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The Fool: Tarot Card Meanings

The Fool from the Rider Waite Tarot is displayed on top of the back of a green tarot card.

Tarot Card Meanings: The Fool

“And suddenly you know: it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”

- Meister Eckhart

Everything starts with The Fool. In the traditional Rider-Waite Tarot deck, each of the 22 major arcana cards represents a specific stage or lesson on a journey. In tarot, the progression through these lessons is typically referred to as The Fool’s Journey.

Life is a constantly shifting cycle of journeys. Some end where another begins, some run parallel or even together for a time, and some cross paths. In this tangled web filled with joy and sorrow, there’s one thing that all journeys through the tarot have in common: they begin with The Fool.

What does The Fool card mean in tarot?

The Fool is young, carefree and innocent, unaware of the dangers and challenges he’s likely to encounter on his travels. After all, wouldn’t it be foolish to set out on a journey if you understood the risk that you might fail, or even end up in a worse place than where you started? Maybe the only way to gather enough courage to move forward is with the childlike optimism of The Fool.

The Fool is traditionally depicted carrying a bindle over his shoulder with only his most essential belongings as he sets out on his travels. This can symbolize the need to leave behind anything that might be weighing us down in order to move forward on a new path. He carries a white rose in his left hand to symbolize innocence, and he’s accompanied by his loyal companion, by a small white dog that represents protection and shows us we are never truly alone no matter where our travels might take us.

The Fool is ready to take a leap of faith, right off of the cliff edge in front of him. His lack of experience makes him excited to move forward and learn.

The Fool Upright

  • Beginning
  • Innocence
  • Free Spirit

The Fool beckons us to unwind while we indulge and savour the joys of life. It tells us to treat each moment as a spectacular adventure and to embrace the wonder, curiosity and fascination that comes with discovery. The Universe offers infinite possibilities just waiting to be explored. When we allow our creative spirits to flow freely and without fear, we can tap into the magical power of manifesting our dreams and desires.

What does an upright The Fool card mean for love?

As a symbol of new beginnings, The Fool can represent a new relationship. Despite the pain we may have encountered in past relationships, The Fool encourages us to begin each new relationship as its own unique experience, unburdened by the baggage of the past. We can take only the most essential lessons we’ve learned forward with us on this new journey.

The Fool may also speak to a fear of rejection in love. The Fool might tell us to be confident and have faith that things will work out as we progress into new journeys in the realm of love.

What does an upright The Fool card mean for abundance?

The Fool’s optimism is contagious, but he’s not carrying a lot with him. This may mean that we have the space available to receive new things preparing to enter our lives.

What does an upright The Fool mean for your journey?

The Fool lives in the moment and takes spontaneous action to reach a new destination. When turned upright, The Fool card can be a strong message that we shouldn’t be afraid to explore the world according to our own terms, and that we can acknowledge our fears, but choose to move forward despite them.

The Fool Reversed

  • Reckless
  • Naive
  • Risk-taking

When we encounter The Fool card reversed, it can indicate that we’re not thinking about the consequences of our actions. This may signify poor judgment, carelessness or lack of attention. Seeing a reversed The Fool card in a reading is often a sign that we should be cautious, readjust our focus or think things through on a deeper level. A reversed The Fool can also represent intentional ignorance. It may signify it’s time to ask yourself if you are actively choosing not to acknowledge something that might require taking responsibility.

What does a reversed The Fool mean for love?

When The Fool card is reversed in a tarot reading, it might mean that we’re seeing a new relationship through rose-coloured glasses. While a light-hearted optimism is great for exploring a new romantic partnership, when The Fool is reversed, it may be worth scrutinizing red or orange flags more carefully.

What does a reversed The Fool mean for abundance?

A penny saved is a penny earned. When the tarot shows us the The Fool card is reversed, it’s time to be careful with our resources.

What does a reversed The Fool mean for your journey?

It’s time to slow down, assess the situation and consider the options before moving forward. We may miss the sword of Damocles hanging above us if we don’t pause for a moment to glance up.

The Fool card from the traditional Rider Waite Tarot.