The Fool's Journey
Deck: Golden Universal Tarot
The Fool's Journey
A fool is typically seen as a reckless person who doesn’t know what’s for his or her own good. Although to act foolishly is often frowned upon, The Fool of the Tarot isn’t so cut and dry. In fact, the Tarot’s Fool has a much better PR team on its side as it has come to represent innocence, new beginnings, free spirit, and spontaneity.
Labeled with the number 0, The Fool was not original to the Tarot. It was added after the set had been solidified. However, it became evident and was widely accepted that there was a critical step prior to entering card 1, the Magician’s stage of preparedness and potential:
A reader needed to make the decision to start the journey in the first place.
Enter The Fool
The Fool represents the beginning of the journey. Essentially, you are the journeyman who experiences the trials and tribulations represented by the other major arcana as you move through this life. He is equipped and willing to be open to new experiences, says ‘Yes’ to life, and places faith in the Universe.
Although traditionally featured in the Rider-Waite Tarot series as a man, The Fool can be male or female. This youthful man walks toward a cliff edge with a little dog jumping at his heels. A carefree expression and pose, he holds a flower elegantly in one hand extended behind him, with a satchel hung from a staff balanced on his opposite shoulder. Though he is about to walk over the edge of the cliff, and into a potentially dangerous unknown, still, he moves ahead without fear.
The symbolism of The Fool's Tarot card
Taking a closer look at the ample symbols of this card, we can see there is emphasis given to specific colors and standard esoteric symbolism with items such as the sun and mountains in the background.
Yellow is heavily featured in this card. Especially in the background and on The Fool’s clothes. The color yellow is all about radiating creativity, protection, intellect, positivity and clarity, so what better symbol to represent this in every day life than our own Sun?
For centuries the sun has been worshipped as a god of the skies. A life-giving and energizing source of positivity (When used responsibly, of course. There is a dark side to everything, right?), the sun is shown bestowing its light and blessing over The Fool. It is lighting the way for this journey of enlightenment (See what I did there?).
High peaked mountains are also seen in the background. Mountains usually represent dealing with triumph, challenge, attainment, and realization. Lower peaks are less energized. When mountains are present, you may want to consider the heights to which you are climbing or attempting to climb, and what the realization of your goals may mean for you and those around you.
Man’s best friend tags along, happily leaping after The Fool’s heels as a companion but also as guide.
Note that the mountains and little dog are white, which can stand for peace, cleansing, illumination, purity, innocence and the highest kind of understanding.
The Fool, seemingly unaware, still has a potentially saving grace. Over his should is a satchel, and in it is likely supplies he has stowed away for his journey. He is equipped with tools to help him along his path. Hopefully, he has a rope or two to help him with that cliff.
Flowers are creatures of beauty and admiration, but their beauty if fleeting. They are the heralders of Spring, growth, new beginnings and finding value in living in the moment.
Green alludes to a fresh start and is related to attributes of youthfulness, sentimentality, nature, adventure, growth and health.
The brown of the earth beneath The Fool’s feet is grounding as it is tangible, practical, stable, nurturing, and solid.
The subtle shade of orange in his tunic is about harmony, aspiration, sociability, contentment, and intelligence.
Red indicates passion, primal urges, action, pleasure, vibrance, radiance, and, of course, love.
Lessons to be learned from the Fool's Journey
At first glance, it may seem that The Fool is in for a life of ruin by living in a laissez fair style; however, there are lessons to be learned from living life—good or ill—for the experience. Maintaining openness to new experiences, having trust in the Universe, and accepting responsibility for whatever may happen, The Fool can lead to significant growth. Especially, in learning how to become the person you want to be, but more importantly, to avoid becoming the person you don’t.
Until next time... Keep chasing the green.
Keywords: The Fool's Journey, the fool, tarot, tarot cards, tarot deck, rider-waite, rider-waite series, rws, universal tarot, golden universal tarot, tarot card symbols, tarot card deck, spirituality, metaphysical