The Fool: Monou Saya

The Fool

Traditionally, this is the first card of the series. Its number is zero, which means that it is beyond other numbers. Sometimes, however, it's palced at the end of sequence. Either way, it represents the beginning or the end of a cycle or process.

In the X deck it seems, at first glance, to be the one farthest from traditional imagery. After all, Monou Saya as a mermaid in the depths of the sea bears little resemblance to a young man walking lightly along the edge of a precipice. Gone are the dog and the bundle the young man is carrying in the original card, as well as the white flower in his hand. However, even if the images themselves have changed, the meaning remains remarkably untouched.

The posture of the character: In both the original card and CLAMP's interpretation, the figure's face is turned upwards. This signifies evolution, potential, and a changing reality. ln the original card, the fact that the young man is looking at the sky, while seemingly ignoring the abyss at his feet, is taken to mean that he isn't really of this world. He is the soul that travels through this world in search of knowledge and experience, but is still focused onthat other world. Similarly, Saya isn't really of this world at any time during the course of X. Her very appearance as a mermaid is testimony to that.

The Shinken (equivalent to the bundle in the original): The bundle that the original young man carries has several meanings. On the one hand it's the baggage that human beings carry during their journey through life. It also signifies the physical, palpable world, the way we are attached to our bodies and everything that entails. Last of all, it has been compared to Christ's cross: a burden that the bearer carries willingly, a mission that he has accepted. It's the last interpretation that seems most appropiate when applied to the X card. Monou Saya willingly accepted to cary out a task, mission for the sake of the world. Her bundle is the sword, which she carried within her own body, finally "giving birth" to it, thus carrying out her mission at the expense of her own life.

The missing dog: In the original card, a dog seems to be nipping at the young man's leg, while he ignores it to look up at the sky. Again, this manifests that the character has turned his back to this world and is seeking something on another plane. It means that he is /above/ matter. While there is no parallel in the X card, the fact remains that Saya turned /her/ back on the world, on her family even, for the sake of a greater purpose.

Overall meaning: The Fool represents the beginning or end of a cycle. As the first card of the Tarot, it is the soul that embarcs on a quest for knowledge but that hasn't yet attained that knowledge. It encompasses change and potential, everything that /could/ be but that hasn't yet come to pass.

In X, it is Saya's death that first sets events in motion. She gave birth to the sword that would later be needed in the battle between the Seals and the Angels (well, to /one/ of the swords, anyway). It is a sacrifice that she accepted willingly, conscious of what she would be starting. It is, therefore, the true beginning of the journey.