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The Fool and his Spoon

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Diana  Diana is offline
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The Fool and his Spoon


On the Marseilles decks, the Mat / Fou carries his few belongings (probably the Tarot) in a little bag, which is strung to a stick. This stick looks like a spoon.

*Diana waits till everyone has gone to fetch their Marseilles decks and has seen the spoon.*

Everyone back? Okay....

Well, once again it is Kris Hadar who gave me the key to this enigma. I quote him in French (and will translate afterwards):

"Un proverbe du Moyen Age disait de prendre une cueillère avec soi... pour le cas qu'en chemin on rencontre le Diable... afin de manger à sa table sans se brûler les doigts."

"A proverb of the Middle Ages was that one should always carry a spoon, in case one met the Devil on the way... so that one can eat at his table without burning one's fingers."

(edited for spelling mistakes)
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I wonder if there is also the (anglo-only??) idea of the (often large) "wooden spoon" presented to also-rans and losers in competition? I like the idea of bringing your own cutlery to sup with the Devil! Yesterday I was reading that, in meeting with certain (Voodoo) "elementals", it is wise to take along a dummy ARM (sic!) in the form of an animal leg to shake hands. Apparently, when these characters retire to... whence they came, they have a nasty habit of leaving with whatever they were holding onto last!

macavity
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Hieronymous Bosch's version of the Fool, the Prodigal Son, has his big spoon too. Looks like he could get most of what's in the pot with that big scooper.

He also has an animal's leg sticking out the front of his shirt, but I think that's because he pignapped one of the little shoats that was swilling with his brothers and sisters in front of the tavern. It looks like lunch to go, but it could be for shaking hands with the Devil.

http://www.hammondgallery.co.uk/view...?pid=362&aid=1
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And an animal forelimb is determinative for AE hieroglyphs meaning "offering" but...

The Catskins (sic) are an interesting symbolism, discussed by the Occultist and Cat enthusiast Fred Gettings. Aside from the Prodigal son / St.Luke theme, the picture may also symbolise initiation and abandonment of "animal" (feline) passions. Alternatively these may be part of the quest itself: For the feline mother Bast, for Isis, the Queen of Heaven etc. More down to earth, he notes the Dutch word "katsjager" as an (in this case unlikely?) woman-chaser!

Alternatively, it might be a "kattevel" (catskin) purse, "stroppen" (sl - stolen?) from a rich person. And the fool is, as in the Tarot, unaware of it's real value?

Macavity - Feeling the breeze?

P.S. Sorry to depart from the spoon, Diana.
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LOL, Diana, Catboxer, Macavity.

Might the spoon also serve as the medieval version of the "Sierra Cup"? (all purpose cup/bowl for backpackers)
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I was doing online searches on the Fool in the Conver Marseilles & I found one page (and lost again) that had a lot of text about the Fool being represented as on pilgrimage during Lent in some earlier decks, then was changed to represent someone poor but not on pilgrimage, etc. Try as I might, I can't relocate that page, I think I clicked on one of the French sites that said 'click here for English translation'. I do remember it was a gold/yellow background on the screen & showed the first few cards in the deck on the page.

Wish I could find it again. At the time I was looking for a good closeup of the card, not the background history. It did speak about the spoon somewhat, to dip into large pots while on pilgrimage, in place of a bowl. Sort of indicating him surreptitiously sneaking food if nobody offered it. You might not have a bowl, but a spoon is always handy, regardless.
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A buddhist saying


"A fool is like a spoon: it can sit in a bowl of soup forever and never taste it."

Kwaw
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Re: A buddhist saying


Quote:
Originally posted by kwaw
"A fool is like a spoon: it can sit in a bowl of soup forever and never taste it."
Kwaw
The soup of course is a metaphor for the infinite whole of which we are a part. The ineffable and immeasurable, and hence, like the 'Fool', without number.

All man's knowledge and wisdom, in comparison with the ineffable is but folly, and all striving for knowledge but the knowledge of G-d vanity. A common theme among the humanists and reformers of the renaissance.

The infinite wisdom and knowledge of G-d cannot be contained or comprehended within or by the finite intellect of Man. Yet "God as He exists in His creation is simplicity Itself, and this invisible God can be seen within creation when viewed by an individual whose intellect has become similarly simple." Like a fool?
[Nicholas of Cusa - "On Learned Ignorance"]

One has to make of oneself an empty vessel to let in the singularity of the spiritual reality; attain a conscious state of 'nothingness' to attain 'oneness' with the infinite 'all'.

So man without G-d is a fool, and to be with G-d should become a fool

Kwaw
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Cool


"One has to make of oneself an empty vessel to let in the singularity of the spiritual reality; attain a conscious state of 'nothingness' to attain 'oneness' with the infinite 'all'.

So man without G-d is a fool, and to be with G-d should become a fool

Kwaw"

I agree, except I see it even simpler - Just do what you want, it's all G-d
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For me the spoon always reminds me of the saying "if you are going to sup with the Devil, you'll need a long spoon". The handle is indeed long ... presumably in order to keep the Devil at 'hand'-le and 'arm's length'?

It, and the bag, remind me too of back-packing. Maybe a modern Fool travelling the roads would carry a Swiss army knife in his/her backpack? .

mythos
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