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What are some key words and images that come to mind when you think of The High Priestess?

 

Write these down if it helps acquaint you with the concept.


How I think of it: 

I prefer not to think of the cards in terms of good or bad, positive and negative. Sometimes they can be warnings, like STOP signs, and sometimes they can be predictors, or GO signs. 


GO:

The High Priestess is difficult to write about because she is intuition, representative of knowledge that can only be felt, and yet, so much like her duality of the unspoken and the manifest - I could literally write a book about her! But, we are the keepers of our own divinity, so, whatever is imparted here - just know her meaning is actually felt and experienced within YOU!

The High Priestess is the divine feminine, (much like the Magician is the divine masculine) manifested in the Empress. And yet, she can also be seen as the counterpart to the Hierophant. She bears symbols which originate from early depictions of the Virgin Mary, her foot on the moon for example.

The High Priestess asks you to trust your intuition, which is different from imagination, delusion and fear. Resistance is the enemy of the High Priestess, as she summons you to look inward, rather than searching for what you seek on the physical plane. Sometimes the strongest monsters are within us. She asks you not to think of your emotions and thoughts as your own. Emotions and thoughts are intrinsic to physical experience, and when we identify with them, i.e. "I am angry," rather than adopting the perspective, "this is anger," we separate ourselves from others, and consequently from the source. Think of it this way: when we identify with a feeling, we are like butterfly snatchers, capturing sadness or a delusion (an untrue thought or judgment) and holding it prisoner. If we acknowledge these occurences as a phenomenon of existence, we can simply greet them, watch them pass, and, with our foot on the moon, discern whether or not it's merely a thought, or a call from within which warrants our attention.

Recently, I had a dream that I was in China (I've never been to China, but I imagine this has to do with my current research into Yin and Yang energies) and a well-kept business man (no, he was not a monk, just an average Joe like you and I!) told me that suffering arises when, "Something makes itself known," and we "determine we need it, when we don't." This "something" could be a thought, it could be an advertisement, it could be an idea, or a really cool sweater we just have to have (but maybe we don't have the money for it. And also have enough sweaters). Even good ideas can cause suffering! (I can't even tell you how many good ideas I've had, but sometimes I get depressed because I cannot manifest them all! I'm currently learning to greet them, appreciate their sales pitch and politely decline, without putting the pressure on myself to pursue each one - because this attachment leads to the thought of loss or failure when I realize I don't have the bandwidth to add another project to my plate and see it through to fruition.)

Do not mistake the instruction of the High Priestess as a message to denounce emotions and thoughts completely. They exist for a reason! That's why there are entire suits dedicated to them!

The High Priestess asks you to directly consult your unconscious. The more you practice clearing out the noise (the influence of advertising, your inner critic installed and programmed by an oppressive parental figure, the judgments of others which can damage our will and ego and cause us to alter our beliefs and choices) through meditation, the more easily you can hear your intuition. Intuition feels like knowledge without a known source. I have had experiences with my intuition where it feels like someone told me something, a message, or a cosmic truth that I, of course, must have read in a book written by a human! If you don't currently register these little blips on your radar in waking hours, consulting your dreams is a great way to tune into the channel. You can even ask your dreams a question!


STOP:

The High Priestess asks you to pause, recognize and explore your thoughts and emotions, which are currently in control of YOU. Imagine all of the butterflies, moths, and other flying critters caught within your net. What happens when you have and hold onto all this stuff? Naturally, it attracts more negativity, or becomes preventative energy blocking divine support (intuition) and weakens your Will. You've become preoccupied with the mosquitos, beetles, dragonflies, and even dangling spiders, that have ended up in your net. Now, you have anxiety! Anxiety is sourced from fear and leads to sadness.

Unconsciously, you've become so focused on adopting the role of warden for all your thoughts, desires, emotions, and fears - this is all you have the energy for! Touché! The roles have reversed! You have become the prisoner of your own mind! This mental state is represented in the Nine of Swords.

The High Priestess is asking you to meet your shadow. Why has this happened? You may not be ready to meditate, and would perhaps benefit from a more therapeutic approach, contacting an expert that can help you sift through all your bugs. The goal here is to attain comfortability with the process of clearing out, because, well - It won't be easy. The spiders may bite. The mosquitos may sting. You may realize you've killed a few butterflies, and have to come to terms with your murderous nature. But this is all necessary to make room for what your true Will wants to manifest.

Perhaps you have a tendency to stay with abusive partners, are working a job that does not align your heart and will, or are fixating on a damaged relationship in which you've done all you can to mend. Letting go of these things is difficult, and it's painful. But what purpose is it fulfilling if you allow suffering to take up permanent residence in both your head and heart?

Number 2:

When I think of the number two, duplication, I think of the duplicitous self, or looking at ourselves in a mirror/a reflection. Often, I think of how we, as humans, naturally manifest the process of creation by meeting another individual, and engaging in the act of creation. This could be a man and woman bearing a child, two women or men adopting and caring for a child, or two business partners coming together to manifest a creative goal. What we often see in the other person is ourselves, which is not necessarily narcissistic (although it can be if we have very strong egos) but essential. We impose our ideals in the form of fantasy upon another, as well as our fears. We come together with another individual to then separate, and see ourselves better. This is an example of how the process up and down the Tree of Life exists not only in itself, but holographically within each Sephiroth. If I can learn that I am, in fact, projecting an ideal upon another, I am learning about my own inner world. It is the role of the other to help me become aware of this projection and bring it from the unconscious to the conscious, that I may have more control over it, ultimately achieving the ability to step on the moon. We must see ourselves to know ourselves.

The High Priestess is the mirror in which this is possible. It is not essential that we acquire another human being, or use a relationship deliberately for this purpose. This idea is more in line with the Hierophant. The High Priestess is your unconscious, and all the helping guides who inhabit it. Spirits can visit you in dreams, but they do not give you dreams. The dreams exist in your inner Universe, of which YOU are the creator.

The number two, more traditionally, refers to balance. The High Priestess is the middle path in the Sephiroth. She operates between the dual energies on either side of it (the left being severity - in which the practitioner achieves a god-like status, and the right being mercy, the path of the practitioner working in service of a higher power). The High priestess balances the macrocosmic focus of the right path, and the microcosmic focus of the left, asking us to consider not just ourselves, and not just our community, but ourselves as a member of society. Thus, she requests that we attempt to perfect ourselves for the good of our community, and suggests that one does not come before the other.

It is interesting to note that the number two is also symbolic of karma. In keeping with the concept reflected upon earlier, our thoughts and actions can be considered causes that yield the appropriate outcomes. Thus, to change our karma, we must change our way of being within this life time.


Try this activity:

Look at your tarot card, and determine what symbols in it resonate with you. If you are advanced, any tarot deck will do. If you're new to tarot, I suggest starting with a variant of the Rider Waite Smith.


Black and White Pillars with "B" and "J" - These are the two biblical pillars on Solomon's Temple. Boaz means, "In him is strength," and Jachin means, "He (Solomon) will establish". Here, they are black and white, symbolizing the feminine "darkness" of the left path, and the masculine "light" (harking back to the Magician as the first light in the Universe) of the right path; they reflect also yin and yang energies. Pillars are also found on the Hierophant and Justice cards, indicating a connection between all three arcana. Justice, the eleventh card, reduces to two, thus symbolizing the potential for equilibrium in the High Priestess, or karmic rewards or reckoning. If you are interested in learning more about the pillars, which have a wealthy esoteric history associated with alchemy and astrology, I strongly encourage you to visit: https://www.rimasons.org/trestleboard/212-the-esoteric-meaning-of-the-twin-pillars-boaz-joachim. Here, the duality of opposites is emphasized in a number of ways, and also mentions the pillars being constructed of both "moon" metal and "sun" metal, which relates to the Yellow Crescent Moon.


Yellow Crescent Moon - The moon, in addition to symbolizing the suit of cups and control over emotions, has multiple meanings. I will spend time on what I find most striking, based on my intuition! In many historical depictions, the Virgin Mary rests her foot on the moon. Similarly, in some renderings, she presses her foot upon the serpent. If we think of this in terms referencing the emotional aspect aforementioned, not only is Mary in control of emotions, but in control of what results from emotions running amok: evil action. I do not like to think in terms of evil and good, but for the sake of keeping with Christian terminology, evil, here is most fitting. Evil action is essentially maladaptive unconscious behavior which is a direct result of unconscious and unacknowledged negative emotions. Evil, essentially, is stunted growth. We murder or abuse others because we have made our anger actionable. Thus, we achieve temporary relief from actually feeling the emotion.

In today's society, we condemn individuals for being violent toward another, and feel empathy for those who hurt themselves, either through drug addiction, self-harm or suicide. The latter is forgiven and met with empathy, and the former is condemned. Murder of another, and ending one's own life are both violent actions, the only difference is the victim. In American culture, it is more acceptable to direct our anger toward ourselves, and inflict ensuing violence. Does this mean we should condemn suicidal individuals, or those who struggle with addiction, and anorexia? No! We should instead have compassion for the lonely murderer, for they suffer pathology and imbalance as well. Anger and hatred are healed with love, not more of the same negativity.

An online Vipassana meditation course I recently took, taught that even being too busy is a form of violence. We are attacking ourselves when we neglect our need for rest and personal reflection, in the service of projects, excess work, or altruistic surrender (putting the needs of others first in a self-sacrificial manner). The High Priestess demands balance!

The moon also relates to the pillars, being constructed of both copper and tin (gold and silver). Thus, it represents both the masculine (sun) and the feminine (moon). The moon is the womb which harbors the seed of light responsible for physical creation. Physical creation is represented by the pomegranates, which symbolize fertility and the blood of life. Think of the blood of menstruation preparing for the process of procreation, an advancement in symbolism moving toward the pregnant Empress. The Empress wears a twelve crown star like some older depictions of the Virgin Mary. I find it interesting that both arcana refer to Mary through the adoption of specific symbols. Together, they are both divine and mundane, spirit and matter. Matter naturally arises from the immaterial.

One could say that the High Priestess represents the Holy Spirit impregnating Mary, or The Empress. This is a thought that occurred to me intuitively, and in doing further research on the High Priestess, I discovered that in the Cary-Yale Visconti deck, La Papesse is a depiction of Sister Manfreda. Quoting Wikipedia:


"La Papessa in the Visconti-Sforza Tarot has been identified as a depiction of Sister Manfreda, an Umiliata nun and a relative of the Visconti family who was elected Pope by the heretical Guglielmite sect of Lombardy. In The Tarot Cards Painted by Bonifacio Bembo, Gertrude Moakley writes:


'Their leader, Guglielma of Bohemia, had died in Milan in 1281. The most enthusiastic of her followers believed that she was the incarnation of the Holy Spirit, sent to inaugurate the new age of the Spirit prophesied by Joachim of Flora. They believed that Guglielma would return to earth on the Feast of Pentecost in the year 1300, and that the male dominated Papacy would then pass away, yielding to a line of female Popes. In preparation for this event they elected Sister Manfreda the first of the Popesses, and several wealthy families of Lombardy provided at great cost the sacred vessels they expected her to use when she said Mass in Rome at the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. Naturally, the Inquisition exterminated this new sect, and the "Popess" was burned at the stake in the autumn of 1300. Later the Inquisition proceeded against Matteo Visconti, the first Duke of Milan [sic], for his very slight connections with the sect."'


Of Note - I find it wonderfully interesting that the feminine "womb" is pre-existant to the masculine "seed" in many myths, reflected also in the Big Bang Theory. When we look at the developing foetus, it begins first as female, with the xx chromosome (that wonderful number two! How fitting for the High Priestess!) prior to becoming the xy chromosome. This could also be physical confirmation that true knowing is within us, represented by the unconscious language of symbolism preceding scientific discovery.


Cross - This symbol is traditionally accepted as a Greek cross, but, from an artist's perspective, the body of it is slightly longer than the equal armed Greek cross. Though I have attempted to reference multiple sources looking for precedence, to no (current) avail, based on the picture alone I would say that it is a combination of both the Greek cross and the Latin cross. The Greek cross, representing the four elements, pre-dates Christianity. Its symbolism is certainly more fitting for the voice of the tarot. I wonder, however, if the length of the body was slightly elongated to indicate the structure of religion. The elusiveness of the form depicted here, upon sight alone, certainly can be interpreted as symbolizing the balance between knowledge intuited from the natural world and divinity within the self, and knowledge which can be learned through structured doctrine - also indicating a method to the madness: the underlying potential for order hidden in apparent chaos.


Crown - The most interesting aspect I find in relation to the crown, is its resemblence to the crown of Hathor. Some say that this is plainly a moon crown, indicating the phases: Maiden, Mother, Crone (waxing, full, waning). But, considering that most other aspects of this card have the dual interpretation of both sun and moon, (The Palm, in contrast to the fruit of the pomegranate, represents seminal fluid), it makes sense that the prominent crown would portray this message as well. If we think of symbols as a visual language, the crown is not trying to speak only "moon." But, by using both the shape of Hathor's (Hathor, being a solar goddess) crown, and coloring it white or silver, it is sharing both qualities visually, hence relaying the message of duality, and once again, balance. It doesn't even matter whether or not this was intended by the artist! Symbols and art are sourced from the language of the unconscious, and it is important to just listen to them, rather than worry about whether or not a specific human intended such meaning.

Blue Robe - The blue robe, which flows downward toward the feet of the High Priestess, has been said to represent water. In considering this, it is possible, that as it is met with the moon, it represents accessing the divine through entering the world of emotion, once more indicating that once we truly feel in line with our intuition, we can receive the knowledge behind The Veil. However, I invite you to consider the historical aspect of this robe by visiting: http://templeinstitute.org/priestly-garments-2/. This is the typical attire of the High Priest, of which the main color of the robe is blue. Adornments of note are the breastplate, representing the twelve tribes of Israel (as well as the twelve houses of the Zodiac), and the pomegranates. The twelve star crown in ancient depictions of Mary represents also represent the tribes of Israel in The Old Testament, and the twelve apostles in The New Testament - twelve being the number of perfection, which reduces to three (The Empress - who also adorns the twelve star crown).

Rider-Waite makes note that the High Priestess represents the Hebrew concept of the Shekinah, the femine dwelling or place where the divine presence of God is seated. Perhaps this also connotates with Jung's idea of the "anima".


TORA - "Tora" is also depicted on The Wheel of Fortune. In keeping with its potential relation to other Jewish symbolism (the robe), it refers to the Torah, the divine law. Tora, on the world card, is cyclical, representing karma, or a completion of one full cycle, and also spells "Tarot" when read in reverse. The High Priestess keeps part of the word hidden, indicating esoteric knowledge.


Let's pass on the automatic drawing this time. I've had much more fun interpreting things that already exist as symbolic forms representing the concept of the High Priestess. I've decided to forgo depicting any traditional cards, and am showcasing two paintings.


Keep the High Priestess in mind this week. See if her message appears to you in dreams, or in the song of a bird (the squawk of a blue jay? ;)) on a quiet hike. Feel free to #mystic_bluejay with your experiences!


Image 1: Lovers, by Remedios Varo

Image 2: Reflections, by Mystic Blue Jay




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Updated: Nov 25, 2020

What are some key words and images that come to mind when you think of The Magician?

 

Write these down if it helps acquaint you with the concept.


How I think of it: 

I prefer not to think of the cards in terms of good or bad, positive and negative. Sometimes they can be warnings, like STOP signs, and sometimes they can be predictors, or GO signs. 


GO:

The Magician symbolizes the Divine Will, which is essentially God’s (or as I like to think of it, The Universe's) plan for creation. Beyond potential and intention, it is the decision to manifest or create. Are you ready to allow Divine Will, the spark that ignites manifestation, into your life? Are you ready to live the life you’ve imagined, to move from a state of potential toward action?


I once did a five card spread for an entrepreneur, who felt blocked in achieving success through sales of her product. The middle card, which I often consider a “pivot point,” was the King of Pentacles. I asked her, “Is there a male figure in your life critical of this venture?” She informed me that her father was skeptical of her investment in this business goal. However, the two cards after this were positive; the last card was The Magician. When I looked at the Magician, I saw her - standing behind her table in fairs and events successfully selling her product. Success was possible. She just needed to get past her inner critic and believe.


STOP:

To emphasize, the “tools” are already inside of your knapsack - within you. The Magician is the light that makes possibility visible, transparent. There is always the choice to deny a call to action. Depending on personal barriers (like the criticism from my client’s father, internalized into her own self-doubt), one may choose, whether consciously or unconsciously, to hang back in the darkness. As they say, knowing is only half the battle.

Number 1:

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” Genesis, chapter 1


This passage from Genesis continues to tell about the process of creation. Physical life is achieved, and God separates the “heavens” from the “earth.” The Magician thus symbolizes, “As above, so below,” by pointing both above, toward the heavens, and below, toward the Earth. The Magician manifests through the power of connecting opposites. This concept can also be explored through study of the yinyang. Perhaps even, the Magician represents the Dao - which, without the division into the ensuing Empress and Emperor, is not generative:

“Dao is a dynamic process, and its dynamism depends both on multiplicity and unity. The unity is what allows things to function well... Oneness (Dao) itself cannot generate anything. The Huainanzi makes this point explicitly: ‘Dao begins in oneness, yet one cannot generate, so it divides into yin and yang. The harmony of yin and yang generates the myriad things.’”

- Robin R. Wang, YINYANG: The way of Heaven and Earth in Chinese Thought and Culture

Here, we see the necessity of deconstruction (or destruction/death) inherent in the process of life which includes, rather than is distinct from, death.

The right hand of the Magician points up toward the heavens (spiritual), and the left hand points down toward the earth (material). Right hand magic practitioners typically work toward renunciation of the physical (desire, earthly pleasure), while left hand practitioners work within the realm of the physical to transmute darkness into light. The difference here is complex, and at the same time it is also illusory, like other binaries. The labels of “good” and “evil” are subjective judgments adhered to by modern civilization. Both paths utilize the same force for an identical aim. Would Saint Francis of Assisi have achieved sainthood if not for what he’d learned during a lifestyle of debauchery? Ambidexterity in magic is also not out of the question.

But I digress.

The role of light from darkness in the creation of the universe is paramount. After the inflation, (the original “Big Bang”) it was not until after hundreds of thousands of years that light emerged. Thus, the Universe existed in the state of potential (The Fool) until light (The Magician) was created.

Furthermore, The Big Bang is continually happening through the process of creation and destruction on a microcosmic level “below”. The process is the same whether micro, or macro. It does not change. Perhaps the origins of the Universe are more discernible in studying life on Earth, than they are in space exploration.

It is not a coincidence that new scientific discovery reflects ancient myth. The knowledge of our own creation is inherent in our cells, and in our collective unconscious. We are formed from the elements; born, literally from Gaia! Studies have been done supporting the theory that memory is stored within the body. Perhaps this fact, rather than mere transmission, plays a role in transgenerational trauma. The child is literally formed from the cells of the parents in which memories are potentially downloaded.

Why would we not know how we were created? Why would we not know our potential, and our true Will? Why would we not be able to manifest?


Try this activity:

Look at your tarot card, and determine what symbols in it resonate with you. If you are advanced, any tarot deck will do. If you're new to tarot, I suggest starting with a variant of the Rider Waite Smith.


Lemniscate - The "infinity" symbol represents the cycle of life and death. The intersection between the two parts of the shape represents both the end of one journey, and the beginning of another. This is the balanced center, the middle path of the initiate. Being above the Magician's head, the lemniscate is the "above" part of the "as above, so below" equation - and the Ouroboros, wrapped around the waist (near the Solar Plexus - responsible for Will, symbolized also by the yellow background), represents the "below" aspect. The Ouroboros (a circle) represents a continuous cycle - the process inherent in existence itself. The Ouroboros also reflects the masculine and feminine, similar to the yinyang. The mouth of the snake represents the womb, which takes in the phallic tail.

Double Tipped White Wand - Also a phallic symbol, the double tip suggests this wand works both ways, again reflecting the idea of unity between the heavens and Earth.


Lillies and Red roses - While the inclusion of both flowers has a wealthy history, just by looking at the card, we can determine meaning with basic symbolic knowledge. A prominent red rose exists near the Magician's root chakra, and the majority of the lillies are a continuation of his white robe. This suggests the alchemical process of achieving the higher self - the philosopher's stone. Furthermore, the lilies exist only "below" - indicating that they are the divine energy channeled from the double tipped white wand. Notice how the white melts like a candle down the arm of the Magician, and ultimately manifests on Earth as the white lilies. (Red of the roses and the robe represent Earthly passion, and the white of the lilies and the under garment represent the divine.)


Table markings - There are three engravings on the edge of the table: waves, flames, and a dove, representing water, fire, and air. The table itself represents Earth. They represent the balance between emotions (cups), passion (wands), intellect (swords), and the table itself represents the manifestation of these on the physical plane. If we think of the four worlds of the Qabalah - it is the process of creation from the immaterial Atziluth, to the kingdom of Malkuth. Something first must start as an idea before being realized.


Do an automatic drawing!


The cool thing about my automatic drawings is that symbolism emerges from them unconsciously. One could say the world of Atziluth is manifesting on the page. Incorporated in the image of "The Seer" are the four elements. The void, beginning, or feminine is marked by empty space or the cosmos (look how it rests above the water, like in the Bible. In another area it exists within an egg). The sun is shining partially in darkness, representing the Will, or Divine spark. The chakras have been included, suggesting the alchemical creation of the self. The third eye represents inner sight, and instead of the lemniscate is a simple circle, denoting eternity. If you look closely, spirits in the sky appear to be whispering Divine knowledge into the Seer's ear.


Do an automatic drawing and #mystic_bluejay! I’d love to see what emerges from your unconscious!


Image 1: Rider Waite Tarot, written by A.E. Waite and illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith, published by the Rider Company

Image 2: The Seeress: The Victorian Fairy Tarot by Gary A. Lippincott

Image 3: The Way of the Fool Tarot by Beatriz Inglessis

Image 4: Art by Mystic Blue Jay





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Updated: Nov 27, 2020

The Fool harbors an entropic energy which is necessary for manifestation in the physical world. When the Fool meets the Magician, this energy (which is the essence of the key word associated with The Fool, potential) is utilized through the four suits or tools within the Fool’s knapsack: Wands, Pentacles, Swords and Cups: the four elements of the Earth. Thus, The Fool exists in a quantum state, neither particle (physical) nor wave (immaterial). When this energy is channeled through any of the four elements, it begins to develop order or form: Physical manifestation.

Chaos is the mother of possibility.

Visualize yourself before three different paths. You can only choose one. All three paths, and all three journeys are possible. If you were not presented with the possible, the journey would never begin! YOU are the agent of change in this situation. YOU exercise free will to choose one of the three paths (or perhaps you prefer to disregard the paths, and wander off course into lush, mysterious forest ;)).

YOU are the agent of creation in your chosen journey.

YOU are a magician!

This concept is rife within literature, cinema and myth: “You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

Only from a womb capable of gestation (The Empress, or Yin) can something enter (Yang) and perpetuate the process of creation or manifestation. Fixed structure represented by The Emperor results from birth of form which cannot be reversed except through death (the Death card). Newtonian physics, hypothetically, is a form of “science” or reality constructed from the observed and decided upon.

An analogy I like to use is creation with air dry clay. Clay exists in a state of possibility while it is being molded. Once we have decided upon the ultimate form of the sculpture, the clay dries. We can no longer alter its form except to pulverize it (The Tower), which reverts us not back through the molding process, but teleports us back to the beginning - before the chosen form existed.

The Empress and Emperor are important to touch upon because the energy of The Fool, as experienced in the incarnation of the Magician, splits into an illusory binary system of masculine and feminine. For each to truly achieve its purpose or function, both parts must work in unison - as is evident in biological procreation. Although creation is perceived to occur linearly, and it is perhaps easiest to understand the 22 major arcana in this fashion, no creative manifestation happens linearly.

This is the beauty of The Tarot as an artistic medium.

Growth and insight gained from the cards should not be reflected upon in a strictly linear manner. Although we learn the alphabet from A-Z, words are not comprised within its learned structure. Although we learn music theory through a succession of notes and chords, we do not comprise music linearly. How boring and limited our expressions would be if we created in this fashion!

*

There are many symbolic interpretations and human incarnations of The Fool archetype, namely the Sacred Clown. Other terms for this in history, religion and myth are Divine Madness, trickster spirits (such as the coyote in indigenous American traditions) and crazy wisdom (specific to Buddhist traditions).

Trickster spirits, sacred clowns, street magicians, and charlatans all operate on the power of belief. These types of personas purposely attempt to break down physical and mental boundaries, defy current systems, including morality, and challenge concrete ideologies. They define their own reality.

For example, in old Christian tradition, fairies were believed to be souls trapped between Heaven and Hell. Distressed souls bound to Earth. Neither good nor bad and trapped between opposites realms, they were believed to exist “betwixt between” in a liminal state. In other traditions, they were considered elementals which assisted the growth of the natural world, thus acting as the energy necessary for biological growth. In other words, responsible for creation!

The spirit of the Fool or Sacred Clown is evident in notable figures of American culture.

At the end of Pink Flamingos, Divine eats feces (George Hansen, pg. 30, “Some ritual clowns and mystics eat feces and in so doing they invert the opposites of food and excrement.”). It is unlikely Divine was aware of the scatelogical history of ritual clowns, suggesting the intuitive embodiment of this archetype.

Alejandro Jodorowsky, a famous director, suffered an abusive upbringing (a state of chaos) and eventually became an actual clown early in life. He studied surrealism and absurdism, and ultimately included these concepts in his creative work. Influenced by Shamanism, he formulated a type of therapy called psychomagic. He once tried paying for his bus fare with a shell, subjectively altering the meaning and purpose of both the shell, and money - theatrically suggesting the meaninglessness of a monetary system.

David Bowie created an alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, with liminal characteristics: androgynous, bisexual, and alien. Sent to Earth to deliver a message of hope, Ziggy Stardust warned of an apocalyptic catastrophe. The character was fashioned after singer Vince Taylor who had a psychotic breakdown and thought himself to be a combination of an alien and a god, whom Bowie termed, a “leper messiah,” which in itself is a paradox.


Card Combination Discussion (reference to Instagram Post):

What can we learn from the The Fool and The Devil combination? Here is one possibility:

The Fool operates from a place of naivité, whereas the Devil represents a maladaptive system of unconscious guile working through external actions. The Devil warns against being a slave to temptation and desire which can manifest addictions and bad habits. By improving awareness of The Devil within (The Shadow), we can become conscious of The Fool and utilize the energy of the archetype to induce change in our lives and free ourselves from unhealthy actions that no longer serve us.

The Devil will be elaborated on when we reach the fifteenth card in the Major Arcana.


Image 1: Starman Tarot by David De Angelis

Image 2: Divine (performer)

Image 3: Ziggy Stardust




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