Tarot: The Fool

The Fool

Tarot: The Fool

The Fool card brings new beginnings, spontaneity, and living in the moment. It is time to follow your heart and take a leap of faith. Release fear of the unknown. The Fool also reminds you of the importance of awareness and the ability to care for your own well-being. This card asks you to balance mindfulness with the ability to embrace life and the present moment.

Major Arcana Symbolism

Tarot Card NameThe Fool
Traditional Card ImageryA walking man
Traditional SymbolismThe spirit, a quest or journey, innocence, chaos, heedlessness
Card Number0
Classical ElementAir
Influencing ElementAether / Akasha
Traditional Upright MeaningBeginnings, freedom, innocence, originality, adventure, idealism, spontaneity, a free spirit
Traditional Reversed MeaningHolding back, reckless, careless, distracted, naïve, taken advantage of, foolish, gullible, stale, dull
Archetype In NatureOblivious to his place in nature, the fool is about to be forcefully reminded of the importance of the ground under his feet
ChakraCrown, Soul Star, Throat, Heart
Astrological CorrespondenceUranus, Aquarius, Gemini, Libra
Yes or NoYes
Crystals and StonesMilky Quartz, Herkimer Diamond, White Jade, Moissanite, Abalone Shell, White Agate, Moonstone, White Marble, Goshenite, Mother of Pearl, Iris Agate, White Sapphire, Howlite, Selenite, White Zircon, Ammolite, White Quartz, Rainbow Moonstone, Pearl, White Onyx, Clear Topaz, Opal, Magnesite, Clear Quartz, Diamond, Purple Topaz, Angel Silica, Purpurite, Tanzanite, Purple Aventurine, Iolite, Super 7, Purple Agate, Amethyst, Purple Jade, Charoite, Purple Sapphire, Star Garnet, Sugilite, Lavender Fluorite, Purple Mica, Lavender Ametrine, Zoisite, Purple Zircon, Kunzite, Unakite, Moldavite, Fluorite, Aventurine, Chrysocolla, Aquamarine, Turquoise, Blue Topaz, Amazonite, Emerald, Olivine, Moldavite, Fluorite, Peridot, Aventurine, Morganite, Zoisite, Bloodstone, Rose Quartz, Chrysolite, Pink Calcite, Jade, Prehnite, Pink Spinel, Malachite, Unakite, Rhodonite
Tarot: The Fool

Allegory of The Fool

And I saw another man.

Tired and lame he dragged himself along the dusty road, across the deserted plain under the scorching rays of the sun. He glanced sidelong with foolish, staring eyes, a half smile, half leer on his face; he knew not where he went, but was absorbed in his chimerical dreams which ran constantly in the same circle.

His fool’s cap was put on wrong side front, his garments were torn in the back; a wild lynx with glowing eyes sprang upon him from behind a rock and buried her teeth in his flesh. He stumbled, nearly fell, but continued to drag himself along, all the time holding on his shoulder a bag containing useless things, which he, in his stupidity, carried wherever he went.

Before him a crevice crossed the road and a deep precipice awaited the foolish wanderer. Then a huge crocodile with open mouth crawled out of the precipice. And I heard the voice say:

“Look! This is the same man.”

I felt my head whirl.

“What has he in the bag?” I inquired, not knowing why I asked.

And after a long silence the voice replied: “The four magic symbols, the sceptre, the cup, the sword and the pentacle. The fool always carries them, although he has long since forgotten what they mean. Nevertheless they belong to him, even though he does not know their use. The symbols have not lost their power, they retain it in themselves.

-The Symbolism of the Tarot by P.D. Ouspensky (1913)

The Fool (0)

The Fool (0)

The Fool moves forward with a light step, as if earth and its trammels had little power to restrain him. The young man, in gorgeous vestments, pauses at the brink of a precipice among the great heights of the world. He surveys the blue distance before him, gazing at the expanse of sky rather than the prospect below. His act of eager walking is still indicated, though he is stationary at the given moment; his dog is still bounding.

The edge which opens on the depth has no terror. It is as if angels were waiting to catch him, should he leaped from the height. His countenance is full of intelligence and expectant dream. He has a rose in one hand and in the other a costly wand, from which depends over his right shoulder a wallet curiously embroidered. He is a prince of the other world, on his travels through this one, amidst the brisk air and the glory of the morning.

The sun, which shines behind him, knows where he has come from, where he is going, and how he will return-by another path-after many days. He is the spirit in search of experience. Many mysterious symbols are summarized in this card.

-Modern Translation of The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A.E. Waite (1910)

The Fool Card Imagery

The Fool carries a wallet; he is looking over his shoulder and does not know that he is on the brink of a precipice; but a dog or other animal-some call it a tiger-is attacking him from behind. Unaware, he is he is being pushed to his own destruction. Etteilla has given a justifiable variation of this card as taking the form of a court jester, with cap, bells and motley garb.

-Modern Translation of The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A.E. Waite (1910)

The Fool Meaning

The Fool Meaning

A careless-looking man, wearing a fool’s cap, with torn clothes and a bundle upon his shoulder, goes quietly on his way, paying no attention to a dog which bites his leg. He does not look where he is going, so walks towards a precipice, where a crocodile is waiting to devour him.

-Modern Translation of The Tarot of The Bohemians by Papus (1892)

Significations of The Fool

  • More Rapid Return to the Divine World, Personality Asserts Itself = The Motion Of Relative Duration
  • The Intellect Roughly Appears Under the Influence of Evolution = Innervation, Instinct
  • The Matter of the World Attains the Maximum of its Material Progression = The Animal Kingdom

-Tarot of The Bohemians by Papus (1892)

The Fool Card

The Fool Card

The Meaning of The Fool Card Throughout History

The Tarot deck is a beautiful synthesis of esoteric thought and archetypal imagery. The journey of the deck, shaped by the events and values of each era, has continued to evolve and take on new significance as it adapts to a larger cultural story. Often a tarot card will have a variety of names and meanings. Exploring the historical interpretations of each card will create a deeper understanding of this powerful method for divination and self-discovery.

Various Names For The Fool Card

Tarot de Marseille (1650)The Fool
Court de GébelinThe Fool
Etteilla (1783)Folly
Paul Christian (1870)The Crocodile
Golden Dawn (1888)The Spirit of Ether
Papus (1892)The Foolish Man
Rider-Waite (1910)The Fool
Thoth (1943)The Fool
The Spirit of Ether

Card 0: The Foolish Man
(The Fool)

A man with a fool’s cap, dressed like a jester, with a stick and bundle over his shoulder. Before him is the butterfly of pleasure luring him on (while in some packs a tiger, in others a dog, attacks him from behind). It signifies Folly, Expiation.

Upright: Folly, Expiation, Wavering
Reversed: Hesitation, Instability, Trouble arising herefrom

-The Tarot by S.L. MacGregor Mathers (1888)

Support Independent Bookstores With These Tarot Selections

Bring the Wisdom of the Tarot Into Your Life

We have put together a collection of some of our favorite Tarot items. The deep symbolism of the Tarot can be used to access a wellspring of inner wisdom and guidance. This method of divination is also an incredible tool for accessing your own powerful intuition.

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The Fool (0) - The Illustrated Key to the Tarot published 1918, public domain
The Fool (0) – The Illustrated Key to the Tarot published 1918, public domain

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

This guide by Arthur Edward Waite, the designer of the most widely known Tarot deck and distinguished scholar of the Kabbalah, is the essential Tarot reference. The pictorial key contains a detailed description of each card in the celebrated 78-card Rider-Waite Tarot deck, along with regular and reversed meanings. Contents describe symbols and secret tradition, ancient Celtic methods of divination, and wonderful illustrations of each Tarot card. This book is the perfect complement to old-style fortune telling and also serves to make the Tarot entirely accessible to modern-day readers. The Pictorial Key to the Tarot is the classic guide to the Rider-Waite deck and to Tarot symbolism in general.

The Fool (0)– Pre-Raphaelite Tarot by Luigi Costa ©2019 Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. All rights reserved, used by permission.
The Fool (0)– Pre-Raphaelite Tarot by Luigi Costa ©2019 Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. All rights reserved, used by permission.

Pre-Raphaelite Tarot

The vivid colors and medieval imagery of the Pre-Raphaelite movement makes for a tarot deck that is rich with a sense of mystery and romance. Luigi Costa has created a work of unsurpassed beauty and deep spiritual power. This deck, based on the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith cards, is at once cryptic and insightful, the perfect combination of qualities for readers and collectors alike.

The Fool (0) - Tarot of the Thousand and One Nights by Lo Scarabeo © 2005 Lo Scarabeo srl. All rights reserved, used by permission.
The Fool (0) – Tarot of the Thousand and One Nights by Lo Scarabeo © 2005 Lo Scarabeo srl. All rights reserved, used by permission.

Tarot of the Thousand and One Nights

Adventure, magic, poetry, and love come to life in this Tarot deck based on the classic 1001 Arabian Nights folktales. Tarot of the Thousand and One Nights is bursting with rich imagery relating to the Arabian renaissance, the exotic allure of these fairy tales bestows timeless wisdom to those who seek it.

How will you Harness The Transformative Power of The Tarot?

We invite you to walk into a cosmic narrative in which we are all a unique element in each other’s story. Humanity has long used sacred tools for awakening the soul and illuminating our path toward enlightenment. The Tarot is simply an instrument. These cards amplify your inner wisdom and empower your highest truth.

What aspects of The Tarot can serve you as you walk through your own Mystic Doorway?

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What you have read is only the beginning…

Mystic Doorway is always gaining new insight into the rich symbolism of Tarot. We are looking forward to sharing with you as we continue to expand our knowledge of this divinatory tool. Check back with us soon to see what we’ve added to our Library.