The Fool

O: The Fool

freedom faith inexperience innocence

The roots of one's abilities, talents and potential. Decision to start fresh, open to new possibilities within, not explored yet. Sudden impulse which comes "out of the blue". Like a young animal driven into life by instinct, not yet conscious or possessed of understanding. The hero of our journey represents the irrational impulse toward change and toward opening life's horizon into the unknown. These irrational impulses can sometimes be destructive and sometimes creative and often they are both together. Willingness to risk, courage to stand by oneself, independence, freedom, following one's own feeling, idealism and inspiration.
Inverse: foolish amidst excitement and fear, blind.



  • Freeing yourself from limitation.
  • Expressing joy and youthful vigor.
  • Being open-minded.
  • Taking a leap of faith.
  • Attuning yourself to your instincts.
  • Being eager or curious.
  • Exploring your potential.
  • Embracing innovation and change.
  • Shadow

    • Being gullible and naive.
    • Taking unnecessary risks.
    • Failing to be serious when required.
    • Being silly or distracted.
    • Lacking experience.
    • Failing to honor well-established traditions and limits.
    • Behaving inappropriately.
    • Symbolism

      The Jester

      In the royal court, the jester's wit bought indulgence for his sharp-tongued commentary. As a result, he could say what the king (and others) could not. How might his strategy work for you?

      The Beggar

      While later Fools are fresh-faced characters cavorting on cliffs, earlier incarnations were beggars - the lowliest of the low, according to the Renaissance world view. How capable are you of embracing everyone, regardless of their social status?

      The Animal Familiar

      In different decks, different animals accompany the Fool. In the RWS, we see dog, the symbol of loyalty and instinct. In the Thoth deck, we see an entire menagerie, including a crocodile (the reptilian brain) and a tiger (violent instinct). Which quality suits you best today?

      The Cliff

      The Fool is often shown just one footfall short of a tumble; in other decks, he is suspended in space. In your situation, what works best: your feet on the ground or head in the clouds?


      The RWS Fool carries a bag or wallet, presumably filled with lessons from a previous life. He may carry a white rose (innocence) or a red rose (will). How might your experience, or lack thereof, be the key to your situation?

      The Fool's Advice


      • There's a reason we say we "fall" in love! Each new romance makes us as giddy as a total beginner.
      • Don't allow old habits to smother opportunities for growth.
      • You can break rules without resorting to rash action - and you don't have to be in control all the time.


      • Leap over limits.
      • Don't waver; now's the time to jump, even if you don't have all the facts in hand.
      • Remember that once, every new direction was just another crazy idea.
      • Be prepared, though.
      • Later, your results will determine whether others deem you clever or crazy.


      • You are old and young, wise and inexperienced.
      • Life is a cycle of cycles; find your place in the dance and start dancing.
      • Reinvention is the key to transformation.
      • See who you are, but acknowledge, too, the person you can be.
      • Grace abounds; embrace it.
      • Consider Zen meditation.

      Personal Growth

      • Without falling for every scheme that comes your way, you can cultivate an openness to life.
      • What are your limits?
      • What boundaries define you?
      • What might happen if you step outside those definitions?
      • With eyes wide open, expand your world today.

      Fortune Telling

      • Watch for new projects and new beginnings.
      • Prepare to take something on faith.
      • Something new comes your way; go for it.


      • Unexpectedly, if at all.

      Questions to ask

      • What would I do if I felt free to take a leap?
      • How willing am I to be vulnerable and open?
      • How might past experiences help in this new situation?

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      Major Arcana

      Images of the {{ $ }} tarot deck © {{ $store.state.deck.copyright }}

      Parts of this page's description of the The Fool tarot card are taken from "A Guide to Tarot Card Meanings" by Mark McElroy.