About the Major Arcana Zero,
which I call "Soul".
Traditionally Known as "The Fool"
All the possibilities of the Major Arcana are contained within the Zero card: the Void, the Dark of the Womb; from which anything can and everything will evolve. Thus the card represents a mystic seed; a magical embryo/child; a pure impulse; infinite possibilities. In a reading it often denotes the power to begin; to take a first step, albeit out into the unknown. Risking giving up what you have been to evolve into what you can become. Openness to the spiral, cyclical, circular flow are necessary to activating the energy of the Zero Card. This is the energy of fresh starts; rebirth; reincarnation. New lives and new worlds regularly become available to us, and this card symbolizes that. Eggs and seeds are esoteric symbols associated with this card, along with the more commonly shown "Fool's Bag" or rucksack in which the personality carries along with it what little it brings along on this new venture (Some Tarot scholars tell us the seeds are inside the bag.). Traditional Tarot symbolism for the Fool usually depicts a youthful person, with a naive expression, dressed in brightly colored attire carrying the bag and a white rose for purity of spirit. The Fool is about to step off a cliff (a literal 'leap of faith'), but appears oblivious to this fact. A new dawn is implied and traditionally the sky or background is yellow or red. There are sundry other little 'symbolic' items often added into the imagery of many Fool cards: red feathers, a dog, etc. I feel these are superfluous as this card is about the dawn of a new life; a birth experience. At birth we come into this world alone, naked, and are swept into the flow of worldly life. For me the image needed to be as simple as this concept: out of the void, whether you think of that as the ether, the womb, or 'primordial soup', the new personality leaps thru the opened portal into a new sunlit existence. The path leads off from there. Where does it go? Wherever the Fool/Soul chooses to have it go! No stars or planets or zodiacal signs are associated with this card, because all of them are... The Fool's horoscope hasn't been cast yet!
The Fool/Soul Reversed
When the energy of the Zero is denied, ignored, or the personality is otherwise unable to access it; in a Tarot card reading this is depicted by the card turning up reversed. Some readers may say this is an indication of foolish or ill-advised actions about to ensue (Some readers say that about this card, period!). I do not believe either of these is the case. Rather I believe this reversal generally indicates fear - fear of making the move, taking the risk: sometimes fear of looking foolish! But this fear and denial cannot go on if the personality is to grow and thrive (This would be the equivalent of the Fool/Soul crouching just outside the gateway, refusing to enter, whining piteously - not a state you would want to stay in very long!) Take this risk: a new world of possibility awaits...
Notes on the Artwork
All the paintings I am doing for this deck are the same media and format: 11" x 15"; acrylic paint, ink and prismacolor pencil on illustration board. I have chosen to show the Fool/Soul as a young woman, with bright red hair which substitutes for all the other red 'things' one finds in traditional Fool imagery (red hair is also an important dream-symbol for me). The gateway or portal to this new plane of existence stands right on the edge of the void (a literal sharp drop into nothingness). The void itself has half seen forms and colors within it: I used photos of deep space where gaseous clouds are forming new stars along with microscope photos of cell division as the inspiration for this. The Soul is caught in the moment of beginning her leap - just before she passes out of the void and thru the portal - she comes naked of course, with just her little bag. I have decorated the bag with a tiny white flower and an open eye which is another esoteric symbol associated with the Fool's Bag (for a Spiritual Awakening). I wanted to give the portal itself and the first stones on the path a very ancient look: this act has been taking place since time immemorial. The portal is literally 'alive' itself and glows to acknowledge the passage of this Soul. The world on this side is sunny and bright, and the spiral path, literally the 'yellow brick road', leads off from here.
Questions or comments about my art and Tarot are always welcome! eMail me at: