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march 2023: on want, and desire, and finding the fool

march 2023: on want, and desire, and finding the fool
finding the fool & cards from the moonchild tarot

hello, friends.

today is the official publication day for my book, finding the fool: a tarot journey to radical transformation! designed to empower, encourage, and support your work with the tarot, this book walks you through not only the 78 cards and their various correspondences (astrological, numerological, and elemental) but also offers journal prompts, exercises, questions, activities, accompanying tools, and spreads to help empower you to build a relationship with the tarot that is actually yours. no memorization or boring keywords here: finding the fool is about facilitating card definitions and meanings that come from within you.

i can't believe this book is finally out in the world, and i hope you truly love it.

releasing a book is a huge deal, and this next month or two will likely be a busy one for me. (to that point: if you have a podcast or book club or interview series or event that you think would be a good fit, let's chat.) but i still wanted to send you some words and thoughts on the fool, what this figure can teach us, the act of wanting, and the insights of desire.

take a few deep breaths, shake out your limbs, and let's get into it.

if you want want what you want want, then you want it

songs have the capacity to hold so much more than the lyrics, melodies, harmonies, rhythms that define them. music lives within us, around us, soaks into our skin, pulses in our heartbeats and shuddering breaths, burrows into our bones. it's a memory caught in amber, an anchor to a place that lives in our minds and hearts, an opportunity to go anywhere we please, anywhere we need, at any given time.

the right song can transport and transfix us, helping us figure out who we are, what we long for, how we want to move through the world. it can even serve as a talisman, a portal, an open doorway to a place that exists within us.

only appropriate, only right, to make a playlist for my book, one that captures the frantic desire and feral wildness and aching, endless hunger of the fool: the restlessness and the contentedness, the reaching and the holding, the emptiness and the completion. the fool is everything and nothing, beginning and ending, gratitude and anticipation, all wrapped up in one delicious contradiction. this figure has so many faces, so many voices, and this playlist introduces different versions of the fool overlapping, singing in harmony, reaching towards a far-off horizon.

but the playlist had to start with a song i have had burning through my veins for months, once i've been mildly obsessed with since i first heard it late last year — i simply had no choice in the matter.

at its simplest, this whole album is about different kinds of desire. but want want off of maggie rogers' 2022 release surrender is a particularly perfect song for a need you feel deep in your bones, when you want something desperately enough that you just keep coming back to it no matter what you do, where you go, who you become, how you change, whatever else you might find or achieve or complete.

meg self-portrait, august 2022 // maggie rogers on the cover of surrender, july 2022 // a legit coincidence that could not be ignored

this is an itch that simply must be scratched, a dream that must be pursued.

if you want want what you want want, then you want it
can't hide what you desire once you're on it
can't fake what you can't break up with
if you understand that a few years won't erase it
might die if you can't live just to taste it
want want what you want want, then you want it
and I want you

a few mentions of the word want isn't nearly enough: in this song, rogers uses it more than 50 times, over and over, incessantly and obsessively. her want is all-consuming, all-encompassing, total and complete, unapologetic. and while there's messiness here, a restless and hungry need that eclipses everything else, she also talks about this song as celebrating "the power of prioritizing pleasure," of experiencing "feral joy," of letting ourselves just want what we want.

(i know that this song is mostly about great sex. stick with me anyway.)

can desire blow up your life if you act hastily, recklessly? can it push you to do things you never thought you would do, by pursuing something you can't stop thinking about? and can it cause real harm if you prioritize your desires over everything else? absolutely. i'm not telling you to be negligent, to be an asshole, to hurt people you love or blow off important commitments or sloppily dismantle your entire life just to chase something that may never be.

but what i am saying is that desire itself deserves respect, attention, mindfulness, that it is a part of us we should not deny. left to its own devices, growing desire can eat us alive, turn us inside out, even make us resent wonderful things that we already have. but in acknowledging desire, in letting it take up space, we learn so much about who we are, and can make thoughtful, intentional choices about what we pursue.

we can learn from our desire, instead of being consumed by it.

in recognizing desire for what it is, we uncover something that we value, something that we may need to investigate further, something that could be even more important than we realized. we make room for the possibility of more, for new, for different.

i keep runnin' away
but when I leave, you pull me in again
oh, here we go
i hold my breath and count the times
i walked my feet up to the line
oh, we both know

and one of the figures that can teach us to embrace and embody our desire, to let it lead us into something magical and new and real, to celebrate desire instead of fearing it, is the fool.

i've written this so many times, but it still bears repeating: the major arcana simply would not happen without the fool's pursuit of their desire, without the fool moving forward towards an elusive goal, without the fool making choices and taking action and fucking up and trying again, again, again. the fool's desire fills in all of the missing spaces of the journey, lives in the wild in-between that bridges every archetype. this desire encourages growth, facilitates transformation, anchors and explores in equal measure.

it's why seeking and finding the fool is so important: because if we let them, the fool can help us identify our own motivating force, and be honest with ourselves about what shapes our priorities. when we look for the fool's energy in our readings, as well as in our daily lives, we start to uncover new truths in everything.

what lives behind, underneath, and within the steps you take? what are you aiming for, searching for, reaching for? what craving stirs your blood and steals your attention, lives in your heartbeat, emerges when you least expect it?

and if you got a moment, i want on it
want-want on it, on it
and if you got another hour, i want all of it

whether you grew up in a restrictive religion like me or not, it's very likely that you have a complicated relationship with desire. basics and essentials are one thing, but cravings — those things that we so easily write off as frivolous, selfish, luxurious, unnecessary — those can feel like something we don't deserve to name or strive for: the wishes, the dreams, the aspirations; the big and bold, the quiet and pervasive; the extra and over-the-top. the things that we feel that we have to justify. the things we convince ourselves we could live without, and often do.

this perspective on desire can fuck us up. it can keep us trapped in situations that we don't actually want to be in: staying in a job or relationship or situation longer than is good for us, avoiding an ambition because we're too afraid of disrupting the status quo, denying something within us that we want with a desperation that scares us. but selfishness is not the opposite of gratitude, is not the same as apathy or resentment. it takes strength to admit what we want, to own what we crave.

it takes courage to recognize and respect our desire, because when desire is deep it requires a choice: do we chase that desire, or do we release it?

don't wanna wait another moment, i want on it
want-want on it, on it
don't wanna wait another hour, i want all of it
want-want, want

finding the fool can give us an anchor point into our own hearts and souls, an avatar that we can follow through the twists and turns, the highs and lows, the shadows and the sunshine. it can give us something to hang onto as we interrogate our own dreams, can show us what it looks like to pursue something new, something essential.

the fool asks: what do you want? not what does everyone else want, not what are you supposed to want, not what do you wish you wanted — what do you actually, truly, authentically, honestly, deeply, powerfully want? what is engaging you, driving you, threatening to consume you? what is motivating your choices, whether you realize it or not? what lives beneath your actions, your dreams, your movements? what makes you catch your breath when you think about it, pulls you back in over and over?

finding the fool & cards from the moonchild tarot

and what happens if you let that want take up space, guide your actions, start new journeys? what if you rearranged your entire life to strive for what you want? what if you let your desire matter? what then?

thank you for reading, for supporting my work, and for cheering me on. paid subscribers on every tier will receive an exclusive finding the fool tarot spread later this month, so if you've been thinking about upping your subscription, this is a great time to do so.

for more on me, my book, and my relationship with tarot, don't miss recent conversations with rebecca scolnick, glenn siepert, and my beloved partner and fellow writer, jeanna kadlec, as well as this gorgeous review from autostraddle's dani janae. i'lll have more podcasts and interviews to share soon!

and if you've already gotten your hands on a copy, ratings and reviews on goodreads, amazon, and storygraph go a long way towards helping other people discover this book too.

wishing you an inspiring, transformative, desire-fueled march.