A Fool's Journey
And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
- Revelations 4:7
While working on my book tonight I fell back onto a popular theme of mine. My mind started rambling over the idea of the hero’s journey, Joseph Campbell, and eventually (and inevitably) the Tarot.
It’s been a really long time since I’ve done any Tarot readings of any note, but I suppose it’s one of those things that will never leave me. Whenever a friend I know starts learning, a part of me wants to cry out, “That’s what I used to do!” Or perhaps I want to just dig out a deck and show them what it’s all about. More than likely I am feeling that deep urge within me to jump into the spotlight and show the world what I can do. That’s not what I want to be like, though, and I quickly fight back the urge.
I imagine things like this happen for other people too. Sometimes I feel a deep guilt that underneath it all, I’m just a selfish person wanting attention. That’s not why I learned what I learned. That’s not why I practiced it. That’s not even why I taught people. So why now, after all this time, is my only motivation showing off?
Perhaps it’s a sign of growth that I’m aware of it now. Maybe I was like this before, but the guilt wasn’t there to illuminate me. I doubt it, though.
Tonight, anyway, the motivation wasn’t ego. I looked over the first few chapters of my book and realized that I had finally begun the story of the Major Arcana in a way that wasn’t obvious or ostentatious. It was almost refreshing to look at my work and not feel completely inadequate or predictable. Of course, I can’t say for certain that I’ll feel the same way in the morning.
I hope that the Tarot helps me to add strength and clarity to the book. The story is about a fool’s journey through the world of the occult, after all. It’s fitting.