The Fool card of the tarot is all about freedom, and this archetype can indeed set us free…if we’re willing to reflect on how we block ourselves.
Here are three ways we tend to get stuck:
- We identify with self-image too much. We become fixated on one area of our ‘self’, whether that’s our business, our dating profile, our zodiac sign, our service/ spirituality, or a teacher/ influencer we imitate. Then we project it out to the world in a strategic and controlling way. Social Media has made this the norm, and unfortunately it’s a sure way to get stuck spiritually and mentally. The nature of consciousness is to EVOLVE, not to suffocate in a perfect box.
- We seek validation outside ourselves. It’s all too easy to succumb to peer pressure these days or simply ‘choose a side’ with the internet, information wars, social media, advertising, and corporations profiting off our energy, emotions, and loss of privacy. In an epidemic of low self-worth, trauma, and addiction this kind of fear based conformity becomes a way of life. To just blindly follow the masses sadly blocks us from all the freedom available to us.
- We take ourselves WAY too seriously. This perpetuates a cycle of self-doubt, judgment, beating ourselves up on the inside, and ignoring the tone of our inner dialogue. No wonder we’re pent up, tense, and exhausted…freedom simply can’t flow when there’s no laughter/ joy.
So what do we do to change, to get free?
First , we loosen the grip on our self-image. We take a risk into the unknown, do something different- something uncomfortable!
We risk looking like a fool. To our ‘followers,’ our coworkers, our friends, and our family. We break through some of that stale self-image. We let ourselves make a mistake- even a big one. And we come out of it alright, perhaps with some wisdom and able to laugh at ourselves more.
We embrace living on the margins, being an ‘outsider.’ (Does the idea of that scare you? That most likely means you’d benefit greatly from embracing the Fool archetype!)
Historically, the ‘fools’ were the court jesters, the Sufi mystics, the wandering bards, nomadic travelers, musicians, artists and people who lived on the fringes of society.
The beauty is the court jester could get away with saying things to the king that the higher status people couldn’t. Sufi mystics could bring peace to ‘madness’ because there was great wisdom and love and poetry in their madness. The wandering traveler was incredibly happy living on the margins because their lifestyle led them to great freedom. Musicians and artists know that being an outsider gives them a certain freedom that feeds their art.
If we embraced these Fool archetypes more we’d find a new place within us that has no baggage or judgments- no internal noise! We’d start to hear our own wisdom.
Some things you can do to embody more of the Fool’s wisdom and freedom:
If you notice yourself judging the people around you, let it go! Try the philosophy “live and let live” for a while.
Start traveling light! Next time you go on a road trip or travel somewhere by plane, minimize your stuff down to one small bag. The Fool is the tarot’s minimalist!
Embrace comedy! Make fun of yourself for a change- do you ever catch yourself trying to control life so hard and then just laugh at the absurdity of it? Send some comic relief to your inner self, and see if you can make the inner dialogue funny! I have tried this even in moments of deep sadness and found it to be a relief.
Watch movies and see if you can notice which character is the Fool archetype- the romantic, the class clown, the musician, the outsider, the one who gets made fun of, or the one who brings comic relief. Notice how that character makes you feel.
Let yourself enjoy some standup comedy- comedians are the modern day fools and will help you embrace that part of yourself!
I hope this helps your inner fool come to life! May you liberate yourself from ego image/ self-obsession, external validation seeking, and seriousness; and receive new energy, adventure, self-trust, empowerment, and the realization that freedom was inside all along!