The symbolism of the Fool is best explained by first considering the meaning of the Hebrew letter Aleph attributed this Key. Aleph means Ox. Oxen symbolize the motive power in agriculture, because they were used to pull plows, etc. Agriculture is the basic form of civilization. Thus the letter Aleph symbolizes Cultural Power, Creative Energy, Life-Power, the vital principle of plants, animals, and Men which comes to us in physical form as the energy of the Sun. This principle is also called Life-Breath. It is the Greek Pneuma, the Sanskrit Prana, the Hebrew Ruach, the Latin Spiritus. Literally these words mean "breath." Secondarily, they refer to the Spirit, or allpervading Life-energy.
This meaning is substantiated by the title, for Fool is derived from the Latin follis meaning a "bag of wind." Thus the Fool symbolizes that which contains air, or Breath. The number 0 carries this idea a step farther. It is a symbol of the limitless, unconditioned Life-Power. The 0 is shaped like an egg, hence it symbolizes that which contains all of the potencies of growth and development. Occultists will understand that we refer to the Cosmic Egg, and to the Ring-Pass-Not.
In the picture the Sun refers to the ONE FORCE. It is white to indicate that it is the Universal Radiant Energy which is concentrated by and radiated from all of the suns in the universe.
The mountains represent the abstract mathematical conceptions which are behind all knowledge of Nature. As such, they are cold and uninteresting to many. But the melting of the snow upon the peaks feeds the streams that make fertile the valleys below. So will the principles of Ageless Wisdom feed your consciousness and make fertile your mental imagery, thus transforming your life.
The Fool is Eternal Youth. He shows that the ONE FORCE never ages, is always at the height of its power. His attitude expresses confidence and joyful aspiration.
The wreath around the Fool's head symbolizes the vegetable kingdom; also Victory. The wand is Will, the wallet Memory. The white rose represents purified desire. The Fool's garments consist of a white undergarment and a black outer one which is lined with red. White is purity, truth and wisdom. It is covered with the black of ignorance and delusion, which is lined with passion, action and desire. It is held with a girdle having twelve ornaments, seven of which are showing. This girdle represents time, and astrologers will find the contemplation of this symbology of much interest. The wheels which ornament the outer garment are eight-spoked. They symbolize the whirling motion by which the ONE FORCE manifests itself. The little dog symbolizes the intellect, the merely reasoning mind. He is a faithful companion, but must have a master.
Highlights of Tarot (ISBN 0-938002-02-3)
Copyright 1931 by the School of Ageless Wisdom, Paul Case AA71739
Copyright 1959 Builders of the Adytum R235814
6th edition revised Copyright 1970 Builders of the Adytum A138325
13th edition revised Copyright 1989 Builders of the Adytum TX2801102
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