The Fool (0)
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~Chinese Proverb
The Rider-Waite deck portrays a young traveler dressed in colorful motley clothes. Tied to his staff is a nap-sack; in his free hand is a single rose. The sun, in all its glory, shines behind him, and a small, lively dog follows his heels. Walking toward the edge of an impending cliff, the Fool seems blissfully unaware of the fall awaiting him.
Young Person (Youth): Naivety, innocence
Single White Rose: Purity, nonsexual love
Sunrise: New beginnings
Staff: Active creativity
Cliff: ‘The Fall’ into worldly experience
Hills/Mountains: Struggles, adversity
Motley Dress: Foolishness, idiocy
New Beginning, Journey, Spontaneity, Innocence, Apparent Folly
The Fool’s Journey:
Carrying all of his worldly possessions in a nap-sack, the Fool sets out on a journey of a new beginning. Having just begun his trip, the Fool is still newly born — fresh, open, and overflowing with a sense of spontaneity. Innocent and carefree, he travels to an unknown destination, his mind filled with visions and daydreams of the experiences awaiting him. However, he seems naively unaware of the cliff looming ahead. At his heel, a small dog hurries him (or attempts to warn him of a possible misstep). Regardless of any hardships or folly he might face, the Fool is ready to embrace all that life has to offer.
To learn how to open ourselves to new experiences and adventures, while utilizing an appropriate degree of caution.
As card 0, the Fool is the first card of the Major Arcana. It seems no accident the number zero was chosen to represent this card. In numerology, zero is the number of nothingness and potentiality. Zero symbolizes boundlessness, pure possibility, and limitless freedom.
In readings, the Fool can represent a brand new beginning or a new phase of existence. Unexpected opportunities in life can suddenly appear and ask us to make decisions, which can lead us down new paths. When the world becomes suddenly new, a sense of spontaneity and innocent wonder can ensue, making us feel carefree.
However, the Fool can sometimes remind us of the resulting folly that can occur when we throw caution to the wind for the exhilaration of living in the moment. Impulsive decisions and unwise choices have a unique way of catching up with us later. Taking risks can be refreshing, but exercising an appropriate degree of caution is always in our best interest. Remember to watch your step, lest you fall and look like a fool!
Next issue, we will examine ‘The Magician.’ Until then, may the Tarot be with you!