Lesson 2: Victory Over Expectations

This Fool wears a laurel wreath as a crown, which symbolizes his spiritual victories over Ego constructs, and the associated expectations, ideals and standards that would limit his self expression and mobility. Placed in the wreath for all to see is the red feather of truth and freedom. The Egyptian hieroglyph meaning “truth’ is depicted as a feather which is known as ‘Maat’s plume’. Birds in Egypt were regarded as reincarnated souls and Maat, the mother goddess weighed the souls of the dead in her balance scales, and if the soul was found to be as light as her feather, then it was considered pure, and free of all guilt. The feather tells us that the Fool’s mind is free, and unencumbered by the past, and has no guilt or regret. 

Across his shoulder he carries a staff or magic wand, symbolizing his directed will, through which he may indicate his course of action. It is also a tool of measurement, a symbol of the ‘Tree of Life” as well as a phallic symbol. At its end he carries a bag containing his memories and past experiences. The wand enables him to shift the weight of his past baggage so the contents are put aside and not used as a justification or motivation for present action. Although he will always have them with him, he carries them lightly. 

An eye of consciousness is often depicted on the bag which may be a reminder for him to be alert on a psychic level to the tendency of his ego stories to influence the present and future. He keeps an eye on his own past in order to keep from unconsciously repeating it or falling back into his ‘default’ mode. 

The eye symbol is said to counteract the “evil eye” which is a kind of thought projection that dis-empowers us. This could be equated with our negative self talk and self images from the past which will do the same if we are not present and alert to their stories. In shamanism, it is understood that these thought projections are very real and take up residence within the energy body, causing dis-ease. 

We react strongly to the eye symbol. The eye is thought to be the “window of the soul”, and eye contact is of vital importance in our relationships, especially between mother and baby at birth. The bond created with this direct gaze ensures the survival of the newborn, and the Fool is in a constant state of rebirth. In Egypt – the universal ‘mother word’ “MAA” is a name of the Goddess and its hieroglyph is the eye. 

Other times an eagle is on the bag which is a symbol of Scorpio, the fixed water sign, and relates to consciousness of death, subversive energies and sexuality. (The bag itself often looks like testes.) Again this is all put aside and not used as a reference or motivator, and he carries his awareness of them as a burden, but a light one.