You only have to look at the ever-expanding catalog of stress-related symptoms (a Google search yields nearly a million results) and stress-relief solutions (ten million Google results) to recognize that we are, literally, plagued with worry.
On top of the normal strain and anxiety of our everyday lives — health, school, jobs, families, finances, relationships — we are bombarded nonstop with the cacophony of news, information, analysis and chatter that our electronic devices hurl at us. We can know what’s going on everywhere the instant it is happening, be it down the street or on the other side of the planet…even as we have fewer and fewer ways to distinguish whether what’s coming at us is fact or fiction. Put it all together and the intellectual and emotional overload can be overwhelming. Some days it can be paralyzing.
So why apply a centuries-old concept to a twenty-first century problem? Because the Fool is more than the first card of a tarot deck. It’s more than a game piece or metaphysical divination device. It’s an archetype, a sort of mythic character that lives inside us — inside the collective unconscious of all humanity. And like all archetypes, it speaks to our very essence as human beings…to an aspect of our consciousness that not only evokes powerful emotions and reveals who we are at our deepest levels but that can offer powerful tools for living that are available to all of us.
The archetype of the Fool offers a particularly potent set of tools to help us deal with the intensity of these times. How? By showing us how we can minimize worry and maximize joy, how we can dissolve the blocks that hold us back from accessing and experiencing our passion, how we can take those leaps of faith that free us to soar into our heart’s desire.
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