The Reason for Unreason

    from the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck

Lately I’ve been trying to embrace The Fool.  (I mean, look at him, he’s just begging for a hug).

In tarot, The Fool is at the beginning of his journey.  He is in awe of the world and excited to experience everything ahead of him. Cliff?  What cliff? He’ll totally bounce back from that fall.

Moreover, The Fool has no idea how not to be his authentic self.  Look at that outfit.  He definitely doesn’t care what people think of him.  He’s probably not even aware that people pass judgment of any sort.

Until now, with this very post, I haven’t been super explicit and public about my love of tarot.  Sure, I occasionally share photos of a new deck on my Facebook page or talk to a close friend about a class I’m taking, but not much more than that.  Unlike The Fool, I am human and sometimes sensitive to opinion.  In my day job, I teach college students how to construct rational written arguments… but then I come home and converse with a pack of cards?  I can see how some people would see that as silly, contradictory, or downright inappropriate.  Yes, I can see that all too well.  I have an excellent ability to imagine all the things that could go wrong and then not test the reality.  So really, the judgment is, more often than not, self-imposed.

Hey Gabriel, turn down the volume, will ya?

Well, screw that noise.

Judgment is the penultimate card of the tarot deck’s major arcana.  I’ll be honest: its end-of-times imagery and ashen corpses kind of creep me out.  But when I look at the major arcana as a cycle, The Fool’s Journey, then it becomes clear that The Fool must face judgment to inherit The World (read: reach self-realization).

Yeah, it sounds ridiculously grandiose, but the lesson applies.  When paired, The Fool and Judgment cards speak of the necessary risk of exposing oneself in order to achieve goals, whether those goals are worldly or otherworldly.

So here’s my blog.  And my goal, much like The Fool’s, is to rock a fancy tunic and not give a fuck.

I want to talk tarot and poetry with you.  The two disciplines, historically, go quite well together.  For starters, they’re both widely misunderstood and even (gasp!) feared.  And they are my passions, my obsessions.  Of course, I’m not limiting myself to those two topics—I’ll share other shiny bits and bobs that catch my eye—but I have to start somewhere (or I’ll never get anywhere).



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