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From the Interlude Home Page  (Thanks to Stanford dance historian Richard Powers for calling this to the web page editor's attention).

Taking A Leap: Embracing The Fool In Us

Where fear is present, wisdom cannot be.
Lactantius (260-340 A.D.)
Sometimes life is all safe and secure, predictable and mundane. Sometimes we face adventure. When life presents its choices, we can choose the way of safety and conformity, or we can step off boldly into the risky unknown. Is it better to stay in a job that bores you or challenges your ethics, or is it better to quit and take your chances? Is it better to stay in a home that constricts your potential or to take a leap of faith and find room to grow? Do we take the risk of being hurt that comes with emotional intimacy, or do we hold ourselves aloof and alone? Do we follow the crowd, or do we express our unique self and take the risk of failure and derision?

Such dilemmas present us with the choice of staying in a known situation that may diminish us or heading off into the unknown where we may find either fulfillment or disaster. Our inner voice may tell us we are foolish to take risks. Another voice may urge us to be the fool.

The Fool Card
 The Fool card in Tarot typically shows a colorfully dressed individual on a journey standing or walking in a high place, perhaps with one foot raised and ready to step off the precipice. The fool card can represent bad decisions and immature choices, but there is more to the fool than that. There is the willingness to see beyond the limits of convention, to be playful and expressive. The fool can tread on dangerous ground without fear, because the world is not seen as a danger as much as a wonder.

We could go through life staying away from the heights, but sometimes we need to be willing to take a risk--to step into the abyss. This was well illustrated in the movie Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. In order to reach the Holy Grail, which he needs to save his father’s life, Indy must take a step into what appears to be a deep chasm. He must trust the instructions he has been given. He risks his life, yet through this act of courage and faith he succeeds. Had he been unwilling to take the risk all would have been lost. Our challenges may not be so dramatic, but the archetype applies to us, just as well. We must make our choices, learn when to trust our resources, and decide when to step into the great unknown. When the challenge arrives, will we be up to it?

Think about how you approach life.

Are you open to new experiences?

Do you seek conformity and safety, or do you find your own way?

Are you willing to take risks to achieve a more satisfying life?

Which phrase do you adhere to most:  “Better safe than sorry” or, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Are you, when circumstances demand it, able to step off into the unknown with the belief that the universe supports you, even if you can’t see the supports at the moment?

Are you willing to follow your bliss, pursue your passion, climb to high places?

Are you willing to be the real you, even if to do so you would risk looking foolish?

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© 2485 Tom Barrett

Other Fool's Tarot Cards from Karah Card, a former Split Tree artist-in-residence now at Evergreen College near Seattle, WA.xxxx