Idiots, harmless madmen and severe epileptics.

I was holding a tarot deck, an expensive one apparently. I remember the sensation of it feeling dear because I was gingerly going through the cards. One after the other. 

I didn’t realize one was missing until I looked at the windowsill in my home office and saw one sitting in the sun. I thought to myself: "Get that card out of the sun before it fades and this deck will be worthless." I went to the windowsill to grab it. And that’s when it began to transform.

When I touched it, it was The Fool card. When I picked it up, it became The Magician.

But when I walked the card back over to where the deck was sitting on the table, it morphed into The Wheel of Fortune and began to peel, It peeled away in brittle, smokey gray, tissue-paper thin mineralized layers, perhaps mica.

Then the flakes from The Wheel of Fortune crumbled in my hands.

My latest vivid dream. The first one featuring tarot cards. So much to unpack with this one.

The Fool

Using the 0815 alternative interpretation of the major arcana, The Fool is signals the start of the life journey. Their foot dangles dangerously near the edge of a cliff as the poor soul looks to the sky none the wiser.

But in her book "Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom," Rachel Pollack (quoting Elizabeth Haich, who was interpreting Swiss occultist Oswald Wirth) says that Wirth’s image of The Fool is of a “grotesque wanderer.”

“Placing him between the Judgement and the World [cards], she (Haich) describes the Fool as what the outside world sees when it looks upon someone who is truly enlightened. Because the Fool does not follow their rules or share their weaknesses, he appears to them in this ugly distorted way.”

Pollack also says that in early tarot decks, the Fool was called “the Fool of God,” a term “which has also been used for idiots, harmless madmen, and severe epileptics, all of whom were thought o be in touch with a greater wisdom precisely because there were out of touch with the rest of us.”

Labels bind me like a straight jacket. But there’s comfort in that warm self hug of insanity, embracing the fact that I don’t fit in this society.

Idiots. Harmless madmen (and women), and severe epileptics. I completely wrap myself around the two former and honor the latter. 

 'The Idiot,' (1892) Evert Larock - Wikipedia

'The Idiot,' (1892) Evert Larock - Wikipedia

I embrace my strangeness. My otherness.

I teeter en pointe.

The Magician

Why did The Fool transition into The Magician when I picked it up? Why did my fingers, my prints spark a change?

There are a couple of ways to interpret The Magician. Benebell Wen calls it “the card of individuality."

“The Magician is worldly, knowledgeable, and self-aware. he manifests self-mastery,” she says.

But what does it mean to be “self-aware.” To be aware of your place in the world? To be aware that, in my case as a woman of color, I change air of a room when I enter it?

Perhaps that’s the power of the Magician. Owning the fact that you change auras. Scenes.

Environments.

Your very presence is magic.

The Magician takes over The Fool’s tasks. Learning, growing. And pulls out tools from his cloak. Just a tad bit older than The Fool, he has youthful confidence.

Dangerous youthful confidence.

Dad-gave-me-the-keys-to-the-Porsche, dangerous, youthful confidence.

I usually call The Magician the cocky card (see above), but perhaps I’m being told something else: I have all the tools I need. Just have to learn how to use them.

The Wheel of Fortune

Crumbled in my hands. As if it was a fantasy. Nothing.

The memory triggered: moving to Europe. Having everything in my hand. And losing it all.

“You idiot. Maybe you gripped too tightly?  Maybe you didn’t respect the fragility?”

“Maybe you were just…you.”

“Look, idiot. You were spinning. At the wheel."

“You totaled that Porsche didn’t you?”

“You weren’t used to it.” 

“You didn’t deserve it.”

“All those tools - handouts. Just because you were born.”

“See what you did with them?”

“Now what?”

Yes. Now what?