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The Fool Tarot Card - What Does it Mean?

Unpacking the Tarot - The Fool

The Tarot have been used for centuries to predict the future and answer our deepest questions. The traditional deck contains 78 cards—the 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards.

While the Minor Arcana can help shed light on the actions and decisions we make every day, the Major Arcana helps us understand our life’s purpose. Each card represents situations we face through our journey and the lessons we all must learn.

Here is a closer look at the first card in the deck, the Fool.


As the Major Arcana is generally considered to be the Fool’s journey through the many stages of life, he is always present and, as such, is considered to be an unnumbered card. Don’t assume the Fool to be as his name suggests. Rather than foolishness, the card signifies new beginnings, spontaneity, courage and adventure.


The Fool is usually depicted as a young man standing on the edge of a cliff. He looks upwards with the sun and mountains at his back. He carries his belongings over his right shoulder and holds a rose in his left hand. At his feet is a small dog.


The Fool begins his journey without a care in the world, ready to start a brand new adventure. The rose represents his innocence. The dog is his loyal protector, urging him to gain the knowledge he seeks. The mountains represent the obstacles that lie ahead.

When the Fool appears in a reading, it is to encourage you to embrace his free-spirit and open mind. Release your worries and your control. Be spontaneous. Try not to cling to your beliefs. Be open to new ideas.

The Fool may suggest the end of something and the start of something new. It may also foretell a difficult decision on the way. The Fool encourages us to approach change with optimism.

In a spread, the Fool may indicate which area in your life will undergo a change.


If the card is drawn upside down, the Fool represents recklessness and risk. It is advised to think before you act.

*This article is based on the popular Rider-Waite Tarot card deck. If you’re using a different deck, cards may be numbered differently and feature different images. That’s ok. It’s the name of the card and the meaning that matters.