They say the Fool is the first and the last card of the Major Arcana, if not the entire Tarot deck itself. If the entire deck is a choose-your-adventure book with pages you can shuffle around at will, the Fool is the main character that playfully skips among the pages! He will be there at the beginning, middle and end of all the possible stories the book can tell. That’s why the Fool is not numbered as 1, but 0.
Every king’s court needs a jester; no matter how many learned and sophisticated personages the sovereignty may have, it is ruling blind if it does not have at least one person who’s not afraid of telling things as it is – damn the consequences! The Fool is the child calling out the Emperor for having no clothes, the one person who’s honest to a fault, the traveler who is only about to leave his hometown and has no hang-ups or baggage to weigh him down.
This card is a breath of fresh air when at play in a spread, communicating meanings of great beginnings, happiness and optimism, excitement, exhilaration and spontaneity, confidence, wonder and innocence. It’s the carpe diem card, signifying new journeys, relying on yourself and living in the moment.
If you read reversals, a reversed Fool typically means the excess of these qualities – you can’t have too much of a good thing, or your great journey can get horribly wrong! But then, this is the Fool we’re talking about – some mistakes are expected and understandable, but as long as the client keeps their awareness and innocence (“unless they be like children”, or so the Bible verse goes), they should be able to pick themselves up and go on their merry way.
The most common depiction of the Fool is of a man about to step off a cliff, bringing barely anything with him on his journey. He is typically depicted with a large, expansive background, giving you a clue about how vast the future is for him. (In Tarot terms, to be called a Fool is actually a huge compliment!)
As opposed to how some of us over-pack by bringing an entire suitcase of clothes for even a weekend getaway, the Fool’s almost lack of baggage represents how he is only bringing the essential along with him, leaving the complications of luxury and over-preparation behind. There really is only so much one needs to live happily, and most of them don’t involve material things or hand-me-down preconceptions.
Interpretation in Various Areas of Life
Finding the Fool in a work-related reading may well mean that you will need to stand out and express your difference in opinion from your colleagues, or even go as far as to set off on your own. It can be scary, but sometimes that’s exactly what we need!
Staying where you aren’t happy wouldn’t be doing anybody a favor. It is possible to tread your own path while remaining in good terms with the people around you as well.
A Fool in a love spread could mean a couple starting off on their own journey with their best foot forward, but more often than not, especially when the client is single, it means that they don’t need to be in a hurry to get hooked up right now, and they have all the right to enjoy their singlehood. After all, before you can give love to someone else, you have to learn to love yourself.
If the client is into investing, then pastures are looking good right now, and the only way is up. Watch out for being overconfident due to beginner’s luck, though! A Fool is confident, but not proud – there’s a fine line between being adventurous and being reckless.
Since the Fool is one who would set off on an adventure without thinking too much of the details, this card showing up for a health question may mean that the person might need to be a little more alert and careful – there’s an accident-prone vibe coming on here! Other than that, this could also signify that the client would benefit greatly from getting out of their usual environment and going somewhere new to mix things up.
In terms of spirituality-related questions, a Fool showing up tends to indicate an upcoming exploration into different approaches or schools of belief in the client’s search for something that will truly resonate with them. It’s important, though, not to get overly involved in any one system while in this “shopping” phase, since a certain amount of time does have to pass before one can appreciate any one system fully! Nevertheless, how a client’s journey into their soul should be dictated by them alone.