The Fool Keywords
Upright: freedom, new beginnings, risk-taking, spontaneity, innocence, trust in the universe, faith in oneself, potential, unexpressed potential.
Reversed: fear of change, recklessness, lack of trust in oneself, resistance to growth, bad decisions, overconfidence, lack of planning.
The Fool card in the Major Arcana of the Tarot is a powerful symbol of new beginnings, change, and unbridled potential. Often represented by a jester or fool figure, often with a staff and a small bag slung over their shoulder, the Fool is associated with taking risks, going against convention, and embracing the unknown. The Fool represents one’s first steps out into the world and all the naiveté and youthful exuberance that comes with it.
The Fool is numbered 0, signifying its status as the first card of the journey. Before the Waite-Smith Tarot deck, the Fool card was typically left unnumbered to represent its special status as an outsider within the Major Arcana. The few decks that did number it included the 15th century Sola Busca, which labeled it with a 0, and some Belgian decks from the 18th century that labelled it as XXII. These exceptions show how important and symbolic this card has been throughout history, regardless of whether or not it carried a numerical value. It is clear that this card is integral to understanding the lessons of the Tarot, and should not be overlooked.
The Fool’s representation as 0 (or unnumbered) signifies that it carries within it all possibilities; every opportunity and avenue available to us as we begin our path. As such, it serves as an encouragement to take risks that may lead to great reward.
When The Fool Appears in a Reading
The Fool Upright
In traditional readings, The Fool often appears when one is embarking on a new project or beginning a significant journey – physical or spiritual – in life. Its presence can be interpreted as an invitation to step out boldly into uncharted territory and take advantage of what lies ahead. The risk may be scary and uncertain, but so too are many of life’s greatest opportunities for growth and transformation. The Fool can also indicate that you’re too naïve for your own good, and your ignorance may in fact create problems for you further down the line.
The Fool Reversed
When reversed, The Fool can indicate being stuck in old patterns or being overly cautious about making decisions about important matters in life. One might be afraid to take risks due to fear of failure or disappointment. In this case, it can be helpful to remember that nothing ventured nothing gained; if one does not try something new they will never know what could have been achieved had they taken that leap of faith.
Symbolic Meanings of The Fool
The Fool also has symbolic meanings related to trusting one’s intuition and higher guidance rather than relying solely on facts and data or outside opinions when making decisions. While logical thought processes are important when facing difficult choices in life, at times there is wisdom beyond rational understanding that can help guide our paths forward when we open ourselves up to listening more deeply to our inner knowingness.
Overall, The Fool card serves as reminder that life offers us limitless opportunities if we are willing to take those chances without letting fear stop us from grabbing hold of them with both hands. It encourages us to trust ourselves above all else while embracing the unknown – for only then can we truly discover what lies ahead on our unique path through life’s adventure.