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The Journey Begins with The Fool

Updated on November 20, 2009

The Fool

The Fool

The Journey Begins With The Fool


The Fool, the Number Zero, the beginning (and the end). Look at the picture on this card, how does it make you feel? A large component of Trot Reading is individual. What thoughts or feelings does the image of The Fool provoke within you? Start a Tarot Journal and record your initial impressions of this card, over time you will be surprised at how your understanding will grow and evolve, record your novice impressions now, they will help you progress in study.

When you look at The Fool, doesn’t he look optimistic? Carefree? Naïve? Perhaps The Fool is infantile in his emotional understanding of the world around him?

Study the picture. The Fool has his head turned upward toward the sky, indicating an innocent optimism, perhaps an enjoyment of his surroundings, yet he fails to see the cliff he is approaching. Is his white dog, the classic human companion, nipping at his heel to warn him to look where he is heading, or is he playing and enjoying his excursion with The Fool?

The background is interpreted by some as mountains that are ice-capped and cold, by others as large waves in the distance, representing the element of water. What do you see?

The sun shines brightly in the background, illuminating the entire scene and representing the element of fire.

The stick cast over The Fools’ shoulder represents the Suit of Wands, also ruled by the element of fire. The stick carries all of The Fools’ worldly belongings and represents the element of earth, as does the white rose he carries along with him. White is the color for purity.

The Fools’ cloak contains additional symbols referring to the four elements of earth, air, fire and water, and also, if you look on the chest of The Fool you will see that his heart is imprinted on his cloak, there for all to see.

The red feather in his cap symbolizes passion (the color red) yet indicates a whimsical outlook on the world.

The Fool represents new beginnings, the absence of preconceived notions, The Fool is a blank slate waiting to be scribed upon. When The Fool appears in a spread, relative to the position he appears in, he represents a new beginning, a fresh start, openness to adventure and experience.

The Fool can also indicate foolish behaviors, selfish in nature, like a child who can only accept things on their own terms. Take note of the cavalier attitude The Fool represents, he can represent a totally self-centered adult, to know what esoteric message he is delivering to the Querent you must take the context of the entire spread into consideration, as you will see is true with all 78 cards in the deck.

The Fool represents the letter Aleph, he is ruled by the planet Uranus, which also rules the sign of Aquarius, but more important is The Fool’s association with the number zero. Zero is associated with Air, for this card, the Air creates a vacuum. The vacuum can either pull knowledge and experience in, or remain in suspended animation in the self-centered hedonism of the card. If The Fool is inattentive to his path, he will meet with self-destruction, as symbolized by the card depicting him approaching the edge of a cliff. However, if The Fool is attentive, he can learn all that the elements of Fire, Water, Earth and Air (depicted by the sun, the wand, the water, and the flower in his hand on this card) have to teach him.

Consider The Fool carefully. He represents the beginning of the journey of the soul through the Tarot.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.


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