Friday 5 June 2020

Divination: The Fool from the Haindl Tarot

I drew a tarot card for the world and it was The Fool. How apt, I thought.

The deck I used was the Haindl Tarot - not one I'm really familiar with. I bought my set at an Oxfam shop before lockdown, together with Rachel Pollack's books on how to interpret these unusual cards. This year I also made a resolution to use decks in my collection that are not my regular ones.

Haindl's Fool is a court jester, who traditionally can criticise leaders for their mistakes using humour and satire, hopefully guiding them to better courses of action. In England, and in the US, that kind of guidance is very much needed.

The card also shows a wounded swan. This partly represents Parsifal in the Grail legends, who wounds a swan and also wounds himself. Becoming conscious of suffering, he starts on a quest for the Grail of healing. This is also a lesson that we can hope those in power learn. It is not too late for leaders to show compassion.

The Fool also has a message for all of us though. They - the figure on the card is deliberately gender-neutral - stand outside the conventions of society, acting perhaps impulsively and responding to feeling and intuition rather than rigidly obeying rules. While such behaviour can be risky - the Rider-Waite-Smith Fool shows a young adventurer possibly about to step off a cliff - our instincts can sometimes save us too.

The Fool is not a card of doom and gloom; it is a card of hope. It shows the start of a journey, not its end. The Rune of Joy is seen at the top of this Haindl Tarot card. As Rachel Pollack writes: "The Fool embraces all life, including suffering. He dances through experience, finding the secret joy in the heart of all existence."

You can view The Haindl Tarot on Amazon and view Rachel Pollack's book on the Major Arcana on Amazon.

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