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The Fool Tarot Card Meaning and Symbolism Upright and Reversed

The Fool Tarot Card Meaning and Symbolism Upright and Reversed

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As the song goes, “Everybody plays the Fool, sometimes.” Everyone has to start somewhere. This is where things begin, in Tarot, and at specific points in life. 

When someone is just starting down a path, what they lack in experience, they make up for it in enthusiasm.

One doesn’t necessarily know what lies ahead, what pitfalls may surprise them, or what wonders they may find on their journey.

The Fool Tarot card appears in a reading to indicate an innocent way of approaching life. It reminds you to listen to your instincts as you step out into the unknown.

It will be necessary to pay attention to your surroundings, as each stride brings a new lesson that will eventually be important to the outcome of this trek.

The Fool Tarot Card Keywords and Facts

Before you understand the specific meaning, take a look at the keywords and phrases associated with our first Major Arcana Card.

Upright KeywordsInnocence, a new adventure, free-spirited exploration, a fresh start, or a new beginning.
Reversed KeywordsCarelessness, easily manipulated or deceived, inconsiderate, reckless behavior.
Yes or NoYes
Numerology Number0
Zodiac SignAquarius
ElementAir
Ruling PlanetsUranus and Saturn

The Fool Tarot Card Symbolism and Appearance

The Fool Tarot Card

In a scene that indicates both potential and danger, one sees a brightly dressed young person gazing confidently into the distance.

He has a feather in his cap, representing the freedom to fly off on this quest.

He carries a small bag on the end of a stick. Lacking experience and possessions, he travels light. He holds a white flower that indicates his innocence. 

His pose is one of being open to all possibilities.

His eyes are not on the path, and he doesn’t seem to notice he’s about to walk off a cliff! He can be thankful for the little dog nipping at his heels… a reminder for him to watch his step and be aware of his surroundings.

It’s hard to miss the optimism of this scene. The Sun is shining. Challenges, represented by mountains, appear to be behind him.

A reader cannot see the path ahead any more than the Fool can, but at this moment, everything feels great.

The Fool Tarot Card Upright Meaning

The Fool Tarot Card Upright Keywords and Meanings

The Fool represents a fresh start, optimism, and inexperience.

He doesn’t know where his path will lead, but he has faith that the universe is on his side. He will succeed with a bit of luck and a willingness to improvise.

He enthusiastically approaches his journey, thinking of the great adventure that awaits.

However, he may be blind to the dangers and pitfalls that await. You must keep your wits about you and temper that optimism with a little reality check. 

Watch your surroundings and know that only some of the challenges you meet will be easy to overcome.

Love (Upright)

When the Fool turns up in a love reading, it’s time to prepare for a new adventure in romance!

You’ll need to gain some experience before you find the romance you’re looking for.

This card calls for courage, especially if you fear rejection. Love can feel risky, but the Fool in love invites you to take a chance and trust it will go well.

Even if you have loved and lost, you are guided here to approach a new relationship positively, as if it were the first time.

Love makes us feel young! Try not to let past disappointments rob you of that feeling.

If you’re already in a romance, it would indicate it’s time to take the next step to mark that commitment. This could mean getting married, buying a house, or starting a family.

In any case, the Fool in love is stepping into the unknown. Be ready to embrace new experiences as if you were a child again.

Health and Spirituality (Upright)

The Fool is an invitation to start down a new path. An optimistic approach makes all the difference when you want to improve your health. Understand that you don’t have to change everything all at once.

Instead, make a solid start on one or two things. See what success you have, navigating a healthier diet or a gentle daily walk, and then move on to the more challenging stuff.

The Fool can also represent a spiritual awakening. Sometimes we realize there really isn’t any “one right way” to live. Or that the “one right way” we were taught doesn’t work for us.

It is natural to be curious about a spiritual path that fits our understanding and way of being in the world.

It will be essential to heed the warning the Fool provides: listen to your intuition and pay attention to your surroundings when embarking on a new spiritual path.

Whether the question concerns your health or connection to the spirit world, you can always return to basics and begin again.

Money and Career (Upright)

When it comes to your career, the Fool invites you to be open to big new ideas and opportunities. There is an element of idealism to this card that reminds us not to place hard limits on what’s possible.

It’s essential to innovate at this time, so you can stand out and make progress.

The Fool can also point to an opportunity to go into business for yourself. Dream big. Invent your own niche.

Even the most outlandish ideas can be entertained when this card turns up in a money reading.

A new job or opportunity is on offer. The Fool begins with almost nothing, so he must have an open-minded, positive attitude and be willing to learn and grow with the opportunity.

The Fool Tarot Card Reversed Meaning

The Fool Tarot Card Reversed Keywords and Meanings

In reverse, the Fool Tarot card takes on a quality of absolute foolishness. You may have been gullible or easy to deceive.

You may have been reckless in your desire to make progress. Perhaps you should have considered the guidance of others or the warning of your instincts.

Now you may run into trouble.

It isn’t always easy to keep your eyes open to the dangers of an unfamiliar situation. Out of courage and optimism, you may overlook a pitfall that is right in front of you.

This is when paying attention to what your inner voice tells you is essential.

The Fool in reverse can also indicate a desire to make a fresh start, but with a sense of stagnation.

Maybe you feel you can’t go forward. You may lack faith in yourself or fear the consequences if you move on to something new.

Love (Reversed)

In a love reading, the Fool tarot card in reverse can warn against tripping lightly into a romantic commitment where you have yet to get to know your new partner well enough.

Sometimes a new lover is so dazzling and kind that you look past the signs that show you the danger of getting close.

You may also need more preparation to start a new adventure in love. Perhaps you haven’t learned how to support a new love interest emotionally.

Unaware of your quirks and recklessness, you may commit to love without knowing what the other person needs in a partnership.

In short, you are guided to remember your lack of experience. Ask questions. It’s okay to take time and be prepared to learn some things before making a long-term commitment.

Health and Spirituality (Reversed)

When it comes to your physical well-being, it’s normal to make a fresh start, only to find yourself returning to old habits when things get stressful.

The Fool in reverse in a health reading points to this tendency to make false starts and even to pretend we’ve made the changes we haven’t managed to make yet.

There is no need to beat yourself up for beginning healthier habits and then back-sliding.

However, this is your reminder to be honest about how it’s going and to adjust your plan so that it’s easier to stick to in the future.

When you start down a new spiritual path, the experience is bound to hold some challenges and pitfalls you needed to be aware of.

To find the Fool in reverse in a reading about your spiritual path would say it’s possible you’ve been blind, or too trusting of a new teacher.

It’s okay to stop and reassess your reasons for being on this path and to remind yourself what you had hoped to get out of the new experience.

The Fool in reverse here can show that the fresh start you intended to make is unfortunate or that you haven’t given enough consideration to the path you mean to take.

Once again, we are invited to ask questions, do the relevant reading, and try to make a more informed choice.

Money and Career (Reversed)

When it comes to questions about your fortune or career, it’s essential to take the Fool in reverse rather seriously.

It can indicate that you are allowing your past experiences to hold you back or that the fresh start you seek isn’t down your chosen path.

If you’re on the job, be careful not to improvise new ways of doing things without consulting your supervisor.

Your inventiveness may not be appreciated, especially if you’ve made a change on your own and didn’t tell anyone.

If you’re in business for yourself, the Fool in reverse can tell you something you’ve started isn’t working.

Notice what practices you have that seem to bring stagnation to your effort to make money, and find a different approach.

The Fool Tarot Card Upright and Reversed Keywords and Meanings

The Fool Tarot Card Yes or No Meaning

When the Fool card turns up in any reading, the discussion turns to optimism and opportunity. The Fool is a resounding yes in a “yes or no” reading!

There is no need to second-guess your good idea. Courage and positivity are applauded, and you are ready for this new beginning!

Important Card Combinations for the Fool Tarot Card

The Fool and the Ten of Swords

The Fool Tarot Card and the Ten of Swords

Are you choosing a path that means learning all your lessons the hard way? Difficulty, trial, and tribulation are part of any journey, but the entire trip doesn’t have to be that way.

If you feel like you keep running into a dead end, it may help to take a time out and another look at the map.

When you optimistically pursue a vision, other people may not share your enthusiasm. They may try to make you feel foolish.

This path is yours, not theirs. Don’t allow the doubts that others may voice to interfere with your progress.

The Fool and the Page of Swords

The Fool Tarot Card and the Page of Swords

You have a talent or skill that will work well if you practice. The page knows how to use his sword but lacks experience, so he may struggle with self-doubt.

The Fool’s optimism is needed here. After all, experience is gained by trying, and not by hesitation.

The Fool and the Eight of Wands

The Fool Tarot Cardand the Eight of Wands

You may be setting off on a real-life travel adventure! Wands represent action, and the eight says you have momentum on your side.

In other words, it’s time to get moving. What you seek is in another place, or you will only find it if you go out and have some new experiences.

The Fool and The Lovers or the Three of Cups

The Fool Tarot Card and The Lovers or the Three of Cups

If you’re not romantically attached to anyone, and the Fool is drawn with the Lovers, you may be in for a fantastic new love affair.

On the other hand, if you’re already committed, this can mean you’re taking things to the next level.

In any case, the Fool is “all in” regarding affairs of the heart. Idealism and an optimistic approach are easy to come by.

However, if the Fool is paired with the Three of Cups, this can be read as a warning not to rush into a new relationship.

The person you desire may only be here temporarily, to celebrate in a friendly way. They have no plans to commit themselves to you beyond the present moment and the good times that can be had here.

The Fool and the Empress

The Fool Tarot Card and the Empress

To draw the Empress with the Fool can indicate pregnancy. The Empress represents motherhood in tarot, among other things.

She brings all kinds of things to life. Paired with the fool, it’s easy to see she may be gestating something or someone new.

The Fool and The Star

The Fool Tarot Card and The Star

To pull the Fool and the Star would show that one will find a new and hopeful spiritual or philosophical approach to life.

The Star is its own kind of new beginning, but one that follows a lot of experiences that could have worked out better.

In this configuration, we learn from our past mistakes and seek a new path forward.

The Fool and the Six of Wands

The Fool Tarot Card and the Six of Wands

The Fool with the Six of Wands gives us a sense of beginner’s luck, which comes across as a divine blessing on your chosen path.

Some difficulty often follows this kind of good fortune, so don’t hesitate to make use of the rewards you have reaped so far.

The Fool and the Nine of Pentacles

The Fool Tarot Card and the Nine of Pentacles

“Seek, and you shall find.” Draw the Nine of Pentacles with the Fool, and you may be surprised to find success right around the corner!

Pentacles represent physical comfort and material riches, and in this case, the cards are saying that those things may be yours to have immediately, just for making an effort.

The Fool and the Knight or King of Pentacles

The Fool Tarot Card and the Knight or King of Pentacles

The Fool drawn with the Knight of Pentacles will often represent a new job offer. Someone with resources wants to offer you an opportunity that may enrich you both.

The Knight is a well-supported and honest fellow who can be trusted. Don’t hesitate to ask questions before jumping on board with him.

Paired with the King of Pentacles, the Fool can indicate an entrepreneurial opportunity. In this case, someone with all the resources they need wants to offer you a chance to do business for yourself.

The King has a lot to offer in terms of wisdom. He has mastered the means by which wealth is gained. Take his offer and his guidance.

The Fool and the Queen of Wands

The Fool Tarot Card and the Queen of Wands

If the Queen of Wands is paired with the Fool, this can mean a chance for someone to start a new business.

This Queen is a resource of another kind. It is about something other than money; it is about the drive to succeed.

She has mastered her impatience and her self-doubt. She can guide you to find the determination to meet your goals and prioritize your happiness in doing so.

The Fool Tarot Card in Numerology

Although it is the first card of the Major Arcana, Fool’s number is zero.

Far from meaning nothing, zero is a sign of wholeness. Like a big goose egg, you are full of potential.

The Fool may lack experience, but he has everything he needs to embark on this journey and find success. 

The number zero, like the Fool, is unaware of having any limitations. From this starting point, all choices are available to you, and there is nothing to limit your progress.

Read more: Tarot Card Number 1: The Magician Meanings

Rider-Waite images used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems.