What is not real, never was and never will be.
What is real always was and cannot be destroyed.
The Witches Tarot is the written work of a Garden Witch-Ellen Dugan and the artist Mark Evans of Queens NY.
Ellen lives in Missouri with her husband and three children and has been a witch for over 29 yrs. Visit her web site at www.ellendugan.com
Mark Evans is an award winning artist. He lists clients such as: Coca Cola, Walt Disney, and Marvel comics. Visit Mark at" www.cloudmover.net
The fool is the universal principle that is associated with the state of conscious energy, that is us before and after death. In other-words, the conscious state that is Soul/Psyche/Spirit. Many of us know that we " have a spirit" but few of us know that we are Spirit, Human-the Mind of Spirit and have a body that is a Homo Sapient and seek not spirituality but rather are Spirituality bringing whole-conscious, Psyche- liberation and expansion to Earth anima and animus! In the Witches Tarot-Fool, all the experiences of the fool, are shown neatly packaged in the leather bag at the end of his staff, that are kept secure and safe as symbolized by the pentagram seal. The red feather in his cap, represents his zeal for his journey.
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 white rose bud in the Witches Tarot-Fool's hand, symbolizes this innocence, his trust, and new beginnings. He stares at the sunny sky, while walking along a cliff edge, showing his absolute trust in Spirit to guide his way. The cultural identity, imposed on us during a child's indoctrination, is not real and therefore not trusting, so Qabalists call it "reality" which we all know as relative and individual. The Real is the infinite part of ourselves; The Real Person and/or The Higher Self-The Hu-Man. [ Hu- is the Mandarin word for God and Man comes from the Hindu word Manas, meaning Mind; Hence we are God-Mind and Homo Sapient.]
In both the Thoth and Witches tarot, the survival mind of the animal, our companion body mind of instincts, is shown as either a tiger or a white dog. The Tiger is a Chinese symbol for fear, which is what is the base of survival thinking; Fear Based Thought. In either case, the animal mind is a companion that the fool isn't paying any attention to. For the Fool, is absolutely trusting of Spirit to guide his way. The White dog, is a "Westie", a smart, energetic companion and/or in witches terms, a "familiar". Which points out the fact that our first "familiar", is the body we make breathe. (Spirit comes from the Greek, Spiro, which means breath. )
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 the initiation into the Fool, and 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 The Witches 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 and/or Self-Reflection 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 a collective of Self-Dreams experience as Personalities through the use of light- forms! Hence the Sunny day, of the Witches Tarot Fool and the fire in the left hand of the Thoth Tarot Fool.
There are many attempts to explain the "First Thought", that created Mind, such as, The Word of God, The Logos, The first vibration, 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 often shown as a fish and yet, A. Crowley called the letter Aleph, a plough-share 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-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 3rd 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 I-magi-nation. 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 lower 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 anthropomorphizing 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 "I Will Be" that is Kether! To the Alchemist, Beth, is the Philosophic Mercury or First Matter (fish symbol). 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-lemniscate ( from the Greek-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 that have formed a collective of intelligence, 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 and/or The Word of Kether which in Hebrew is Eheieh (I Will Be). The Magus being the first step in evolutionary Universal energy towards matter. Thus, in the Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom, by Dr. 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 Prana Yamas (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.
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 Qabalists, to be the EGG OF AKASHA, the zero of THE FOOL which also represents this egg of spirit, (Soul) 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" Hence, the Soul is both Anima ( Latin-Spirit-feminine) and Animus ( Latin-Soul-masculine)! One who is Two.
Therefore, THE FOOL, represents the very expression of the god name of Kether, Eheieh, which means I will be and the experiences of that will to be, called a Soul. This is the Divine Child as yet unborn, who is all potential and who is our very beginning!
Therefore the Tiger or Dog, "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 worshiped 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 your Psyche. All begins with the 0-the Fool and all ends in The Fool, which then becomes ATU-22.
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.
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! The Potential for Thought, might as well be a "Dark Hole", that emits thought as a "White Hole" at the other end.
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 the Real Concepts are from "what is Not" making "What it thinks it 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), 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. Hence, your Spiritual Birth Mother/ Feminine Principle of the Divine Creative, is Daath-The Womb that is the Priestess!
I'll end this" brief" dissertation on the Fool, with this: All the Paths leading upward to Kether, THE FOOL, THE MAGUS, AND THE 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.
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 pathways to the Higher 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 care-taker of her property.
Respect for the wandering mad-man 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 the myth of Percival, Mako-the son of Set, or Sebek (crocodile god), or even Hoor-Pa-Kraat will help explain the Fool cosmogony. This traditional wandering fool, is well depicted in the Witches Tarot-0-The Fool.
The Fool -0, is not a 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; an unmeasurable infinity. 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 or ATU cards.
The design of the Thoth Fool card represents many mythological explanations of this Principle:
- The Thoth, Fool has the horns of Dionysus Zagreus, and on the Thoth Card between the horns is the phallus cone of white light---indicating the influence of Kether-Crown, upon him.
- The Fools background is Air, drawing from Space and his attitude is that of one bursting unexpectedly on the world. A good simile for the beginning of Time.
- On the Thoth Tarot, He is clad in the Green of Spring and wears the Phallic gold shoes of the Sun.
- In his right hand is the Wand tipped in a pyramid of white---simulating Kether, while the Witches Tarot shows the Fool's Wand tipped with a bag holding his magical devices (experiences).
- In the Thoth Fools left hand is the flaming pine-cone, indicating vegetable growth under the same Fiery influence of the White light. He is the Authority of Fertility. This fertility is shown in the Witches Tarot, as a green expanse.
- From the Thoth Fool's left shoulder, hangs a bunch of bagged grapes, representing sweetness, fertility and the basis for ecstasy (Ecstasy gave birth to the Universe); shown by the stem of the grapes forming into rainbow hued spirals; The form of the Universe. The spiral form of the Universe is also shown in the Night Sun Tarot, as the oval lines behind the Fool, that also form the Universal Womb image.
- Upon this spiral whorl of the Thoth Tarot, are other attributions of the "godhead"; the vulture of Maut, the dove of Venus (Mari, or Isis) and the sacred ivy of the Devotees of the Green Man.
- There is also a buttery fly of many-colored air, representing souls and the winged globe with its twin-serpents, which is echoed by the twin infants embracing on the middle spiral.
- Above is the benediction of three flowers in one (Kether, Chokmah, Binah).
- The tiger (fear) is fawning unnoticed on his leg. The Night Sun Tarot depicts a Dog in this activity.
- And beneath his Thoth feet runs the Nile with lotus stems and a crouching crocodile (Sebek). While the Night Sun Tarot, has his feet lowered in an ever-darkening light.
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.
When thrown during a Divination, the Fool represents;
- Idea, thought, spirituality and that which endeavors to rise above the material world.
- However, if the question of the querent is regarding a material event of an ordinary life, this card is not well defined. Herein, it shows folly, foolishness, stupidity, eccentricity and even mania.
- The Fool is too ideal and unstable to be generally good in material things.
- The Fool is more about a willingness to "Throw oneself into the Abyss of the Unknown" rather than operating in a reasonable manner.
- The querent is in or experiencing a state of ecstasy and/or a state of Peek experience.
- 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!
If ill defined by accompanying cards, The Fool, is then the harbinger of folly, mania, extravagance and even negligence.
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