This card is based on one of the Egyptian Creation Myths
myths but seems to blur elements of all which is quite natural and fine. The identities of the Gods often blurred as well. Sometimes they joined and sometimes they were aspects of each other. There were many of them and they often took animal form.
The function of the Gods was to maintain the structure of the universe that was comprised of thee parts: Sky, Earth and Underworld. The sky was often regarded as an endless sea within which the Earth existed as a kind of bubble Water is really important in Egypt’s cosmology because of the dependence on the Nile as the source of life.
It seems that the universe was created for the Gods first and human beings were almost an after thought. There is a myth that humans were made of clay on a potter’s wheel by the Ram-headed Creator God, Khmun. Khmun appears in X Wheel of Fortune and I met him whilst doing the Terri Schiavo reading. It’s good example of how the Gods make appearances throughout this wonderful deck.
But let’s look in detail at 0 Fool. The meaning of beginnings emerges in various ways in the image There is a Creator Mound or Primaeval Hill on which in one myth the Sun was born. The story goes that a cosmic egg emerged from Nun and from this the sun was born. This cosmic egg appears in the card. In some versions of this myth the Creator God Amun is reported to have produced the egg from which the sun was born. Yet another myth has the sun being born from a lotus flower and this is also shown in the image
The creator mound is very important in Egyptian mythology. It rose out of the formless waters of Nun, reflecting the way the land emerged from the receding waters of the Nile in flood. The shape of the pyramids is thought to have been based on the shape of the Primaeval Hill, although in this image it is quite small.
A word about Amun, the Creator God - He represents the masculine principle and first emerged in Egyptian mythology as a Divine Frog who developed into a Divine King (what is the parallel European Fairy tale called?)
So this card is very much about new beginnings – birth and life. The metamorphosis of the human soul and experience is enacted in various ways through the imagery here.
Something else really important about the imagery is the swirling chaos. Chaos and order were a duality intrinsic to the whole system. The Gods and Goddesses would keep the Chaos away through their earthly representatives, the Pharaohs.
Other symbols in the image are the Fool’s dog, Sirius, represent the dog Star and emphasizing the role of the aether. The Fool holds a feather in one hand, representing the Goddess of truth, Ma’at. In his other hand he holds a Wand combining elements of the Waas sceptre, the Djed and the Ankh. These are power, stability and life,
Also in the image are a vulture representing Amun’s mother, Mut and a crocodile representing the deadly God, Set.. Set is the God of Chaos and he later kills Osiris, on who the deck is very largely based.
So, what a powerful card! . Order and chaos held at bay by the Creator God, Amun. The domains of Sky, Earth and Underworld.) The Sun and light being born from chaos. The presence of divine tools that the Fool can use . It is very important to note the presence of the Ankh – the symbol for life. It appears in every card in this deck. Life is balanced by death in Egyptian mythology and a parallel universe exists. The Egyptians were much more conscious of this than we are and there is frequent merging of the two.
So in Tarot terms the FOOL sets out on quite a hazardous journey as our soul set out on our particular journeys. How is our experience reflected in these stories that we are about to explore?