Well, I started to write this up for Tarot Tuesday, got distracted and now it’s Wednesday… but it is also April Fool’s Day, so this still works, right?
For a little change of pace, I thought you all might enjoy a dive into a single tarot card. And we might as well start with the very beginning, card 0 of your Rider-Waite inspired tarot deck, The Fool!
There are plenty of reasons to start with The Fool, aside from just his position as card 0 of the Major Arcana. If one is to look at the cards as a story, then The Fool is who we follow through it. He is young, naive, and about to step out on a journey into the unknown. The journey could bring him to wonders, or he may lose his footing and stumble, but right now at the beginning he does not care. He is moving forward, and that is what matters.
Let’s take a moment and look at just the image. A young man in a jaunty cap is off on a journey, his bag on a stick over his shoulder, and a rose in his hand. The sun is at his back, and he looks up, not noticing (or caring?) that he is about to step off a cliff. A small dog is at his heels, either a companion or about to warn him if he steps too far.
The Fool is a symbol of naive beginnings. Naivete is not in itself a bad thing. Being naive means going into new things without preconceived notions, which can allow us to see everything as wondrous and new. But there is always a balance to be struck between experiencing new things and being foolhardy about it. So go ahead – try something new! Do something you have never done before! But don’t have your head so far in the clouds that you don’t see the cliff in front of you. Pay attention to what’s around you and you’ll receive warnings when you need them most.
The Fool has no pretensions. The Fool does not know, and thus is open to knowledge. The Fool shows innocence and reminds us to embrace our inner child. The Fool reminds us to not overplan, not overthink, but to go with our impulses and do something new.
Now, a little fun: I delved into my collection and photographed all the Fools I could. Jac and I were having a conversation recently about how different decks interpret the same images, and I think these show that well. I have found in general, the farther the imagery deviates, the more the author has their own unique interpretation as well.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite fool? Let us know in the comments!