Visionary Fiction writers take us on a Hero’s Journey. Not only are the heroes and journeys archetypal, but so are the many characters and situations encountered along the way.
Another version of the Hero’s Journey is the Fool’s Journey, which specifically refers to the Major Arcana of the Tarot, but also the variations as I see it: the signs and houses in Astrology, basic Numerology, and the full Tarot comprising all five suits. I explore the Fool’s Journey in my work: my blog writing, my book writing, and within my classes and intuitive readings. As I like to say, “The Journey of the Fool is always from where you are to where you want to be.” The Fool is not a fool, but rather an astute teacher by example. This archetype is dear to my heart and is why I named my business A Fool’s Inclination.
In writing my first novel, Journey to the Temple of Ra, I embarked the Fool’s Journey literally and literarily. In fact, an earlier version was entitled A Fool’s Journey. I wrote the tale as 78 mini-chapters named after the 78 cards in the Tarot. Each mini-chapter depicts a character or situation, which matches one or more interpretations of the corresponding card. Through this endeavor, my protagonist unveiled his life purpose…and I learned each card intimately.
In my second book, Scribe to the Pantheon of Rome, the sequel to the above, my hero walks his purpose despite unexpected challenges. I structured that story around numbers—integrating Numerology, Sacred Geometry, the seven chakras, the seven densities, and more. It is written as sixteen chapters starting with zero.
Zero essentially exists outside of Numerology, but it does have special meaning…and it is the number typically associated with the Fool. In my mind, zero represents the absolute—the indescribable, where no separation exists. It is simultaneously source and destination. We may never come to understand the absolute, but contemplating its existence is helpful nevertheless.
Fiction is not the only device for depicting the Hero’s Journey; an essay or blog post works just as well. In this article, separated into two parts, we are going to follow the journey of another favorite archetype of mine: the Wheel of Fortune. Wheels, after all, are wonderful tools for travel.
A wheel resembles the number zero and relates to the Fool and his journey. As we know, there are journeys within journeys within journeys. Similar to a classic, adjustable bar stool, as the wheel turns, it moves higher and higher. It evolves as it revolves. As with the bar stool, we won’t start at the floor and we won’t reach the ceiling.
In our first turn, we consider the Wheel of Fortune as I first learned it. The most basic description is: “Fortunes rise and fortunes fall.” Fortune, in this case, means luck.
If a stick is poked into the edge of a wheel and you stand upon it as it rolls, you follow a similar path. In this view, life is seen as chaotic and subject to chance. That is one way to explain why bad things happen to good people. Furthermore, it implies a belief in fate. If bad luck looms ahead, there’s no avoiding it. It must play out.
At first glance, this interpretation seems realistic. Haven’t we all experienced life this way? We’ve done well for a while, but then the tides turn and we struggle. Maybe we get back up and succeed once again, or maybe we hop off that particular wheel (job, career, relationship, etc.) and find another one. How often, when in a particularly good place, do we fear slipping or falling completely off of our success? More often than we want to admit! A few spins at the mercy of this wheel has us begging for greater understanding.
At the next level, we are encouraged to compare the Wheel of Fortune (card X, the middle of the Fool’s Journey) with the World (card XXI, the end of it). Both cards imply rotation. Both cards depict four symbols along the corners. Looking closely, we realize that the symbols that garnish both cards are the same. To me, they represent the four fixed signs of the Zodiac: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius, which occupy the middle of each season. In other words, they represent time.
The Wheel of Fortune spins. The World turns. We track the passing of time on a circular dial: two rotations per day. We understand that we cannot stop any of this movement. So what is the counsel?
Strive for the center of the wheel. The center of a wheel moves the least. The chaos of life is therefore mitigated. Actually, the chaos is exactly the same objectively. It is our perspective and thus our experience of it that changes.
This is sound advice. If you temper your reacting, you are better able to maintain balance, and balance promotes focus, which gets the job done. Regardless, it makes the journey easier to travel. However, there is still distance to cover to reach the World, which is our supposed destination, where we view the earth as if from space, seeing only beauty and serenity.
This level of the Wheel is helpful, but not yet ideal. It insinuates that we must go somewhere to achieve what we want—that happiness exists somewhere else. The here and now is thus seen as less than ideal, less than perfect, and less than fulfilling.
Allow me to introduce to you an idea I first heard as The Perfection of the Universe. It is a philosophy. Rise above a situation and you gain insight. Rise high enough and you see perfection. This higher perspective is always available. It is ever-present. Again, it may not be something we attain often, but considering it is helpful.
The World hints at this perspective. We’ve seen pictures; Earth does look perfect from space. We’ve heard tales of those who tap into Cosmic Consciousness and describe it as fully connected, astoundingly beautiful, and absolutely perfect. Alas, many of us never seem to get there. We don’t live in space; we walk with our feet firmly planted on the ground. And even though we’ve invented trains, fast cars, and airplanes, it still takes too long to get from where we are to where we want to be.
Easing contrast is good, but it is not enough. We ask for further insight and guidance, and the wheel rises once again. In part two, we’ll follow additional revolutions of the wheel and watch as it reaches further into perfection.
The second and final part of this mini-series is available to view from June 19, 2017. Read it here.
About the author
His first novel, Journey to the Temple of Ra, can be found here
His second novel, Scribe to the Pantheon of Rome, can be found here
Visit David’s website and blog: A Fool’s Inclination