The Fool has a name, but he does not have a number. In some 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.
The Rider Waite card shows the Fool on the edge of a cliff, holding a white rose, basking in the rays of the sun. 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.
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 What does the Fool Tarot card mean reversed?
- 3 The Fool card Keywords
- 4 The Fool as how someone sees, thinks or feels towards you as a person
- 5 The Fool card as a Place
- 6 The Fool Tarot card in a Love or Relationship reading
- 7 The Fool card as Intentions or Wants
- 8 Is the Fool Tarot card a Yes or No?
- 9 The Fool Tarot card in a Career reading
- 10 The Fool Tarot card as a Situation
- 11 The Fool card as an Obstacle or Challenge
- 12 The Fool card as Action or Advice
- 13 The Fool card in the Outcome position
- 14 The Fool card in the Future Position
- 15 What Zodiac Sign is the Fool Tarot card?
- 16 Free Online Tarot Reading
- 17 Related Articles
- 18 Complete Guides to the Major Arcana
- 19 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 brings 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.
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!
What does the Fool Tarot card mean reversed?
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.
In the Tarot of Marseille, 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 advice would be to 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!
The Fool card Keywords
- Journey / Travel
- New Ideas
The Fool as how someone sees, thinks or feels towards you as a person
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. However, they might not take you too seriously and literally think you’re just a fool.
A cheerful jester, the funny man, that one person who is so relaxed that everyone catches on their joyous vibe. 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.
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!
If you’re curious to know how someone feels about you, and the Fool shows up, it could mean that they are developing strong feelings and they’re ready to do almost anything for you or with you. However, 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.
So, be careful not to fall for the trap of immaturity and childish whim. Besides that, the other person likely considers you to be a great source of joy, a living invitation to relax and appreciate life.
The Fool card as a Place
People who seek advice and guidance often need a new direction in their lives. This 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 it 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 Tarot card in a Love or Relationship reading
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!
When drawn to specify a relationship, it means that an exciting adventure is underway. Reversed, however, it suggests that someone is not taking the relationship seriously, or they’re engaging in risky, improper, and immature behaviors.
The Fool card in a Love or Relationship reading means 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.
The impulsive nature of the Fool is all about taking chances, and doing what your heart tells you. It might be the time to get back in the game, or do something crazy that will show to your loved one how you feel!
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. Be careful of rash decisions and childish whims.
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!
Here’s an article that discusses different love and relationship tarot spreads: Best tarot spreads for love
The Fool card as Intentions or Wants
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!
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.
Reversed, the answer might be a little more complicated. You should consider if there are other ways to achieve your goals, or that maybe you’ve failed to notice a minute, yet important detail. The answer is probably positive, but you should proceed with greater caution.
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 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.
When reversed, however, the Fool card amounts to a warning; be careful and do your homework before deciding about that big financial opportunity. You wouldn’t want to be taken advantage of. The surrounding cards will offer more insight, as the negative interpretation could point to a careless gamble or even unemployment.
Don’t hold back, dream big, and go nail that interview with a confident smile!
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
The Fool Tarot card as a Situation
While this card is ideal for moving from one situation to another, staying too long in the Fool’s way can be a tricky state of affairs. It may symbolize the beginning of a spiritual journey.
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 card refers to a fluid situation in which the querent is always on the move. For sure, the clouds of doubt have vanished, and joyous energy is abundant. A new adventure may arise. Uncertainty can be conquered with bravery and swift action.
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 demeanor. You can fit everywhere because you belong nowhere.
However, the negative aspect of the Fool may indicate that poor judgment and rash decisions have created several delusions in your perception and that you need to be more realistic in your expectations.
Reversed, the Fool card could 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 card as an Obstacle or Challenge
The Fool as an obstacle can mean that the querent is not looking where they’re going, or that they’re endlessly and aimlessly revolving around their sense of self. Impulsive and rash decisions, poor judgment, and immaturity add up to rebellious self-sabotage.
Just as the boons of the Fool card are numerous, so too it can 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.
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 querent, being sane and brave enough, can find the will to overcome all and any obstacles.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the reason behind the pattern 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.
However, 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 querent should think if changing themselves to fit other people’s standards is worth the trouble, or if they could simply find new, more loving friends or colleagues.
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 only needs his wit, his loyal friend, and the open road. The pure heart is free to choose any path and accept any challenge.
The Fool card as Action or Advice
The message of the Fool in the advice position is clear: go where the road takes you, let go of fear and stop trying to control everything. Take the chance, trust, and accept yourself totally, and dare to start from the beginning. The longest journey starts with a single step.
If you’ve been waiting for a sign, this is it! Do not over-think, instead 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.
The Fool’s advice is to jump right in. Make that leap of faith into the unknown, as long as you’re sure that you won’t harm yourself or others. There’s nothing terribly wrong with feeling lost, particularly when you delve into uncharted territory.
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, and you will find out that, with the right lever, you can move the world.
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? Stop trying to control everything, it’s a dead end. Some things are simply beyond our reach and understanding. Instead, accept your instincts, free them, walk the path where no one goes, and be spontaneous. Laugh yourself to tears and remember that fortune favors the bold.
So if you’re looking for advice and this card shows up, ask yourself: What holds me back? How can I be fearless? Can I start anew? Do I feel sad and anxious for no apparent reason?
The Fool card in the Outcome position
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. What about other possible questions?
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. Even if this seems like a setback, a new perspective, and fresh ideas will disperse anxiety and the cloud of doubt.
A rather positive card for the 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 achieving your goals.
However, 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 trick here is to never hesitate, whatever comes your way.
The Fool 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 might indicate that you need to stay focused in the present moment. Besides that, something unexpected and seemingly random may appear in your way. 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 within your spirit to find the path that will take you where you wish to arrive.
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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These black and gold Rider Waite tarot deck is beautiful…
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