The life of The Fool is an adventure. He challenges us to explore new terrains, to take action, to seek our own truth, and to live in the now. There are times in our lives when we need to recreate ourselves with new experiences that defy our old beliefs. In these times, The Fool Tarot card invites us to take a trip to an unknown place. We do not know where we are going or when we will return. When this card appears, we are being asked to take the Hero's Journey.
The most common meaning for The Fool Tarot card is that something new is beginning, and thus, something else is ending. When he appears, he announces that it is time for an important decision. This may one that is tough or risky. You will be asked to make the decision anyways. In this spirit, you must accept change and the unknown. Resistance will only bring you frustration and sorrow.
In this article, we will talk about the meaning, symbolism, and lessons of The Fool Tarot card, using the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck. After that, we will explain how to interpret this card in a reading when it is upright and when it is reversed.
The Fool Tarot Card and Numerology
The number and order of the cards in the Tarot deck has deep meaning and significance. The number of The Fool Tarot card is 0. 0 does not belong to this world. This is the symbol from Ancient Wisdom that all of manifestation began from nothing. We can not understand this with our senses or through logic. For this reason, we can only get a fleeting glimpse of its meaning through the deep knowing that comes from our Heart.
The Fool Tarot card also has a secret number, which is 22. This is because The Fool can be the beginning or the ending card in the Major Arcana. 22 can be simplified to 2+2, which equals 4. 4 is the number of Classical Elements and is symbolic of the Cross of the material world. Because of this, The Fool Tarot card is the beginning and the end. It is nothing and everything.
The Fool Tarot card is the only Major Arcana that has survived in decks of modern playing cards. The Fool is the Joker or the Wild Card, which is symbolic of its true meaning. This card is indeed the Wild Card when it appears.
Keywords for The Fool Tarot Card
- new ideas
- spiritual transformation
Imagery and Symbolism of The Fool Tarot Card
On The Fool Tarot card, we see a man who seems to be walking off a cliff. He is carrying a small bag hanging on a stick from his shoulder. He is walking straight into the void. There is a small dog behind him who is trying to bite his ankles.
The Fool has no safety net. He is not concerned, however. This is because he has all the tools he needs in the small bag that he carries over his shoulder. He has renounced life in the city, and he no longer needs anything that once seemed so necessary. The Fool is preparing to become a better version of himself.
The Fool Tarot Card is shown at the beginning of his trip when he has unlimited potential. The high sun that rises behind him represents the beginning of his journey. He is looking up towards the sky, which symbolizes Divinity, or the Spirit. Yet, he is about to fall from the heights, from the world of meditation to the material world. Is he ready?
In his left hand, he carries a white rose that represents purity and innocence. The little white dog is his guide and his tutor, who will protect him on the trip. The dog also urges him to learn the lessons he needs to survive. In this card, the dog represents the intuition that all of us have when we come into the world and that guides us on our path towards maturity. The mountains behind the Fool represent the realm he just left, and he will spend his life trying to return there.
Lessons of the Fool Tarot Card
The Fool Tarot Card challenges us to explore new territories and ideas. Our life is full of situations that replace true living adventures. There is always an excuse or a justification for stagnation, for staying where we are. Yet, when we do this, we are often hoping that something miraculous will happen.
The Game of Life
According to The Fool, life is a game, and the purpose of every game is to have fun. We can also learn through play. We need to do new things in life and expand our limits. If we are happy with our current life, we will not be interested in discovering new frontiers. While modern society tends to repress “foolish” behavior, it needs to be directed, not repressed.
The Fool Tarot Card reminds us that we must promote our individuality rather than putting it on hold. The Fool feels an instinctive dislike for authority and hates following orders from someone else. He needs a place to grow and to be able to mix things up! He hates routine and needs continuous challenge.
His favorite tool is laughter. The Fool relies entirely on the universe’s kindness. He does not regret what he could have been or done, because he doesn’t live in the past. The Fool will tell you to enjoy the present, live in the here and now, and that the past and the future are an unnecessary burden. The Fool travels light because he carries what he needs: hope.
Following your foolish side: A leap of faith?
The Fool is free and innocent, but he is also wise. He has an erratic aspect to his personality that is always waiting and willing to be called, to be invoked.
When that invocation comes from the heart, the Fool immediately makes an appearance and guides us along the paths of adventure, action, joy, and unknown ideas. He does this with the innocence of a child and with the wisdom of an old man that has learned from his experiences.
Will you dare to live your life fully? Do you recognize the existence of your foolish side? Do you feed your fantasies, your ideas, your illusions? Have you followed your dreams? No? Then it is time to go on a trip. Burying your desires in the unconscious is not the way to achieve a happy life.
It is time to integrate, to return to the beginning, to detach ourselves from all of our self-imposed bonds, and to start having faith in ourselves. It is also time to call upon our foolish side in order to sit together, laugh out loud, and innocently begin a journey within ourselves. Discovering our ability to fail is also discovering our ability to create. All of these messages come from the hand of the bravest tarot card, the one who opens the tarot path to the unknown.
Need for Caution
The Fool also contains a valuable lesson. There is a dangerous side to becoming too absorbed in your own ideas and thoughts. The risk can be real or metaphorical. You need to pay attention to your present situation.
Don’t project yourself so far into the future that you lose sight of where you are now. Dreams, visions, and ideas have their proper place, but whoever loses himself in the contemplation of unrealities loses the ability to face the practical issues of life.
How to Interpret The Fool Tarot Card in a Reading
The Fool Tarot card represents those changes that happen when we are not looking for them. He invites us to remain optimistic about the future. If you are careful, you may be able to find what you have been looking for.
The Fool is a crazy adventurer, who leaves everything to go towards the unknown. For some, he represents the type of person who pretends to be mad as a strategy to fool others but knows perfectly well where he is going and what he wants. This type of person will get what he wants by breaking any convention or rule that stands in his way.
As the smiling adventurer, The Fool seems to tell us that adapting to change is the secret of survival! This is an extremely powerful card.
The Upright Position of The Fool Tarot Card:
The Fool Tarot card represents possibilities, new beginnings, and the innocence with which every project is born. It also represents the creativity and desire to achieve new goals and objectives. When this card is upright, it indicates that anything can happen and that everything is possible. This is because there are many opportunities waiting to be discovered.
In a Tarot card spread, The Fool represents the change needed to start a new journey to a place that is entirely unknown. The Fool always represents new experiences, personal growth, development, and adventure.
The Fool Tarot card urges us to make a "leap of faith." We must learn to trust the Universe to find the success we long for. Don’t worry so much, and free yourself of anxieties. For this trip, you don’t need to carry any extra luggage.
Although he does not seem to pay attention to the road ahead, The Fool knows perfectly well where he is going...off the cliff. There is a decision that must be taken, whether you like it or not.
There could be a moment of doubt, but you need to make vital decisions. The Fool is encouraging you to go for it and follow your heart no matter what the risks may be. If you dare, things will come out as you wish.
You can never know what lies in the future, but like the Fool, you must go ahead blindly. You need to trust.
- Small affairs
- Impossibility of enjoying a lasting love due to external circumstances
- Bad circulation
- Time to rest and recover energy
- Lack concentration
- Failing at objectives that are being pursued
- Lack of leadership
- Good time to put your investments in order
- Start saving for the future
The Reversed Position of The Fool Tarot Card
When the Fool Tarot card appears reversed in a spread, his negative aspects are maximized. He warns us that we may be ignoring the consequences of our actions.
Even if you are focused on the here and now, that doesn’t mean you should ignore your future. We are all connected, and all our actions have consequences. Recover your instinctual connection and your innocence, or this imprudence could cost you a lot.
Although rebellion against the imposed order is part of a Fool’s character, if you break the routine continually, you will be unable to harvest what you sow. No tree grows adrift. Perhaps it is time to grow roots and accept that your crazy side has played a fundamental role in your life until now. It is time to end the nonsense and walk towards maturity.
On the other hand, The Fool, when reversed, warns you that others can abuse your good faith. It is time to protect yourself and secure your well-being for years to come. Maybe you do not understand it today, but not everything you wish for will be beneficial for you in the future.
Sometimes opportunities that are “too good to be true” show up, but The Fool, when reversed, indicates that you must consider things carefully, be realistic, and read the fine print.
- Distance and discontent due to eccentricities and immaturity
- A person that can influence or affect the relationship between the two of you
- Risk of accidents
- Be prudent in sports and outdoors activities
- Inability to carry out a job
- Delay in being able to deliver work results
- Loss of money by making bad investments
- Squandering money
Rider-Waite images used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems.