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Tarot Card Meanings > Major Arcana > The Fool

The meaning of The Fool tarot card is new beginnings. It is associated with youthful naïveté, optimism, and idealism. The symbology is often that of a jester or joker, usually carrying his gear on a stick as a hobo would. He is typically accompanied by a dog, a cat, or some other familiar that behaves as his guide. In some cards he plays the pipe (like Pan) or is a young child grabbing at something interesting but unknown. Below you can view the various artistic interpretations of the Fool Card.

The Fool

The Fool is you! The Fool is the Alpha and Omega.
He is a wise, natural person who sometimes wears the mask of a joker.
The Fool is your essential self, your soul, the inner truth of your being.

THE INNOCENT FOOL
is every newborn baby, ready to begin the lessons of life. The baby Fool does not remember the essential self at birth. He learns by falling into ego and developing along the four minor paths, which are called Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. These represent growing up in a physical body; emotional and mental development; and the “school of hard knocks.” The dog (or familiar) symbolizes family, friends, and community, who are cautious, critical, and trying to hold you back. He flirts with disaster to demonstrate the difficult, dangerous work of taming the ego. The Cliff symbolizes “The Great Work”, which is the hard work of achieving higher consciousness and living life to the fullest. If it were easy, wouldn’t everyone be happy?

THE WISE FOOL
has had deep life experience in the four worldly paths. He has tasted the four aces, and wants more experience. He is filled with curiosity about the internal self. The wise Fool must remember and recognize the essential self by working through the steps and stages of the major arcana. Each person accomplishes the journey in a personal, unique pattern. He evolves by taking a continuous journey through the other 21 major arcana, transmuting from one character to the next, like an actor on a stage, until emerging as
THE ENLIGHTENED FOOL
”Let no one be deceived. If any persons among you seemeth to be wise in the world, let them become a fool so they may be wise.”--Corinthians: 3, 11, 23.

Are you thinking that there has to be something more to life than the fleeting pains and pleasures of the external world?
What do you value as really important to achieve in your life?

Next Card: The Magician


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