The Fool in the guise of the Heirophant is seated on a fallen tree in the forest, observing the leaves falling around him. He can hear his children laughing in the distance, as well as the voices of his loyal followers who accompanied him on his journey. He smiles, closes his eyes, and falls into a light meditative state.
After a time, he becomes aware of a light shining through his closed eyelids. He opens his eyes and sees an Angel hovering above him. The Angel beckons to him to arise, and the Fool, as is his nature, becomes one with the Angel. The Angels name is Raphael, and his forte is communication. He does not have human thoughts or emotions. He is simply an observer. And, the Fool, who is now a part of the Angel, is an observer within the observer.
The Angel is dressed in robes of royal purple, the color of a highly spiritual nature. The sun is shining brightly behind him as he reaches down his hands and parts the clouds beneath him.
The Fool looks down upon a beautiful garden. It is warm and bright, with green grass and fruit trees abounding. There are streams of sparkling water flowing through the landscape, and the earth is fertile and productive.
As he watches, through the eyes of the Angel, he sees a naked man sitting on the grass by a stream. The man seems calm and serene in his surroundings. He is smiling and running his hands idly through the grass at his sides.
Suddenly, the Fool finds himself on the ground and in oneness with the man. He feels the grass between his fingers and the sun shining down warmly upon his bare skin. There are no thoughts within his head, he is simply existing in the moment.
He sees a woman coming across the landscape toward him. She is naked also, although the Fool is not really aware of this. He is as innocent and guileless as a newborn babe, much as the he was at the beginning of his journey. The man watches as the woman stops to speak with a snake hanging from a branch in the forbidden tree. He does not really know what forbidden is, but he does know that he was told by the Angel above him that he must not eat of it's fruit.
The woman listens to the snake, and then reaches up a hand and plucks an apple from the forbidden tree. The man/Fool does not comprehend why she would do this, but his instinctual nature recoils at her action.
The Fool now finds himself as one with the woman. He sees the apple in his hand and knows that he has been told by the snake that the Angel said he should tell the man to take a bite of the apple and then he should take a bite as well.
In his innocence and unaware of the Angel hovering above him, the Fool does as he has been bidden. He takes the apple to the man and signals to him to take a bite. The man is hesitant at first, but he is hungry and the apple is in his hand, so he takes a bite. The Fool retrieves the apple and takes a bite also.
Suddenly, the Fool is aware of his nakedness. The man is looking at him in the form of the woman in a strange way and he becomes conscious of his surroundings. The man looks to the woman/Fool and he/she looks upward to the Angel.
And, the Fool is now one again with the Angel. He is not emotionally involved as he watches the two people below him. They move into each others arms and slowly drift downward onto the soft grass. The Fool within the Angel watches as they allow nature to take it's course. He realizes that life, as they know it, will never be the same.
Flames erupt from above the Angels head, and the Fool understands that these are the flames of passion and desire. The Fool has learned about love, in the physical and emotional sense. He also begins to understand the true nature of human duality and oneness. But, most of all he understands that humankind has free will, something that Angels do not have. Raphael was not allowed to step in and stop the Lovers from eating the fruit from the tree. It was their choice alone.
If the Lovers appear in your layout, it is time to reconcile your emotions and your thoughts. All of us possess a male and a female nature within us, regardless of our outward appearance. And, those these two aspects of self can often be at a standoff when decisions need to be made. Just as we need to learn how to communicate our thoughts and feelings with our spouse or significant other, we also need to allow that communication to take place within our own minds and hearts.
Don't make rash decisions in the heat of passion or desire, physical, mental or emotional. Let the flames subside and then think the situation through with a cool and rational mind. And sometimes, we do what might appear to be the wrong thing, only to find it is the best thing.
The Fool, still within the form of the Angel, descends downward onto the earth, and walks past the Lovers, who are whispering softly and sweetly to each other,and back into the forest. He calls to his children, his little dog Wisdom, and his followers and together they start to walk forward once again.