creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fools & Fiscal Cliffs

Going crazy over all the issues surrounding the Fiscal cliff? Perhaps there is some divine insight for us to gain by exploring another cliff walker, The Fool in the classic depiction from the Rider-Waite deck by artist Pamela Colman Smith. For there we find our Fool about to step right off the edge of such a cliff. Note we only see a small portion of the cliff - who knows just what will happen once the step is made?  Will the Fool plummet to his death? Or will he merely land on a lower ledge a few feet below. Or will his little bag become a parachute and he safely glides downward? Or does the Fool discover he can walk on air and even fly? Is the cliff merely an illusion created by fear? So many mysteries surrounding the interpretation…but the Fool, seemingly unaware of it, or unconcerned by it, moves forward. We all need to seek out our inner Fools - for we are indeed on the brink of some major transformations in our world. We can hold on tight and threaten to tumble, or keep ourselves light and adaptable.

The imagery of the Tarot’s Fool contains a bounty of metaphysical symbolism. In the Tarot deck the Fool is usually depicted as the number Zero, which means he is a sort of wild card character, a liminal being neither here nor there, existing outside the system and full of possibility — anything could happen. Zero is also a number which has no value, additive at least. He is therefore neutral and a fresh point of origin, without bias.  He is the figure who wanders away from any stagnant situation to begin a new journey and adventure. Thus he is a figure associated with paradigm shifts and new beginnings. He is not afraid of doing something unusual and outside of the box. He does things that may seem foolish to the current society, but will one day likely become the new normal. History knows many Fools, but more likely calls them a pioneer, explorer, scientist, revolutionary, hero, or savior.

The Fool’s head is held high - perhaps filled with lofty ideas - carrying with him the desire to seek out things above and beyond him. He appreciates natural beauty as seen in the pure white rose* he holds and those dandy duds. The sun shines down upon him like the divine nature of his exuberance, his curious search for understanding and meaning. The only baggage he carries is the small sack of belongings which doesn’t weigh him down. He is free to wander. The dog yips at the heels perhaps with a warning about getting too close to the cliff. Perhaps the dog is his animal instinct, his primal fear of the unknown giving one last plea. Or perhaps the dog is merely yipping joyfully along with him.

We will honor the Fool's role in new beginnings Dec 29
What happens next? Well, that's the domain of the unknown, and where a leap of faith is required. We don’t know where we are going and we are filled with uncertainty. All the energy and attention being put into the current fiscal cliff is surrounding a non-physical event with such fearful energy (and reminds me of Y2K). The cliff is both imaginary and illusionary, but how it effects us will undoubtedly have tangible results and rippling ramifications the more hyped up it gets. But remember, the Fool’s Journey begins with a step into the unknown. The adventure that is the rest of the Tarot Deck continues from such a launching point. Nothing will be gained unless something is first risked. But we have to lighten ourselves. Fill ourselves with faith and follow a higher calling, as foolish it may seem to those who want to surround anything deemed unusual and out of the ordinary in a fog of fear.

So I’m not writing this as some proponent of stepping off the Fiscal Cliff. I don’t mind either way actually, it's all an illusion, but I find the timing of the whole endeavor to be quite interesting and perhaps even auspicious. It comes on the heels of the End of the Mayan Calendar. It is a ReBegin, and a situation full of possibility for a new Foolish journey and a new way of being to take place, which I believe our country and world desperately needs. But let the talking heads keep debating the so called Fiscal cliff if they must keep stoking the fires of fear -- there is a much larger and more wide-spread paradigm shift happening, and that is the one to pay attention to. There is another cliff that we are approaching, which could mean an entirely new way our world operates. So keep your head held high and spirits lifted as you move lightly and freely into the unknown.

*The white rose may also be a symbol of the Fool's engagement upon a Rosicrucian journey - there are of course many more symbols and meanings packed in the image - and part of the sublime value and joy of the Tarot is discovering our individual interpretation and how it resonates with us.

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