The Fool usually assumes the number zero or is simply unnumbered, and that means it can be placed anywhere within the Major Arcana. The zero itself reflects the unlimited potential of the card. It portrays an image of a spirit totally free. It is pure energy without a shape – like chaos (the birth of Universe). For us, the Major Arcana works as a personal journey, with the Fool as the main character of the story.
The card depicts a man walking towards the cliff, looking for new adventures. He is blindfolded and seems to be unaware of the way he goes. One more step and he falls into the abyss, the unknown.
There lies a feeling of suspense when one looks at the card – we can see him looking backwards, hesitating, distracted by two cats that call him back. These animals, be it cats or dogs in this case, symbolise the forces of nature, the spirit who acts on instinct.
His clothing has greenish shades, which means that he is undergoing a process of growing and renewal. Even so, a new dawn always takes tiny fragments from the past. No process of reconstruction is done without references from the past. In this card, that is evident in the golden bust under his arm, which embodies his memories and traumas that will follow him for most of his life.
The forest and the rocks around him symbolise the new adventures, as the Fool’s journey already started.
Another important element is the white flag the Fool holds. In this case it does not mean he is surrendering or giving up, though. On the contrary, it represents the white canvas that he will paint. Such is also visible in the colours’ palette hanging at his waist, meaning that he finds endless unknown possibilities of self-expression. That way, the white flag can also represent the new beginnings, innocence, and inexperience.
Over his head, a royal skull is floating. It faces the opposite direction of the Fool, which marks a clear divergence between the skull and the Fool. Perhaps the Fool does not realise its weight, or it simply does not bother him: he does not fear nor understand Death. But whichever it might be, this highlights how free, inexperienced, and naïve he is.
Upright Meaning and Interpretation
Free Spirit, new beginnings, spontaneity
The Fool is generally a positive card: it represents a new beginning or an opportunity. It could show up in your readings as an exciting or unexpected new journey with the objective of making you grow in different levels.
This card lets you rediscover yourself and the world. This sense of rediscovery and exploration empowers you to express your emotions, thoughts and desires more spontaneously and without prejudice. The Fool inspires you to follow your instincts and to have an open and curious mind. As a favourable card it gives you the green light to step into a new project or challenge. So, do not be afraid or reluctant to take some risks.
Reversed Meaning and Interpretation
The Fool in reverse may indicate that you are not ready to board into a new stage. This could be related to your unwillingness or your doubts about your own skills and resources to start a successful project. In other words, you are blocking yourself from moving forward because something seems to be holding you back.
This card, when upside-down, might also reveal that you are acting recklessly and taking too many risks based on hasty decisions. The most negative attributes of this card – passivity, lack of commitment or impulsiveness – are more visible and imply that more obstacles are coming your way.
This alternative card shows the feminine version of the Fool and keeps basically the same symbology. The Fooless enters a completely new journey in her life. Notwithstanding, we can see some fragments from the past experiences, such as the crowned skulls as a symbol of change and transformation. The skulls are used as a metaphor for vanity, too, but in this case, the two mandibles of the skull show that vanity to an extreme. The clothing in the alternative version is blue – a colour of freedom and spontaneity that reminds us of the vast sea.
She is lost in the deep forest the same way Dante gets lost in the first chapters of the Divine Comedy. The Star she holds in her hand is not bright enough to guide her – it represents her Spiritual Compass, still disconnected to the higher conscience though. This Star also symbolises the receptive, feminine principle – the Yin.
The Fooless, as Yin, finds herself completely separated from her balancing opposite, the Yang.
Her great journey through the Major Arcana ends in The Universe, where both Yin and Yang find a perfect harmony and wholeness.
We can also see a king’s skull in her belt, which implies that she is not afraid of death or sudden changes. Somehow, she kind of controls her fears, and that lets her creative qualities to expand, even if feebly (as we see in the Star in her hands).