Comparative Tarot Essay – The Fool from Mansions of the Moon



Many moons ago, I belonged to the Comparative Tarot Yahoo group.  As part of the group I would focus on the card of the month and write an essay using one of the decks which I moderated (at one point I was up to 8).  I thought I would share some of these essays with anyone who might be interested so each Sunday I will post another essay.

This month I’m starting with The Fool.  I hope you enjoy the essays.


The Fool shows a man dressed in an old fashioned style of clothes (it reminds me of the illustrations I’ve seen for the Pied Piper) with his feet resting on a small red fox.  The man’s right hand is on his cap and his left hand holds a small dagger or instrument.  He seems to be riding the fox (or attempting to do so).  Right above his head we see a fox’s face looking out at us and right next to it is another image of the man’s face, looking towards the fox.  At the top of the card we see a red fox walking towards the right side of the card.  His face is turned back as though he has heard something and is investigating the sound.

The Author says:  Unaware of the danger behind him all eyes are upon the Fool.  Choice of paths.

Bee’s Buzz:  This card seem to focus more on the less savory aspects of the Fool.  The Fool is not so much innocent and naive as genuinely foolish.  The man reminding me of the Pied Piper fits with this theme.  After all wasn’t the Pied Piper somewhat foolish – he truly thought the townsfolk would pay their debt.  And weren’t the people of the town the ultimate fools (in its most negative connotation) thinking they could get away with not paying him.  And the fox looks young, perhaps a pup.  This might connect the card with innocence and youth, starting down a new path.  The young fox might be nervous and hesitant but it will continue down the road.  Even the man seems to be charging ahead, reckless and not sure where he is headed.  If he is riding the fox then he also has no control over his destination.  He is trusting the fox to take him where he needs to go (perhaps fleeing the angry townsfolk).  I can see it all now – he took his revenge in a fit of anger and with no thought to the consequences.  Now he must run away and find a new beginning for himself.  He knows that he needs to start over in order to avoid repercussions.  This Fool is not as naive and innocent as some versions of the card.  The one thing that throws me about this cards is the inclusion of the fox.  I’m guessing that he is a replacement for the more traditional dog or cat.  But to me the fox symbolizes cunning, quick wittedness and trickiness making him more appropriate to the Magician/Trickster than to the Fool, at least in my opinion.

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