What's In the Fool's Satchel?

January 26th, 2011 § 8 comments § permalink

#0 The Fool from the Rider Waite Smith deck

#0 The Fool

Inspired by Donnaleigh de LaRose’s post “The High Priestess’ Scroll – What’s In There?”, I decided to ask the cards, “What’s in the Fool’s Satchel?”

Was I ever in for a surprise. For some reason I thought he’d be carrying around fun stuff. But no. At least not on this trip.

5 of Swords from the Rider Waite Smith Deck

5 of Swords

Using the RWS, I pulled four cards.

The first I got was the 5 of Swords. This is about conflict. Winning the battle, but losing the war.

Defeat is the key word on the Thoth Tarot’s version. A defeat that comes from forcing your way, leaving no options but yes or no.

3 of Swords from the Rider Waite Smith deck

3 of Swords

Next was the 3 of Swords. Sorrow. This is one of the most painful cards in the deck. It’s deep sadness, carried in the heart and too often in silence.

After that came #13, Death. What’s there to say here except that the Fool carries one scary satchel!

#13 Death from the Rider Waite Smith deck

#13 - Death

The final card I drew was the 8 of Disks. There’s nothing overtly disturbing about this card. In fact it can sometimes be quite pleasant.

Given what else was in the bag, however, I can’t help but read it as tedium.

It’s the work you have to do but really don’t want to. A reminder that nothing good comes without some effort.

8 of Pentacles from the Rider Waite Smith deck

8 of Disks

Why would the Fool carry these things around? He’s such a lighthearted guy and has such a small bag. Why fill it with the hard stuff?

Maybe part of the answer lies in what’s in his other hand. It’s a white flower, symbol of purity, openness, unsullied ideals.

It’s the colour of the dog beside him, free, enthusiastic and running on instinct.

He holds the flower playfully with his fingers, touching it directly. These energies are how he expresses himself to the outside world.

The dark stuff is hidden in a bag at the end of a pole, slung over the side we don’t see. It’s in the deep recesses of his subconscious, not even connected directly to him.

What’s in the satchel balances out the flower, could be its shadow. Notice that the bag and the flower are both directly below the sun.

I was surprised by what the Fool carries around, but with some reflection it makes a lot of sense. The seed of all things is part of what he stands for.

Though innocence, openness and the ideal are at the forefront, conflict, pain and tedium are part of life as well.

On a more positive note, you could also think of the Fool’s satchel as a medicine bag. He’s carrying around a bit of the bad stuff in case he needs it as an antidote.

Either way, now that I’ve taken a peek inside, I’m thinking it’s probably best to just keep this satchel closed.

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