of the Law; the Law is Love", rings true. From the Universal Collective Unconscious is consciousness born.
The Oriental symbol for fear is the tiger. In the Thoth card, fear is seen as attempting to gnaw on the leg of the fool who isn't giving any attention and/or power to fear.
The Fool looks forward, and the tiger or dog of traditional tarot can't even make a dent in his attention. Therefore, the fool is the energetic essence of who we are; an unflappable immortal spiritual flow of energy consciousness that flows from the Infinite Source of the Ain and or "No-Thing". To the Universal Egg/ 0- Fool. Hence, dark and light are merely materials to play with.
This card symbolizes the creative expression that is needed to give birth to new parts of our lives (light) and to boldly take risks (dark) that are so necessary to evolutionary development! When this card falls in a reading it shows us that this is the moment to do what you fear and trust the spirit within!
The Thoth Tarot- 0-The Fool and Key 1 The Magus are inseparable:
Kether, the Source of All, is connected to Chokma, the first activity towards creation, via the 11th Path of the Fool. The Hebrew Letter Aleph-meaning OX, is assigned to this Path. In the Zohar, the letter Aleph is considered representative of absolute unity. This supports the Qabalistic interpretation of, Aleph-Ox, as the symbol of the Life-Power, and/or creative energy. As I have stated before, the Fool Card, demands multi-faceted and fluid interpretation. The Path of Aleph, is called, by Dr. Paul Foster Case, the Fiery or Scintillating Intelligence which proceeds from the Limitless Light of Kether, that is darkness to us (Dark Energy). This Fiery Darkness is the possibility of motion or vibration and the First Perception or Will of the One that is the potential for activity. This is the area of potential that the Night Sun Tarot also represents.
Qabalists know this One as the Primal Creative Energy of the Universe that acts upon Itself to emanate the Cosmos. To a physicist this is the, "One energy that cannot be created nor destroyed, only transformed”; just as the reflected light of our light spectrum is a transformation of the "non-reflected-light" of the Dark Energy spectrum. Therefore, before reflected light made seeing Self possible, we existed as a Dark Psyche, that could only dream of itself. Hence, we know that we can both "imagine ourselves" and experience that imagined self as "reality". Indeed, we as Souls/Psyche are "so cool"!
There are many attempts to explain the "First Thought", that created Mind, such as, The Word of God, The Logos, The first vibration, the first spurt of a Spermatic etc.; However, all we can say is that from the Triple- invisible- no-thing (Ain, Ain Soph, and Ain Soph Aur) comes the potential for thought, thus thought appears and emanates Mind which is the vessel that contains thought...this makes the Mind the First Vessel of Magnetic form or Womb and yet, A. Crowley called the letter Aleph, a ploughshare in shape and thus a Phallic symbol of "Expression". Thus the Potential Androgyny is conceived of, as the potential for Sexuality, male-electric and female-magnetic which then unlocks the potential for light's creative-diversity. When considering all of this, it helps to stay fluid in your thinking, for there are no "separates" in the Supernal Triangle (Upper Triangle); there are no "forms", only a No-Thing, that is the I Am (existence), that is made out of a Trinity of Kether-Chokmah-Binah and forms the first "Plane" of existence. Also availing yourself of a diagram of the Tree of Life and its connecting paths will help in the enabling visuals.
The Magus-ATU/Key 1, is attributed to the Hebrew Letter-Beth, meaning House, and connects Kether (Dark Energy) to Binah, the Great Organizer. Binah, known as the Sephiroth- Understanding, is the Potential for Womb, becoming the House or "dwelling place" for Spirit (spiral energy) descending towards the density of manifestation. The Magus represents that which builds the house, i.e. Will. Will or the Magus, directs and encloses the One Spirit which is represented as THE FOOL. The Actions of directing energy is Phallic and the action of enclosing energy is that of the Womb. Thus, I call the Sephira Binah---"The Womb with a View" and/or Imagination. The word Imagination if examined as I- Magi- Nation....will not only titillate our brain, it may also shed some light on this potential of Understanding the Will and its nation of force and form.
One may note, that the higher one works up the Tree of Life, the differences between the cards is much subtler and fluid than the lover levels. This subtlety is even more pronounce in The Fool and The Magus (Magician) that are only separated by a slight degree, as is electric and magnetic force, a fact that is not seen in the anthropomorphized symbolism of the cards or of the Spirit as human male and female forms!
Suffice it to say, the letter, Beth (or Bet) represents the First in Principle, the first in creation, the beginning of the beginning, i.e. the Will-To- Be! To the Alchemist, Beth, is the Philosophic Mercury or First Matter. The Alpha, which is never without the Omega! To create beginning is to create end, thus the opposites of life and death which are the key polarities to creation ("The dancing Twins"), are attributed to the letter Beth. Specifically, without the energies of the Magus, life and death would not exist, nor would beginning and end; all would be formless.
The infinity symbol (lemniscus), seen as a figure 8 laying on its side, initiates and represents this cyclic process of life and death, as well as, the symbol of the Serpent that eats its own tail, Oroboros. Both represent the closed circle of energy in the Universe, the inhale and exhale of energy, begun by number one Beth, acting upon the zero, Aleph. What may also aid in the thought of Male-eclectic and Female-magnetic force being separated by a slight degree, is that infinity symbol is merely a circle twisting to looking upon itself, an action that creates a female circle of force and male circle of force where One equals Two. The same can be said for the electromagnetic spectrum of light. Electric-Male and Female magnetic, combine to form One Electromagnetic spectrum of great diversity!
In the Zohar, the relationship of Aleph-The Fool and Beth- The Magus to creation, are discussed in a most charming matter, which is unusual for esoteric literature. I would recommend that the discerning student of the Tarot read this Qabalistic book. The relationship between The Fool and The Magus (magician) is so subtle that our best hope of even approaching an understanding, resides in meditation on spiritual text, like the Zohar, combine with the images of the Tarot cards.
To speak directly of the Invisible, is impossible, so a circle of ideas must be formed, each giving a suggestion about the nature of the inner Truth. Each Sephiroth on the Tree of Life is each a Circle of ideas, and each Form is an understanding of these circles while each Force is a potential to Form. I may have lost you with that one, so let me say, that The Magus is a channel through which the Energy of the Fool is organized and passes downward. The Magus is both active and passive, as the Magus is both the transmitter and the transmitted, i.e. the Life Force which becomes the primal material in the act of transmission. I know this as the "I Will Be" that is Logos. The Magus being the first step in evolutionary Universal energy towards matter. Thus, in the Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom, by Paul Foster Case, the Magus is called the Transparent Intelligence, as light passes through a window from above, so does the Magus pass The Primal Will of Kether.
To reiterate: THE TAROT- FOOL- 0, is the initial potential for thought, transcending all reason. Hence, objectifying the Upper Regions of the Supernal Triangle is a futile endeavor. However, once we recognize the impossibility of consciously approaching the Highest Levels of the Tree of Life, i.e. The Universal Collective Unconscious, in a direct manner, we are forcibly driven into the key Principles of the Mysteries/Metaphysics and the necessity of creating "The Above, in The Below".
We begin seeing that the Below is a mirror reflection of the Above. The Divine Spirit is all we know, we breathe it, we live within it, it is ourselves. Because we know this Divinity to be "the One Energy that cannot be created nor destroyed, only transformed", we know that everything is of this One who is Two, as symbolized by THE FOOL that is the Path of Aleph.
In this context, Aleph is attributed to Air and means Life-Breath. Just as Spirit is from the Greek root word Spiro, which means Breath. The One Spirit, the Holy Spirit, is then the Life-Breath of the Universe. This is well known in Eastern cultures, and Pranayamas (Breath yoga meaning, "life/death") are a major if not primary part of all Spiritual development, of bringing the "above subjective into the objective below". The Word Prana, is the Life-Breath energy and/or inhale and the word Yama, is death and/or exhale.
Now I have described the Magus in past blogs, as relating to "Words" (vibration), the underlying sonic of patterned manifestation. However, it is the power of breath that expels the sound. Thus THE FOOL activates THE MAGUS.
Crowley, considered Air to be a vacuum, as related to THE FOOL who is the fertile Nothingness and egg of Spirit, so to speak. The universal Egg of Spirit is known, by Gnostic and Qabalistic, to be the EGG OF AKASHA, the zero of THE FOOL which also represents this egg of spirit, and is the mathematical formula of us one male, minus one female= 0. Therefore, the understanding is that the Egg of Akasha, is a fertilized ovum of undefined sexuality, but having the potential for Both! One who is Two.
Therefore, THE FOOL, represents the very expression of the god name of Kether, Eheieh, which means I will be. This is the Divine Child as yet unborn, who is all potential and who is our very beginning!
Therefore the Tiger "fawning about" THE FOOL'S leg, is also an archetype representing the Animal Nature (survival mind) as related to the Higher Spiritual process.
The Horns on the figure on both the Thoth represent those of Dionysus Zagreus (
in ancient Greek religion and myth, Zagreus (Greek: Ζαγρεύς) was a god, usually but not always identified with Dionysus. He was especially worshipped by followers of Orphism, whose late Orphic hymns invoke his name), the green clothing on the Thoth card, is that of the Green Man of Spring, the grapes at his feet are a tribute to Bacchus, the Greek God of Ecstasy, and the Crocodile (great creative energy) a swimming at his feet in "the Nile" (Crowley quote). Also are images referring to the Godhead, such as the dove of Venus and the vulture of Maat. Then there is the triple egg shape created by the caduceus in motion, symbolizing the Ain Soph Aur (The three states of No-thing).
The clothing on both cards is "foolish" and representative of that of traditional medieval tarot.
As you may realize, the imagery is so subjective that I haven't the space to detail it all for you. If you need more detail, and you do, I would recommend reading Crowley's BOOK OF THOTH, Robert Wang's Book: THE QABALISTIC TAROT and investigating the Mythology of the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians.
the Fool is the most esoteric of all the Arcane. Every card in the Tarot Deck is an aspect of THE FOOL-0, and therefore, 78 different aspects of you as Spirit-Mind-Body.
As a psychic path, THE FOOL connects Kether -1-(Crown) with Chokmah-2- (Wisdom). To the Qabalist, Kether is known as the Source of All, and Chokmah is known as Father God or God of the Covenant.
The Path of Aleph, meaning OX, is about the "flowing of Life Force and creative power", showing the "SPIRIT'S aim to be that of Earth and/or Sensual Being. Crowley symbolizes this "Holy Spirit" (The Spirit on every level of the Tree of Life) as a dove in the Thoth Deck Card. Crowley also called The Letter Aleph, a phallic symbol.....but then so is the Projected Will that is THE MAGUS, and one wonders if Crowley was so besotted with the Phallus, that he was unable to see anything else; However, truth be told, by reference to Sexes and sexuality do we come to the minutest glimmering of understanding about the Universe.
To even begin understanding THE FOOL, we must entertain a multifaceted and fluid interpretation of Force and Form.
Paul Foster Case calls this Eleventh Path, in his book THE THIRTY-TWO PATHS OF WISDOM, the fiery or Scintillating Intelligence. which makes sense as The Path of Aleph boarders on the Limitless Light (Ain Soph), which is "not" or "naught", that is, Light without limit which is darkness to us who need a beginning and a end to see. So here we try to explain what can't be seen as The Fiery Darkness which is the possibility of vibration or motion and the First Perception of the One having potential for activity.
In the context of Masculine sexuality, the Fool is the Testes, and the Magus is the Phallus, (represented by the three flowers beneath the spread legs of Thoth Tarot- THE FOOL) as He directs active first flow from the Fool rather than potentiality doing so. However, I fear that is a rather limiting concept of the ONE-----as the Ain Soph is "No-Thing", but then, all concepts are less than the potential for conception.
We may reason that the potential for thought, comes from the Dark Energy as Dark Matter (The First Material). The appearance of Thought emanates Mind, which is the vessel for Thoughtful ideas and/or Womb of Thought Forms, i.e. The I-magi-nation, potential images transcending all reason. Thus, our reason, leaves us with more questions than answers but necessarily so because we then must build (create) the answers!
Limitlessness is a very difficult concept! To say that THE FOOL represents the initial potential for thought which transcends reason, is about the best I can do with words. However, the special reality we may touch in sleep, often gives us images that do not correlate to our mundane understanding of reality, so our dreams seem to be so much abstraction and are considered as nonsense to our waking condition. However, the Great Work (As above so below) involves the assimilation of The Real, not a reality conceived of mundane ideas base on self-absorbed survival thinking and a picture of reality painted by words. Therefore, the Real Concepts are from "what is Not" making "What it thinks it is" from Dreams of Potential- Self- I AM!
To think of the Universe as "God Dreaming" (Darkness Dreaming it is Light) is very difficult to grasp, and the fact that you are a "Lucid" Dreamer (Image of God), who has been given the "Power of Observation", meaning you can change the Perspective of "Things" and Self, is just about as mind boggling as it gets....and just such a glimmer of insight requires a "beyond the Mundane" understanding of Self! Thus, your Divinity is not often acknowledged by the mundane; However, your Psyche's Womb, The Divine Feminine, that is the conception of "the image of God", is the invisible Sephiroth, Daath (knowledge), which is the Path Where Goddess (Understanding)/God (Wisdom) meet face to face (Tibetan, Yab Yum) and is known as the Path of Daleth-THE EMPRESS, your Spiritual Birth Mother/ Feminine Principle of the Divine Creative!
All the Paths leading upward to Kether, THE FOOL, THE MAGUS, AND PRIESTESS, must be approached with a certain understanding of whimsy, as we realize that by crossing the Abyss and approaching Kether (The Crown) means the total annihilation of Self as we perceive it; thus presenting us with the irony of our attempt to grasp such esoteric and refined principles from an earthly-mundane perspective created by man made words. Often, when teaching the Major Arcana and knowing what I speak, cannot truly convey what I am saying, brings a smile, if not outright laughter to my face. To me, The I AM potential is ironically displayed as a limited conception--a Me. Being a "Me" must never be taken to seriously, for that concept will change daily, when one enters the higher dimensions of Self.
In Kether is the point of Tetragrammaton. Crowley summed this up as: "The Union (Communion) of the Father and Mother produces Twins, the son going forward to the daughter and the daughter returning the energy to the Father; by this cycle of change the stability and eternity of the Universe is assured." Too understand this, it may be necessary to go back through history to the Matriarchal age. It was a time where succession was not through the first born son but through the daughter. The King was not ruler by inheritance but rather by the right of conquest. In the stable societies of the time, the king was a stranger; a foreigner. He then had to kill the old king and marry the daughter. The Anglo-Saxon word husband meant, “Keeper of her property". So the King was a caretaker.
Respect for the wandering madman or lunatic runs high throughout history. As it still does in India and other Asian nations. In fact, a common quote in medieval times is, "This queer stranger? Let us entreat him kindly. it may be that we entertain an angel unawares." Study into the stories of the Medieval Percival, Mako-the son of Set, or Sebek (crocodile god), or even Hoor-Pa-Kraat will help explain the Fool cosmogony.
On the Tree of Life, the first is Kether-0-, who represents the Pure Being, which is an aspect of pure No-thing; Force and Form hasn't been invented yet. In Kether's subjective manifestation of the Pure Being, he is not one but two; His divine name is Eheieh, which means "I Will Be" and/or I AM (I plus Am =2) but he is only One because he is zero. One leads to nowhere, which is where it came from. So the only possible beginning is in Two, Kether (crown) and Chokma (Wisdom)/Force and that manifestation must be silence, because the number 3, Binah's number (Understanding-Form) has not yet been formulated. In other words, there is no Sexual Mother, Binah is the Virgin Mother, because Male is a Form of Force, and no Form has yet been invented, so When Binah is impregnated by silent Wisdom, she has not known a male! Male and Female where both invented at the same moment when the Twins were born from silent Wisdom and Understanding impregnation of the I (Identity) Am (Idea), therefore giving birth to the Me (Self-consciousness). Hence, 0=2. Therefore, with Kether and Chokma, there is impulse but nothing else, until Binah is formed out of Understanding. Only when impulse is interpreted, can it become Form, or the Logos is merely sound unheard until sound was contained into Form! I could go on and on confusing you into abject despondency, but I think this is enough to stimulate a different perspective about the Universe. The No Thing is 0 who became 2 to create "I"=existence and "AM', the Mind. The difference understood between the I and Am=Me. Hence, the Goddess/God face to face, create a child of Understood nature=the Me.
The Fool -0, is not an ATU or Key card, for key cards are about doors or gateways of knowledge being opened. Nothing has nowhere to go---so it 0. It is all the Power that ever was or will be. However, Crowley also called the Fool, Atu 22, giving it the Key 22 designation. Because in the end, all things return to the NO-Thing. Therefore, in most understandings of Tarot, there are 21 key cards; However, with a greater insight, one can see that there are "22" Key/ATU cards.
The design of the Thoth Fool card represents many mythological explanations of this Principle:
The whole Fool card is a glyph of the Creative Light which is Dark Energy and/or "The Fiery Darkness, that is too bright for human eyes" and/or unseen by the naked eye.
Unless there are many surrounding cards of a very spiritual nature or the position of the Fool card is thrown into a highly spiritual position in the reading, a more mundane reading of the Fool card is often warranted. Such as, acting foolish, dementia, delirium, and/or incoherency.
The Tarot of the Ages
The Mother of Civilizations, was known as Atlantis, to which Mario Garizio illustrator and Patrizia D'Agostino, the writer of the instructions, pays homage to in his creation of the Tarot of the Ages. The Fool or Talisman of this wonderful tarot deck, is the Ankh. The Ankh is the Egyptian Cross that represents the key of the life and energy in the Universe's endless space. In his introduction, Patrizia D'Agostino goes on to say that, "The Tarot describes the play of energy in our star system. It illustrates the combining of energies (frequencies of light) and the shapes formed, and it explains the principles that rule and determine the conscious processes of the creatures of our world".
The words in parentheses are my own insert as there is only One Energy and its many frequencies are often called "energies". Hence, the one who seeks knowledge and these principles of the Divine Creative, can unveil the mystery by following the route mapped by the Major Arcana and/or Trump of the Tarot. Once the process of power and knowledge gain through the route mapped by the Major Arcana is achieved, the seeker is revealed as the Magus and/or the Mercury-messenger of the "gods" who operates in reality by the manipulation of symbols.
However, this is not the last step of reintegration with our inner being. The goal achieved, is in the state of the Fool. The state of Fool is the Psyche state in which the Universal law of love and freedom frees itself.
Now according to Mario Garizio, the illustrator and Patrizia D'Agostino, the writer of the instructions, the Egyptians were chosen to preserve and to transmit to the rest of mankind, the holiest and most occult traditions of Atlantis and that is why the Major Arcana of his deck are illustrated with ancient Egyptian Kemi-the black land- art. Roman numerals grace the top of the card, as its designated number. Printed on the bottom left is the Hebrew letter and the bottom right displays the is an elemental or astrological sigil. However, the Tarot of the Ages does not display traditional tarot astrological symbols, rather the artist has followed the inspirations of his Muse.
In the major work of the Qabalah, the Sepher Yetzirah, offers a pyramid structure to which the Major Arcana can be assigned as shown in the above diagram.The ternary top pier of the Pyramid consists of 3 cards considered to be the Mothers. The second row of 7 cards are considered to be the Daughters.
The 12 cards on the bottom row are considered to be the Simple. Hence, we have a pyramidal diagram of how the principles that the Major Arcana represent interact, their hierarchy of action, and the expression of the One Energy that simultaneously creates, destroys and maintains through transformation, our Universe. Assigned to the Mothers are the elements. The Daughters are assigned the 7 sacred-planets and to the Simple are the signs of the Zodiac.*
Ancient cultures. The seven sacred planets of the ancients are: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury, and the Sun and Moon. 1 The Sun and Moon are not, of course, planets in the usual sense of the term, but from a geocentric perspective all these seven bodies appear to revolve around the Earth.The Twelve Sacred Planets - David Pratt
The art of the Tarot of the Ages illustrates in each suit and ancient civilization that is deemed an important civilization of past ages. Naturally this art couldn't represent all important civilizations such as the societies of southern Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, of Native North America, of aboriginal Australia and many others that have carried the seed of knowledge, expressed in their own forms and/or particular characters of the race.
Those who are familiar with the Thoth Tarot know the letters of the Tetragrammaton, YHVH. They represent the "Secret" name of the Divine Creative, but they also correspond to the 4 directions. Mario Garizio has Illustrated his cards accordingly. North is the Norse Vikings of Northern Europe, who imprisoned the past in the ice of the island of Avalon. Central Africa is South, where the black shamans used occult power to pursue visions of the future. Central America, home of the Aztecs, Incas and Mayans is in the West, know for their colorful plumes, the place of the setting sun and of dying man. Bring forth the most profound philosophy, is Indian in the East, where the sun and man rise together.
The divinatory meanings attributed to the Tarot of the Ages-XXI-Fool, is exactly the same as the Thoth Fool. Here is the traveler who is fearless in the risks he takes along the "road of life". The tiger is replaced by the lynx, the power is fire, and the card also denotes a process of divine possession where the veil of ignorance is torn away. As I stated in the Thoth Fool explanation, according to Crowley, the Fool in western magic, is both 0 and the 22nd card of the Tarot Deck. Here, Mario Garizo and Patrizia D'Agostino places the Fool as the XXI/21st card of the Major Arcana and places the Universe card as XXII/22nd card in the Major Arcana. This is because he describes this Universe Card as the Absolute, where nothing remains but to leave for the true reality. It works for me.
When thrown during a Divination, the Fool represents;
If ill defined by accompanying cards:
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