The Fool 0

February 26th, 2024

For your enjoyment, I have committed for the next 22 weeks to sharing with my community at large one essay a week to go along with my Tour of the Tarot series. You can join the series anytime you wish as everything is recorded and easy to access at your leisure.  Here is the link.


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The Fool
By Bonnie Tarantino

When Walter bounded into our lives and hearts, I contacted a pet psychic to find out about our past lives.  Are you surprised?  I was also curious as to how he liked his new living situation. Was I a good pet mamma?  Did he need anything that I wasn’t picking up on? Could he stop eating the crotches out of pants, socks, and toes of shoes?  The fool will risk being fooled to learn something new. Opening up to a psychic can feel risky and foolish.

By this time, I had many names for Walter.  Walter, little boy, good boy, mushy mush, and strangely, TiTi PaPa. From time to time this name came out of my mouth, often in a private respectful whisper. I have no idea where TiTi PaPa came from, but I had a feeling it was a very old name and maybe even the name I called in another life.    The fool often will say something out of nowhere that is pertinent or pivotal to the situation but have no idea what it means or where the knowledge came from.

The psychic sounded a bit like a Disney character over the phone. I saw her in my mind’s eye sitting by a window with misbehaved hair like mine.  There was a cat off to the left of her shoulder sitting on the windowsill wearing a pink collar with a little gold bell. Two quiet dogs lay peacefully at her feet unaware that not all owners could speak to their animals. The fool can be quite imaginative. I also imagined her with large animal-themed slippers. The fool often has unusual shoes or socks.  The slippers came with a pair of loppy eyes, ears that stood out, a pink nose, and dopey smile.  Her eyes were closed and she tapped her animated foot like a puppy having a running dream.  The fool is often unaware of how strange they are looking or acting as they are very much in the experience and do not worry about what people think.

After a few moments of silence, she began to speak from a realm where her heart could telepathically hear Walter.  To read energy, you can not be in the past or future, you must be in the present.  You must let go of your mind and surrender to an entirely different world than you know.  You have to listen with your whole body.  The fool only knows the moment and can morph into a situation because of their lack of ego and eagerness to fully embody the experience. This makes them very good channelers.

“Oh what a happy little fellow.” She began, her voice lower now. “He is so happy. He really likes people.  How nice.  He is just up for anything.  Loves jumping in the car and going.” The fool is often a very happy person who is light and engaging. Always up for an unexpected adventure.

I felt relief.  I so wanted to be a good puppy mamma.

She went on to mention things only psychics with tapping animal slippers would pick up.  Random things.  Like the fact that I walked him every morning with an older man and an unpredictable Irish setter. Like how he promises he will always come back if I let him off the leash even though I panic.  Like how he loves the smells when I cook and has a hard time staying on the edge of the kitchen because he is not allowed in the kitchen. How he hates the water bottle we use to train him.  How he gets mad at big trucks that come fast by us on our walk because it’s his job to protect me.  And even how he and his alpha, Scott have a secret They play at the end of the day in the driveway because his alpha really needs to run and play and bark too. The fool often picks up on the simple things people need like joy, laughter, and playfulness. The fool is often very funny and perceptive.

Walter did have one complaint and that was the food.  He found the food boring and unsatisfying. He was often hungry.  He loved the smells in the kitchen but not the taste. “You really like to cook, don’t you? Put a little of what you make each night on top of his food.” The fool is very tapped into the senses. Sensual.

 I had noticed that Walter paid little attention to my Maya and that while she tried to love him, he often snubbed her.  “Why does he not like my daughter Maya?” I asked.
She said, “OH…he is very offended right now.”
“Offended,” I asked?
“Yes, very offended.  He shut down. He had turned away.  I have lost him for a moment.  Hold on.”  It is quiet for at least 30 seconds.  “Ok.. he is back… He says that Maya is part of the pack.  He protects her.  He could never outcast her.” Then, she said, “He is showing me that the door to Maya’s room is always closed.  He also does not like the stairs to go up to her because he slips.”  (The stairs have no rug). “He is also showing me she never gives him treats so the climb is not worth it.”  Then she said.  “You have your bedroom on the first floor right?”

I see him tethered to you, your bedroom is near the kitchen.  He is showing me his yard, which he loves very much.  He likes to be able to see the yard as much as he can.  You have a lot of windows.  A big yard. Acres wild animals that visit.”

You can see why I enjoy a good psychic reading from time to time.  Fascinating stuff. Now, get ready because the reading has not even gone weird yet.  But first I must backtrack.

I have had this recurring dream since my teens.  I started having them when I was given my grandmother’s garnet ring.  Little did I know at the time, but garnet is the stone of dreaming and remembering past lives. The fool will follow his dreams and sometimes be accused of living in his own world.  In this recurring dream, there is a bright light over my head. My eyes are that of a hawk.  I am very carefully setting very large and precious stones into a headpiece.  Sometimes in my dream, my hands are creating a ring, sometimes a belt, and even at times a staff.  Glistening and very large rubies, emeralds, and sapphires sit in a gold bowl on the table.  Under me is a trap door with more jewels.  My tools are varied and worn.  I have on a sort of sandal, I am a man and not poor.  I am wearing cotton clothes that are very loose like a tunic.  Often the tunic is blue or purple.  It is a very mild climate. There is a breeze. In the distance, I can see a large busy river.  I can feel myself deeply concentrating like I am spellbound.  The jewels sparkle in the light.  I can see right through them.  That is the recurring dream.

One day when I was around 18 my little sister had a friend over who had, what we called then, “behavior problems”.  Now we call it, “untreated ADHD”.  This little stinker was known for taking things while on playdates and hiding them till she got home.  Often her mother would apologetically have to bring random objects back.  After one such play date, my ring went missing.  I was sure she stole it.  Despite my mother and the girl’s mother’s efforts, the ring was never recovered.  My sister and this girl remained friends into their adulthood.  The last time I saw this little girl she was around thirty and the first thing I did was check her hands for my ring.  To this day I hunt through antique stores, consignment shops, and even cases labeled “Estate Jewelry”.   Something in me believes the ring will find its way back and when it does, I will recognize it immediately, and buy it at any cost. The fool will go on a quest to find something it feels it has lost no matter how impossible.

Now back to our pet psychic.  She jingles, or something jingles. Maybe it’s a bracelet from India, a wind chime from Santa Fe, or the cat’s collar from scratching its neck.  The fool often jingles either with bells or bangles or even earphones on too high.  They make a noise as they enter or as they leave.   “Oh.. you have waited a very long time to be reunited with Walter!  Oh! It has been a very long time.  Oh, how nice!  You have missed each other so much!  He has been a very busy soul.  Haha.. so have you!  Ok… Ok…. Here you are… You were once a jeweler in ancient Egypt.  You set the stones in headpieces and clothing to amplify the energy for rituals.  You understand the magic of stones. The alchemy.  You lived on top of a hill.  You had many guard dogs.  Very large dogs. You needed them to protect the stones. Walter was the Alpha.  Maybe a Pharaoh Hound.  He stayed very close to you.  He would sit on this rock in front of the main door and look out over everything.”  Fools make very good channelers. “Ha.. he says you know his name from that lifetime.”

I did.. I whispered, “Titi Papa”.  Walt wagged his tail.

One of the sweetest ways to experience The Fool as an archetype is to pay attention to a pet.  Walter is my constant reminder to not have a past or future but to be ever present in the moment.  His ears are always moving as he detects sounds from all over the neighborhood.  His nose moves a little to the left and right tracking scents that I can only imagine.  He can go from a deep rest to a sprint in a matter of seconds for even his muscles seem to only live in here and now.

The psychic wrapped up the session by advising me to keep walking Walter as much as I could and avoid walking him on the asphalt when big trucks drive by. Instead, she encouraged me to guide his feet to the grass so the vibrations from the truck do not upset him as much.  This has really helped on our walks.  I also enliven his meals each night by adding to the top whatever dinner I have made. He now has a good taste of what he smells.  I put a little treat jar up in Maya’s room, but teenagers need to keep their doors closed. Walter snubs her still. We think he is pining for a spot in the pact nearer to me, just ahead of her. The fool is prone to fantasy.

 As I write this, Walter is perched outside my dining room double doors on the top of the large river rock stone steps that roll down our hilly yard and fields below.  His posture is erect and handsome, regal and proud.  If I yell FOX!  He will take off on my command and run the property to the very edge of our electric fence where they live.  They will stand still and taunt him. He will jump up to his full standing height of 5’5 and 90 lbs of muscle.  His bark is the deep masculine growl of a killer warning its prey. The fox that share our property think he is a fool.  The fool sometimes fails to grasp a very easy concept. The fox tease him, taking turns to cross an invisible electric fence they can’t see or feel.  They tempt him with high squaw sounds before running just out of his reach, deep into the woods where Walter longs to explore.  Unfortunately, he has proved he is smarter than he looks. Under his soft and casual nature, he a strong, protective animal with deep instincts that bypass his domestication when provoked. The fool will act on deep instincts to survive.

 One day he maimed an adolescent fox.  I was busy cooking dinner when I heard this terrible screeching sound. I ran out to see that Walter had managed to catch just the back leg and hip of the fox.  When I screamed out NO! he released the fox immediately. The fox limped away keeping his eye on me rather than Walter as if it was my fault. That same fox now walks the neighborhood with a limp, like a veteran with a bad hip in need of surgery. The second time another fox was not as lucky. I was not home and the fox was killed. I rarely leave Walter in the house when I go out. I let him be a dog and live out in nature.  Usually, when I come home Walter runs toward my car like it’s the second coming. But this one day he did not, and I had to walk around the property to find him.  When I did, Walter was lying with an unconscious fox lovingly between his two front pawls.  There was very little blood.  He was not eating the fox. Just lying with it confused.  The fox had been licked all over as if Walter had tried to it bring back to life. It lay lifeless like a punctured squeaky toy. We are convinced that Walter only wanted to play but the fox didn’t. Things went tragically wrong.  I have never bought a squeaky toy since.  The fool will test boundaries and risk being hurt over and over, ultimately learning the hard way.  The fool can be reckless and untamable and sometimes makes irreversible mistakes.  Sometimes the fool is an outcast.  Sent away. I know this part of the story was hard to read but it is life in the animal world.  When we find ourselves out deep in undomesticated nature we too often feel unprepared, vunerable.  This is the feeling of the fool energy as well.

 After writing this for a few hours, I notice Walter is no longer at his rock.  I get up and head over to the double doors, stick my head out, and yell “Treat!” This is the only word Walter responds to when called, (again dumb or smart? Who is the fool here?). Walt bounds up the stone steps dodging bushes only to stop short on a dime in front of me. He pants joy.  And this is where I wish I too was telepathic with animals.  What is he saying?  His tail tells me over and over he is very happy. He has found me again and I might have treats!  I reach down and kiss him on his head over and over, rub my hand down his shaggy soft spine.  I love him so much and he loves me.  This above all else makes me feel that he has come home. He is my ancient friend, my little boy, my protector, my Titi PaPa.  He is my jewel returned home at last.

The fool leaves home to only find himself coming back full circle, and while he has changed and learned a great deal, he is willing to put it all aside and leave again. The gift of the fool is that they can begin again with a beginner mind and be willing to embark on the next great adventure. When the fool card comes up in a reading it alerts me that the person is about to learn something very new and is very open and happy about it.  If reversed, it could mean they are not open enough to the lessons being offered and they have become lost and foolish in their thinking.  On a practical day to day level, and especially with an election year ahead, we need to be careful with social media to not get seduced down a road that is filled with lies.  We must be discerning about who we learn from and where they take us, while also being just as cautious about the source as we are about the information. 


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