Card 0: The Fool


In Numerology: 0
Star Sign or Planet: Uranus
Yes or No answer: This card says Yes
Key dates: None

The Fool in an Upright Position

When people encounter The Fool in its upright position, it denotes the need for making decisions and taking action. There is a pathway that must be travelled in order for this reluctant being to continue on his journey. There are choices that need to be made and risks that must be taken in order for the fool to reach his objectives. The presence of a cliff in common tarot decks refers to these risks: the card leaves the height of the fall a mystery, and the fool could fall over the cliff to his death or find the vertical to be no more dangerous than the front stoop of a house. The lack of action within the card alludes to the need for risk to be undertaken. Otherwise, the fool must stop in his tracks, going no further. There is no way of knowing whether he is travelling towards an inevitable demise or a single stair, hinting at an atmosphere of uncertainty and fear of the unknown. Overcoming this fear will help the fool within to take the necessary steps to complete a journey regardless of how daunting the obstacles may be.

The Fool is also symbolic of new projects, jobs, goals, and beginnings of all kinds where there is a need to remain carefree and without worry. It can also represent the need or desire for something new that can be built upon that serves towards delivering one to their destination in the most suitable of ways. It is important for the querent to recognize the need for courage and optimism, which often falls by the wayside when initiating any new journey, and the querent would be well-served to pay attention to their worth and potential in new undertakings. It is important to understand the necessity of experiences as well as difficulty and how they can help one to become more seasoned and sure-footed on their chosen path.

The Fool in a Reversed Position

Reversed cards often indicate the exact opposite of their original meaning. In the case of The Fool, a reversal signifies the need to be wary of the obstacles and various participants on your journey. There may be excessive risk, danger ahead, or blind hope that serves to demolish the querent’s dreams and goals through reckless action and a lack of experience. It is key that the querent remain optimistic on their path but definitively cautious of pitfalls and hidden snares that serve to derail one on their way to the top. It is advisable, if this card should fall in the reverse position, to examine the road before stepping over the cliff for one might find the drop off to be quite steep, even treacherous. It is also imperative to avoid speculation of any kind while taking on new endeavours in order to forego any unnecessary difficulty, keeping one’s wits about them and trusting few who offer their assistance and advice along the way. Educating oneself is an excellent way to keep from being sold on shaky ideas and led to believe in ideals with false premises.

There is also an air of foolhardy recklessness and excessive ambition that can fuel one towards goals that are not meant to be, impossible to attain, and foolishly selected. An underlying lack of realism is evident and there is a large call for the querent to keep their feet firmly planted as to side step an unfavourable demise to goals or other initiations. A reversed position of The Fool heralds the presence of pipe dreams that, although noble and endearing, may result in the demise of The Fool and his hopes for the future. This is akin to the lamb going to its slaughter, completely unaware and inattentive to the cons of following dreams blindly in search of attainment. Avoid falling into a haze of gullibility that will see dreams dashed and talents wasted, and be wary of those who would take advantage of such a trustful nature. Beware of prospects that sound too good to be true or fast money, for these are the scenarios the reversed Fool warns of. Instead, focus on carefully surveying the terrain before leaping over the edge. Otherwise, one may find themselves precariously dangling by their trousers.

Symbolism and History of the Fool

The Fool signifies youthful innocence and idealism: human beings at the beginning of life’s journey or at the beginning of a new adventure. This card commonly depicts a man wearing civilian clothing, eyes on the sky ahead as he walks a pathway. He may be holding a white flower, which alludes to complete and perfect purity. He is accompanied by his trusty companion: a small dog who follows his master without question or defiance. There is a detour or cliff before him that the Fool is clearly unaware of, blocking his direction of travel, which amply symbolises the choices each person must make in life as well as risks with unseen consequences that will modify the direction of travel. It is almost as if The Fool is walking right off the edge of the cliff without acknowledgement or alarm, which further illustrates his gullibility.
This card is often labelled as Card 0 in tarot decks due to its imagery of the first stirrings of life or the point where one stands before initiating a journey. Some tarot decks may use The Fool as the closing card of the Major Arcana, but this is less true than ever due to its appropriate position as the introduction to the tales of the Trump cards. The fool himself represents the querent: unaware of what lies ahead, unsure of his decisions, and travelling a path towards a goal. This card also denotes innocence and the unknown through its evocative imagery. The fool knows where his destination lies but must traverse the terrain of life in order to reach his goal.

Key Terms

Recklessness, Blind Ambition, Optimism, Innocence, Initiation, New Ventures, Opportunity, Risks, Courage, Persistence, Choices.

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