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Arthurian Tarot~ Card 0 The Fool~ Percivale

MEANING The beginning of adventure establishing a path. The enthusiasm which accompanies the onset of a new project or idea. The dawn of new experiences, the broadening of horizons, and the envisioning of goals and ambitions. Unaware of the pitfalls, one embraces the future with great optimism. Depending on the surrounding cards, this innocence and undaunted manner may serve one well, impiring others with one's infectious energy. In such a state of mind one is free to enjoy life and indulge in wonderful, if occasionally unrealistic, imaginings of the future. REVERSED Excessive, irrational behaviour. The disregard of or inability to recognize worthwhile opportunities. The delay of growth as a result of insecurity the lack of conviction that leads to aimless wandering without fulfilment. Ignoring the heart's desires in favour of an easier route. DESCRIPTION AND SYMBOLISM Percivale looks to his future-Camelot. The clouds part and the sun shines, revealing the castle in all her splendour. Washed clean by the rain, she shows her best face to the newcomer. For Percivale, this represents an inviting opportunity, the fairy-tale sense encouraging his hopes and ambitions. The emblem of the Knights of the Round Table hangs over the gatehouse, representing a realistic goal, achievable with discipline. The scene symbolizes a return to the sense of wonder, optimism, and faith commonly felt in childhood. The dog expresses this exuberance and playful nature, reflecting Percivale's positive outlook and bright hopes for the future. Everything about the card is fresh and new. The green of the trees symbolizes fertility and possibilities; the blue butterfly, beauty and freedom; the clear river, purity and good will. Percivale gazes at the emblem of the Round Table. This expresses his infatuation with the goal while neglecting the path. He seems oblivious to the fact that he stands on a ledge. Likewise, he does not notice the squires who tend the horses. This wams that one must pay attention to details, the sacrifices, and struggles that exist on the path to any goal. At this point Pencivale is unaware that before becoming a knight he must first be a squire. The adventure begins... 

Percivale Percivale spent his childhood in a remote part of Wales. And being so far from the court his mother had hoped to shield him from the heroic songs and tails that would encourage him to take up a career in arms. Despite all her eflorts, howevef, Percivale encountered this foreign world when one afternoon he happened across some of Arthur's knights passing through the forest. Having never seen a knight before, Percivale was dazzled by the sight and thought them to be angels. Much to his mothers dismay, Percivale was determined to follow them to Camelot and become a Knight of the Round Table. It broke her heart to think of the dangerous and violent life Percivale had chosen, but in realizing nothing would dissuade her innocent and inquisltive son, she saw him off with the gift of a new homespun tunic and some words of advice. (See Three of Shields.) On arriving in Camelot, Percivale promptly asked to be made a knight. All laughed at his ignorance, but Arthur kindly explained that he would have to earn the title by rising through the ranks, beginning as kitchen knave. The young Percivale caused chaos wherever he went, but even though he tried people's patience most looked upon him with affection. Percivale matured and eveptually received his knighthood. In the early days of his career he happened upon a maimed man fishing from a boat. Unknown to Percivale, this man was the Fisher King, who oftered the young knight lodgings in his nearby castle. Although grateful for the invitation, Percivale was surprised and puzzled-he had been told there were no castles for many miles. While in the Grail Castle, Percivale was witness to the mysterious procession of the Grail. The young lodger remained silent as it passed before him and into an adjoining chamber. It was a strange and wonderful sight, like nothing he had ever seen. Thinking himself polite, Percivale restrained himself from asking any questions concerning the Grail. This was a very unfortunate circumstance, for had he asked, thereby showing interest and concern, both the Fisher King and his wasting lands would have been healed. Having failed this test, Percivale awoke the next morning to find himself alone in the mysterious castle. Quite baffled, Percivale mounted his horse and left the castle. As he neared the end of the drawbridge, however, it began to close, seemingly of its own accord. Horse and rider were forced to jump to reach the bank. Percivale would later realize his grave mistake in failing to ask a question and would spend many years trying to find the Otherworldly Castle of the Grail. Percivale eventually became one of Arthur's greatest knights. Percivale, Galahad, and Bors made up what is known as The Three Elect – the three who would achieve the Holy Grail. On his second visit to the castle, Percivale and his companions were successful. Galahad healed the wounded king, lifting the curse over the land (in earlier accounts Percivale is the hero, as Galahad is the later literary addition to the story). Having looked deep into the mystery of the Grail, Galahad no longer wished to live and died amidst great beauty. The Grail King instructed Bors to carry the news to the world dubbing him "The Messenger". He then appointed Percivale his replacement as Grail Guardian, dubbing him "The Keeper of the High Word". 

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