Taillemache's Shield

From The Library at Hurtfew
Jump to: navigation, search
Taillemache's Shield is used "to ensure safe passage through enchanted places". Jonathan Strange uses it when he first tracks the gentleman with the thistle-down hair to his lair in the brugh of Lost-hope[55]. ('Taillemache' appears to be a variant of the Old French word talemache, meaning 'one who carries a knap-sack' - a soldier, perhaps; or perhaps merely any wanderer.)

If we transpose this idea to the tarot cards, we encounter The Fool card.

the fool.png

He is seemingly oblivious that he is walking toward a precipice, apparently about to step off. Somehow he has blind confidence in his capacity to pass (through) the most testing ordeal without a scratch.
The Fool is the spirit in search of experience. He represents the mystical cleverness bereft of reason within us, the childlike ability to tune into the inner workings of the world. The sun shining behind him represents the divine nature of the Fool's wisdom and exuberance, holy madness or 'crazy wisdom'. On his back are all the possessions he might need. In his hand there is a flower, showing his appreciation of beauty.