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The Fool Tarot Card Meaning, Explained

Photo: volkovslava / Shutterstock
the fool tarot card

The practice of Tarot is used to bring clarification and answers about love, family, career, and life direction. There are several types of tarot readings and spreads that can give you insight into the universe around you.

In a traditional deck, there are 76 cards total. But of the Major Arcana cards, the Fool is numbered 0 (zero), meaning he has no particular place within the deck; he can be placed at the front or end of the deck, signifying that new beginnings can happen at any time.

The Fool Tarot Card Meanings

Upright meaning keywords: New beginnings, freedom, risk, travel, dreamy, impulsiveness, carelessness

Reversed meaning keywords: Reluctant of new beginnings, lack of trust, poor decisions, disconnect from the truth of self

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The Fool is a necessary part of the Tarot, and even though there are bumps along the way, this card always means that a brand new chapter is about to start. Even though the Fool represents new beginnings and adventure, its name signifies that perhaps it is not necessarily good.

How often have you heard "fool" used in a positive way? In this case, it really signifies that the Fool does not know what they do not know. This means you do not necessarily know all the implications of a particular choice or decision, in terms of a new path or chapter, but that it is okay.

No matter how long or deeply you prepare for those choices in life, there are inherently areas out of our control. The Fool card shows us that you do not need to have it all figured out to take that step forward.

The Fool Tarot Card Description

Using the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, the most widely used Tarot deck, the first thing you notice about the Fool card is the young man seeming ready to skip happily off the edge of a cliff.

This is not to denote misfortune, but instead that he is so dreamy and idealistic about his path, he is not looking at the reality of what is in front of him.

However, other symbols around him — like the white rose and small white dog — bring more positive energy with their meanings of purity, loyalty, and protection.

Photo: volkovslava / Shutterstock

The Fool has a small knapsack on his back, suggesting he needs only the essentials for where he is going. With his eyes trained on the heavens, his trust in the universe and divine guidance is evident.

The mountains in the distance represent challenges and unexpected events on the horizon. However, the Fool does not care; he is simply looking forward to jumping into the unknown, wherever it may lead.

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The Fool Upright Meaning

The Fool tarot card is usually a welcome sight in a reading because it means a new beginning is on the way, and it will likely be positive in nature, even if there are challenges that accompany it.

This card represents ultimate freedom in the ability to try out life and live untethered to any particular storyline or belief. But this can cause difficulties at times.

When you think of new beginnings, you often forget that in order to start something new, you have to end something. Beginnings and endings go hand in hand, and you cannot have one without the other.

While this card does represent new beginnings based on greater freedom, adventure and authenticity, there may also be an ending. But like the Fool card itself, the meaning suggests to not pay it much attention.

We cannot avoid challenges or difficult moments, and sometimes, while you can plan extensively, you also have to let go and trust that if you feel the call to act, it is for a reason, regardless of how impulsive it may seem to others.

Because of the cliff pictured in the symbology for the Fool, it also represents taking a leap of faith, because that really is what every new beginning is about. You have unlimited potential that needs to be used.

The Fool Reversed Meaning

Unlike many tarot cards, the Fool reversed actually means the same thing as the Fool upright: a new beginning is in store. But reversed, it means you are reluctant to take it.

To receive the Fool reversed signifies that life is changing, opportunities are happening, and you are feeling resistance towards moving forward out of fear. It is important to acknowledge that fear is a normal part of big life changes, but it does not have to stop us from taking those steps forward.

The Fool card can represent that you potentially have a lack of trust or faith in terms of taking that step forward. Usually, this happens when you are too bogged down in what could go wrong.

But the reversed Fool is happy-go-lucky nature. This means you should try to embody that blind faith, close your eyes, and just jump.

However, the card reversal could mean you are taking too many risks — or worse, acting recklessly. By trying to live in the moment or spontaneously, you may disregard the consequences of your actions, putting you at risk if you engage in activities you should not.

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Try to look at the bigger picture and find ways to inhabit the Fool's free-spirited nature without causing harm to yourself or others.

The Fool Meaning in Love & Relationships

To receive the Fool card in a Tarot reading about love and relationships signifies that a new romantic encounter is on its way. Like so many cards in Tarot, the ultimate meaning or significance of this card depends on the other cards present in a reading.

Love and Relationships: Upright Fool Meaning

In a love tarot reading, an upright Fool means that a new romantic beginning is right around the corner, but that can mean anything from a casual encounter to a proposal, depending on your unique situation.

If you have been dating someone for a while, the Fool card is asking you to evaluate whether this is a relationship you see going the distance, or if it feels more based in fun. It can also mean that if the relationship is committed, a proposal or moving in together is in the near future.

If single, the Fool often means you are entering a time in your life when you are ready for adventure and fun. This means a new long-term relationship, but it can also indicate that you are not yet ready for a commitment, preferring to enjoy your life and the fun encounters you run into along the way.

While a new beginning is definite, the Fool sometimes lacks commitment, which is why it depends on the surrounding cards and life circumstances.

Love and Relationships: Reversed Fool Meaning

A reversed Fool means you are holding yourself back from real love out of fear. This energy is a reminder that even though it is scary to take a risk, to love is the greatest adventure of all.

In this position, the Fool can also mean that you have made plans about beginning a new path in love — whether it is ending an old relationship or starting a new one — but you are not yet ready to proceed forward.

This means your dream or vision is not quite ready, so this card is calling you back to reevaluate your plans.

Although rare, the Fool in reverse can also signify that you might have acted too recklessly recently, and are being called to reevaluate your actions before it is too late.

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The Fool Meaning in Career

If you receive the Fool in a career path reading, it means a big opportunity or life purpose is coming. But you have to move forward with caution.

Career: Upright Fool Meaning

The upright meaning of the Fool card means you are about to see an exciting opportunity for a new job, to move up within your current company, or that it is time to start your own business.

It may also reveal that you are ready to walk closer to your soul's life purpose, and you may soon find yourself no longer searching for that mystical passion, living it instead.

There are big opportunities to move ahead here, but the caution in this position is that you likely will be doing it alone. Whatever you are doing is so different and unique that those around you will not understand, so you have to be strong enough to do it on your own.

Career: Reversed Fool Meaning

There are a lot of possibilities in our lives, both in career and striking out in an entirely new direction. But reversed, the Fool is warning you about what could happen.

Be sure you are making choices based on reasons that are part of your authentic self and what you truly want.

You are also being cautioned that others might not want you to succeed. Make sure those you align with want what is best for you.

The Fool Meaning in Finance

The Fool in a finance reading means you will see an improvement in the flow of money in your life.

Finance: Upright Fool Meaning

In the upright position during a financial reading, the Fool means financial abundance will be yours — you just need to work for it.

This does not mean you have to break your back, but you do have to put in the effort for what you hope to receive. So, if you want to feel financially stable, you also have to be prepared to save.

Finance: Reversed Fool Meaning

In the reversed position, the Fool meaning is interesting because it signifies that you have to believe in yourself in order to step into financial wealth.

Perhaps it is not your work or even saving ability you have to take a closer look at, but at your identity, and if you actually believe and understand how to live a life rooted in abundance.

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Kate Rose is an artist, writer, passionate yogi, spiritual astrologist, relationship and life coach, and motivational speaker. As a spiritual intuitive, she practices the religion of astrology and love. For more of her work, visit her website.

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