How Bob Fell off the Earth and Became the Fool

This post is part of the Tarot Blog Hop series for Beltane. Each post looks to answer the topic “The Fire tends to All.” If you are following this thread you will have gotten here from from a post by Stella at US Games. The link to the next post in this series can be found at the end of this post. Please take a moment to subscribe to my blog while you are here either via  RSS or email.

The Fire tends to All.

The Rider Waite Tarot Card - The FoolIn the tarot the Fool is often seen as the beginning. Often numbered zero, the Fool is both the protagonist of the story and its commencing. Being overly curious though, I often wonder what comes before the fool. Of course I know that the tarot is more like a wheel, where one cycle ends and we find ourselves as the fool again, but let me tell you a story.

Imagine the Fool before he left on his journey. Perhaps it’s not even fair to call him the Fool yet – let’s call him Bob. So as I said imagine Bob before the journey, before the leap, before he even steps out of his own front door — sitting at home in his coziest chair. Bob’s dog, Petunia, is asleep at his feet, a cup of coffee beside him. The Sun is warm and streaming into the room from a nearby window. You know the perfect Sunday afternoon with nothing to do and nowhere to be.

Perhaps Bob is thinking about what to make for dinner, or whether a new episode of The Good Wife will be on tonight. More likely he is not thinking about much of anything. At times like this being in the now is much easier. The question that always plagues me about Bob is “Why does he leave the comfort of his home in the first place?”

I imagine a small spark floating just as gently as that sunny day up and away from the fire place. Lazily it wafts across the room and lands on Bob’s dog. Petunia yelps startling Bob who drops his coffee in his lap. Petunia circles a few times and realizes she is okay, but has to pee. Bob, no longer feeling so relaxed decides that now is as good a time for the daily walk as any.

While changing his clothes for something drier Bob realizes tomorrow is Monday. The weekend is not over, but it feels like it. With a bit of a grump brewing, as it often does later in the day on most Sundays, Bob fetches the leash, a small pack, and heads out the door with Petunia.

The Sun shine and singing of birds helps Bob lift his spirits some, but there is no doubt that the deep relaxation of earlier is now out of reach. A butterfly floats by and Bob decides a good long walk might be in order. Heading home to cook supper is just not that appealing right now, so the park it is. Down the road, past the coffee shop, and into the park Bob walks with a storm cloud brewing above his head.

His thoughts turn towards his coming work day. The stack of projects he has on his desk, which never seems to get any smaller, fills him with dread. “I mean I only really took this job because Susan thought it was a good career move.” Realizing it had been a year since Susan and Bob broke up only creates more turbulence within Bob’s already aching heart. “Really it was her Dad’s fault that they split up if he had not bad-mouthed Bob so much things would have been perfect,” Bob muttered to himself. He knew it was a lie but it was better than facing the truth.

“The truth…” he started. “The truth Petunia is I hate my life. Maybe it would be better if we just kept walking. What do you say there girl – you and me on a grand adventure. Maybe we shouldn’t even go back to the house.”

And that is how Bob fell off the earth and became the Fool. You see fire is the thing that makes everything else move. What makes water boil? Heat. What makes the winds blow? Heat. What makes the earth itself move? Heat. Whether a tiny spark, the heat of the Sun or the molten core of our planet it is fire that makes everything move everything expand and grow. The Fool journeys from our little story to meet and become all the rest of the tarot characters. Like the big bang they say started our universe, fire moves us all forward into expansion and eventually to fulfillment.

Fire also tends to move us to completion. Bob might get to the end of the park, see a friend, go to the pub and then go home. Fire may destroy his illusions and leave him with the truth that his life is better than he thought and taking up coin collecting will fix everything. It might be just that simple for Bob. Or perhaps he walks to the docks, gets a job on a freighter and finds some tropical paradise and lives out his days fishing and giving tours to the tourists. Fire will burn away everything until the stark undeniable truth remains. In our Fool’s journey we will all find our level, make our peace, or reach that point where the fire has nothing left to burn. We will find our truth and our place. Well at least until the next spark comes floating along.

To see the next post in this series of Tarot blog hop please click through to Koneta Bailey.
If you hit a bump in your blog hop you can find a master list of participants, and your way back on here.
What is the Tarot Blog Hop? This sprung up out of an offhand remark made by Stephanie Arwen Lynch on her Facebook page. The Tarot Blog Hop is when a group of bloggers all blog on the same question/topic and link to the blogger before them and the blogger after them to create a Tarot Train.

The Hermit’s Lamp is the blog of Andrew McGregor – Toronto Tarot reader, artist and teacher. The Hermit’s Lamp is also a storefront in Toronto selling metaphysical and spiritual supplies. Please visit The Hermit’s Lamp website for more information on readings and classes both online and in Toronto. You can also connect with Andrew on facebook, twitter, or linkedin or listen to his co-creation – The Toronto Tarot Portal Podcast online or via iTunes.


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Sleeping dog image by Peter Hellberg.

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4 comments on “How Bob Fell off the Earth and Became the Fool”

  1. Pingback: Beltane Bloghop Masterlist 2012 | The Hermit's Lamp

  2. Arwen

    Bob’s tale of building up from lazing on the couch to launching into a soul-searching journey was very well done. Thanks.

  3. Claire-Marie Le Normand

    I liked the story too. Sure we all are the World before we are the Fool in the Big Scheme of Things, but who remembers THAT? That’s the whole point of these mystical explorations, isn’t it? That we are Bob, with our dog and our Mondays as we begin The Journey. And we eventually remember that we are The World. But we also remember the easy chair.

  4. alison cross

    This is such a great story, well told too! Henceforth, The Fool shall be known to me as BOB!

    Ali x

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