Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Key-0-The Fool and the Connolly Tarot-Key-0-The Fool
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Key-0-The Fool and the Connolly Tarot-Key-0-The Fool

The Tarot of EliThe Thoth Deck Card-The Fool, is the Divine Negative above the Tree of Life; the source of all things. It is the Dark Energy, the Unknowable, the innocent and it is the Vacuum part of Air.

The Fool card is attributed to the Hebrew Letter Aleph, which means Ox, and by its shape represents a plowshare, making the symbol Phallic. Yet,
Aleph is the first of the Mother letters, Mem and Shim are the others, making this card a womb as well. These three letters correspond to all the triads that occur in the Thoth Deck cards, notably, Fire, Air and Water; Father, Mother, Son (Sun); Sulfur, Salt, Mercury; And the Hindu, Rajas, Sattvas and Tamas.

The Fool, is the Qabalistic zero, which is the equation of the Universe; the initial and final balance of the opposites.
If we assume that the Tarot is of Egyptian origin of Thoth, (Crowley obviously does) then the medieval  name for this card Le Mat (from the Italian, Matto which means mad-man or fool) becomes Maut, the Egyptian Vulture Goddess who was a more sublime modification of Nuit that Isis.

Amongst the legends concerning the Vulture, there are two most prominent and they are that the Vulture has a  spiral neck (the Universe according to Einstein, is of Spiral energy----we call this Spirit) and the other, is that the Vulture is supposed to reproduce her species by the intervention of wind. In other words, Air/Mind is considered the Father of all Manifested existence. This Fool, (derived from follis, which means wind-bag) is both the Father and Mother in the most abstract of terms.
Then there is the legend of  Prometheus who stole fire from his Father Zeus, and gave it to mankind (The Life Force) and was considered a Savior. For his punishment he was chained to a mountain by Zeus and a Vulture would swoop down every 7 days and eat his liver  (somehow this never killed him) which would regenerate in time to be eaten again. The legend goes on to say that he was later saved by the Goddess Hathor, but it is important to note, that Fire is Spirit, and Mountain means Earth and Vulture is the Goddess of Reincarnation ( the number seven is the number of the Goddess). So basically, Prometheus (Fire-bearer) was disowned and was made human and had to live and die with mankind.

Some might call that theft Foolish, others would call him the Savior. Therefore the connection between foolishness and holiness are traditional. In the East the madman is believed to be "possessed" by divinity, a holy man or prophet. This was also a belief of many Native American nations. In our western culture, so deep is this identity of the fool, that it is buried in our language. "Silly" means empty, i.e. The Vacuum of Air, Zero. And the word is from the German Selig which means, holy or blessed. This describes the Innocence of the Fool. Since He/She is the Whole (Holy) one the Fool is also compared to the "Holy Ghost".

In the Divine Creative, there is no separation of male and female (there isn't really one now either) as Male is expressive and female is receptive, both aspects are attributed to the Fool, the Divine Creative and in each of us. Thus male is easily categorized as electric/expressive and female as magnetic/receptive, in an electromagnetic universe. In Qabalah this union is called Force and Form.

In the Thoth Deck the Fool is illustrated as the "Green Man", the "April Fool", who to many Medieval cultures, is the Personification of the mysterious phenomena that produces Spring.

Any way you look at it, The Great Fool, is a definite doctrine. The Survival mind is always looking for a Savior but Salvation (whatever that may mean) is not obtained by any reasonable means. Reason is an impasse, a damnation, only divine madness , offers an issue.

This is the formula of the Tetragrammaton.[ Zero = plus 1 plus minus 1] Which is also the formula for male and female. Let me give you a clue, if you manifest a male-polarity form on this side of the Mirror of Light, than your identity on the other-side of the Mirror is Female in polarity, forming a "Mobius loop" or figure eight shape of a circle that is "twisted" or made spiral. Welcome to the concept of Hermes-Aphrodite...Divine Hermaphrodite!
To try and clarify the point of  Tetragrammaton; Crowley  summed this up as: "The Union (Communion) of the Father and Mother produces Twins, the son  going forward to the daughter and the daughter returning the energy to the Father; by this cycle of change the stability and eternity of the Universe is assured." Too understand this, it may be necessary to go back through history to the Matriarchal age. It was a time where succession was not through the first born son but through the daughter. The King was not ruler by inheritance but rather by the right of conquest. In the stable societies of the time, the king was a stranger; a foreigner. He then had to kill the old king and marry the daughter. The Anglo-Saxon word husband meant,"Keeper of her property". So the King was a seen as a care-taker/guardian of Her Land.

Respect for the wandering mad-man or lunatic runs high throughout history. As it still does in India and other Asian nations. In fact a common quote in medieval times is, "This queer stranger? Let us entreat him kindly. it may be that we entertain an angel unawares." Study into Percival, Mako-the son of Set,or Sebek (crocodile god),or even Hoor-Pa-Kraat may help explain the Fool cosmogony.
On the Tree of Life, the first is Kether-0-, who represents the Pure Being, which is an aspect of pure No-thing, Force and Form hasn't been invented yet. In Kether's manifestation of the Pure Being, he is not one but two; His divine name is Eheieh, which means I AM (I plus Am =2) but he is only One because he is zero, as existence (I AM) is not entity. One leads to nowhere, which is where it came from. So the only possible beginning is in Two, Kether (crown) and Chokma (Wisdom)/Force and that force must be silence because the number 3, Binah's number (understanding-Form) has not yet been formulated and therefore unconscious.

In other words, there is no form of Mother, Binah is the Virgin Mother, nor is there a Male form, because Male is a Form of Force, and no Form has yet been invented, so When Binah (conscious) is impregnated by silent Wisdom (unconscious), she has not known a male! Male and Female where both invented at the same moment when the Twins were born from silent Wisdom impregnation.  Therefore with Kether and Chokma, there is impulse but nothing else, until Binah is formed out of Understanding. Only when impulse is interpreted, it becomes "The Word", or the Logos, i.e. the phallus and the womb! I could go on and on confusing you into abject despondency, but I think this is enough to stimulate  a different perspective about the Universe and it's Divine Creative Collective Unconscious.

The Fool -0, is not a key card, for key cards are about doors or gateways of knowledge being opened. No-thing has nowhere to go---so it 0. It is all the Power that ever was or will be and in us, around us, above us and below us, but human eyes ("I's") can't see it.

 Therefore The Fool is the most esoteric of all the Arcane. Every card in the Tarot Deck is an aspect of THE FOOL-0, and therefore, 78 different aspects of your Whole Psyche, that includes but is not limited to, the Qabalistic depiction of the Tree of Life.

As a Path, THE FOOL connects Kether -1-(Crown) with Chokmah-2- (Wisdom). To the Qabalist, Kether is known as the Source of All, and Chokmah is known as Father God or God of the Covenant and yet Chokmah (Wisdom) is a Hebrew feminine noun, so once again our understanding of "separate Sex" needs adjustment to understand this.

The Path of Aleph, meaning OX, is about the "flowing of Life Force and creative power", showing the "SPIRIT'S aim to be that of Earth and/or Sensual Being. Crowley symbolizes this "Holy Spirit" ( The Spirit on every level of the Tree of Life)  as a dove in the Thoth Deck Card. Crowley also called The Letter Aleph, a phallic symbol, but then so is the Projected Will that is THE MAGUS-Key 1, and one wonders if Crowley was so besotted with the Phallus, that he was unable to see anything else; However, truth be told, by reference to Sexes and sexuality do we come to the minutest glimmering of understanding about the Universe.

To even begin understanding THE FOOL, we must entertain  a multifaceted and fluid interpretation of Force and Form. 
Paul Foster Case calls this Eleventh Path, in his book THE THIRTY-TWO PATHS OF WISDOM, the fiery or Scintillating Intelligence. which makes sense as The Path of Aleph boarders on the Limitless Light (Ain Soph), which is "not" or "naught", Light without limit which is darkness to us who need a beginning and a end to see. So here we try to explain what can't be seen as The Fiery Darkness which is the possibility of vibration or motion and the First Perception of the One having potential for activity.

In the context of Masculine sexuality, the Fool is the Testes, and the Magus is the Phallus,(represented by the three flowers beneath the spread legs of THE FOOL(which are blue and therefore represent the Divine Feminine!). The Magus therefore, directs active first flow from the Kether/Fool rather than potentiality doing so. However, I fear that this is a rather limiting concept of the O-NE, as the Ain Soph is "No-Thing", but then, all concepts are less than the potential for conception.

We may reason that the potential for thought, comes from the Dark Energy as does Dark Matter (The First Material that is Thought). The appearance of Thought emanates Mind, which is the vessel for Thought Form and/or ideas which are understood by Imagination.  The Imagination, Is therefore the Divine Womb of the Divine Creative- transcending all reason. Thus, our reason, leaves us with more questions than answers but necessarily so because we then must build (create) the answers to continually conceive of questions! This cycle alone insures active mind!

Limitlessness is a very difficult concept! To say that THE FOOL represents the initial potential for thought which transcends reason, is about the best I can do with words. However, the special reality we may touch in sleep, often gives us images that do not correlate to our mundane understanding of reality, so our dreams seem to be so much abstraction and are considered as nonsense to our waking condition. However, the Great Work (As above so below) involves the assimilation of  The Real, rather than a reality conceived of mundane ideas base on self-absorbed survival thinking. And The Real Concepts are from "what is Not", (the "other side of the mirror") making "What is" from the Dreams of Self Reflection and/or Potential Self Identity!

To think of the Universe as "God Dreaming" (Darkness Dreaming it is Light) is very difficult to grasp, and the fact that you are a "Lucid" Dreamer (Image of God), who has been given the "Power of Observation", meaning you can change the Perspective of "Things" and thus transform them, is just about as mind boggling as it gets! Even so, just such a glimmer of insight requires a "beyond the Mundane" understanding of Self! Thus, your Divinity is not often acknowledge by the mundane sight of "I"; However, your Womb, the conception of "the image of God", is the invisible Sephira, Daath (knowledge), which is the Path Where Goddess (Understanding)/God (Wisdom) meet face to face ( Tibetan,Yab Yum) and is known as the Path of Daleth- which is Key 3-THE EMPRESS, your Spiritual Birth Mother/ Feminine Principle of the Divine Creative!

I'll end this brief dissertation on the Fool, with this: All the Paths leading upward to Kether,THE FOOL, THE MAGUS, AND THE HIGH PRIESTESS, must be approached with a certain understanding of whimsy, as we realize that by crossing the Abyss and approaching Kether (As above, so below) means the total annihilation of Self as we perceive it, thus presenting us with the irony of our attempt to grasp such esoteric and refined principles from an earthly-mundane perspective.

Often, when teaching the Major Arcana and knowing what I speak, cannot truly convey what I am saying, brings a smile, if not outright laughter to my face. To me, The I AM potential is ironically displayed as a limited conception--a Me. Being a "Me" must never be taken to seriously, for that concept will change daily, when one walks the Paths of the Tree of Life.

The design of the Thoth Fool card represents many mythological explanations of this Principle:
  1. The Thoth Deck Fool, has the horns of Dionysus Zagreus, and between them is the phallus  cone of white light---indicating the influence of Kether-Crown, upon him.
  2. His background is Air, drawing from Space and his attitude is that of one bursting unexpectedly on the world. A good simile for Time.
  3.  He is clad in the Green of Spring and wears the Phallic gold shoes of the Sun.
  4.  In his right hand is the Wand tipped in a pyramid of white---simulating Kether.
  5. In his left hand is the flaming pine-cone, indicating vegetable growth under the same Fiery influence of the White light.
  6. From his left shoulder, hangs a bunch of bagged grapes, representing sweetness, fertility and the basis for ecstasy (Ecstasy gave birth to the Universe); shown by the stem of the grapes forming into  rainbow hued spirals; The form of the Universe.
  7. Upon this spiral whorl are other attributions of the "godhead"; the vulture of Maut, the dove of Venus (Mari, or Isis) and the sacred ivy of the Devotees of the Green Man.
  8. There is also a buttery fly of many-colored air and the winged globe with its twin-serpents, which is echoed by the twin infants embracing on the middle spiral. 
  9. Above is the benediction of three flowers in one (Kether, Chokmah, Binah).
  10. The tiger (fear) is fawning unnoticed on his leg.
  11.  And beneath his feet runs the Nile with lotus stems and a crouching crocodile (Sebek).
The whole Fool card is a glyph of the Creative Light which is Dark Energy and unseen by the naked eye.

Unless there are many surrounding cards of a very spiritual nature or the position of the Fool card is thrown into  a highly spiritual position in the reading, a more mundane reading of the Fool card is often warranted.

The Connolly Tarot Deck, is like the Thoth deck in number. Out of a total of 78 cards, 22 are Key or Major Arcana, and 56 minor (court cards are considered minor) arcana.
Eileen Connolly, along with her son Peter Paul Connolly, designed the Connolly Tarot Deck. The art work is associated with the stain glass cathedral medieval art.

Eileen Connolly, P.H.D, is one of the world's leading authorities on tarot, numerology, and other esoteric sciences. Many tarot and educational institutions use her works as text books. Dr. Connolly is president of the Connolly University of Parapsychology, established in 1969 and an adjunct professor of Atlantic University, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Her first book, was written to introduce tarot to the beginning student and to introduce all to the Royal Road.
Her son, Peter Paul Connolly, is the artistic talent of these cards. He was born in Farnworth, Lancashire, England on August 1, 1964, and entered the USA, with his parents in 1968. His unique style of art is his own, as he has had no professional training. With 18 months of tireless effort, he has forged these colorful cards, under the supervision of his Mother. He has also illustrated novelty and gift cards, humorous calendars and books while also doing individually commissioned works.

The Connolly Tarot-Fool-key 0:
Behind the fool, we see his ocean of Spirituality from which he has climbed the cliffs of Higher Consciousness.

He seems poised in a process of choice making. He is standing on the purple path of his Mastery (The Royal Color) as laid down by his Mentor and Master teacher. His pink and purple tunic illustrate his strength to make the right choice.

With leafy wand, denoting the fertile nature of his mind and will, along with his faithful companion, the dog representing the animal mind and/or physical matter, his is to begin a journey based on his decision at the cross roads of choice. The Yellow of the Sun, his higher consciousness, is shown in his tights and red-feathered yellow cap. The Red Feather is Representative of  the element of fire (Spirit).

When thrown during a reading, the Fool represents;
  • Being at the cross roads of choice, important decision think carefully.
  • Idea, thought, spirituality and that which endeavors to rise above the material world.
However, if the question of the querent is regarding a material event of an ordinary life rather than a spiritual enlightenment, this card is not well defined. Herein, it shows folly, foolishness, stupidity, eccentricity and even mania.
  • The Fool is too ideal and unstable to be generally good in material things. One should then consult the dog-his faithful companion the Subconscious.
  • The Fool is more about a willingness to "Throw oneself into the Abyss of the Unknown" rather than operating in a reasonable manner.

Thank you for your interest, comments, and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper!

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