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Join Date: 31 Mar 2005
Location: Rhode Island, USA
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Fairytale Tarot: The Fool


Thoughts on “The Fool”

Story: “The Poor Miller’s Boy and the Cat”

The story for this card introduces us to Hans, a youngest son hoping to inherit his father’s mill by bringing back the best horse. Hans is completely dismissed by his older brothers who don’t look upon him as any sort of competition. Not only does Hans bring back the best horse, he marries a princess as well and secures a bright and blessed future.

The card shows Hans peering down at the town below from a grassy cliff. He is dressed in a red shirt and cap with a green tunic, blue pants, yellow leggings, and practical brown shoes. A travel sack hangs over his right shoulder. His shirt sleeves are rolled up, showing his eagerness and readiness to plunge into his work. A tabby cat (who we find out is really a princess) is poised up on her hind legs at his feet. The sky is a pale blue and is littered with friendly, fluffy clouds. Upon closer inspection of the card, I see that Hans is actually looking more toward the sky itself, rather than at the town below. The vantage point is from behind Hans which makes the observer also look forward. It gives the card a “stepping out, moving forward” kind of feeling.

Hans has an easygoing posture. He does not find his travel bag to be a burden; he carries it easily. In the story, Hans’ successes are completely illogical. He remains cheerful throughout and his success is far more a result of good luck than it is any sort of driving personal ambition.

In the seven years that Hans works for the tabby cat he does complete, without question, the tasks that she assigns him. The Fool’s lack of artifice and his sheer adaptability are what bring him such good fortune.

The Fool energy is lack of pretension. It’s a basic trust that everything will work out for the best. Hans does not respond to the criticism of his elder brothers so there is also an aspect of the Fool that shows remarkable self-efficacy for one so innocent. Every card has a positive and negative side. Sometimes the good-natured fool takes a false step and takes a long fall. But his magic is in the fact that the fool never shuns the journey. Without him, that proverbial “leap of faith” would not exist. How many projects would never be begun! How many inventions would never be contemplated! Even in the fool’s less wiser moments we have to admire his unclouded joy in the promise that the world holds for him.
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