Happy Another New Year and new canvas in which to create! Not interested in making resolutions…preferring revolutions… I’ve chosen to make a metaphor for 2023 to be “doorways” and my 2023 word to be “enchantment”. I’m very fond of images of doorways and passageways to the known or unknown and recently painted one. Enchantment for me represents a feeling of great pleasure and delight, the state of being under a spell, magic, a world of mystery… How delectable!
Maybe it’s my Libra New Moon conjunct Neptune creating that dreamy, imaginal realm that I savor with its colorful images and archetypes that cross my psychic doorstep. Some of the mystical pleasures that validate my world include Jungian ideas of consciousness, the limitless cosmos, astrological and Akashic field maps, abstract art, ecstatic dance, Kundalini Yoga. Celebrating the seen and unseen, the physical and spiritual, can all lead to those spontaneous “ah ha” synchronistic moments.
Along with magic and enchantment, one must be both wary and welcoming to that potent archetype—The Fool, aka Trickster. This wily coyote helps bring moribund consensus reality back into perspective when we become too serious, rigid and righteous.
I was enthralled to discover this article on The Fool, by Jungian, Bradley Olson, in the January, 2023, Mythblast, from the Joseph Campbell Foundation. The Fool is the first (or last) card of the Tarot deck that bears the number zero. Zero is not a counting number and, similarly, the Fool cannot be counted on to behave predictably nor conventionally…The Fool is often understood to be graceless, senseless, and ugly…or otherwise deformed. (Remember the Hunchback of Notre Dame?) Fools may also be incredibly pompous while simultaneously being shockingly incompetent. But there is another, deeper, side to the Fool, an aspect that is the most important of this multi-faceted, bewildering, disturbing, frustrating, and yet ultimately revitalizing and creative archetype: the Wise Fool.
Conservatism, with its hunger for rules and black and white thinking, sets the stage for the appearance of the transmogrifying, chaotic wisdom of the Anarchic Fool (think of Groucho Marx, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Robin Williams). When societies and cultures become too proscribed, too rigid, or too rule bound the Fool, through his militant anarchy, turns institutions and logic upside down and inside out… Echoing the words of Jesus, “So the last shall be first, and the first last…” the Tarot Fool may also be the first card or the last, which adds a kind of symmetry or circularity to the chaos of subversion.
Since irony is the primary constituent in the language of myth, perhaps the fool is the personification of myth itself, because irony is the language of the fool. Irony intensifies and subverts reality just as the Fool does. Like the fool, irony turns things inside out and upside down. It deconstructs and overthrows. It draws attention to the discrepancy between literal and essential meaning, all the while allowing the Fool to go about his business serenely untroubled, almost as if he’s above it all, like Paul McCartney’s “Fool on the Hill” watching the world spinning ‘round’.
For the complete article read here: https://jcf.org/mythblasts/the-foolish-things-of-the-world/
(revived from my 3/6/21 essay, To Live and Die with Crazy Wisdom)
Hark! There is hope for existential angst, at least in my book as a spiritual anarchist. We could start by simply being curious. What if we could be like ‘The Fool’ in the tarot deck depicted as a vagabond about to merrily step off the cliff into the unknown. The Fool represents new beginnings, having faith in the future, being inexperienced, not knowing what to expect, having beginner’s mind, improvisation and believing in the universe. How sweet is that?!
What if we were to turn to the gods, goddesses, bodhisattvas, nature spirits, light beings and tricksters to help us recombobulate? What if these ‘guides’, in whatever form you can imagine them, are just at the periphery of our vision? Surely, you’ve experienced little synchronicities—encounters with meaning—that stop you in your tracks, miffed or amazed! What might these ‘meaningful coincidences’ be showing you? What if everything, including flora and fauna, could be seen as allies, comforting us in our grief, our fear, our despair, as well as aiding in our wonderment? What if harmony is the natural state of things and humans just tend to muck it up? The trickster/fool might have to pull the rug out from time to time to get our attention and prod us back onto our right path.
One way to take respite from our human bumfuzzlement is through humor. Those who grok irony, will actually find relief in paradox and the absurd, as I do. Those with enlarged, fear-enhanced amygdalae (lizard/limbic brains), who take things literally, may have difficulty comprehending or seeing what’s funny. They’re the ones with the guns and may be coming for us fools for our imaginative, irreverent views of “reality”. A paradoxical belief in everything and nothingness might be a bit of a bumfuzzle to someone with rigid belief systems. Acknowledging the disintegration of pre-conceived worldviews can offer endless, creative possibilities.
In this time of cult-ure change where anything is possible, I’m choosing the story that we’re on the cusp of a New Renaissance through creative expression, of living simply in reverence for beauty and in cooperation with all life. That is how I would like to live! May we invite the dystopian, fearful “amygdalanos” into our hub to smoke the peace pipe and pledge allegiance to the fool of playfulness with whatever time we’re allotted. En route to Nirvana may we discover new doorways to enlivening enchantment?!