exploring the fool

the fool has been popping up a lot for me lately. i’ve written about it some on instagram, but it’s also come up in private morning readings, when pulling cards with friends, and anytime i’ve wondered about how to move forward in my writing work. in spite of my structured pieces, my regular column, my ongoing patreon newsletters and moon phase pulls, i’m still craving more. and while i joked on twitter about the fool just being a strong person saying “do the damn thing,” it’s not wrong - this card is begging us to take a chance, to surrender to that idea or journey or desire that’s been building in us for longer than we want to admit.

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i want to write - essays, personal pieces, finding ways to tell my tarot story and link it to my life in more complex ways. i don’t know where to start, how to pitch, when to submit, who to ask for help. it feels overwhelming, but the desire is still present, in spite of the many obstacles i can see or conjure up to delay my own progress. the fool doesn’t care about how possible something is, about success - she simply begs us to take that first step, to seek joy, to follow our hearts. she needs us to start the journey, to take the chance, to dream. she asks us to try.

so today, i’m asking: little fool, what do you want me to do? some people don’t pay much attention to stalker cards, but for me a reoccurring card signals a missed message, an ongoing need, a chance to revisit an important theme or idea. the fool is such an important card in tarot, representing that moment when we leave behind what we are sure about and step into that beautiful, wild unknown. and while i know she is craving exploration, i need to understand how to start, how to move, how to be brave. i need her wisdom, which comes not from experience or knowledge but instead from her ability to listen to her deepest needs and most profound desires. the fool has no time for bullshit, and understands how to prioritize herself. she dreams so big, and i want to do that too.

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what is the importance of this card in my life right now? nine of wands. my writing doesn’t feel stale or stagnant to me, but perhaps my willingness to take risks has slipped away, and now i feel protective and scared. the fool keeps asking me to take chances, to put myself out there, to share my work and my emotions and my history - and while i want to do that it also feels deeply frightening, and terribly vulnerable. what if i get hurt, get rejected, simply fail? the nine of wands is so much fire, knowing that we are close to the end, but also represents strength and tenacity, a willingness to keep fighting. the fool sees where i am, recognizes my insecurities and struggles - but she still wants me to try, in spite of all that fear and anxiety and uncertainty. not knowing the outcome and doing it anyway is the fool’s whole message, and being scared or lacking confidence doesn’t mean i shouldn’t still take the chance.

what is preventing me from hearing the message of this card? nine of swords. i tend to get in my head a lot, rationalize why i shouldn’t do things or make arguments for staying safe. the nine of swords is terror, insomnia, nightmares, and represents the ways that i mostly think about how things could go wrong in my writing, rather than what could work out in a positive way. by focusing only on the negative, by imagining the worst case scenario, i lose all the possibility, the potential, the beauty in mistakes and the ability to learn and grow. i’ve created a powerful trap, haven’t been able to see outside of my failings and lacks, and it’s keeping me from taking the chances that the fool sees.

how can i release any blockages? the magician. just fucking manifest. if i can simply see the potential ahead, can envision possibility, can start actually writing and follow where it leads me, everything will shift. worrying and dreaming endlessly about how things could go wrong, without even having pieces that i’m trying to place or writing what’s flowing through my head is a bit ridiculous. i need to start creating works that i’m proud of, harnessing the resources at my disposal and the people around me that are cheering me on, and see where it goes. the magician knows their power, understands their abilities, and doesn’t let fear get in the way of creation. by beginning the process, enjoying the mistakes, harnessing my magic, i might actually get somewhere.

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this spread was incredibly helpful for me, kicking my ass and acknowledging how much i’ve let fear limit my progress. sometimes the cards have to remind us of truths we’ve already uncovered, weaknesses we’ve already acknowledged, and i’m deeply appreciative that the true black tarot pulled zero punches and reminded me of how far i’ve come. the fool isn’t actually foolish, and she knows what she’s asking of me. sometimes we have to take chances to find the most substantial rewards, particularly when it comes to creative work - writing can be intensely personal, but i’ve seen it pay off for so many. i want to be brave enough to start the process, to push past my fears and rationalizations and start creating work i love.

time to get writing.