A lot has changed since we last saw the Fool: a brave yet somewhat naive individual jumping off a cliff with blind faith, courage and nothing but a small knapsack full of dreams. He’s lived through the Fool’s Journey and the many different experiences that have changed and shaped both him and his worldview. In some ways, he knows better now. In other ways, he’s still the same – brave, bold and willing to take the leap into the unknown.
In tarot, the Fool represents the number 0. The beginning and the end. As we complete one cycle, we start another. We are a little older now. A little wiser now. A little more experienced now. We still possess the same tenacity that set us off on our journey in the first place – but we no longer make the same mistakes we once did. The journey through the major arcana has tempered our soul and made us see that this life business isn’t forever. We have to be discerning. We didn’t know better back then – but we know better now. The first time we jumped off the cliff, we were still young and brash – embracing life as one great adventure where our self-belief would get us through the day.
But now all that has changed.
He’s made it through the major arcana and all its challenges, gifts, trials and tribulations. Life has thrown A LOT at the Fool, but through all the twists and turns and the crazy ups and downs – the Fool has become someone he can be really proud of. He is no longer the laughing stock, but has earned the respect of those around him through his courage to take the leap, and his ability to persevere through the storms and live to tell the tale.
He knows he need not fear the unknown because he has done it once and can do it again.
Bring it on, he says. I can handle it.
He is now the dancer encircled in the laurels of past victories. He now has all the knowledge, experience and resilience to see things through to the grand finale. He is now recognised – not as a Fool leaping into the unknown, but as one who has come out at the other end alive and with deep stores of wisdom to offer to all those who stuck by him through that journey. He lost some people along the way – but that doesn’t matter. Those bonds were not built to last.
As he comes full circle – the Fool laughs, and thinks about how little he knew back then. He thinks about all that he went through and all the mistakes he made. But he knows he won’t mess up in the exact same way again. After all, if he had, he wouldn’t have the wreath wrapped around him.
He is victorious. He is happy. He is wise. He is… the mature fool. Old enough to know better but young enough to jump off that cliff again.
And so it begins… again.