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The Fool

A description and interpretation of the role of The Fool in the Tarot

In a nutshell...

  • UPRIGHT

  • freedom
    spontaneity
    departure
    independence
    decision

  • wandering
    risk taking
    obsession
    upheaval
    irrationality

  • REVERSED

General overview

The only card of the Tarot without a number, the Fool is a very special card in the world of cartomancy. While some specialists consider it to be the first card in the tarot, others believe that it is, in fact, the last major arcana. Sometimes impetuous and irrational, often lucid and courageous, the Fool doesn't leave anyone indifferent.

From a visual point of view, the card depicts a single figure, a bearded young man dressed in a jester's costume with bells. The Fool walks in a decided way to the right, that is, towards the unknown, and his eyes raised towards the sky reflect his quest for freedom and the unknown. He carries in his left hand a little bundle, a symbol of the traveler's last material attachments. This burden also symbolizes the pains and wounds that every person inevitably carries with them throughout their life. He is aided by a staff, sign of power, action and independence. The staff's yellow color reminds us of the highly spiritual character of the Fool's approach. Straight and hard, the Pilgrim's Staff is also a typically masculine emblem, which fertilizes the ground with each pace. This sexual signification is also confirmed by the character's naked buttocks which add a touch of humor and a touch of eroticism.

Finally, note that the man is pursued by a flesh-colored animal, which could be a dog, a kid or a feline. It seems to be pushing the Fool towards his future, that is, towards what is inevitable. Or perhaps it is simply fascinated by this very strange character?

If you can write freedom on the beach it’s because you have the freedom to write it. Even though the sea will erase the word the freedom will remain.

Characteristics

  • from an emotional viewpoint

    In the context of a draw that is oriented on romance, the Fool evokes a new awareness within the partnership. Thus, it goes hand in hand with the emergence of a new independence, which does not necessarily mean separation or divorce. It's possible that an over burdensome daily life has weakened the union and each partner now wants to breathe new life into the relationship. In a similar way, the Fool favors travel plans, dynamism in a partnership and new starts.

  • from a career viewpoint

    On a professional level, the Fool suggests the arrival of major upheavals. For example, they could take the form of a professional transfer or a change of career orientation. The card is also often associated with the idea of movement and action in the field. In the end, what is indicated for the seeker is a need for independence in their work, freedom of action and movement. After all, office work isn't for everyone!

  • from a life path viewpoint

    From a general point of view, the Fool accompanies a period of change or evolution. With him, new experiences are welcomed with open arms and originality is highlighted. It is indeed a card that sits apart in the tarot, ones that lets you remove the shackles of everyday routine and enjoy life in a new and original way.

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    • The Fool

      freedom
      spontaneity
      departure
      independence
      decision

    • WITH

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    Its influence

    • short-term

      In the short term, the Fool encourages you to become aware of the imperfect nature of your situation. You should be able to question your daily life and eventually take the necessary steps to improve it. This may involve sudden changes in your life, whether in your love life, with friends or in the professional sphere.

    • long-term

      In the long run, the Fool teaches you to trust your instinct. Comfort and routine are often very reassuring, but can also lead to a form of asphyxiation. This arcana does not compel you to act simply for the pleasure of acting. It shows you the field of possibilities and the paths that your life could take. It's up to you to think long and deep enough to know what to keep and what to change.

    Full interpretation

    Interpretation of The Fool upright

    The Fool doesn't always have good reputation within the large Tarot community. This card, however, has many lessons to offer to those who want to hear them and the concern that it sometimes arouses is primarily due to its unpredictability. However, as we have already seen with The Tower, for example, changing habits can be very beneficial to the seeker's life.

    Above all, you should consider the Fool as a card that reflects movement. With it, you won't have time to stay sheltered in your small world full of certainties; this arcana is strongly associated with journeys, change of scenery and the desire for renewal. Since it is full of vigor, the card is very favorable for decision making, while helping the seeker to move. When you draw the Fool, and especially when other "active" cards appear at its side, everything in your daily life is likely to be questioned. These questions, however, are not necessarily intended to lead to upheaval. They simply allow the seeker to get a better understanding of their situation and, possibly, to leave behind the little things that no longer reflect their true desires and so develop. This is why the Fool is often considered by cartomancy specialists as a card that is about potential, that reveals the field of possibilities.

    Interpretation of The Fool reversed

    When the Fool is drawn reversed, we invite the seeker to be cautious. Depending on the other cards present in the draw, it's possible that this card evokes a particularly chaotic period, in which excessive impulsiveness and a certain form of irrationality could have harmful consequences in the seeker's life. So the desire for change takes the seeker over, without the change being a response to a well-established plan. The danger is then that, on a simple whim, they will destroy the entire edifice of the life they have patiently built over recent years in an action which will look more like loss of control than courage. It is thus advisable to take a step back, to devote some necessary time to decision making and to consult your friends and family to get the benefit of their opinion.

    On the other hand, in rarer cases, the inverted Fool may reflect the manifest fear the seeker feels in the face of change. Their insecurity prevents them from taking full advantage of the opportunities available to them.