The Fool's Journey through the Wheel of The Year continues with Pisces season. Previous Posts:
In this series we allow ourselves to imagine The Fool's Journey taking place not as a numerical journey through the Major Arcana, but a seasonal and astrological journey. We began last month with Imbolc and Aquarius the Fool's journey started with The Star and The World. Full of Hope and Faith, our carefree and innocent hero gathered his supplies and started on his journey.
Very early on this journey, just beyond the boundaries of familiar home – our Hero's hopeful optimism begins to falter. Perhaps realizing HOW BIG the world is, or how strange and unfamiliar the wilderness feels in the dark of night - and therefore feeling small and vulnerable – the Fool encounters Fear. Tarot Card 18 – The Moon – relates to feelings of fear, confusion, illusion, or a sense of being lost and directionless. It is a card deeply connected to the emotions, the psyche, changes in mood, and psychic sensitivity.
The imagery on the traditional Rider-Smith deck shows us a crustacean that has just crawled out of the ocean onto the beach. It is nighttime and, in the distance, dogs are snarling and howling at the full moon. The oceans of the water represent a place where we felt safe, protected. Crawling out onto that beach, there is a feeling of being exposed. Bombarded by lights and sounds and cold air; this change is overwhelming. Our imagination begins to race, and we think of all the scary horrible things that wait for us out there in the darkness. It is so tempting to turn around and dive back into the water.
The Moon card is related to the astrological sign of Pisces. Pisces is associated with deep emotion, psychic and intuitive gifts, and a creative and artistic mind. Being able to see things beyond the physical reality is a gift – but can also be a curse. As we can see from the illustration of The Moon Card – Pisces exists on that boundary of change – where emotions can become reality. Our Hero, having just left home – must face their own fears. The reality sinks in that this journey they has embarked on is different from how they had imagined it to be, and there are unseen dangers lurking in dark corners. Will one continue, or turn around and go back home?
We face this type of energy often when we are starting something new. Even when we are highly intuitive and use tools to help us enhance our psychic gifts – we do not truly know what lies ahead. We can easily get caught up in fears, and our imagination creates scenarios that are so terrifying we are frozen in place. OR – that same imagination can allow us to creatively envision the bright future and positive outcome that we can find if we are willing to move past our fears.
So which one will it be? Will our hero keep going and find a positive outcome just around the bend in the path? Or will they meet an untimely end, perhaps eaten by wolves? This is where our Hero encounters the energy of The Wheel of Fortune.
This card relates to cycles of change that are somewhat out of our control. Sometimes a person is just lucky or unlucky, and their fate will come to them one way or another. The Wheel of Fortune relates to the planet Jupiter – the ruler of Pisces and planet of Luck. The Wheel of Fortune reminds us that even doing nothing is a choice that has consequences, and no matter what we do or how we prepare – there will always be moments in life that bring the unexpected. Change is inevitable, and inescapable. The Fool could choose now to turn around and go home – but even that would not guarantee their safety and a long happy life. Tragedy and accident can occur anywhere. And what about the great adventure that they longed for? What of their fortune and destiny that lies ahead that they will never discover unless they take this journey? Our brave hero contemplates all of this, trying to decide whether or not their journey is worth the Risk.
Perhaps you also feel a bit different than you did at the beginning of the year. At Imbolc you were setting goals and intentions and you started on your journey to find yourself overwhelmed and afraid. Or with a sense that you actually have no control over your fate at all. What will you do? How do you keep going?
The Fool's Journey through Pisces season has one more lesson. Here we find The Hanged Man – major arcana card 12 and corresponding with the planet Neptune – modern ruler of Pisces.
The Hanged man teaches us about slowing down to meditate, and specifically how to change perspective. This man is hanging upside down – not because he has been captured and tied up by bandits! But because he has chosen to meditate in this awkward position. It is like the Yogis of India who spend hours in meditation while their body is contorted into and uncomfortable yoga pose. Yet through this discomfort, (fasting, yoga, meditation, etc) - through the sacrifice of comfort, The Hanged Man has gained new perspective.
The Hanged Man challenges our privileged idealism and tells us that there is a whole different way of viewing this situation. He says, "stop resisting the lesson" and invites The Fool to hang upside down from the tree with him for awhile in silence. The Fool joins him, and suddenly realizes that while they were busy being afraid of this very strange and new environment, they had forgotten to enjoy the beauty of it. Their fear of change and the unknown was holding them back from being able to see how wonderful this change might be, and how interesting this unknown world is. Looking out over the moonlit beach while hanging upside down, they have now observed their situation from a different perspective, and somehow the answer is more clear. The Fool has had a moment of enlightenment, but only once they were willing to Sacrifice the ego and Surrender to the unknown. That is a scary thing to do.
Ready at last to continue, The Fool thanks The Hanged man for this Wisdom, tosses the dice and spins the wheel, and then continues up the beach to the path beyond. Dogs howl in the distance and the fool is grateful for the light of the moon and curious about what they will encounter next. As you yourself journey through The Wheel of The Year, consider these cards as you experience your own adventure through Pisces season.