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The Fool - Tarot Card Meaning

Updated: May 8

The Fool - Tarot Card Meaning

The Fool is one of the Major Arcana in the Tarot deck. It carries the number 0, which means it can appear either at the start or the end of the Major Arcana sequence. The Major Arcana is often described as the Fool's Journey, so he is present within each stage.

The Fool Major Arcana Tarot Card - Various Examples

Upright Tarot Card Meanings - In Brief

The Fool upright represents a time of new beginnings about which you should be optimistic. The world is your oyster, and anything is possible, but the only way to move forward is to make decisions.

Reversed Tarot Card Meanings - In Brief

The Fool reversed suggests that you are currently behaving recklessly and without properly considering the consequences of your actions. Your ability to make decisions is clouded by the fact that you can't see the details of your current situation clearly.

Number - 0

The number 0 represents infinite possibility. All things are possible, you are only limited by what you can conceive and imagine. But while all things are possible, to break out of the fence that contains you, you must actively make decisions, choose a direction, and take action to get what you want.

Element - Air

The Fool is an air element card, and air represents our intellectual world. It suggests that we need to have a clear mind, free of anxiety and self-doubt, and not clouded by false information.

Planet - Uranus

Uranus is the planet of change, and its association with The Fool in the Tarot suggests a need to leave the past behind to move forward and build a better future.

The Fool - Tarot Card Description

While The Fool Tarot card appears different in different decks, most pull on the symbology represented in the Rider Waite deck.

The Rider Waite deck shows a young man, often but not always dressed in the garb of a jester, setting out on an adventure. He looks up to the sky with a happy and carefree expression, and this prevents him from seeing the cliff edge directly in front of him. The mountainous background of the card represents the life challenges that lie in front of our adventurer.

The young man carries a knapsack with him. While it is small, it contains everything that he will need on his journey, even if he will need to learn to use them in new ways. He holds a white rose in his left hand representing innocence. A small dog clips around his heels. This may represent loyalty, but the dog may also be trying to get his attention to warn him about the cliff!

Read our profile of the chief Slavic god Perun.

The Fool - Upright Tarot Card Meaning

When The Fool appears upright in a Tarot card reading, this is generally a good sign. It means that you should be optimistic about the future. You have more options and opportunities ahead than you realize, and you are also more prepared for them than you may believe. Potential lies ahead of you if you are willing to step out into the unknown.

The upright The Fool card also suggests that you need not fear the unknown at this time. You have the tools that you need, even if you will need to adapt and apply them to new situations. Now is the time to be curious and take on challenges outside of your comfort zone. Embrace the idea of being a student of life and accept that you don't need to know everything.

But as a student, you should be willing to learn and pay attention to the lessons that others and the world are trying to teach you. Important life lessons are being sent in your direction, but you need to open your eyes and your mind to receive them.

While you have opportunities ahead of you, The Fool card in the Tarot also reminds you that opportunities don't just happen. You need to create them and actively pursue them. When The Fool shows up in a Tarot reading, it suggests that you need to balance going with the flow and making active decisions to take your life in the direction that you wish. It is only through decisions and actions that you will break out of circular patterns and stagnation and move forward.

Very often, moving forward means leaving something behind. In this case, the Tarot cards may be telling you to let go of something to make room for something new. Remember, you are only ever one decision away from a completely different life.

What to do?

The Fool upright suggests that now is the time to trust yourself and take risks. If there are things that you have not been doing or dreams that you have not been pursuing for fear that you aren't ready, The Full upright tells you that now is the time to jump! You control your fall by making and committing to important decisions about what you want from life.

The Fool - Reversed Tarot Card Meaning

When The Fool Major Arcana Tarot card appears in a Tarot reading, it often means that you are at the edge of a cliff and at risk of falling off. You are engaged in risky behavior of some kind and you aren't aware of just how close you are to the precipice.

It is likely that you are not seeing the potential consequences of your actions, and that you are ignoring the warning signs that are trying to warn you. The Fool reversed suggests that your vision is clouded in some way, and you need to identify what is clouding your vision to move forward positively on your journey.

This Major Arcana reversed in your Tarot reading also suggests that you may be avoiding important decisions that need to be made to move forward. The reversed Fool card may also suggest that you are stuck in a behavioral cycle that sees you making the same mistakes again and again. While this leaves you stuck in place, the world is changing around you, so continuing to repeat this behavior is likely to hurt you in the near future.

What to do?

The Fool reversed in a Tarot reading suggests that actions that you are engaging in blindly are hurting you. It is time to take a step back and get a clearer vision of what you are doing, why, and what the real consequences of your actions are. This often involves removing blinkers or rose-colored glasses that you have been using for a long time. Once you have cleared up your vision, you are going to have to make difficult decisions to see the change that you want in your life.

The Fool Tarot Reading

Tarot readings are all about helping you get a clearer vision of what is happening in your life, the forces that are influencing you, and the likely outcomes of your actions and decisions. Reading should be optimistic as they empower you to make positive decisions and choose your own path forward.

That is why it is fitting that The Fool is the most representative of Tarot Cards, as it represents new beginnings and standing at the precipice of infinite opportunities, but then making decisions to shape your life.

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