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Fool Tarot Card Meanings
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UPRIGHT: Beginnings, innocence, spontaneity, a free spirit
REVERSED: Holding back, recklessness, risk-taking
The Fool is numbered 0 – the number of unlimited potential – and so does not have a specific place in the sequence of the Tarot cards. The Fool can be placed either at the beginning of the Major Arcana or at the end. The Major Arcana is often considered the Fool’s journey through life and as such, he is ever present and therefore needs no number.
On the Fool Tarot card, a young man stands on the edge of a cliff, without a care in the world, as he sets out on a new adventure. He is gazing upwards toward the sky (and the Universe) and is seemingly unaware that he is about to skip off a precipice into the unknown. Over his shoulder rests a modest knapsack containing everything he needs – which isn’t much (let’s say he’s a minimalist). The white rose in his left hand represents his purity and innocence. And at his feet is a small white dog, representing loyalty and protection, that encourages him to charge forward and learn the lessons he came to learn. The mountains behind the Fool symbolise the challenges yet to come. They are forever present, but the Fool doesn’t care about them right now; he’s more focused on starting his expedition.
NOTE: The Tarot card meaning description is based on the Rider Waite cards.
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The Fool is a card of new beginnings, opportunity and potential. Just like the young man, you are at the outset of your journey, standing at the cliff‘s edge, and about to take your first step into the unknown. Even though you don’t know exactly where you are going, you are being called to commit yourself and follow your heart, no matter how crazy this leap of faith might seem to you. Now is a time when you need to trust where the Universe is taking you.
As you undertake this new journey, the Fool encourages you to have an open, curious mind and a sense of excitement. Throw caution to the wind and be ready to embrace the unknown, leaving behind any fear, worry or anxiety about what may or may not happen. This is about new experiences, personal growth, development, and adventure.
The time is NOW! Take that leap of faith, even if you do not feel 100% ready or equipped for what is coming (who knows what it could be?!). Seriously, what are you waiting for? Do you think you need to have everything mapped out before you can begin? No way! Not with the Fool. He ventures out on his journey with just his essential belongings – and now he invites you to do the same. You don’t need to wait for someone to give you the green light or hold off until you have all the skills, tools and resources you think you might need. You are ready! If you’ve been watching for a sign, this is it!
This is a time of great potential and opportunity for you right now. The world is your oyster, and anything can happen. Use your creative mind with a dash of spontaneity to make the most of this magical time and bring forth your new ideas in powerful ways.
The Fool is your invitation to relax, play, and have fun. Treat life like one big experiment and feel yourself in the flow of whatever comes your way. This card asks you to embrace your beautiful, carefree spirit, allowing yourself to connect to the energy that surrounds you and flows through you. Tap into your fullest potential by stepping into a place of wonderment, curiosity and intrigue. Live life as though you were a child once again. Laugh more, dance, and let your heart go free.
This is an excellent card to meditate on if you are struggling with dread, worry or self-doubt in your life. The Fool is your guide, as someone who is daring and carefree. He is the embodiment of who you really are – your free spirit, your inner child, and your playful soul. Any time you experience fear, remember the essence of the Fool as he encourages you to acknowledge that fear and do it anyway! You never know what the future holds, but like the Fool, you must step into the unknown, trusting that the Universe will catch you and escort you along the way. Take a chance and see what happens.
The Fool reversed suggests that you have conceived of a new project but aren’t ready to ‘birth’ it into the world just yet. You may worry that you are not fit or that you don’t have all the tools, skills and resources you need to make this project a success. Or perhaps you have a sense that the timing isn’t right. Something is holding you back, and you are preventing yourself from moving forward. You may choose to keep this new opportunity to yourself for now, or you might be ‘parking’ it until a better time.
You may fear the unknown, wondering, ‘What am I getting myself into?’ As a result, you have come to a standstill, worried about taking any action where you don’t know the outcome. This often boils down to the need to control everything. Balance this out with knowing that the Universe has your back and you can take this step forward, even if you are unsure of exactly what will happen next.
On the flipside, the reversed Fool can show that you are taking too many risks and acting recklessly. In your attempt to live ‘in the moment’ and be spontaneous and adventurous, you may do so in total disregard of the consequences of your actions and engaging in activities that put both yourself and others at risk. Look at the bigger picture and consider how you can keep the free spirit of the Fool without harming others.
In light of the playful and fun energy of the upright Fool, the reversal suggests you are exploring this spirit on a more personal and quiet level. For example, instead of letting down your hair and dancing up on stage, you are dancing in your bedroom like no-one is watching. Look at how you can bring more play into your daily life, even if you start out by doing it in private.