This post continues the reading started in Part 1: The setup.
The reading is one using “traditional” meanings (gleaned from authors such as Arthur Edward Waite, Eden Gray, and Leanna Greenaway), in a “predictive” (or fortunetelling) reading. The purpose of this reading is not fortunetelling, but to demonstrate how a predictive reading can be used to stimulate the creative imagination and as an aid in problem solving. (See Part 1 of this series for the reasoning behind the exercise.)
This is you: The Fool (Reversed)
The meaning of the Fool has shifted over the centuries. Earlier decks portrayed the Fool as vagabond, jester, pilgrim, or lunatic. The Rider-Waite deck broke from this tradition to portray a much more romantic image of the Fool, emphasising innocence, childlike wisdom, and idealism.
What can we say of an upside-down Fool in the “You” position? This position refers to your role or attitude in the matter, or to how you see yourself in the situation.
Keywords for the Fool in its upright position would include beginnings, newness, enthusiasm and trusting the universe; in keeping with the “story” that has been unfolding in the spread, the interpretation for the reversed Fool would be feeling stale, unenthusiastic, and having little faith in either myself or the universe.
Waite adds “apathy” to the reversed meanings; Eden Gray has “the choice made is likely to be faulty,” and Leanna Greenaway adds “stuck in a rut.” As I agree that these interpretations fit the situation, I could leave it at that and move on to the next card, or I could dig a little deeper. Maybe I should reflect on Eden Gray’s suggestion of wrong choices? Could I have made the wrong choice in deciding to write this book, or am I perhaps tackling the project in the wrong way? Or maybe this is something I fear, for no good reason.
To help me with this question, I can reflect on the remaining cards in the spread: the Hanged Man (reversed), the Five of Cups (reversed), and the Moon.
One thing to note is that I am not consistent in my reading of this spread. I started by reading some cards as the ideal situation, as opposed to a description of my current situation. Other cards again I take to refer to my current situation.
In true fortunetelling or divination readings, the reader would not switch between “ideal” and “real,” but make a consistent “story” from the spread. In problem solving, however, any ideas sparked by the cards are valuable. I play with the traditional interpretations of these cards until something fits, something with which I can work. This technique is similar to the creative-thinking technique known as “forced relationships” or “forced connections”: taking two unrelated items (in this case a card with its associated meanings, and a particular card position) and finding some way to connect the two.
And something else: my reading of some of the cards in this spread are helping me formulate a question, or problem statement, for a later spread; from other cards, I am building a picture of my attitude toward the project. Not all the cards in this spread strike me as equally useful in my investigation, so some of them I take note of, and move on.
When read together, the card in the “You” position and the next two cards (“Home” and “Hopes & Fears”), can help form a picture of the reader’s internal and external environment.