A (late) Fool’s Day Mercury RX

“A sense of humor…is superior to any religion so far devised.” – Tom Robbins

Who else loves that the last Moonday before the Solar eclipse was both April’s Fool’s Day and the start of Mercury Retrograde in Aries?! Well this foolish heart of mine loves that this is a celebration that honors the humor of life and the importance of trickster magic!

I find it fitting that the origins of April’s Fool Day are purely speculative— it lends itself well to the enigmatic aura of the archetype. An aspect of the Fool is the relationship between knowing and not knowing. Specifically with April Fool’s day, we have the tradition of creating humor around those who are “not in the know.” It is easy to scoff at the Fool for their naivety and ignorance. There’s something to be said about our desire to be on the other side of Foolishness— to protect ourselves against the humiliation of being outside the field of knowing… more on this later. 

If you take a few moments to read through the possible genesis of the April Fool, you’ll find a common thread in some of the stories about beginnings:

It has been connected to the story of Noah’s Ark. It has also been tied to France’s switch from the Julian to Gregorian calendar in the 16th century, in which January 1 became the 1st of the year as opposed to April 1. 

In tarot, the Fool is a card of new beginnings, potential energy, optimism. Through this lens, it’s easy to see why the Fool’s Day lands in April, shortly following the Spring Equinox. 

This relationship of knowing vs. not knowing is what I find most compelling in juggling the archetype of the Fool. We arguably possess a cultural and biological fear about being left out. Inside ostracization are the seeds of our own demise— not only of our physical body but a potential ego death as well.

This brings us back around to humiliation— the ego’s greatest fear. One of the origin points of any facade we create for ourselves is the fear of appearing like we don’t know. The human ego will go to great lengths to preserve itself— even causing harm to others to protect its precious post atop the psychological food chain.

The Fool asks us some provocative and uncomfortable questions: Who is truly harmed in the process of humiliation? What is being threatened that we are so desperate to protect? Can we cultivate humility without being humiliated?

The irony is that when the Fool steps off the cliff, eyes fixed on the stars, we are sparked with an unsettling uncertainty: what do they know that I do not? We catch a momentary glimpse that perhaps we are missing out on some larger truth— the optimism, faith, and trust that our rational minds, (mis)guided by our egos, just refuse to accept. In a sleight of hand, similar to that of the magician, the Fool has turned the tables on us.

To protect ourselves from such a humiliating exposure, we can scoff, we can lambast, and we can scorn the Fool as much as we want for their innocence and simplicity but the Fool is unbothered because they have always been moving to the beat of another drum— a rhythm free from righteousness, pretension, and pride. 

Perhaps, the smile on their face and the twinkle in their eye that we took for Foolishness, is the Fool’s greatest wisdom: that if we live in a purely reasonable world, without faith in forces larger than ourselves, the joke is actually on us.

words: @dia.rizt

 

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