Are you feeling like you want to get away for good? Do you have no ties that bind or can you take everyone you love with you if you decided to get up and go? Have you tasted a little freedom and want more? Are you oblivious to what is going on around you? The Fool card is the “wild card” of the Tarot deck, but if it shows up in your reading, the chance to find out what your free will can create is being offered to you.
The setting of this card is under a bright sun and a golden sky. Front and center is a garishly dressed young traveler, complete with his (or her) possessions wrapped in a small sack tied to a stick. He is dressed in brightly patterned clothing as he skips along an isolated road at a high elevation. And speaking of this mountain path, it is quite the treacherous route. High above other mountainous, snow-capped peaks, The Fool is looking blissfully above, enraptured in his own reality; a small flower he no doubt recently picked is in his left hand. He is walking perilously close to a cliff and his only companion, a small dog, is energetically attempting to alert him to where he is headed. In some Tarot decks the dog has actually begun to pull The Fool back from his careless veering off the path.
The Fool’s impractical clothing, chosen for its fashionable sense, is not the best choice for the mountain road on which he is walking. Everything about this journey seems to be impractical. He is more interested in the flowers and the exhilarating walk than in the possible disastrous fall that may await at the next step. He did not bring a watchdog, he brought a small companion valued for its appearance and yet this is the only thing that seems to be saving him from himself.
The Fool remains the most controversial card in the Tarot deck. It is the only card that has a zero on it; the other cards all adhere to the Roman numeral system. The origin of The Fool remains a mystery, with some translations of this card insisting that it is inherently a negative connotation and is more properly labeled “The Idiot.” Other research reveals the card’s origin as “Troubadour,” an inspired aesthete traveling a long distance to entertain at the court of a king in some far off land.
There can be no doubt, though about the power of the zero, historically. Once the Arabic numbering system included the zero (thought to be sometime between the years 400 – 600 AD/common era), human consciousness was expanded as the whole sciences of algebra and geometry were invented and put into practical application. Measuring, trading, and building all experienced a rapid expansion, of benefit to all of humanity. At one time, perhaps it was foolish to think that so much could come out of a number representing nothing?
The Fool is a powerful card because its possibilities all start in nothingness and reach into infinity.
Meaning in Past, Present and Future Positions
The Fool’s appearance in a Tarot spread does not necessarily mean that it applies to the person receiving the reading. It could represent prominent people in your life. Every Tarot spread places cards in the past, present and future positions. There may be a few questions about your path in life from a good Tarot reader in order to determine just whom The Fool represents.
In the past position, The Fool can represent you wasting time that you could have used for studies. It could represent a lover from days gone by if you had a deep relationship with an artist or musician or some person who lived outside of conventional society.
The Fool in the present position signifies that you are about to abandon commitments and constraints in a search for a self-defining freedom. The Fool is the most powerful card in all the Tarot deck when it is in the present position. Your free will can literally move mountains at this moment in time – the Tarot is telling you an ancient slogan: carpe diem – seize the day.
In the future position, The Fool most likely represents you enjoying a new life. It can also represent a coming love interest who is not ordinary by any of your measurements.
There are cards that you definitely want to see around The Fool and others that deliver an illustration of some big warnings about your life.
When The Devil is near The Fool in a reading, your pleasure-seeking ways are about to create a disaster. This combo appears in the readings of drug users who are starting to hang out with a crowd that is decidedly edgier and unlawful than they are used to. Being naïve around this element will not serve you well. This is also a card combination seen with women who leave stable relationships to go with a bad boy.
The Fool is a great card when The Magician is paired with it as long as a sensitive Tarot reader can assure you that both cards apply to you. If this is the case, the chance to break free and create a new reality will be a success. If it is determined that The Magician represents someone else, beware. You are slowly falling for a person’s lies, and this self-neglect may cost you your money and much of your credibility with friends and family.
The Fool combines well with The Sun, The Star and The Moon as these cards inspire your ego, your aptitude and your emotions respectively. Any of these three cards combining with The Fool deliver you tangible results and deep personal insight.
When The Fool is in a reading that contains many cards from the suit of Pentacles, a new risky venture may make you wealthy! When there are cards from the suit of Swords abounding around The Fool, expect much criticism for not being a follower. The suit of Wands is a natural for The Fool, in fact this card seems to attract this suit as The Fool himself holds his bag on a staff resembling a wand. This combination reinforces the following of one’s own muse. When the suit of Cups dominates a reading that includes The Fool, look for love to be the issue and abandoning everything for it the likely outcome.