THE FOOL BECOMES THE NAMELESS ONE
The Nameless One is the Tarot, for he is the container-resolver, and is the author of the scrolls he carries, which is the Tarot or the Book of T. Furthermore, he bears the signature T, which stands for Thoth-Tehuti and for the Tarot; also the T is the cross of initiation. The T on the Book of the Nameless One plainly says that Thoth-Tehuti is the author of these Books and that he is synonymous with the Nameless One.
Thoth-Tehuti’s hieroglyph is which is T’i.
Thoth-Tehuti, one of the oldest of the gods, was the chief friend of man in Egypt and he was the Moon god who measured time. He, along with Osiris, weighed the heart and balanced the scales in the ritual of the Book of the Dead. Thoth-Tehuti, also known as Truth, was the one who invented the alphabet and he was the scribe of the gods.
Therefore, Thoth-Tehuti is the Nameless One who reads the scrolls that he himself has written as he leaves the desert and the pit of bones behind him and steps towards verdant, flower-filled fields, or the fields of Life. The desert represents death; and the pit of bones was the precipice into which, as the Fool, the Nameless One fell again and again.
Who is the Nameless One?
Who may name the unnameable?
He is the One and the One is nameless.
The Nameless One enters the field; and by asking the question “Who am I?” he commences the journey that will lead him to the Knower, the Self. However, he already knows and contains his goal. He contains all from the beginning. Furthermore, he wears the amethyst hand of initiation on his forward leg; therefore he is an initiate, which is to say a Knower.
Formerly the Nameless One was the Fool. And doubtless it was the Fool, the zero of the old deck, who asked the question “Who am I?” and thus became the Nameless One.
For the Fool very certainly did not know who he was and assumed himself to be that which he was not and that is why he fell into the precipice to be consumed by the crocodile. A prey to delusion, he had no center and lived in the world of externals.
In the medieval decks, the Fool, sometimes masked, is depicted as wearing the belled, capped garments of the typical court fool, and he carries a bag upon his back which shows that he is a rootless wanderer. We do not know what the bag contains, but it undoubtedly contains all his belongings and may contain the entire pack of the Tarot which he has not read. He is fleeing headlong towards a precipice which he fails to see, pursued by a dog which is attacking him. Sometimes, in the older decks, this animal is a cat. In some versions of the Tarot, the crocodile of earth-time-matter is lurking in the precipice, waiting to devour him. The Fool carries a stick with which he might conceivably either feel his way and be warned of the precipice or beat off the angry, attacking dog (or cat), but he does neither. He is frightened and has panicked. The outer world, in which he has believed too thoroughly but deludedly, is overtaking him.
In early times, the precursor of the Fool was dressed in the garment of the King and, as the King, met death at the hands of the populace. This was a symbolic death for the King. The Fool may easily have mistaken the King’s garments for reality and thought he was indeed a King. That is why he was a Fool. A fool is one who is deceived. He is “fooled”.
The Fool was a lost wanderer, meaning he had no center within himself. He had not found himself. He did not know who he was. Reality to him consisted of externals. That is why he was deceived as to his role. He failed to pay attention to reality as it was, in the here and now. The dog, detecting him for a falsity, knowing him to be not the King but one masquerading, drove him over the cliff unto death. This is one was of interpreting the symbol. The meaning of this is, of course, universal. A man who believes in externals and has no true center within himself and does not even know who he is is doomed to Death. He is a Fool.
Thus was the Fool driven unto death through the gates of illusion – or through misunderstanding the nature of reality, of his own being. He misunderstands reality, falls prey to Maya or illusion, mainly because he does not know who or what he is.
The Fool, the zero of the older Tarot, was often mistakenly compared to the Christ. But the Christ, although dressed in mock garments as the King of the Jews, was no Fool. The Christ, however, still was the Zero card, moving the entire deck a step ahead with his cosmic understanding.
The Nameless One of the Book of T suffers from no illusion or delusion. He has climbed out of the pit into which the Fool fell and has left the desert, death, behind him. He has been reborn and now steps towards flower-filled fields or the spring-time of Life. He wears no garment; he is naked. His only ornamentation is the purple band.
He is carrying two scrolls. He is reading them in the present Now. One of the scrolls is folded; the other unfolded. It is possible that the folded scroll, in his right hand, is the one he will unfold to read at the next turn of the spiral – or at the time when the present cycle is completed and the next set of Tarot symbols is given.
In the notes accompanying the description of the Tarot Books, the following was written regarding the scrolls:
“The rosetta stone is rolled away from the tomb of the dead king. The tomb is empty save for the living child. A burden is lifted and a free soul flies onward. Yellow eyes, unblinking, have numbered the years. Thru the portal enters the recorder to the chamber of scrolls. he goes in aloneness, he unfolds the past. That which is writ, he wrote. It is read now and, re-written, the scrolls are wrapped again. He leaves the chamber and seals the portal. The wheel turns a revolution”.
The scrolls that the recorder, Thoth-Tehuti, the Nameless One, himself wrote, have been re-written and are now being read.
Along the path of the Nameless One trots an obedient cat-dog, a combination creature who is the transmutation of the dog or cat who formerly pursued the Fool and resulted in his death. What is this cat-dog? The instincts and passions, which formerly drove him, now, tamed, docilely accompany him upon his way, neither leading him nor chasing him. The cat-dog also represents the female-male aspects of his nature, or the former duality, now oned and tamed.
Over the head of the Nameless One hovers the Spider – the Cosmic Spider or Great Mother who spins the web of Destiny. She hangs by a thread from a giant web which we do not see. Who or what is the Spider? The Spider, although clearly separate from the Nameless One, is also a part of him and indispensable to him. One gets the impression that the Spider is enormously sentient and aware and that the Nameless One senses through every one of its tentacles or legs. The Spider does not appear to be sinister; rather it is protective. The Spider is the Nameless One’s constant connection with the Divine and with the Web of the Universal Spinning – or, with the entire Manifestation of the One Being. Thus in the Book of the Nameless One there is a hint that there is a One beyond the One or the Self, and that there is a constant flow of connection between the two. There is, however, no feeling of duality. Rather there is a feeling of a great dimension of Beingness behind Being.
The Cosmic Spider, spinner of the Web of Destiny, is directly connected with the Royal Maze, whose meaning is Destiny, which appears later. The Tarot is Destiny. Destiny is the manifestation of the Tarot. And what is Destiny?
Destiny is always NOW. Destiny is the motion of the One or the One in Motion – the One (or the Nameless One) who is always writing. And while the past is contained in the Now, the Now is forever Now and is not pre-ordained except in terms of that which the One enacts from within – now.
Another way of expressing the connection between the Nameless One and the Spider is to say that the Nameless One is the Spider or the Spinner of the Web of Destiny. And the Spider is Desire, or that within the One which is the cause of the Manifestation and therefore is forever.
There is a mystery implicit in the Spider. Later the symbol of the Spider is re-expressed by the Feeler, the Prime Mover, in which the spider appears as the constellation of Cancer, the Crab, over the Feeler’s head.
Thus it is hinted, in the Book of the Nameless One, that the Spider, Desire, is the Prime Mover.
The Spider is also connected with the Mother, the Creator, and its thread is the umbilical cord connecting it with the infinite Womb.
But the Nameless One is not lost nor entangled in the Web of Destiny. Its threads may be his way of unwinding the passageways of the castles of the Moon in the labyrinth of the Royal Maze once he comes to it; and, indeed, the Cosmic Spider is that which has led him to write the Royal Maze Book, Destiny, for his own unravelling.