Tarot – The Major Arcana

The Fool

The first card of the major arcana is The Fool. This card shows the Fool in his brightly coloured garb strolling towards the edge of a cliff. Like a child who has run away from home, he has his meagre belongings stashed in a satchel tied to the end of a stick which is holds over his shoulder. In his left hand he holds a white rose and at his feet his faithful companion attempts to alert him of the danger he is in.

The Fool is child-like in his innocence, more interested in the rose that he holds and the beauty of the day to be concerned about his immediate future. Children take risks that adults find foolish, as children regard themselves as immortal and impervious to danger. Adults are more concerned with listing the risks and hazards of any pursuit or undertaking, and are far too cautious to plunge into any situation which may not have the pay off that they desire. The adult looks to the outcome. The child looks to the experience.

The Fool is thought of as both innocent and ignorant – he acts in the way he does because he does not know any better. The archetype of the Holy Fool is often overlooked, and it is a very important aspect of this card.

The archetype of the Holy Fool dates back centuries, and can be most easily represented by the court jester kept by most monarchs. The court jester sat at the foot of the monarch and “delivered” entertainment, but was also able to deliver wisdom in a package that most would overlook. The messages of the Fool could change the mind of the monarch and influence his decisions. This also makes the Fool a target for those who would wish to influence the thinking of the King or Queen. The Holy Fool can both make you laugh, and see the wisdom in any given situation. Throughout his many plays, Shakespeare utilised the Fool to deliver important messages to both the audience and the protagonists.

The Fool is numbered 0 – it exists outside of the numerical order of the rest of the deck. The lesson of the Fool is always with us the number 0 indicates that it can come to us at any time. It exists as a bridge between the lessons of both the major and the minor arcana.

In a reading, the Fool is urging you onward. Your Spirit and/or animal guides are accompanying you. You have everything you need to take that next step that is terrifying you. What is required now is your trust, a leap of faith. A new opportunity is before you – embrace it!


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