In all the vast proliferation of cards, decks and illustrations available in the world, this particular card (from The Victorian Fairy Tarot) is one of my very favourites ever! In tarot, the “Fool” represents the human journey through life (the Major Arcana often referred to as “The Fool’s Journey”) but more importantly, he symbolises the part of us that is always evolving and taking new steps into new adventures and new stages of life. This card bears the number “0” which represents the unlimited potential of a starting point. The Fool is innocent, spontaneous, unaware of all the things that lie before him and in that beautiful simplicity he’s unafraid of stepping forward, unafraid of all the unknowns. Like a child who doesn’t over-think his next steps or think about what can go wrong, the fool’s innocence keeps him from being stuck. A new phase is coming, like it or not and the Fool’s sense of wonder makes him ready and enthusiastic.
In traditional Waite Rider cards, the Fool is often portrayed as a boy perched atop a cliff with his wary pup nipping at his heels as he steps into the void, but in this one, a young man wanders into a beautiful twilight bluebell glade and is enchanted by the fairies who reside there. In the language of flowers, bluebells represent “enchantment” (in Scotland, fairies were said to cast an enchantment on anyone who would pick or trespass on bluebells). There are two definitions of “enchantment”: a) a force superseding our typical will and, b) a state of wonder and delight. It’s apparent in this drawing that BOTH kinds of enchantment are acting on our traveler, the Fool. As with the blindness of the fool in the traditional tarot illustrations, here our traveler has the magical enchantment of the fairies taking over and leading him blindly into a new realm… but it’s one of brightness, delight, and wonder.
Sometimes it might seem foolish to let our thoughtful faculties and cautious deliberation to stand aside. What if we step in a hole? What if the Fool is, well, FOOLISH? But there are other times when it’s foolish NOT to be enchanted and driven by forces outside our usual way of sizing things up. This is week is one of those times. Your cautious ego is like the protective pup in the picture… watching over his master but powerless to stop the enchanting forces of magic and fairy dust in the air. It’s better to let that delight, magic and wonder unfold this week than to try to stop it. Be the innocent explorer this week, allow a sense of enchantment to permeate your heart and mind. After all, most of us have been feeling Mercury Retrograde-y waves of mental and emotional stress lately and it’s time to let go and let those “fairies” (new experiences and whims) guide you. Your brain solves a lot of problems for you. It does a great job of sizing things up a lot of the time…. but you know what? It’s not always so foolproof. Sometimes we have to let our emotions, a sense of magic or even life’s strange whims hop in the driver’s seat instead of our measured intellect and ego ESPECIALLY when new patterns and stages in our lives are trying to be born. If we didn’t let that “magic” take over now and then we’d constantly be trying to drive back to our old homes and places we cannot go back to instead of finding the enchanted forest!
The thing about being an innocent explorer is that in this state we realise that we’re no different than those bluebells growing and expanding towards the light and unfolding in new pathways. Every new phase or step let’s us express our spirit, or gain wisdom. It’s not always about anticipating everything and knowing everything and plotting, planning and having it all figured out. If you’ve found yourself at wits end about what way is the RIGHT way, or if you’ve been too swayed by your analytical super-powers to move in ANY direction, then this “enchantment” week is a perfect time for you to let those subtle influences lead you – even if you don’t know exactly where you’re going yet. What has been “tugging” on you lately? What bluebell glade did you step into lately? Where is the “magic” trying to take you? Where is wonder or delight trying to take you? Stop thinking and LET YOURSELF BE LEAD!
About this deck: The Victorian Fairy Tarot by Lunaea Weatherstone and Gary Lippincott, published by Llewellyn, is one of the most beautifully painted and illustrated tarot decks ever created. I will soon be posting a link to a full deck review on this 78 card deck and book set.