Something Foolish for April Fool’s Day

April 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Tarot Playbook is out this month (hurray!) so to celebrate April Fool’s Day I thought I’d give you a peek at the very first of the 78 Novel Ways to Connect with Your Cards. This one’s called:


Making a commitment to spend 78 days, weeks, or any length of time with a deck you’ve only just met is surely one of the most foolish things you can do. What if you don’t get on? What if, after just one study session together, you realize you’ve made a terrible, terrible mistake? Your only choice is to suffer or fail. That’s why this book exists. The only thing that is required of you and your cards is an open heart and a willingness to act like a fool…

1. This ceremony can be performed at any time of year, though Springtime is best.

2. Before you begin, some preparations must be made. Dress in whatever makes you feel most attractive. Wrap your cards in a white silk cloth or large white handkerchief. Light a candle.

3. Place your cards on a high surface, such as a table or a kitchen worktop. Lightly rest your left hand on top of your cards.

4. Now, say these words:

I do solemnly declare, that I know of no good reason why I (say your name), should not frolic with wild abandon with you (say your deck’s name), from this day forward for as long as either of us cares to – forsaking no others, and with no strings attached, for no other purpose than to enjoy each other’s company and have a good time.

5. Unwrap your deck and allow it time to say the same to you (telepathically, of course).

6. Now cradle the cards in your hands and blow out the candle. The ceremony is complete. You and your deck have taken the first step towards present happiness. Celebrate by asking a random passer–by to take a photograph of the two of you together.

Intrigued? Stay tuned for more sneak peeks throughout April.

The Fool – From Zero to Hero

November 19, 2008 § 2 Comments


In most tarot decks, the Fool is numbered zero. In the Reader’s Handbook, Rachel Pollack writes:

“Of all the symbolism in the Fool card, the most important is the number 0. Zero means nothing or no thing – no fixed category or rigid belief, no rule, no preconception, no boundaries and no role. We write zero as an egg shape, to signify that all things come from it. The Hindus wrote zero as a point, the nothingness out of which all things emerge into reality. Zero, the Fool, means the perfect beginning of any phase or activity, the moment when everything is possible.”

If you multiply any number by zero, the number is unchanged. The same goes for if you add or subtract any number from zero. Zero has zero effect. So is zero – and therefore the Fool – merely passive? Is he just an observer of life, a blank slate, a sponge?

Perhaps. The Fool is too young and too inexperienced to be discerning – to judge before acting. His reaction to anything he encounters is both raw and unchecked. Perhaps this is why the expression on the face of Haindl’s Fool is so difficult to read. Is it sadness, wonder, joy? Or is it just an expression of observation? The world is full of beauty and cruelty and the Fool experiences both with the same detached curiosity. Later, he will learn to tell good from bad but for now, as the Fool, he merely bears witness. He soaks up everything he sees and stores it for future use.

The Fool – Overview

November 18, 2008 § 2 Comments


Number: 0

Element: Air

Hebrew Letter: Aleph (“ox” or “bull”)

Rune: Wynn (“joy”)

Astrology: The planet Uranus

Title*: The Adventurous Child

Motifs: Wounded swan, jester’s cloak and bells, six planets.

*from The Reader’s Handbook.

Reasons why I love the Haindl, Part II

September 11, 2008 § 3 Comments

Of all the Fools in all the decks, I love this one the most.

The Haindl Fool possesses such purity and grace. His expression conveys both sadness and wonder, such aching joy for all that the world holds – from the blood pulsing beneath a swan’s white feathers, to the slow invisible movement of planets in the sky. And here he stands before it, inadequate in his patchwork and bells, with the realisation that he is small, human, humble and nothing – in the face of the incomprehensible beauty of everything. 

I am a fool, he says, for believing I knew anything.

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