The Fool Tarot Card Meanings & Symbolism
Last Updated: September 17, 2021
Each day you spend time daydreaming about what you would choose to do if you could. Each day you get a little bit older, a little bit closer to the freedom and adventure you have longed for. You cannot wait to buy your own lottery ticket, your first drink in a pub with actual valid I.D; to stay out late and live on your own, the master of your own life. Yet you are baby-new and know little of the world outside of your family’s living room. You are a shiny, hopeful thing; a blank canvas for experience and a heart that longs for success and fortune. What could they know that you can’t figure out yourself?
You’ve reached the age you will claim your freedom. You’ve packed a small rucksack and step outdoors, blinking in the sunlight. It is such a gorgeous day and everything feels alive. You feel as though the whole world is at your feet and anything is possible; the promise of opportunity and potential. You are finally guiding your own ship and the voices that were warning and cynical are but distant whispers.
You are enjoying this walk of your life and you smile because everything is going your way. Your shoes may be dusty and your clothes are needing to be replaced, and yes, you spent all your money getting rounds for everyone at the pub that you didn’t pay your rent and then you lost your footing at the first of life’s hurdles and just before tumbling, the warning and cynical voices float around you louder than before.
But it’s too late to heed them.
The Fool Tarot Card Key Facts
|Upright||New beginnings, naivety, journeys|
|Reversed||Recklessness, fearlessness, risk|
|Yes or No||Yes|
The Fool is the card of new beginnings, leaps of faith and loyalty.
What does The Fool means in Tarot?
The Fool is the first card of the major arcana in tarot, often called card number zero to signify the very beginning of a person’s journey. The card imagery tends to show a youth portrayed as a court jester travelling with a knapsack and is just about to lose their footing over a cliff while a small dog barks a warning, but presumably, The Fool takes a tumble.
Some readers may interpret this as literal depending on the type of tarot spread used, and many do not like this card out of fear it portrays mistakes happening, or their own foolishness. But The Fool is not intended as a card to mock the querent and tarot readers should exercise diplomacy when reading this card.
To me, The Fool represents the beginning of the situation, a person full of hopes and dreams that they sometimes cannot see the wood for the trees, or in this case the cliff edge for the clouds. It’s a card that indicates to use caution when making your decisions, making changes to your life and really think things through. Every dream needs a solid foundation.
The Fool has an air sign quality written all over it; sometimes playful like Gemini with a sense of youthful exuberance and dreams, other times more like Aquarius with its strong sense of independence. This card doesn’t mean to say never pursue your goals, but to instil some critical thinking into your plans and to listen to the voices of experience because they do have something valuable to offer. It can be easy to mistake these voices as criticism but helpful to remember the advice usually comes from a place of care and concern. Your loved ones don’t want you to make the same mistakes they did. But The Fool is not simply dismissive because they believe they know better, but because they are so hopelessly optimistic and in love with life that they believe nothing can go wrong.
I think it’s important to know the next card in the major arcana is The Magician. Armed with experience from The Fool, The Magician recognises mastery of the self and ego is paramount, as well as a stronger, more grounded commitment to achieving their goals. Lessons learned from The Fool card are never useless or meaningless.
The Fool Tarot card as a feeling
If you get the Fool tarot card in a reading, it may indicate that you are feeling ready for action. You may be feeling excited, and enthusiastic, but not necessarily have a clear plan in place to keep you grounded – and that’s ok. Just ensure that you are safe, and be wary of being led astray by your own emotions or excitement.
How to use The Fool in your Spellwork
Before using the card in spellwork, be sure to cleanse it of any prior vibrations that may not be in alignment with your goal. I like to use incense and ring a bell over my cards before using them.
Tarot can be used in ritual and spellwork as well as divination. If you are performing a spell for someone else, The Fool can be used as a significator card to represent a child or adolescent, or anyone with an abundance of youthful exuberance and desire for travel and adventure.
You can use The Fool in magic whenever you feel you need a fresh start or need to give yourself a kick up the butt to motivate you to pursue your goals. Place the card on your altar or your bedside table to remind you daily of your hopes and dreams. You can light a candle or incense in conjunction with this – orange for success and motivation, yellow is great if writing is one of your goals, or you just need some inspiration and royal blue candles will help with career-related goals.
You can use The Fool card in partnership with other tarot cards such as The Sun or The Star to emphasize the pursuit of your dreams, with The Sun adding a layer of success to your endeavours.
You may also like to lay the cards out with crystals in a crystal grid format for manifestation.
You can also carry the cards daily in a tarot bag with herbs and crystals that correspond to your spellwork.
After your spell has manifested, be sure to cleanse the cards and consecrate them again before using them again for either a reading or future spellwork.
Using The Fool Tarot card in Dreamwork
If you would prefer a more symbolic way of working with the energies of The Fool and the lessons they can share, then dreamwork is the way to go.
Our minds are more susceptible to lessons and symbolism while we sleep so our subconscious may pick up deeper meanings than the waking self can.
Ten minutes before sleeping, sit in bed holding the card. Look over all the symbolism and detail, the colours, the way the card makes you feel, your overall impressions.
Hold it up to your third eye and close your eyes, and affirm to yourself that you are open to learning what the card can teach you. Alternatively, you can ask the card a specific question at this point I.e. “What can I do to pursue my goals?”
Place the card under your pillow and allow yourself to drift off naturally to sleep.
As soon as you wake up write down everything you can remember from your dreams and examine any patterns and symbols that may have shown up and what they mean to you.
Using The Fool tarot card in Pathworking
If you’d rather be awake but still want to explore The Fool card in more depth then pathworking is a good choice.
Pathworking is a form of guided meditation which as a tool can help us explore ourselves and our nature. It can help us break down symbols to understand them better.
Spend some time either sitting on the floor with crossed legs or sitting in a chair with your feet on the ground. If you are on the floor then place your hands on the ground in front of you.
Visualise that you are grounding your energy, meeting the earth. The earth anchors you, keeping you strong, and sends up energy through your hands or feet to strengthen you.
Open your eyes and pick up the tarot card, looking at it closely. Look at the background, the colours, the patterns, the animals in the card.
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, breathing out slowly to relax.
Count down in your mind from ten to one, and visualise what The Fool Card looks like in your mind’s eye.
Now picture it as a real scene, with real people, and you step into the background. What do you see, hear, smell, feel? What does the landscape look like, feel like?
Look for The Fool and follow them, introduce yourself and speak to them. What does The Fool have to tell you? Ask your questions and wait for the answers.
Once you have said all you can, thank The Fool and walk away, back to where you started. Slowly count up from one to ten, and with each number getting closer to coming back to yourself. Once you’ve reached ten, feel yourself in your body, wiggle your toes and fingers, take some calming breaths and open your eyes when ready.
Write down all that you remember. Some of it may not make sense right away but noting it down will be helpful for future reference.
There is no end to the ways you can choose to work with the tarot and there are lots of books on the subject worth reading. Here are a few books I’ve found useful over the years, and you might too.
- WTF is Tarot – Bakara Wintner
- Tarot Spells – Janina Renee
- How to Use Tarot Spreads – Sylvia Abraham
- Everyday Tarot Magic – Dorothy Morrison
If you’d like to learn more about tarot cards, feel free to check out our other articles on tarot card meanings.
Written by Pamela Norrie
Pamela Norrie is a writer and blogger based in Scotland. She enjoys writing about folklore, witchcraft and short fiction. Some of her
work can be found on her blog hagothehills.wordpress.com and through Instagram @hearthandhame