0. THE STRAY / THE FOOL - The Crux Tarot
The Stray is the Crux's Fool. It is a card that exists outside of and within all other cards in the Majors. I have always been fascinated by the fool as a representation of new beginnings and freethinking, but more recently have fallen in love with its relationship to The World. In Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom it is mentioned that many iterations of the Fool are meant to look grotesque and ugly. While the dancer on The World is quite clearly enlightened and euphoric, the fool can be that same person viewed through close minded and denying eyes. To those who actively fight enlightenment, joy, love, and freedom, they will see the enlightened as fools.
I chose to call this card "The Stray" because it holds duel meaning. When we think of stray as a noun, someone or something cast out from its place, it has a negative connotation. There is an element of isolation but also caution and fear. But stray as a verb, as one might stray from a path, many times implies free will and exploration. The Stray in this case becomes a way of reclaiming individuality and following our intuition. Regardless of how others might judge our path, only we can walk it.
The visual for this card is a figure peering over a cliff, mountains and a bright sun behind them. Paths of light pour over the mountains, over the cliff, and down into a sea of churning waves. These asymmetrical patterns are present only on this card and the 21st major, as a way of wedding these two cards that exist within and outside of the rest of the deck.