tarot of the old path-the fool-0
The Fool, is the most subjective of all Major Arcane cards, and in fact, the entire tarot deck of 78 cards are aspects of the Fool. Hence, the Fool, is The Spirit, as in the One Energy, the One Will etc.. However, the Fool can also represent foolish behavior, such as the baby crawling towards the fire, throwing the mother into a fearful emotional flight to rescue the child.
On the Tarot of the Old Path Card, behind the terrified mother, is a young man, dressed in green, striding upon a path that forks ahead of him; one of these paths is precipitous. Upon the blond boy's shoulder rests a sack on a stick. This sack holds all of his past experiences that will come to his aid in future encounters. Hence this blond youth represents the individual soul's journey in Life.
In the foreground, a golden rod warns in the language of plants to take care. The partridge is a bird that deceives in order to protect, and act of which the young person is unaware.
The upper right hand of this card, shows a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis, waiting for its wings to dry. The Butterfly is the traditional symbol for the soul; Hence reinforcing the young Soul's journey.
The Fool is the universal key that is associated with the state of conscious energy that is us before and after death. In other words, the conscious state that is Holy Spirit. Many of us know that we “have a spirit" but few of us know that we are Spirit and seek not spirituality but rather are Spirituality on all ten planes and/or Sephira of the Tree of Life,i.e.,a whole-conscious liberation and expansion to Earth anima (female animal mind) and animus (Male animal mind).
Rather than just being assumed as being mystical, trans-personal, transcendent, and ecstatic in its nature, the Fool represents the power of wonder and ecstasy that is so apparent in the very young (and the “enlightened”) 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 and subjected to the “I” of the beholder. The Real is the infinite part of ourselves that self reflects upon the soul.
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 consideration to fear. He looks forward, and the tiger can't even make a dent in his perspective.
The Fool is the energetic essence of who we are---an unflappable immortal spiritual flow of energy consciousness that flows from the Infinite Source. This card symbolizes the creative expression that is needed to give birth to new parts of our lives and to boldly take risks 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!
As a Path, THE FOOL connects Kether (Crown) with Chokmah (Wisdom). To the Qabalist, Kether is known as the Source of All, and Chokmah is known as "Father God".
The Path of Aleph, (The Fool) meaning OX, is about the "flowing of Life Force and creative power", showing that the SPIRIT had,in the beginning,an aim to be manifest as Sensual Being. Kether, being of the Ain, which is 0 and or nothing, is the first suggestion of "Will" as Eheieh, a Hebrew word that means, "I Will Be".
Crowley symbolizes this "Holy Spirit" (The Spirit on every level of the Tree of Life) as a dove in the Thoth Tarot 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. We begin seeing that the Below is a mirror reflection of the Above; 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" (Psychics-Thermodynamics 1st law), we know that everything is of this One, as symbolized by THE FOOL the Path of Aleph. We also know that a phallic action of ejaculation is the motion of the Dark Energy of our Universe.
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. This is well known in Eastern cultures, and Prana Yama (Breath yoga) are a major if not primary part of all Spiritual development. The Sanskrit Word Prana, is the Life-Breath energy; Prana meaning life and Yama meaning death. Simply, inhale and exhale. The Qabalah and I have described the Magus 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.
The Science of Crowley’s time, considered Air to be a vacuum, as related to THE FOOL, so did Crowley, but the Ancient Wisdom is that the Element Air is not a vacuum, as in empty of anything, but rather a No-thing who is the fertile No-thingness and egg of Spirit. The universal Egg of Spirit is known by students of the mysteries, to be the EGG OF AKASHA, the zero of THE FOOL, also represents this egg of spirit, that hatches into the soul. The formula of the Fool, is 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!
On the Thoth Fool, the Tiger, "fawning about" THE FOOL'S leg, is an archetype representing the Animal Nature of Survival thinking as related to the Higher Spiritual process of Love that is fearless. Again, as this cannot be said enough, the Horns on the Thoth figure represent those ancient mysteries of Dionysus Zagreus. The green clothing is that of the Celtic 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) is “a swimming at his feet in the Nile" (Crowley quote). Making this 0, a complexity of subtleties and far from empty.
Images referring to the Godhead in the Thoth card, are the dove of Venus and the vulture of Maat the Dark Egyptian Goddess of Judgment, where she is the Mother of Dark Matter. Then there is the triple egg shape created by the caduceus in motion, symbolizing the Ain Soph Aur (The three states of No-Thing).
As you may realize, the imagery is so subjective that I haven't the words 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 also investigating the Mythology of the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians.
To even begin understanding THE FOOL, we must entertain a multifaceted and fluid interpretation of Force and Form. Therefore, Tarot, is the multifaceted images of One.
Paul Foster Case calls this Eleventh Path of Aleph, 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 0. Light without limit is darkness to us who need a beginning and an 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. This would make a modern definition of “Dark Energy” as the “first I” or identity... a phallic expression.
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 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 0, 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 Thought and/or Womb of Thought Forms, i.e. The “I-magi-nation”, transcending all reason. Thus, as often is so with the Supernal Triangle, our reason leaves us with more questions than answers.
Limitlessness is a very difficult concept! To say that THE FOOL represents the initial potential for thought which transcends reason, i.e. the All Seeing I, is about the best I can do with words.
The special reality we may touch in sleep, often gives us images that do not correlate to our mundane understanding of reality. This being 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. And the Real Concepts are from what is not making what is from Dreams of Potential- Self! 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- given the Power of Observation that changes a thing, meaning you can change the Principle that is Things, is just about as mind boggling as it gets. But I dare postulate that just such a glimmer of insight requires a more than mundane understanding of self! Thus, your Divinity is not often acknowledge by the mundane world of survival thinking. However, your Spiritual Womb, the conception of "the image of God", is the invisible Sephira, Daath (knowledge) seated within the Abyss, and is the Child of the Goddess (Understanding) and the God (Wisdom) who are face to face (Yab Yum). This middle path of Union is known as the Path of Gimel (meaning Camel); THE HIGH PRIESTESS OR HIGH PRIEST; the Divine Androgyny.
All the Paths leading upward to Kether, THE FOOL, THE MAGUS, AND THE HIGH PRIESTESS, must be approached with a certain understanding of whimsy, as we realize that by crossing the Abyss and approaching Kether (As above, so below) 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. 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 subjective I AM- potential is ironically displayed as a limited conception—a Me. Being a Me must never be taken too seriously, for that concept will change daily, when one enters the Higher Self, and becomes a master of subjectivity forming into objectivity.
To reiterate, THE FOOL- 0, is the initial potential for thought, transcending all reason. Thus objectifying the Upper Regions, 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 Universe, in a direct manner, we are forcibly driven into the key Principles of the Mysteries/Metaphysics of As Above, So Below.
We begin seeing that the Below is a mirror reflection of the Above The Divine Spirit,and 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" (1st law of Thermodynamics), we know that everything is of this One, as symbolized by THE FOOL, the Tarot image of the Path of Aleph.
In this context I dare to repeat, 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 the “one rope of Life” that we are all woven strands of. This is well known in Eastern cultures, and Prana- Yama (Breath yoga) are a major if not primary part of all Spiritual development. The Word Prana, is the Life-Breath energy and is also called the Sex force and means “life-death”. Now I have described the Magus 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.
THE FOOL, is the very expression of the god name of Kether, Eheieh, which means I will be. This is the essence of the Divine Child as yet unborn, who is all potential and who is our very beginning!
When THE FOOL card is thrown of both the Thoth Tarot and the Tarot of the Old Path deck during a reading the querent is in or experiencing:
- A state of ecstasy and/or a state of Peek experience.
- Fearlessness. Courage. And is completing all motion by Faith, absolutely trusting THE SPIRIT.
- A feeling of being protected, and that everything will work out.
- Being open to what the future brings!
- Magic, amazement and desire in a relationship.
If ill-defined by accompanying cards, The Fool, is then the harbinger of folly, mania, extravagance and even negligence.