The Fool has a name, but he does not have a number. In most Tarot decks, his number is 0, the absence of numbers. In the Tarot of Marseille, the Fool is represented by a young man walking around in a jester’s attire, carrying a staff and a pouch, and a small animal is following him.
In the Rider Waite deck introduced in 1910, the Fool appears to be walking near the edge of a cliff, holding a white rose that stands for innocence and the purity of nature.
He is wearing a peculiar hat and a fancy costume decorated with yellow fruit and green leaves. A white dog is pouncing playfully around him, symbolizing loyalty, the tamed instinct, and the spontaneous joy of life.
Snowy mountains in the background foretell mighty challenges and expanding horizons. The sky’s yellow color is the light of intelligence and consciousness, showing that despite his foolishness, the Fool is smarter and more self-aware than he looks!
In traditional card games, he is the Joker, the wild-card that can take the place of any other card without ever being identical to any one of them. The Fool has no ego, no pride, no taboos; he is free and in harmony with the universe. He is beginning his journey into the unknown right here, right now.
Liberated, carefree, and innocent, he asks for nothing, doesn’t know what fear is, and will travel through all archetypes of the Tarot until he meets his match, the World, and from there, he’ll start again.
And if the Fool would speak, he’d say: “Free the instinct and relax! This life is a game, and all that we’re supposed to do is sing and dance”!
In this comprehensive guide to the Fool, we shall explore the different meanings, the imagery, and the symbolism of this card.
Table of Contents
- 1 What does the Fool Tarot card mean?
- 2 The Fool Tarot Card Upright
- 3 The Fool Keywords Upright
- 4 What does the Fool Tarot card mean reversed?
- 5 The Fool Reversed Keywords
- 6 The Fool Tarot Card as How Someone (He/She) Sees You
- 7 The Fool Reversed as How Someone (He/She) Sees You
- 8 What does the Fool Tarot card mean in Love
- 9 What does the Fool Reversed mean in Love?
- 10 What does the Fool Tarot Card mean in Friendship?
- 11 What does the Fool Reversed mean in Friendship?
- 12 The Fool Tarot card in a Career reading
- 13 The Fool Reversed in a Career reading
- 14 What does The Fool mean in Conflict?
- 15 What does The Fool Reversed mean in Conflict?
- 16 The Fool Tarot Card as How Someone Thinks of You
- 17 The Fool Reversed as How Someone Thinks of You
- 18 The Fool Tarot Card as Feelings
- 19 The Fool Reversed as Feelings
- 20 The Fool Tarot Card as a Situation
- 21 The Fool Reversed as a Situation
- 22 The Fool Tarot Card as Intentions / What Someone Wants
- 23 The Fool Reversed as Intentions / What Someone Wants
- 24 Is the Fool Tarot card a Yes or No?
- 25 Is the Fool Tarot Card Reversed a Yes or No?
- 26 The Fool Tarot Card as a Place
- 27 The Fool Reversed as a Place
- 28 The Fool Tarot Card as an Obstacle or Challenge
- 29 The Fool Reversed as an Obstacle / Challenge
- 30 The Fool card as Action
- 31 The Fool Reversed as Action
- 32 The Fool Tarot Card as Advice
- 33 The Fool Reversed as Advice
- 34 The Fool Tarot Card as an Outcome
- 35 The Fool Reversed as an Outcome
- 36 The Fool Tarot Card in the Future Position
- 37 The Fool Reversed in the Future
- 38 The Fool Tarot Card as a Person
- 39 The Fool Reversed as a Person
- 40 What Zodiac Sign is the Fool Tarot card?
- 41 Free Online Tarot Reading
- 42 Related Articles
- 43 Complete Guides to the Major Arcana
- 44 Some of My Favorite Items
What does the Fool Tarot card mean?
The Fool Tarot card represents freedom, energy, spontaneity, new beginnings, and the irrational. He is the free and innocent spirit traveling through the world without a care, ready to take up challenges and opportunities. The Fool symbolizes the first step into the unknown.
When this colorful card appears in a reading, it denotes tremendous energy and the beginning of a journey. The Fool sets out without knowing where exactly he’s going, but the will to follow his heart and trust the Universe compensate for the lack of experience.
The limitless energy and potential of the Fool signify a force that is moving forward. When the Fool is looking at another card, he charges that card with his creative energy. If he is leaving from another card, he’s being liberated from that situation and moving to a new one.
The Fool often signifies a leap of faith. It’s time to believe in yourself and do what you thought was impossible, until now! What are you waiting for? Have no fear, no anxiety, accept the challenge, enjoy the adventure, and grow towards the sun! This is the message of the Fool, who is always seen with a smile on his lips.
He doesn’t care about destinations; all paths are the Fool’s path. His journey could begin at any moment, for time is irrelevant to him and he truly needs no one else; his own song is the best company.
A small animal is following the Fool, most likely a dog, a loyal friend who protects and encourages. It symbolizes the tamed ego, and the natural state of all living things, a kind of playful trance. Finally, the white rose is a symbol of purity, and it reminds us that the most wonderful things happen to those who are pure of heart.
The Fool Tarot Card Upright
The Fool in an upright position is a very positive card to receive. It brings a joyous burst of energy that is ideal for a fresh start.
The Fool invites you to believe in yourself and go on a journey with no destination. Let go of fear and worry, forget who you were, and just be in the here and now. Take the first step into the unknown, no matter how crazy it seems.
Is he dancing, singing, yawning, or just enjoying the view? It makes no difference; for the Fool, each moment is unique and every act is pure, not to be spoiled with meaning and intent. The past is long gone, and the future doesn’t even exist! All we have is the present moment. To realize that is to decide to be free, unbound from all that is wrong with the world.
This card might be a sign that you are ready for a new beginning. It might also represent a carefree, cheerful person in your life, someone who will invite you to an exciting adventure. They could even be your guide, as long as you don’t care where you are going! No matter who or where you are and where you want to go, drop the idea of ego, keep only the essentials, and set out to live a life full of joy.
The Fool is all about spontaneity, being OK with who you are, taking risks, and moving forward. He’s wandering around, deciding which road to follow on the flip of a coin, knowing that it doesn’t really matter. All roads lead to Rome. What matters is to trust your heart and be open to new experiences.
The lesson of this card is that there is no lesson. Wise men can argue all day long about what is and what is not, until the evening when they grow tired of their own thinking. And the Fool laughs at them because their concepts and rules and preachings only complicate what is pure and simple.
Whether his knapsack is empty or encloses the whole world, it is the same. The Fool is perfectly fine where he stands, and at the same time, ready to go beyond.
The Fool Keywords Upright
- New Beginnings
- Journey / Travel
- New Ideas
- Leap of Faith
What does the Fool Tarot card mean reversed?
In reverse, the Fool card relates to disorder and thoughtlessness.
The Fool reversed symbolizes recklessness, instability, chaos, madness, and ignoring the consequences of actions. In that case, the energy of the Fool is wasted on immature decisions, aimless wandering, unnecessary risks, and a general inability to move forward in life.
In its negative aspect, the Fool card resembles an unquiet, imbalanced mind. Maybe it’s the fear of the unknown that’s blocking your way. Or it might suggest that you aren’t feeling ready to accept the challenges of life, worrying that you don’t have the necessary tools and skills to succeed. The timing isn’t right and something is holding you back.
Either you are stopping yourself from doing what you love, or you’re acting so carelessly, in a forced attempt to ‘live the moment’, that you’re ignoring the risks that your foolish actions bring upon yourself and others.
Hence, it’s not clear whether the Fool is walking forward, or if he’s aimlessly revolving around himself. Likewise, in other portrayals of the Fool, he might be unaware that he’s about to fall off the edge of the cliff. The animal companion then becomes the warning voice that urges to open our eyes and trust in ourselves.
The Fool card reversed could signify a mentally ill person, someone in need of help or guidance. Furthermore, it suggests that being too self-aware can have negative consequences. Being conscious of our thoughts and actions all the time blocks the way to freedom and overwhelms the mind and soul.
The Fool Reversed Keywords
The Fool Tarot Card as How Someone (He/She) Sees You
Sometimes the simplest questions lead to the most illuminating advice. The way we perceive ourselves and who we are might be quite different than what others see, or think they see.
When someone sees you as the Fool, it means that they really like you and perceive you as a playful, care-free person, a risk-taker, someone who’s always fun to be around. The Fool’s innocent, beautiful smile brightens their day.
A cheerful jester, the funny man, that one person who is so relaxed that everyone catches on their joyous vibe. He is the perfect companion for a road trip, or a wild night out. A romantic dare-devil, free from taboos and complexes. These are some of the ways that others might perceive you when you align with the Fool’s archetype.
For a love reading, this card means that the person finds you attractive and exciting. They could follow you anywhere because just seeing you makes them appreciate life as it is.
Of course, there’s always the risk that they’re not taking you seriously. But if you understand who the Fool really is, you realize that they’re simply underestimating you and the joke’s on them!
The Fool Reversed as How Someone (He/She) Sees You
The drawbacks of a card might appear even in an upright position. However, for ease of understanding, the Fool reversed can denote the following.
The Fool, in reverse, is seen as an immature, careless, or crazy person. He might act without thinking, make inappropriate jokes, show no regard for danger, and be over-excited for no reason. Or, he could be trying to cover up his anxiety and fear by putting on a happy face.
They could be seeing you as a silly person who’s perpetually revolving around their ego, apparently going nowhere and achieving nothing. You may be trying too hard to show your light-hearted side and cheer people up, resulting in awkward situations that make you look bad and nervous.
The Fool can be seen as immature, unpredictable, and ignorant of danger. So, be careful not to fall for the trap of immaturity and childish whim.
Besides that, you might be doing just fine. Even so, the person of interest, perhaps because of prejudice or their own projections, deem your behavior as irrational and judge you for being who you are. To quote Nietzsche: “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
What does the Fool Tarot card mean in Love
In a love reading, the Fool card can be interpreted as a good omen. His care-free attitude and fun personality can attract potential lovers like flowers attract bees!
The Fool card in a love or relationship reading denotes fun, optimism, and excitement. Although it might not be a serious, long-term relationship, it will certainly be an adventure worth pursuing. It is generally a good omen, but you should keep in mind not to expect a wholehearted commitment.
When drawn to specify a relationship, it means that an exciting adventure is underway. The impulsive nature of the Fool is all about taking chances, and doing what your heart tells you. It might be the right time to get back in the game, or do something crazy that will show to your loved one how you feel!
While this might not be the sign to join in holy matrimony, it shows that there are genuine feelings and irresistible attraction. Again, the Fool in a love reading suggests relaxing, being yourself, following your heart, remembering to have fun, and taking a break once in a while to smell the flowers!
In love, logic is often left out, hence the expression ‘madly in love’. Fun times are almost guaranteed, although the Fool’s tremendous energy rarely stays in one place for a long time.
So, consider if you both are truly ready and mature enough to acknowledge and control your feelings, or it could all end up in a crazy misunderstanding, where nobody knows what they’re doing.
If you are single and looking for someone, this card might be a sign that a new romance or the new beginning you’ve searching for is just around the corner. However, as the Fool represents freedom, you might want to just flirt and postpone that serious commitment for later.
Here’s an article that discusses different love and relationship tarot spreads: Best tarot spreads for love.
What does the Fool Reversed mean in Love?
The Fool, in reverse, is a troubling card for your love reading.
When the Fool appears reversed in a love reading, it denotes uncertainty, instability, and a lack of control. It means that one of you is not ready to settle down and doesn’t take the relationship seriously. If single, you might be making a fool out of yourself by desperately searching for a new partner.
The Fool reversed suggests that someone is not taking the relationship seriously, showing disrespect, or that they’re engaging in risky and immature behaviors.
Perhaps your feelings are overwhelming you, and any attempts to express your love have the opposite result. Or, your partner might not be ready to commit yet, holding back and worrying that they are losing their freedom.
This card might represent a person who doesn’t stay in the same place for long and goes from one lover to the next in a matter of days. The cool façade of the playboy might trick some people, but it usually hides insecurities, the need for affirmation, the rush of the hunt, and seeking pleasure to escape reality.
If single, keep in mind that improper and impulsive behaviors can repel potential partners. You might be searching for romance without being ready to have another person around you right now and preventing yourself from moving forward because of anxiety and inhibitions.
What does the Fool Tarot Card mean in Friendship?
The Fool card brings joy and laughter to your friendship.
The Fool is a care-free, genuine friend who likes to make you laugh. He’s the kind of person who’s always up for a walk to the park or an excursion to the countryside. You might not want to discuss your serious problems with him, but he’s got a kind heart and can lift your spirits!
If you are wondering about a specific friend of yours, the Fool indicates that they are honestly fond of you and really enjoy spending time together. While you can be sure that they will support and help you, they might not be the ideal person to ask for advice.
What does the Fool Reversed mean in Friendship?
The reversed Fool denotes that some of your friends might not be in the right state of mind.
If the Fool appears reversed in your friendship reading, pause and think for a moment before picking up the phone and arranging a wild night out with the gang. Your friends might be immature or careless and going through a phase that you have gotten over.
There’s a time to rejoice with your fellows and then there’s a time to sit back and enjoy the calm and quiet of your home. This card in reverse might be a sign that the relationship with your friends is distracting you and might even be messing with your mind.
The reversed Fool can represent a person who is all fun and games, until suddenly they overwhelm you with unreasonable remarks and baseless arguments, trying to convince you about something crazy and irrelevant! Of course, you can listen and support them, but sometimes you have to let them figure out their folly on their own.
The Fool Tarot card in a Career reading
The Fool card could mean a career in entertainment, such as a comedian, a musician, or an actor. When considering career choices, it might signify that several opportunities will arise. It’s time to look for the job of your dreams, follow your heart, and be enthusiastic.
The Fool upright, when asking about your career path, is a very positive card, especially if you’re looking for a new job or planning to start your own business. New ideas and a fresh start will lead to success, despite the lack of experience, as long as you remember to enjoy your work, be confident, and keep an open mind.
Don’t hold back, dream big, and go nail that interview with a confident smile!
The Fool Reversed in a Career reading
When reversed, however, the Fool card amounts to a warning; be careful and do your homework before deciding about that big financial opportunity or a career change.
The Fool, in reverse, indicates unemployment, drifting from job to job, or being naïve and exploited. That might not be the right time for bold moves. Caution, planning, and stability are advised.
The Fool’s haste, naivety, and kind heart sometimes make him an easy target. You wouldn’t want to be taken advantage of. The surrounding cards will offer more insight, as this negative interpretation could point to a careless gamble or even unemployment.
I have an article that will show you how to manifest your dream job with a 3 card manifestation spread for a new career: How to use tarot cards for manifestation
What does The Fool mean in Conflict?
In conflict, the Fool can signify that an argument may concern conflict over new ideas or risk-taking, especially in business or new ventures. The young, ambitious, and joyful part of you can be at odds with your rationality and maturity. You can also be feeling inexperienced or helpless in a conflict.
Taking that ‘leap of faith’ into something new will always incur the constant toss up between fear and excitement. Unlike the Fool reversed, there is a genuine worry and concern that forms the basis of this conflict, not a flippant one.
That means someone, or even yourself, genuinely cares about the matter at hand. They may seem irresponsible, quite carefree, or spontaneous on the exterior, but these don’t mean that they illogical or irrational.
Or perhaps someone’s outlook upon life and carefree exterior is the cause of such conflict. They don’t seem ready for the responsibility to take on this future endeavor. Their future plans can seem naïve or overly optimistic. But how do we distinguish this naïve daydreaming from true passion and ambition?
And on the other hand, a person can be tied down due to their responsibilities and duties, such as taking care of children and the elderly, needing to pay rent, or balancing work with family. Even if a young, inner excitement is urging them to try something new, their logic arises to fight it down with rationality and responsibility.
Sometimes, we must be reminded that stepping into something new does not always involve giant leaps of faith. Even when we might feel inexperienced, allow any fear or voice of criticism peacefully alongside our joy and vitality. Take small steps forward instead. With every step, those disputes and doubts inside and around you will slowly cease to conflict with your freedom.
What does The Fool Reversed mean in Conflict?
Whilst the Upright Fool contains hints of a trivial nature, the Fool reversed expands on this exponentially. The problem no longer lies in the topic of the actual conflict; it lies in the hearts and minds of those involved.
The Fool reversed can suggest a different story. This is truly a conflict of pride, where any party can walk away, yet are all swallowed in a whirlpool of anger and irrationality, due to their immaturity. No party is truly listening to the other, and energy is being wasted upon arguments that spring out of nowhere.
The Fool reversed encapsulates avoidance in the form of petty arguments, or having arguments purely for the sake of fighting. There is no reason behind these conflicts and there will be no purposeful outcome. This card tells us that it will be so much better for you to just walk away.
In a situation where a person’s pride has been hurt, stubbornness and defensiveness arise to protect a fragile inner ego. This is where energy is not being utilized in a rational way. Instead of seeking satisfaction in the moment, note how your mental wellbeing will benefit far more from refusing to engage in an argument where immaturity or insults are involved.
The Fool Tarot Card as How Someone Thinks of You
When the Fool card describes how someone thinks of you, it means they think you are cool and cheerful.
The Fool is a free spirit who radiates optimism and delight. The person of interest likely considers you to be a great source of joy, a living invitation to relax and appreciate life.
People will admire you for the positive way you look at life and your ability to brighten everyone’s mood with your wit and upbeat attitude. You can fit everywhere because you belong nowhere. To say it plainly; they think you are awesome!
The fearless Fool can make any sad person laugh and lift their spirits. He is the heart of the party, a vibrant, colorful persona who is living in the moment and inspires everyone to do the same.
The Fool Reversed as How Someone Thinks of You
If the Fool appears reversed to answer your question about how someone thinks of you, it means they think you are reckless and irrational.
In reverse, the Fool is thought of as a jumpy, provocative, and unstable person who cannot fend for himself. You might be saying one thing then doing the exact opposite. Others might not take you too seriously and literally think you’re only a fool.
The Fool, in reverse, is thought of as irresponsible, and his optimism is lost either in anxiety or a complete disregard for the rules of society. Having fun is one thing. To ridicule what others believe is something entirely different.
Perhaps the person deems your behavior inappropriate, thinks you have no idea what you are doing whatsoever, and that you need to grow up.
In any case, not everyone has the same sense of humor or walks at the same pace. They might have been offended while you were only joking around. But what if they are right, trying to warn you of the dangers and foolishness that you are walking into?
The Fool Tarot Card as Feelings
The Fool is never afraid to express how he feels.
If you’re curious to know how someone feels about you and the Fool shows up, it means that they are developing strong feelings, and they’re ready to do almost anything for you or with you. The card denotes hope, joy, and excitement.
Feeling free and invincible, the Fool spontaneously shows his emotions in the most natural and direct manner. You might be surprised by his honesty. Do not doubt him; it’s not mere enthusiasm, but genuine joy and warmth.
Regarding another person’s feelings for you, the Fool card means that you make them feel like they are on top of the world!
The Fool Reversed as Feelings
The Fool reversed indicates either anxiety and doubt or being swept away by strong emotions.
In reverse, the Fool denotes feeling nervous, halfhearted, or so excited that you lose control. In either case, you might be letting your inconsistent emotions sidetrack and overwhelm you. When describing another person’s feelings toward you, it possibly means they like you so much that they cannot handle it.
For example, a person might be in love and act really nervous around their partner because they are afraid they will say something wrong or that they look funny. Then they end up making a fool of themselves anyway because their agitation is all they can think! The result could be a disaster or an awkward yet hilarious moment.
While in the upright position the Fool brings joy and spontaneity, when reversed he lets his erratic feelings get in the way. Unsure about how to behave or what to do, he just doesn’t feel like himself and might even think he’s going mad!
The Fool Tarot Card as a Situation
This card is ideal for moving from one situation to another. It may also symbolize the beginning of a spiritual journey.
The Fool card refers to a fluid situation in which the seeker is always on the move. For sure, the clouds of doubt have vanished, and joyful energy is abundant. A new adventure may arise.
Spontaneous and care-free, the Fool can help you discover the bright side of life, tame the wild instinct, and join in the dance of existence. He reveals the side of reality that many have called ‘the cosmic joke’. Even in times of strife and sadness, there’s always a silver lining if you try to make the best out of any situation.
The Fool might indicate fresh starts, expanding your horizons, traveling, as well as going after opportunities and new experiences.
The Fool Reversed as a Situation
Staying too long in the Fool’s way can be a tricky state of affairs.
However, the negative aspect of the Fool may indicate that poor judgment, doubt, and rash decisions have created several delusions in your perception. Maybe you need to have more realistic expectations and face your responsibilities.
Reversed, the Fool card might reveal uncertainty, inconsistency, and carelessness. Maybe you’ve been wasting your time, wondering about the numerous possibilities, overwhelmed by inaction, and stuck in a loop. Take a deep breath and realize that no progress can be made while you linger in the shadow of doubt.
The danger here consists of miscalculating your abilities, taking unnecessary risks, and not facing the situation with a serious attitude. Before making a fool out of yourself, consider if you have been judging the facts incorrectly. Maybe your decisions have been irrational, and you need to find a new way forward.
The Fool Tarot Card as Intentions / What Someone Wants
When describing what someone wants, the Fool is all about freedom, fun, and beginnings.
As an intention, the Fool card may signify the will to be free from anxiety, to make a new beginning, and to enjoy life at its fullest. Moreover, it may be a sign that you want to travel to an unknown and peaceful place, or that you’re waiting for something unexpected to happen and surprise you.
Sometimes we all find ourselves in that mental space where we’re not sure what we want. Should you ask this question, and the Fool shows up, consider taking a hike in nature to fill your lungs up with fresh air and enjoy the pleasant view of trees and mountains.
Wanting to be free means ignoring that you’re free to do as you please, right here, right now. The Fool is impulsive, doesn’t think twice, and is always ready for an adventure. The road to liberation starts with a single, small step forward. After this, the whole world awaits.
The Fool brings a spontaneous burst of energy, shouting ‘Wake up!’ Maybe what you wish for is to wake up from the bland reality of logic to the irrational, magical realm where anything is possible.
Or you can always adopt a cat!
The Fool Reversed as Intentions / What Someone Wants
Sometimes we all find ourselves in that mental space where we’re not sure what we want.
The reversed Fool indicates a person who doesn’t know what they want. They might go from one place to another, buy things they don’t need, meet people they are not interested in, and so on.
Like a child who asks for a new toy and then throws it away, the Fool in reverse might say he wants something with all his heart, only to lose interest when he finally gets it and move on to the next distraction.
Is the Fool Tarot card a Yes or No?
Many Tarot readings boil down to a Yes or No answer. Though this binary logic can limit our perception of the problem and the various solutions, sometimes we just want this affirmation.
Keep in mind to phrase your question in the most positive way possible to avoid confusion and misinterpretations. Any fool can flip a coin, leaving everything up to chance. The Tarot is a sophisticated tool, designed to offer help to both simple questions and more complicated matters.
Though it could indicate immaturity and foolishness, the Fool card is a definite ‘YES’ answer. It suggests optimism and letting go of doubt. Don’t let indecisiveness drive you crazy, trust in the universe, and make that move forward!
An absolutely positive card, the Fool is all about letting go of your fears and doubts. Even if the obstacles seem impossible to overcome, make that leap of faith and hope for the best.
Is the Fool Tarot Card Reversed a Yes or No?
In a yes or no question, when the Fool is reversed, the answer might be a little more complicated. The answer is probably positive, but you should proceed with greater caution, consider if there are other ways to achieve your goals, or that maybe you’ve failed to notice a minute, yet important detail.
Check this article to review how to ask yes or no questions with Tarot cards: How to use Tarot for Yes or No Answers (with 10 examples)
The Fool Tarot Card as a Place
People who seek advice and guidance often need a new direction in their lives. That is one of the many roles of the Tarot, to point out the best possible direction, and not only metaphorically! Alternatively, you may be asking where you might meet a particular person or where you should travel to.
The Fool as a place could represent the open road, a mountain range, or some other natural environment. It may be a new and unknown place where we wish to travel to or someplace where we feel joy and relaxation, such as a park, a bar, a beach, or a vacation destination.
The wandering Fool suggests that this could be a place away from civilization, where wildlife is thriving. Mentally, it is the void, the natural state of the mind, the absence of space and anxiety, free and without boundaries.
The Fool Reversed as a Place
The Fool, in reverse, may indicate the following locations.
The reversed Fool might refer to a psychiatric hospital or any place that provides care for the mentally ill. The card might otherwise indicate a location in nature that is dangerous and off-limits.
As a card traditionally related to psychological disorders, the inverted Fool will likely refer to a mental health clinic. If we base our interpretation on the imagery, it might be a dangerous place far from civilization, like a forest where wild animals roam free or an impassable mountain.
The Fool Tarot Card as an Obstacle or Challenge
As an obstacle or challenge card, the Fool may denote the following.
The Fool as an obstacle represents a leap of faith, the courageous step into the unknown that will one day lead to freedom and joy. It is about pursuing a goal or holding a belief that others deem impossible or unbelievable. The card also indicates moving forward from one state of affairs to a completely new one.
The Fool’s challenge is, of course, to travel through all of the Major Arcana and reach the World. You could say that he has more obstacles in his way than any other Arcanum. However, he doesn’t need any equipment to achieve his goals, not the Emperor’s sword, nor the Devil’s cunning.
The Fool needs only his wit, his loyal friend, and the open road. The pure heart is free to choose any path and accept any challenge.
In classic imagery, mountains symbolize obstacles; nature itself becomes the enemy, while the Fool is carelessly walking to the edge of a cliff, ignorant of the impending danger.
No other card reveals such a threat as that of the self-destructing Fool. But it’s also possible that the seeker, being sane and brave enough, can find the will to overcome all and any obstacles.
So, the Fool’s obstacle is not always his self. It might as well be that all the people surrounding the Fool are judgmental and strict, mistaken by the foolish appearance and trying to impose their will on him, because, in their opinion, ‘he doesn’t know any better.’
In that case, the seeker should think if changing themselves to fit other people’s standards is worth the trouble, or if they could find new, open-minded friends and colleagues.
The Fool Reversed as an Obstacle / Challenge
The Fool reversed as an obstacle card denotes self-sabotage and irrationality.
The reversed Fool in the obstacle position is not looking where he is going, aimlessly revolving around himself. Impulsive and rash decisions, poor judgment, and immaturity add up to rebellious self-sabotage. The card might also represent insanity and psychological disorders.
Just as the boons of the Fool card are numerous, it can also pose as an overwhelming obstacle, from a naive and innocent perception that enables others to take advantage of you, to cognitive dissonance and outright madness.
One of the traditional interpretations of the Fool card is the madman, the mentally ill and unstable person. If that is the case, consider seeking help from a psychiatrist. The Tarot is not a magic wand that will make all the bad stuff disappear in the blink of an eye. Some problems must be addressed by professionals.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the reason behind the patterns of self-sabotage. Some people blame their environment for the troubles they have brought upon themselves.
Others blame the ‘system’ or bad luck, oblivious to the fact that they’re falling into a trap of pointless rebellion and prejudice, exhausting all their powers in condemnation instead of seeking solutions to their problems.
The Fool card as Action
As an action card, the Fool calls on you to seize the opportunity and run with it!
The Fool card is the ultimate invitation to action; it’s time to put an end to doubt, fear, and hesitation. Even if the task you’ve undertaken seems impossible to accomplish, believe in yourself. You will find out that, with the right lever, you can move the world.
The Fool makes it all up along the way. There is no map for where he is going, so he’s got to adapt and expect the unexpected.
So what if your plan is crazy? What if you don’t even have a plan, but only a vague idea, a hunch, a creative urge? You’ll never know if it works unless you give it a try, and you can always make the necessary changes later. Make that leap of faith into the unknown, as long as you’re sure that you won’t harm yourself or others.
When you see an opportunity, don’t think twice. If things get tough, push your limits.
The Fool Reversed as Action
The reversed Fool reminds you to watch your step.
The Fool in reverse is a warning that you are engaging in risky behavior. You don’t have to follow up on every impulse and compulsion. Think about the consequences of your actions.
They say that madness is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. You are not your thoughts, and just because you thought of something doesn’t mean you have to play along with it. There are good ideas and bad ideas. A reversed Fool doesn’t seem to know the difference.
So maybe this time, don’t mindlessly rush ahead. Stay grounded, and stay safe!
The Fool Tarot Card as Advice
The Fool is a wonderful card to get as advice.
The message of the Fool in the advice position is clear: go where the road takes you, take the chance, trust, and accept yourself totally. Dare to start from the beginning. The longest journey begins with a single step. And when life gets tough, the best cure is to relax and laugh about it!
If you’ve been waiting for a sign, this is it! Do not over-think. Find the simplest possible solution, and you will see that you don’t need to be a mystic or a rocket scientist to solve the problems of life.
Cheer up! If you are alive and breathing, you have food to eat and a place to stay, it cannot be that bad, right? Even when you find yourself in a pickle, remember to look on the bright side of life.
The Fool’s advice is to jump right in. Take the step forward, even if you’re unsure of what will happen. Refrain from harming others with reckless behavior, relax, remember to bring more play into daily life, and keep your eyes on the road!
Don’t be afraid to expose yourself to the world out of fear that you might look silly. Who is, after all, so serious that defines what is ridiculous and what is acceptable? Laugh yourself to tears and remember that fortune favors the bold.
Accept your instincts, free them, walk the path where no one goes, and be spontaneous.
The Fool Reversed as Advice
In reverse, the Fool as an advice card is similar to its upright position, although it relates more to anxiety and disorder.
Let go of fear and stop trying to control everything. Go forth with a light heart, but remember not to treat life as a mere joke. Search for the subtle balance between order and revelry.
Do you feel afraid, sad, and anxious for no apparent reason? There’s nothing terribly wrong with feeling lost, particularly when you delve into uncharted territory. So if you’re looking for advice and this card shows up reversed, ask yourself: What is holding me back? How can I be fearless? Can I start anew? Do I have a serious attitude towards my responsibilities?
Don’t leave everything up to chance, but don’t try to control everything either, it is a dead end. Some things are simply beyond our reach and understanding. Finally, remember that a little humor in times of no sanity can go a long way.
The Fool Tarot Card as an Outcome
If you’re curious whether or not you’ll be able to make that fresh start or travel to that island you’ve always dreamed about, the Fool is certainly a positive outcome.
The Fool card in the outcome position suggests that you will arrive upon a new mindset and you’ll be able to freely choose which direction to follow. A new perspective and fresh ideas will disperse anxiety and the clouds of doubt.
As an outcome, the Fool signals the beginning of a journey into the unknown and a new adventure. It brings joyous energy and confidence to help you on your way to achieve your goals.
The trick here is to never hesitate, whatever comes your way.
The Fool Reversed as an Outcome
In reverse, the Fool as an outcome denotes a rather confusing result.
The Fool in reverse wastes his energy in randomness or doubt. If you expect nothing, you will never be disappointed. But if you don’t clarify what you want, you will keep going in circles. Even if this outcome seems like a setback, there is a chance for a new perspective.
Perhaps the timing isn’t right for what wanted. Or you may be in for a surprise with this unplanned turn of events.
If it’s stability you’re hoping for, the Fool might be an indicator that something unexpected will shake your firm grip on the world. Maybe you’ll be left to wander, seeking a new road. Do not worry. Take advantage of this opportunity, and try to reinvigorate your mind.
The Fool Tarot Card in the Future Position
In this spread, look to the Past position and compare to the Present and Future positions to gain insight on how the energies have progressed. The Outcome position refers more to how a situation will end, but the Future position refers to long-term energy that the querent will step into.
When the Fool appears in the future position, it indicates that you should stay focused in the present moment. Nonetheless, something unexpected and seemingly random may appear in your way, boosting your mood with energy and excitement. It might be a sign that you will soon embark upon a personal and spiritual journey.
The Fool, like the Magician, always reminds us that if we refuse to live in the present moment, we’re heading for limbo, nostalgic for the past and anxious about the future. No one can be sure what the future holds for them, and the message of the Fool, in that case, is to keep an open mind and travel lightly because you never know what the future’s got in store for you!
This card may be a sign that random events are going to happen that will shake your beliefs. You’re not going crazy! It’s just the way of nature to show us how the cosmic joke unfolds. Maybe it won’t be a time for serious contemplation and big decisions.
Instead, look at your surroundings and within your spirit to find the path that will take you where you wish to arrive.
The Fool Reversed in the Future
In reverse, the Fool can be read as a warning from your Higher Self, telling you that you are walking on shaky ground.
The future, as indicated by the Fool in reverse, is unclear. Perhaps the path you have chosen won’t take you anywhere, and you will find yourself at the beginning once again. Instability and foolishness oftentimes result in chaos.
This card in reverse denotes that nothing is certain about the future, but without the bright optimism of its upright position. The Fool, hungry and dizzy, ends up in the middle of nowhere. The sun is going down, and no shelter is to be found. So what now?
The Fool will remain a fool until he learns his lesson. If you have failed to foresee some of the disastrous consequences of your decisions, you do your best to deal with it and save what you can save.
The Fool Tarot Card as a Person
The Fool represents a carefree, blissful, and open-minded person, a fearless free spirit without taboos and inhibitions. He might be a vagabond, a traveler, a party-starter, the guy who always has a new joke to tell, or your good hippy friend with the radiant smile!
For the Fool, there is no coincidence, no accident. Everything and everyone is part of a game that has no rules. An actor in the pure state, he does not merely improvise. Life and play become one and the same.
He can brighten your day and remind you what it’s all about; life is good. There is no plan to follow, no chains to bind you, and no time to waste!
The Fool Reversed as a Person
In reverse, the Fool retains some of his good qualities. However, he can turn into a madman or the nervous neurotic hiding behind the mask of a clown.
In reverse, the Fool fails to recognize his folly. He resembles an irrational person who is impulsive, doesn’t listen to reason, and has no regard for the consequences of his actions. When all is said and done he is simply out of his mind.
That would be a person who is ignorant of danger or so afraid to live that all he can do is walk in circles around himself. Whimsical, impulsive, reckless… you never know what to expect of him. The reversed Fool walks on the borderline between freedom and insanity.
What Zodiac Sign is the Fool Tarot card?
In astrology, the Fool card is associated with the air sign of Aquarius. Those who are born under this sign are the rebels, the unconventional pioneers, and the eccentric free spirits. Aquarius is ruled by two planets, Uranus and Saturn.
Uranus, who is the ruler of Aquarius during the daytime, is the god of the sky. The characteristics of this planetary influence are change, revolution, and the radical spirit.
Saturn, son of Uranus and father of Jupiter, rules Aquarius in the night. The opposite influence here is the traditional spirit, dominance, stubbornness, and organization.
Aquarius’ symbol is the Water Bearer, the nourishment that the heavens send to Earth, and the major attributes of this sign are independence, sensibility, non-conformism, and unconventional thinking.
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- What’s the difference between the Major and Minor Arcana?
- How to use the Major Arcana tarot cards
- How to read the Minor Arcana tarot cards
Complete Guides to the Major Arcana
Here you will find a complete guide to all the Major Arcana Cards:
- The Fool (this article here!)
- The Magician
- The High Priestess
- The Empress
- The Emperor
- The Hierophant
- The Lovers
- The Chariot
- The Hermit
- Wheel of Fortune
- The Hanged Man
- The Devil
- The Tower
- The Star
- The Moon
- The Sun
- The World
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