The card shows a young person of indeterminate sexuality strolling merrily toward a precipice. His/her eyes are lifted upward toward the sky and he appears to be unaware of the danger that lies before him. He is dressed in gay, bright colors and yellow boots. One hand clutches a rose while the other hand holds a pole with a leather satchel attached to the end slung over his/her right shoulder. A fluffy white dog capers and dances joyously at his/her feet.
This is a card of pure, undifferentiated energy. It is Spirit before it enters into the material world. Christianity tends to refer to it as, “the Holy Spirit,” whereas Eastern religions may refer to it as, “Prana.” It is the underlying force that energizes the universe and some would go so far as to say that it is Love.
The American psychologist William James wrote a book called, “Varieties of Religious Experience.” He was attempting to construct a serious, scientific study about what happens to people when they are converted to a religious or spiritual path. He noted that every person he studied reported a profound sense of joy, love, peace, and forgiveness. Some Christians call it, “being born again.” Zen Buddhists refer to it as, “achieving satori.” There is a sudden sense of clarity, of life and the world making perfect sense, of finally understanding what life is all about. Every religion and spiritual path on earth records a similar state of being.
That state of being is what it feels like when this mysterious underlying energy enters into your life and your being. The Fool is neither male nor female because the primal energy hasn’t split into opposites yet. It’s number in the Tarot is Zero, a numeral which signifies nothing but is a circle containing everything. He/she shows no fear of falling off of the cliff because he/she is not yet material and would simply dance on air. Indeed, if there is any element of falling it would involve The Fool’s energy descending into the material world. The little dog represents the animal element of our nature and joyously recognizes the power of love entering into the world.
If you draw The Fool in a reading it indicates a fresh start in life and a period of undiluted happiness. There are no worries, no concerns, no burdens because The Fool is a wanderer who owns nothing but a flower, a pole, and a satchel. He/she is free and unencumbered. If you’ve ever fallen deeply in love you may remember those first few months of the relationship when the world felt new and magical and bursting with possibilities. That’s what happens when The Fool dances into your life.
This indicates a certain amount of, “Fool-hardiness.” The subject is rushing ahead without planning or considering the consequences. There is a need to control your energy and not be carried away by too much enthusiasm.
A Few More Thoughts About The Fool:
It represents energy. Really, really good energy. And it’s also freshness and innocence.
Have you ever stepped outside on one of the first days of Spring and it’s all so beautiful that you just feel high? Like the world – and you – have been reborn and everything is fresh and shiny and full of possibilities. That’s the energy of The Fool.
We are now beginning to evolve a philosophy (and religions) that hold that the Earth herself is sacred and holy. For most of history, however, this wasn’t the case. The Earth plane was viewed as evil and dark or, at the least, neutral. Light, inspiration, spirituality came from outside the Earth into the Earth.
Many of the definitions you’ll find on The Fool are based upon that model. Spiritual energy is pouring into the Earth Plane from an outside source but it hasn’t really taken form yet. It’s just that sheer joyous ZAP flowing through your life and your spirit and your body. Whether you think it’s flowing down from the astral plane or up from Mother Earth, it’s there.
The Fool is also about endless possibilities. When The Fool appears in your reading you have all of power that you need to do anything that you want, but you may not have the slightest idea what it is that you want to do. Pick a card. Any card. You’ve got the juice to make it happen.
The Fool is also irreverent and doesn’t care even a little bit about being socially proper. To really get that you have to go back to medieval times and remember what The Fool was back then. The Fool was the court jester, the only one who was allowed to make fun of the King and Queen and even point out that the Emperor had no clothes. People with The Fool manifesting in their lives tend to laugh at conventions and norms and act silly when everyone else is being solemn and correct.
And people may laugh at The Fool, just as he laughs at them. The village idiot was often chosen as the court jester. To some, The Fool may appear simple minded in his boundless optimism and joy. Cynics and pessimists are very uncomfortable around The Fool’s energy.
When The Fool is reversed he shows another side of his nature which is fool-hardiness. He’s so high on what he’s feeling that he may be sloppy about details and make mistakes. “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” and The Fool is definitely no angel.
My best advice when you get The Fool in your reading is . . . enjoy! You’ve got a wonderful force blowing through your life. Don’t worry. Be happy.