The first of the series exploring the major and minor arcana cards in a Rider-Waite style Tarot deck.
Basic Tarot Symbols
The fool in colorful motley clothes, pack tied to a staff, a small dog, a cliff.
Basic Tarot Story
With all his worldly possessions in one small pack, the Fool travels he knows not where. So filled with visions, questions, wonder and excitement is he, that he doesn't see the cliff he is likely to fall over. At his heel a small dog harries him (or tries to warn him of a possible mis-step). Will the Fool learn to pay attention to where he's going before it's too late?
Basic Tarot Meaning
At #0 (or, in some decks, #22, the last card as much as the first of the Majors) the Fool is the card of infinite possibilities. The bag on the staff indicates that he has all he needs to do or be anything he wants, he has only to stop and unpack. He is on his way to a brand new beginning.
But the card carries a little bark of warning as well. While it's wonderful to be enthralled with all around you, excited by all life has to offer, you still need to watch your step, lest you fall and end up looking the fool.
As a card, the Fool ultimately stands for a new beginning often involving a literal move to a new home or job. The querent (meaning the sitter, or the one asking the cards for advice) might be starting to date again, or trying out some new activity. There's more than just change here, there is renewal, movement, and the energy of a fresh start.
In the Tarot, cards like The Magician or The Hermit can often stand for the querent or for someone in the querent's life. The Fool, however, usually stands for the querent, himself. They are back at zero, whether that be in romantic affairs, or career, work or intellectual pursuits. Far from being sad or frustrated by having to start over, however, the querent feels remarkably *free*, light hearted and refreshed, as if being given a second chance. They feel young and energized, as excited as a child who has discovered a new toyshop. Who knows what they will find on the shelves?
In addition, they likely have no idea where they're going or what they're going to do. But that doesn't matter. For the Fool, the most important thing is to just go out and enjoy the world. To see what there is to see and delight in all of it.
Unfortunately, this childlike state can make one overly optimistic or naive. A Fool can be a Fool. That business opportunity might not be so surefire or amazing as it seems, and that new lover might not be so flawless.
Like the Fool, you might be so busy sightseeing and imagining the possibilities that you completely miss the fact that you're about to go right off a cliff! The card advises that one listen to that watchful little dog, which might be a concerned friend, a wise tarot reader, someone harassing you from the sidelines, or just your instincts. However exciting new beginnings may be, you still have to watch your step.
Onto the next Tarot card, the Magician...
Back to the list of Tarot Card Meanings...
See examples of different Fool cards here.