To start off the new year, here is a ritual I’ve written to engage with the Fool card of the Tarot, and specifically with the theme of play. Playing can be a way of opening ourselves up to new possibilities and to opportunities for re-envisioning our path forward. Especially for us as adults, this is not always easy, and it does not always seem reasonable. It’s not supposed to be reasonable – it’s play! Try approaching this ritual with an open mind and open heart.
To set the space, we play with each of the four Elements: with words, with actions, with laughter, and with what we wear (the way we present our bodies). Then we invite the goddess Luna to inspire us with her foolishness and wisdom, and try to bring that inspiration into being by playfully creating something. In addition to the freedom of experiencing playfulness, this creation can be a source of divination and possibly inspiration to help us imagine new possibilities for the year ahead.
A silly hat or something else to wear that makes you feel playful. If in doubt, take something not normally worn as headgear and put it on your head.
Creative materials: crayons, water paints, construction paper and a pair of scissors, clay, whatever strikes you as fun. It’s important that you choose something that is open-ended, something where you don’t feel like you have to reach a designated end state or do it “correctly.” Have lots of starter materials (blank paper) available. You may want to start over, make multiple pieces, or something else: the point is to play!
Fool card: you may want to have the Fool card from your favorite Tarot deck available as inspiration. Any time you feel as if you can’t handle the silliness, look at the Fool and invite her to lead you a little further.
Cast your space by doing something foolish. Skip, jump, or hop your way around the perimeter of your circle. Imagine your circle as a giant trampoline and bounce up and down in it to get it moving. Visualize this time and space as a blank canvas for you to express yourself in ways that might surprise you.
Circle, circle, round and round, circle cast upon the ground.
Circle, circle, round and round, circle here and now is bound.
I open myself to the divine wisdom of foolishness!
Face East and use these or other nonsense words to invoke the playfulness of Air:
Snicker-snack, snicker-snack, the vorpal blade goes snicker-snack!*
I call the Air to hear my joy and send it onward, send it back!
Face South and use the silliest actions you can think of to invoke Fire. Start with sticking out your tongue and go from there: make faces, wave your arms, dance if you want. If you do this long enough, you should start to laugh at yourself, which leads to…
Face West and laugh. Laugh at yourself, at a funny joke, at a stupid joke, at the hilarity of the universe, and when all else fails, laugh at nothing.
Face North and put on your silly hat.
In the center, invoke Luna with these words or ones of your own:
Goddess of the full moon,
change the way I think and see,
bring your light and lunacy.
Foolishness here in play is revealed,
and deeper within lies wisdom concealed.
Engage with the kind of playful creativity you have chosen. Do whatever it takes to get yourself into a state of openness and activity. Try things like letting your eyes go out of focus or working with your nondominant hand. Practice observing what you create without labeling or evaluating it. Create something first, and then tell a story about it afterward, rather than trying to express a story. Try creating more than one item.
When you are finished – and only you know when that happens – rest, and ground and center yourself.
Give thanks to Luna for her inspiration and promise to spend time considering what you have created.
Bow deeply to the North as you take off your silly hat.
Grace the West with a smile and possibly one more laugh.
Blow a kiss to the South.
Tell the East: I give thanks for the divine wisdom of foolishness!
Open your circle – perhaps by hopping backward? – and give yourself more time to rest and return to your usual mode of being.
Afterwards, possibly the next day, you may wish to journal about how it felt to do this ritual. What was difficult? What was easy? What surprised you?
Spend some time reflecting on your creation. Treat it as if it were a new Tarot card that you were trying to get to know: look for patterns, images, suggestions of all sorts. What does it suggest to you? Is there something here which might seem foolish but point the way to some other ideas for you to consider?
*With apologies to Lewis Carroll; this is part of my favorite nonsense poem, so it evokes the idea of playing with words for me.