Updated: Nov 25, 2020
Take this journey with me as I speak my truth by exploring the 22 major arcana, beginning with The Fool.
What are some key words and images that come to mind when you think of The Fool?
Write these down if it helps acquaint you with the concept.
How I think of it:
I prefer not to think of the cards in terms of good or bad, positive and negative. Sometimes they can be warnings, like STOP signs, and sometimes they can be predictors, or GO signs.
Children are tiny fools that teach us patience. By comparison, they render us wise and help us reflect on what kind of person we want to be. But what does it mean to be a child? It means to look at the world with fresh eyes! Are we, in turn, allowing our children to teach us the value of wonder? If The Fool comes up in this respect, perhaps it is asking you to access The Fool or the child (think: Six of Cups) within. Take that leap of faith!
Another image I associate with this interpretation is the sacred clown, which represents, “crazy wisdom.” The spirit of the trickster is often an energy that is present when big changes are happening (think: The Tower), or need to happen. If we keep doing the same thing over and over again, and we’re still going nowhere, we need the energy of the holy clown to lead us astray onto a new path.
The Fool can also be ignorant. Sometimes we expect others to just “know” better. Our boss who scheduled us for work during our vacation week is a fool. The person texting while driving is a fool. Sometimes foolishness irritates us and can get in our way. It indicates a lack of attention and preparedness; we all have the capacity for this. If The Fool comes up in this respect, it is asking us to be more mindful, and think before we leap into new territory.
The Fool is the traveler on the journey through the major arcana, of which the last card is The World. If you’re good with numbers, think of zero as a place holder. It is nothing, and yet its significance is paramount. It is the difference between one penny and a dollar! Zero exists in every number, whether we see it or not (think about when we write dates, 09/03/2020). The use of a cup is in its emptiness. It’s potential. The World card, in essence, means birth or rebirth. Now that The Fool has completed their journey, what is left?
To start again! Individuals who go against the grain often resist old structure, and may try to overthrow their leader. In time, it is they who replace the old structure, creating a better one and eventually becoming the leader themselves. As the cycle ensues, they will be replaced by a new generation of dissenters.
The Fool may represent a new position when asking about a job, for example. If one intends to stay at a job, The Fool may represent a promotion: the beginning of a journey within the company. Depending on the cards around it, The Fool can also mean folly, not thinking about a situation, or ignorance of knowledge pertaining to the situation. Maybe we need more information before making a decision on accepting a new position, or making a career change.
Try this activity:
Look at your tarot card, and determine what symbols in it resonate with you. If you are advanced, any tarot deck will do. If you are new to tarot, I suggest starting with a variant of the Rider Waite Smith.
The Leap: The Fool is about to jump off a cliff! But we do not know how steep it is. That is for us to imagine. Are they being foolish, or are they merely making a necessary risk to continue their journey?
The Dog: The dog can be seen as the unconscious, the spirit guiding us on our journey, or it can be seen as the voice of reason. In some decks, the dog is pulling at the stockings of The Fool. Perhaps this animal is meant to ground us, prevent us from making the leap. Or perhaps we are leaping to get away from it!
The Rose: The rose represents purity, innocence and growth.
The Sun: The sun represents the divine energy responsible for spiritual growth in the same way the literal sun is responsible for all physical growth on Earth.
The Attire: The Fool is not wearing any pants, but they are wearing boots. Can you imagine wearing a skirt, or tights as you climb a mountain? But you made sure you had the right boots!
The Knapsack: Inside the knapsack are the four tools of the suit: Pentacles, wands, swords, and cups. The Fool will unpack these when they meet the magician, realizing their potential.
Do an automatic drawing!
When I made this drawing for my oracle deck, I didn’t intend it to be The Fool, but it certainly has The Fool’s energy. In place of the sun, appeared guiding star that shines in the darkness. Instead of a rose, a lotus flower emerged. My fool is barefoot, but wears pants, certainly not considering the rough terrain they may encounter. The many faces are the vast array of feelings that will arise during this journey, and the green eye is the heart chakra, indicating that my fool is guided by the heart, not the head. Do they think they can just step on all those lily pads to get to the mountain without sinking? (Maybe they can!)
Do an automatic drawing and #mystic_bluejay! I’d love to see what emerges from your unconscious!
Image 1: Rider Waite Tarot, written by A.E. Waite and illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith, published by the Rider Company
Image 2: African American Tarot, written and illustrated by Jamal R., published by Lo Scarebo
Image 3: Art by Mystic Blue Jay