Ep #176: The Fool: A Conversation with Lisa Hatlestad

The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast with Dr. Sonia Wright | The Fool: A Conversations with Lisa Hatlestad

This week, we continue our exploration of women’s sexuality through tarot cards, accompanied by our special guest Master Coach Lisa Hatlestad, who brings unique insights to the conversation. Together, we take a deeper dive into last week’s card, The Fool, and discuss different ways to embody the card’s playfulness and potentiality.

The Fool loves life and playfulness, and is always curious and seeking out new adventures. To fully embrace the newness and the accompanying risks, you might need to start from a place of naivety because if you think too much about the risks and make pre-determined decisions, you might not embark on this new journey in the end.

Tune in to get a deeper comprehension of how to use tarot cards and the meaning behind them as a tool to tap into your inner self-understanding, particularly regarding women’s sexuality. Discover the power of starting the new year being the Fool to embrace the beginning of this new adventure. My Diamonds, how do you envision this playful journey represented by the Fool to look for you?

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
  • The pure potential associated with the Fool.
  • How to navigate sexuality at different cycles of life.
  • What an over expression of the Fool looks like.
  • The cycle of tarot cards and the cycle of a woman’s life.
  • What happens if you decide to stay on the negative side of the Fool.
  • The importance of balance and self-trust when embarking on a journey.
Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast with Dr. Sonia Wright, episode 176.

Welcome to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast, the only show that combines a fun personality, medical knowledge, sexual counseling, and life coaching together. To create unique sex coaching that helps busy women awaken their libidos, address intimacy issues, and learn how to express their sexuality for the rest of their days. Here is your host, certified life coach and sexual counselor, Dr. Sonia Wright.

Hello, hello, hello, Diamonds, it’s Dr. Sonia here. And as you know I’m on this interesting journey where I’m kind of looking at the tarot cards. It’s kind of a guide, a very loose guide in terms of thinking about women’s sexuality, midlife, and just life in general and this journey that we’re on. And of course I could not do this without asking one of my close friends, Master Coach, Lisa Hatlestad, to come and talk to me about sex, sexuality, women, tarot cards, whatever the hell we want to talk about.

And she has so graciously agreed to come on this crazy journey with me. I’m not quite sure where we’re going with all this, but we definitely have plans to have fun and just enjoy ourselves as we do this process. So, Lisa, thank you so much for being here today, of course I love you and I appreciate you coming along and just your willingness to be like, “Okay, let’s do this crazy thing.”

Lisa: Thank you. I love you too, Sonia. And this is no favor. It’s just a pleasure. I think you were one of the first clients that I ever did a ‘reading’ with. You were so open to it and enthusiastic. And I don’t know for sure what it taught you. But what it taught me is just the beauty of using this tool, these cards and the images in them and any meaning that we can share with the clients if we want to. But there’s something about looking at those cards and it allows us to tap into our own inner understanding and wisdom more than any technique or any psychology that I can really think of.

Sonia: Yeah, I definitely like how you say it’s a tool to be used. I don’t think that whatever I glean from this is the word in the way it has to be. It just kind of helps me with some insights and I would hope that my Diamonds would also come on this journey with us if they’d like to, and kind of glean the insights for them. Because that’s what I love, the card is the card. But how you interpret it and what it means in your life is how you get to perceive it and use it. What is the message? You’re the one that determines what the message is, you, as you’re individual.

A person that’s doing the reading or putting down the cards and things like that, they’re not the ones that are telling you this is exactly how it is. They’re often asking you and this is what I love when I do a reading with you is you ask me, “What are your thoughts about this card? How does this influence you? What is it? What is it? How do you think it refers to what’s going on in your life?” And so of course I could not do this without you. So here we go.

So the fool, we’re looking at the zero card or the fool and it says, and the Light Seers Tarot guidebook. It says new beginnings, potential, adventure, enthusiasm, awakening, innocence and optimism. And we can talk about the shadow in a little while, but I just love that when we’re talking about women and sexuality and the beginning of the year. And so just your thoughts when you think about the fool in general because you’re so smart. And then if we could continue the discussion in terms of how you think of it in terms of women’s sexuality.

Lisa: Yeah. So I mean, I always think it’s so funny how so many of us, maybe all of us, I don’t know but one of the things that we’re most afraid of socially is to make a ‘fool of ourselves’ or to be seen as foolish. And so I think the fool is one of my favorite characters in the major arcana, the first 21 cards. And interestingly enough the fool’s number isn’t really a number, it’s zero. It’s the beginning. It’s the before anything happens. And I just want to say here, I don’t call myself a tarot reader. I’m not an expert.

I rely on experts’ interpretations and then how I take them in and what comes up for me. And then mostly my clients, how they interpret the cards. So I just wanted to make that clear because I’m not speaking with any tarot authority here. But when I’ve done readings with clients or with friends and getting the fool, it’s always really interesting because a lot of times what will come up is foolishness or foolhardiness or making a mistake, which a lot of times, can bring up some fear and inhibitions.

When really the fool for all of us, we can’t do anything we haven’t done before or anything we really want to do without taking that risk of making a mistake or of failing, or of making a fool out of ourselves. And when you look, most depictions of the fool are just this carefree being who is going off on a jaunt with his little dog, only he’s ready to step off the cliff.

Sonia: Don’t be worried about it.

Lisa: That’s on the traditional, that’s what it always says, because the fool is just in love with life and he hasn’t gotten the beatings that we all get from life or maybe he has. Maybe he’s had those beatings, but now he’s off on another adventure. And there’s something that we all need to let go of to go into something new, including relationships or including anything about improving intimacy for ourselves, having sex, anything. We need to let go of that inhibition of looking a fool because at some point, of course, we’re going to look that way.

Sonia: And I love that about letting go and letting go of inhibitions. But I also love the message and what speaks to me is that things have happened in the past around sex and sexuality. And sometimes we think that because it was a certain way or we feel a certain way or things have happened with a partner a certain way, that it can never change. And when we take on the role of the fool or look through the eyes of the fool, we could actually see a potential for something different.

It could be a new way of starting, just taking off the colored glasses and starting anew or putting on a different shade of the rose colored glasses or whatever. We could be naïve enough to think that something could be different around our sex…

Lisa: I love how you said that. We could be naive enough to think that something could be different. I love that.

Sonia: And if we could come from that place, and of course you know I love curiosity, we could allow curiosity to come in and say, “What could be different. How could this be different? What would I like in this regard?” And I’ll just take me. I’m 57 years old. What would I like at 57, what would I like to change? I wonder, could it be different? Especially being postmenopausal, so many of us think that it can’t be different, that it’s over, but what if it was just the beginning?

Lisa: Right. And this makes me think when you were saying postmenopausal, because being postmenopausal, just like going into perimenopause, just like getting your period for the first time or anything, it’s a cycle. It’s the beginning of a new cycle. And it reminds me of the major arcana in tarot, which if any of your listeners don’t know, with tarot, the first 21 cards are a cycle. It starts with the innocent fool and it ends with the world or it’s the fool with a worldly mind.

But it stops there because it goes into a new cycle because once you’ve learned all you have to learn, all you can learn about one particular cycle, another cycle begins. And then we’re right back at the beginning and there’s more to learn. And so what you’re saying about being willing to just kind of embrace the newness and let go of those suppositions that we make that I’m in a rut, it’s stuck this way, it’s never worked before. That’s rarely true.

I think sometimes believing that can create more of that pattern but if we let go and come at it with what you call curiosity, which is what the fool has, just open, let’s see what happens, new experiences are bound to come.

Sonia: So my brain is going on a specific journey which is kind of odd and crazy. But what if you woke up one day, you opened your eyes and you suddenly had this concept or realization that you are in this cycle of being the most sexual you’ve ever been. We get to define who we are at any moment. What if we decide that this is our season for sexuality. Not when we’re 19, not when we’re 35, not when we’re 45 but okay, for me at 57, what if this is the beginning of the most sexual time in our lives as women?

And whatever age you are, Diamonds, that are listening to this call, what if tomorrow morning we all woke up and we’re like, “Wow, we’re at the beginning of this beautiful transformation or journey or adventure or whatever, of being the most sexually we’ve ever been”, what would that look like? Who would I be? What would I wake up in the morning and do? What would I do in the afternoon and in the evening? So I love the innocence of it all. I love the playfulness of it all, I love the questioning what is possible.

I think that I could spend this whole year in the realm of the fool because it just seems like a place of potentiality or a place of, yeah, what the fuck.

Lisa: Well, that’s exactly and the zero looks like an egg. So on the outside it’s just this egg shape obviously. And the whole thing about the egg is that the potential is all contained within. The zero is not something, it’s not a sum, it is the potential for any sum, for anything. So I’m just kind of bringing in a little bit of numerology too, because the cards are numbered the way they are for a certain reason. And the fool 100% represents pure potential.

And what you’re saying about being wherever you are, it doesn’t matter if you’re in your 30s, but I think that there’s something especially delicious about being post-menopausal. Because we no longer have any real imperative, biological imperative to have sex. It’s a choice, it’s a choice.

Sonia: 100% a choice. We’re not trying to have babies. We’re not trying to make somebody happy. It’s 100% our choice. That is so beautiful and wonderful and amazing. Yeah, there’s no agenda besides us and our pleasure, hopefully.

Lisa: Well, exactly. And at this age, a lot of us have just kind of reached a level in our lives where it’s okay. I spent the first 50 some years tending to taking care of everybody else. Now it’s my turn. And so the reason to have sex, what reason would there be other than pleasure at this point? And we get to have it. There’s no unwanted pregnancies. There’s no this, there’s no that. So I think that that choice too is just another link to pure potential. What is inside that egg?

Sonia: Yeah. Or we could see it as okay, we’re not creating another human being. We’re not having that potential. But if, and this is where my logical mind goes, if there is an equivalent of energy because I always believe in energy flowing in one way or another. And it’s not going towards creation of another human being, what is it going towards, the creation of what, of ourselves, of connections, of what? And that’s another side of the potentiality of all this is there is a holding of an energy that is shifting and going to another place. Where would we like it to go?

We still are creating but in a different way and it may be more of an energetic way. Before we were putting all that towards creating another human being. Now we get to put it towards creating the life that we want, creating the relationships that we want, creating the experiences that we want, creating the pleasure. We still get to create, but it’s going to look different in our life. Maybe it’s creating our legacy, wow this is pretty fun and cool.

Lisa: Yeah, that’s a luscious perspective. I love that. And it also makes me think, I’m always full of these little random facts that are basically, yeah, so what. But in the traditional tarot illustrations, there’s also, oh, gosh, I don’t remember if it’s the Greek alphabet or Sanskrit. I cannot remember. But the letter that’s on traditional tarot fool cards is, I’m not going to be able to pronounce this right, but it’s Aleph, A-L-E-P-H. And it is a letter that when pronounced, makes no sound.

And when I was reading a book by one of my favorite tarot experts, they said the sound of the Aleph is like the indrawn breath before you say a word. And that just gave me goosebumps because just that is creation. That’s taking the indrawn breath in order to put something out into the world. And I don’t know, but that random little fact seems to fit with what you’re saying. We are creating something totally new and we always start at the indrawn breath or the moment before we began.

Sonia: Yeah, it’s the pause, the holding of space, the pulling back of energy in order to bring it forth into something new. And in that, I’m going to ask all of my Diamonds, what would you like to bring forth this year? This is so beautiful. As we are in this journey and in this world as the fool, there’s so much power in it that we would not necessarily think is there because we label the fool as an idiot or something stupid that we’ve done or something like that.

But if we could let go of that negativity and focus on wow, the potential, the energy, the flow, the going forward. And we get to create the life that we want. The fool is actually pretty amazing, and of course it’s the beginning of the journey. And now I want to shift and see the shadow, if we choose not to go down this path for a new adventure, a new journey with enthusiasm and stuff. There is the other side of it, of the fool, which is kind of the shadow side of it.

And this is saying about assuming you’ve already had the answer, rash or impulsive choices, choosing a lack of experience, analysis paralysis. And this is where I tend to go with my brain, which somehow I think is safe. If I stay in the data then I can’t make a wrong decision, which in itself is a wrong decision because it’s just kind of being there or just sheer foolishness. So I wanted to talk a little bit about, if we don’t choose to go down this journey, if we choose to stay in fear, if we choose to stay on more of the shadow side of this all, what do you think about that?

Lisa: Yeah. I mean, pretty much exactly what you’re saying. I think under-expression of the fool out of fear of feeling foolish or just out of habit too is thinking that you’re going to know the outcome. Which unfortunately it may make us feel safe to think we know how things are going to turn out. But it also, it literally, I keep wanting to say predicates and that’s not. It determines if we’re going to do something or not.

And just thinking about the amount of risk that’s involved with anything, that’s involved with love, that’s involved with pleasure, that’s involved with becoming more of yourself. There is always risk. And so when we’re making predetermined decisions or we think that we’re so weathered and worldly that we know exactly how something’s going to turn out. A lot of times we don’t take that journey.

Many of us have heard about the heroes’ journey, but it could just as well be called the fool’s journey, because nobody in their right logical mind would set out on a journey where they weren’t sure they were going to come back from or be victorious over. We have to start from the place of innocence, of naivety, of broad assumptions that it’s possible. So that’s under-expression.

I think over-expression of foolishness, I think it’s more when, with sex sometimes we have to let go of the intellectual, I think most of the time and just see what happens. But we also need to retain a sense of agency over ourselves. When I was talking about the picture, the traditional picture of the fool is this lovely little guy with a knapsack and his puppy and he’s going to step off a cliff. And it’s a magical world, so he might land well, but we still need to keep our wits about us.

Sonia: Okay. So I’m hearing that there’s kind of this happy medium or middle place. If the underdevelopment side of the foolishness or, I don’t know if we’d call it underdevelopment. I’m not sure what the word was that you used, but basically where you kind of take the journey to its end without even going there and make assumptions. And say, “Well, this isn’t going to end well.”

Or maybe because you’re coming from a place of fear or whatever, you already know how this is going to end. So why would I do this again? Or there’s the other side where you might go to extreme foolishness and not take any precautions and just be like, “Let me just step off this Cliff into oblivion.” And I know that this may not be the right choice, but I’m just not going to care. I’m not going to take any precautions or anything like that.

So there’s kind of this place in between where you’re enthusiastic and you have a positive attitude. And you’re like, “Let’s see where this goes.” But at the same time, there needs to be a little bit of balance on this too.

Lisa: Yeah, I think balance and self-trust. We have every reason to trust ourselves. We’ve all been hurt before and we’ve all made mistakes before and that does not in any way mean that we can’t trust ourselves to take care of ourselves and to do necessary discernment. So I think going off on an adventure is great, and trusting ourselves also to make the decisions that are in our best interest.

The fool in modern life might decide to start taking heroin because what the heck, how fun. I’ve never done this before. Let’s see what happens, And that’s kind of what I mean by over-expression of the fool, when we know what substances like that can actually do to our body.

Sonia: And to be clear, Dr. Sonia and her people are not telling you to go take heroin.

Lisa: Exactly, that’s what I am saying but I’m just saying, an over-expression of the fool is throwing all discernment to the wind, so to speak.

Sonia: Or if you decide you’re going to go on a sexual journey, understand there’s STIs out there. So protect yourself. Make sure that that is part of how you’re going to protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections. Just because you’re going on this fabulous journey doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t catch something. So we do need to trust ourselves and trust our judgment as we go down this path as to whom we would like to be and so there is that balance.

But I love how you say that’s self-trust. That we get to go on this journey, but we also get to trust ourselves and our instincts. And I think that that’s part of the journey is learning to know who we are and learning to trust ourselves as we go down this journey. So as we go down this journey with our sexuality, we get to trust ourselves. We get to trust when we need to be a little slower at this, when we might go a little bit faster, when we might journey down into something that we haven’t necessarily done before maybe and also where we decide that’s not going to be for us.

And that’s part of the winding path of this journey, all of it is. But if you’re in that place where you’re like, “I’m not even going to go down this journey because I’m too afraid or whatever”, maybe not. And then the other side where I’m going to walk off this cliff and break every bone in my body, maybe not. So that’s where the trust in between and the relationship that you are going to develop with yourself as you go down this journey becomes important.

Lisa: Yeah, it really does. One other thing I wanted to say about the fool for your listeners too is the image of the fool is really related to medieval court jesters. This is the thing, fools, they’re not stupid and they’re not foolish but they are playful. And that playfulness, that openness to playfulness and potential, allowed court jesters to say things that other people in that society could not say in any way, shape or form without risking being thrown into a dungeon or something like that.

And so another thing that your Diamonds might want to consider is how would this playfulness, this intentional playfulness. This is my court where I get to take some rest, where I get to ask for something that in normal circumstances might make me feel too embarrassed to ask it. But this is play, this is adventure, this is something new and I get to do this. That’s another way to embody the fool that can really let you experiment in ways that might make you red in the cheeks thinking about how do I discuss this with my partner? Why not ask the fool?

Sonia: Yeah, I love that. I love the concept of the playfulness, and to bring that in. And I think playfulness also helps us feel safer in a lot of ways too. And so I think that that is a beautiful thing, especially when we’re talking around sex and sexuality. So, yeah, so Diamonds, as you listen to this conversation, around sex and sexuality, how would you like that to be for you? What would the playful look like for you? What journey would you like to go down this year?

Come along with us as you journey down this path. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be exactly one way. You don’t have to accomplish it within 26 weeks or any of those things. Just be open and playful and enthusiastic and curious and see where this all leads you on your journey, your sexual intimacy journey. Okay, Diamonds, well, Coach Lisa, if anybody wants to reach out to you, where could they find you? How could they reach out to you?

Lisa: I’m a little elusive these days because I have taken a little step back just to do more writing and just attending to other parts of my life. But you can find me mostly on Facebook under my name, Lisa Hatlestad, is probably the best way to find me. And you can totally DM me with any questions if you’d like or you can just reach me at lisa@lisahatlestad.com.

Sonia: So wonderful. Thank you so much for joining me on my journey.

Lisa: Thanks for the invite. I loved this.

Sonia: Thank you.

Lisa: Thanks.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of The Midlife Sex Coach for Women Podcast. If you enjoy Dr. Sonia’s fun and caring approach to sexual intimacy, head to soniawrightmd.com to learn more.

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Sonia Wright MD

Hi, I’m Dr. Sonia Wright and I’m YOUR SEX COACH! I’m on a mission to end the pain and isolation associated with sexual difficulties and to help women create satisfying sex lives.

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