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With light step, as if earth and its trammels had little
power to restrain him, a young man in gorgeous vestments
pauses at the brink of a precipice among the great heights
of the world; he surveys the blue distance before him-its
expanse of sky rather than the prospect below.
His act of eager walking is still indicated, though he is
stationary at the given moment; his dog is still bounding.
The edge which opens on the depth has no terror; it is as if
angels were waiting to uphold him, if it came about that he
leaped from the height. His countenance is full of
intelligence and expectant dream.
He has a rose in one hand and in the other a costly wand,
from which depends over his right shoulder a wallet
curiously embroidered. He is a prince of the other world on
his travels through this one-all amidst the morning glory,
in the keen air. The sun, which shines behind him, knows
whence he came, whither he is going, and how he will return
by another path after many days. He is the spirit in search
of experience. Many symbols of the Instituted Mysteries are
summarized in this card, which reverses, under high
warrants, all the confusions that have preceded it.
In his Manual Of Cartomancy, Grand Orient has a curious
suggestion of the office of Mystic Fool, as a part Of his
process in higher divination; but it might call for more
than ordinary gifts to put it into operation.
We shall see how the card fares according to the common arts
of fortune-telling, and it will he an example, to those who
can discern, of the fact, otherwise so evident, that the
Trumps Major had no place originally in the arts of psychic
gambling, when cards are used as the counters and pretexts.
Of the circumstances under which this art arose we know,
however, very little. The conventional explanations say that
the Fool signifies the flesh, the sensitive life, and by a
peculiar satire its subsidiary name was at one time the
alchemist, as depicting folly at the most insensate stage.
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