How is it that we emerge from a single cell into a thinking, functioning being?
Early in the embryo layers of cells fold into a tube, sort of like bending a sheet of paper down the middle, enfolding it. From this tube will emerge the future brain and spinal cord... This is Neurulation
Think of all the potential that lies within a small group of cells that have yet to achieve their functional purpose. That is what the tube is initially, like a bunch of treasure hunters who have not been given a map yet.
Like inkdrops diffusing through water, chemical molecules spread across the tube, and dictate what will become of them.
Timing is key to the transformation
In someways the blueprint for what is to come is within the cells, but they need the chemical signature to activate them. And thus begins the process of forming our brains.
In tarot, the 0 card stands for the Fool who is embarking on a journey, into the unknown. In many decks the figure is represented by a person walking off a cliff, stepping out, not knowing what the future holds. In many ways this is what the neural tube signifies - many things need to go right to form a fully developed being, and even beyond that so much depends on what environments we face.
Images courtesy of (c) Siddharth Ramakrishnan and Tarot card from the Rider-Waite tarot deck, also known as the Rider-Waite-Smith deck.
Brain Gloss - vocab for a shiny brain: Neurulation, Neural Tube, Sonic Hedgehog
Tarot Meditations: Fool, Beginnings, Journey, Potential