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A Guide to Tarot Cards: The Fool

Updated on January 9, 2020
Anne Carr profile image

Anne has a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Bachelor's in Language.

The Fool In Tarot

The Fool represents new beginnings, especially when it comes to blindly following a path and taking risks.
The Fool represents new beginnings, especially when it comes to blindly following a path and taking risks.

The Major Arcana: The Fool

The Fool card is part of the Major Arcana, and is depicted as a young man standing on a cliff. He is not aware of the fact that he could fall off of that cliff, and therefore he is represented as a "fool" unknowingly passing through into the next part of his journey. This card usually represents ideas such as purity, innocence, and the beginning of a journey. This card indicates that beginning a journey also means facing many challenges along the way. Depending on the arrangement of the card in a reading, this could mean different things for the reading.

An Expedition

The Fool card is always representative of the journey ahead.
The Fool card is always representative of the journey ahead.

Upright Reading

If The Fool card is depicted upright in a reading, this card is associated with innocence and beginnings. This usually indicates the start of something new in a person's life. If this is in your reading, it is indicative of the fact that you are taking your first steps into the unknown, starting down a new path in your life. Even though there might be some challenges on the way, this card gives the message that you should be open to new experiences, new interactions, and step bravely onto the path. You should have trust that the Universe is guiding you in the right direction, even if you don't know exactly where this path will lead in the end. If you do not take a brave step toward this new path now, you might not know all of the opportunities and successes that await you on the other side. In many senses, The Fool card is encouraging you to take a risk and walk blindly into the unknown. Sometimes we all need that encouragement and the assurance that it is absolutely okay to take risks in order to find success in our own lives. If you are at a crossroads in your life and you are not sure how to proceed, or if you are having doubts about where you should go from here, seeing The upright Fool card in your reading is a good sign. It means that you can and should take the leap and start ahead on your new journey in life.

Reversed Reading

If you see The Fool Reversed in your tarot reading, this could indicate recklessness and risk-taking behaviors. Unlike the promise of the unknown in the upright position, The Fool reversed suggest that you have been jumping into things too quickly. You are taking risks and moving forward when you are not even fully prepared. Perhaps you might be holding yourself back from achieving what you want, or you are fearful of what is on the other side. Whatever the case may be, this card suggests that you are not quite ready to take the leap and continue your journey into the unknown. There are still some issues that need to be resolved before you can move forward. Considering these things, think about the ways in which you can change this negative reading into something positive. If you are holding back and too afraid to move forward, try being more confident and taking more risks towards your goals. If you are on the other side of that and you are taking too many risks and acting recklessly, slow yourself down a bit and think about where you are going before proceeding on your journey ahead. Whatever the case may be, The Fool reversed reading is suggesting that you re-evaluate some things about yourself before you start a new expedition in your life.


Depending on the positioning of the card, this could represent that you need to take more risks or that you are taking too many risks.
Depending on the positioning of the card, this could represent that you need to take more risks or that you are taking too many risks.

Major Points

No matter where you see this card in your reading, when you see The Fool, you know that it is referring to going on a journey of some kind. Whether it's full speed ahead or slow things down, The Fool card asks you to think about the direction you are taking in your life. You might not know where the path is taking you, and that's part of what this card explains. Even though you don't know where you are going in life, you have to have the faith and confidence to keep moving forward despite being blinded or ignorant to exactly where it will lead. No one ever got to anywhere successful in their lives without taking a leap of faith. Reflect on the positive qualities of this card during and after your reading and see how this could help benefit you in the future. Maybe this is the sign you have been waiting for all along.


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