Spontaneity | Innocence | Bliss | Naïvety | Beginnings
The Fool reminds me of the Happy Wanderer song.
I love to go a-wandering
Along the mountain track
And as I go, I love to sing
My knapsack on my back
The Fool is the absolute beginner. Dressed in colorful garb, and carrying his possessions in a bag tied to his staff, he dances at the precipice, the sun blessing him from over his shoulder. He holds a freshly picked flower. “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.”
A little white dog is his companion. We get the sense that the dog is also a free spirit, who simply showed up and started following along. He is not a pet, but a friend (or perhaps even sometimes an aggravating foil, always underfoot and circling at the ankles).
This card brings me joy when it turns up. Even in my 60s, it reminds me of the part of my spirit that is carefree, open to new experiences, and trusting that everything will work out just fine.
When the Fool (which remains in our playing cards as the Joker) turns up, it can be a prompt to get in touch with the inner child and beginner’s mind – trusting, intrepid, bold in explorations, uninhibited, unencumbered with expectations. Let go. Dance like no one is watching. Onward through the fog!
It may represent a new beginning, the start of a new cycle, or taking a fresh approach.
Depending on the issue at hand, and the position of this card in relationship to other cards in a spread, the Fool may also serve as a caution against too much abandon. After all, he does dance perilously close to the edge of the cliff. Keep dancing, but keep an eye on your circumstances and surroundings.
I don’t give a lot of thought to reverse meanings for cards, but for me the inverted Fool usually suggests free fall, whatever that may mean in the context of the reading.
A final note on this card is that many Tarot aficionados think of the tour through the Major Arcana as “The Fool’s Journey.” As you move through each trump card from one through twenty-one, think of the scenes and characters encountered from the point of view of the Fool, facing each one with an open mind, a joyful heart and a spirit of innocence and adventure.
What does the Fool have to teach you today?
Leave your questions, impressions and experiences in the comments.