The Fool card shows a young man traveling into an unknown direction. Looking upwards, on the edge of the cliff, holding a white rose in his hand, a symbol of innocence, and just a dog as companion, The Fool is young and seemingly unprepared for the journey ahead. And yet, his sack contains the treasures that won’t weight him down but will help him along the way.
A new beginning, a new phase in life, freedom, youthfulness, feeling daring, feeling carefree, immaturity.
The General Meaning of the Fool
The Fool is the first card of the Major Arcana and yet it is slightly different from the rest. Unlike the other Trump cards, it carries a number zero and in some decks it is not numbered at all. In many ways, The Fool resembles the Joker playing card. Placed as the first card of the Tarot deck, The Fool seems to be entering the story of the remaining cards. That’s why Major Arcana are often called the The Fool’s Journey. His light step, the sack carried on his shoulder both mean that The Fool is a traveler beginning a new adventure.
The Fool As A New Beginning
In readings, The Fool often means a new beginning, a new chapter in life. It signals that the current circumstances and problems you struggle with will cease to exist and that a new reality will soon emerge before you. It may be a quite literal change, such as a move, a new job, or an admission to a new school, all of which present you with a new territory full of promise, but also many challenges that you are still not aware of. Beyond the actual changes in life’s circumstances, The Fool will also mark a change in your mindset and emotions. You leave the old way of thinking behind and look curiously to the new path that is laid out before you. It’s thrilling to be at the beginning of the journey. You know so little of the new reality, you have no fears of what’s ahead. The Fool’s luck is with you.
The Fool As Freedom
Perhaps the greatest freedom we can ever experience is the freedom from worries and this is precisely what The Fool embodies. His light step, his head high in the sky, a flower in his hand, all symbolize carefree attitude and optimism of a person who does not feel anxious about the challenges on his path. The sack containing all of his belongings is small. He is free from the burdens of wealth and responsibility. There is nothing that ties him down to one place. Free as a bird, he can go wherever he pleases.
The Fool As Immaturity
Although lack of experience is a theme in all interpretations of this overall very positive card, when describing a person it often means immaturity. From happy-go-lucky to carelessness and ignorance, the meaning of the The Fool depends on the layout position and the surrounding cards. When describing a person, it can mean someone who is carefree and just focused on their own affairs. In more negative terms, it can present a person who is too immature to be aware of the dangers and the world around them.
The Fool As Advice Card
In most cases, The Fool is a very positive and uplifting card. In advice positions, it will urge you to allow yourself to be adventurous and open to change. Stress and anxiety are the most prevailing ailments of our society and The Fool will urge you to free yourself of worries and walk your path with trust and excitement of a novice.
On the other hand, if you are expecting major changes in your life, the card will remind you how unaware and inexperienced The Fool is. There are high mountain peaks ahead that symbolize the many challengs and attainments he still has before him, and the steep cliff warns of nasty falls that one wrong step could cause. The card seems to say, enjoy the new path, but watch your steps!