Tarot: The Fool and His Avatars – Charlie Chaplin Skating in Modern Times
The Fool is the only tarot Major Arcana that remains unnumbered. Sometimes represented as 0 (zero), it can refer to the beginning of a spiritual evolution.
In the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, the Fool is depicted as a young man walking merrily toward the edge of a precipice. When speaking about the divinatory meaning of the Fool, A. E. Waite offers, in his book „The Pictorial Key to the Tarot “, several possible meanings: „folly, mania, extravagance, intoxication, delirium, frenzy, bewrayment“. However, for Waite, the main spiritual significance of The Fool is „the spirit in search of experience “.
In literature, painting and cinema, there are many scenes that more or less accurately illustrate the meaning of this Major Arcana. One of the most beautiful is the roller skating scene from „Modern Times“, the 1936 movie starring Charles Chaplin and Paulette Goddard.
As long as he is a Fool, he is not afraid; he doesn’t feel in danger of falling. Blindfold, he doesn’t seem to care about the rules or the dangers of this world. Only after his friend makes him see again like a normal man (not like a Fool), he becomes aware of the danger and loses all his rolling skills.
This is how this famous scene was actually created.
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