With all her worldly possessions in one small pack, the Fool begins a new journey under the auspices of the new moon. Where she will travel she knows not yet. So filled with visions, questions, wonder, and excitement is she, that she doesn’t see that she’s about to trip herself. At her feet, her small dog familiar looks on, (possibly he will warn her of her mis-step or catch her fall)
Will the Fool learn to pay attention to where she’s going before it’s too late?
Traveling on her way, the Fool first encounters a Magician. Skillful, self-confident, a powerful magus with an infinite dragon halo floating above his head, the Magician mesmerizes the Fool. When asked, the Fool gives over her bundled pack and stick to the Magician. Raising his wand, the Magician calls on all powers. Magically, the cloth of the pack unfolds upon the table, revealing its contents.
To the Fool’s eyes, it is as if the Magician has created the future with a word. All the possibilities are laid out, all the directions she can take: The cool, airy Sword of intellect and communication, the fiery Wand of passions and ambition, the overflowing Chalice of love and emotions, the solid Pentacle of work, possessions and body.
With these tools, the Fool can create anything, make anything of her life. But here’s the question, did the Magician create the tools, or were they already in the pack?
Continuing her journey, the Fool comes upon a The Sorceress illuminated by the moon. She is the opposite of the Magician, quiet where he was loquacious, still where he was in motion, shrouded in the night where he was out in the bright of day. Sensing that she is a great seer, the Fool lays out her sword, chalice, staff, and pentacle before her. “The Magician showed me these, but now I’m in a quandary. There are so many things I could do with them. I can’t decide.”
The Sorceress doesn’t speak. On her wrist is a key to deep knowledge, she knows the answers. But also she knows words are wasted on others if spoken before one is ready to hear.
She invites the Fool to sit and put her decision-making on hold. The Sorceress does not pressure or rush the Fool, allowing the Fool time to recognize that there are seasons of life. The Fool learns to know the right time.
“I did not know any of this,” says the Fool. Studying to determine the season has given her insight into her new tools. “This information helps me to narrow things down, but I’m still afraid of making the wrong decision.”
The words come to the Fool then, not from without but from within: “What do your instincts tell you?” The Fool reflects on that, and that’s when she knows what she should do. Decision made, she rises to leave even though she suspects that the High Priestess has many more secrets to reveal. Right now, however, the Fool is focused and ready to be on her way.
Thanking the Sorceress, she heads off. But as she leaves she hears The Sorceress in her inner voice: “We’ll meet again…when you’re ready to travel the most secret path of all.”
Having decided what she will create with her tools, the Fool strides forward, impatient to make her future a full-grown reality. This is when she comes upon the Empress. Her hair gold as wheat, wearing a crown of stars, and an elaborate gown of roses. She rests back on her throne surrounded by an abundance of grain and a lush garden. The Empress removes her mask to meet the Fool with her authentic face.
The Fool relates her story. And the Empress, in turn, smiles a motherly smile and gently gives her this advice: “Like newly planted grain or a newborn babe, a new life, a new relationship, a new creation is fragile. It requires patience and nurturing. It needs love and attention. Only this will bring it to fruition.” Understanding at last that her future will take time to develop, the Fool thanks the Empress and continues on her way.
The Fool was given options by the Magician and decided on one with help from the High Priestess. She learned how to nurture her gifts thanks to the Empress. Now it has reached a stage where she must find a way to manage her own future. How to do this?
She approaches a great Emperor seated on a stone throne. The Fool is amazed by the way the Emperor is instantly, eagerly obeyed in every particular, at how well his Empire is run and organized.
Respectfully, she asks the Emperor how it is he does this. And the Emperor answers: “Strong will and a solid foundation of laws and order. It’s all very well,” he explains to the Fool, “to be imaginative, creative, instinctual, patient; but to control one must be alert, brave and aggressive.”
Ready now to lead and direct rather than be led, the Fool heads out with new purpose.
Having created a solid foundation on which to build her life, the Fool is struck with sudden fear. What if everything she’s worked for is taken away? Is stolen, or lost, or destroyed or vanishes? Or what if what she’s created so far isn’t good enough? In a panic, she heads into a temple where she finds the Voodoo Warlock; a wise and holy man. Petitioners kneel before the Warlock ready to hear and pass on his teachings. The Fool tells the Warlock her fears and asks how she can be free of them.
“There are two ways,” says the Warlock sagely, “Either give up that which you fear to lose so it no longer holds any power over you, or consider what you will still have if your fear comes to pass. After all,” the Warlock continues, “if you did lose all you’ve gathered, you would still keep the experience and knowledge that you’ve gained up to this point, wouldn’t you?”
“That is true,” the Fool says. “But what about the community, society, and friends I’ve discovered? More than knowledge or experience, I value them. If I lost all, I’d lose them too, wouldn’t I?”
“Not necessarily,” the Warlock answers with a knowing smile in his compassionate eyes. “If your community has traditions that you all share and beliefs, then you will never lose that fellowship even if circumstances force you to part. You can even pass such onto your children giving them the same fellowship with each other and with past generations.”
Hearing this, the Fool feels her heart ease, as if knots of fear have been loosened. A sense of peace blankets her and she takes a moment to thank the good Warlock most profoundly. Stepping out of the sanctuary she makes her way to a meeting with friends. Tonight they will talk about how they can create lessons and traditions to preserve not only their experience and knowledge, but their community.
The Fool comes to a cross-road, filled with energy, confidence and purpose, knowing exactly where she wants to go and what she wants to do. But she comes to a dead stop. A flowering tree marks the path she wants to take, the one she’s been planning on taking. But leaning on the fruit tree marking the other path is an attractive man. The Fool has met and had relationships with women and men before, some far more alluring. But he is different. Seeing him, she feels as though she’s just been shot in the heart with cupid’s arrow.
That’s how shocking, how painful is her “recognition” of him. As she speaks with him, the feeling intensifies; like finding a missing part of herself. It is clear that he feels the same about her. They finish each other’s sentences, think the same thoughts. It is as if fate had introduced their souls to each other.
Though it was her plan to follow the path of the flowering tree, and though it will cause some trouble for her to travel with a companion, the Fool knows she dare not leave him behind. No matter how divergent from her original intent, he has now become her moon and she has become his sun. They choose each other, and together they head down an unexpected new road.
The Fool is close to completing what she set out to create long ago, back when the Magician revealed those tools to her. But enemies are now standing in her way, devious human enemies, bad circumstances, even confusion in her own mind. There’s no more forward momentum; she feels she is fighting just to stay where she is. Walking along the shore, watching the waves come in, she puzzles over how to defeat these enemies and get things moving forward once again.
It is here that she comes across a powerful Witch, with a golden Chariot. “You seem a victorious warrior,” the Fool calls out. “I feel beset by my enemies, unable to move forward. What should I do?”
“First, you must gather your strength,” the Witch pats her beasts who respond with a fierce roar. “Next, you must focus on your goal; where do you mean to go? What do you mean to do?” The Witch nods to her beasts: half lion and half dragon. “My beasts give the Chariot power, but it is my control and direction of them that gets them to their destination. Lion and Dragon, Dark and Light, they must be made to draw in harmony, under my guidance.” The Fool nods. That makes sense. “What if someone or something gets in my way?”
The Witch coolly meets the Fool’s gaze. “You run them down. Your aim is victory, and to be victorious you must have unwavering confidence in your cause. Never question, never doubt what you’re trying to achieve. Never lose your focus or motivation.”
The Fool is impressed and inspired. She thinks she now knows how to get past all the distractions and setbacks that have been keeping her trapped in place, like a riptide in the ocean. She thanks the Witch, but before she leaves, the Witch touches the Fool.
“One thing more you should keep in mind,” she says, “Victory is not the end, it is the beginning. Remember that before you decide to enter into any contest.”