Editor’s Note: If you want to experiment with tarot cards and don’t have any, we provide a free tarot spread generator using the Celtic Wings spread, which is based on the traditional Celtic Cross spread. This article tells you how to use the spread. You can visit Sarah’s website here. –efc
By Sarah Taylor
The Fool is a wanderer, energetic, ubiquitous, and immortal. He is the most powerful of all the Tarot Trumps [major arcana]. Since he has no fixed number he is free to travel at will, often upsetting the established order with his pranks. As we have seen, his vigor has propelled him across the centuries where he survives in our modern playing cards as the Joker. Here he still enjoys confounding the Establishment. In poker he goes wild, capturing the king and all his court. In other card games he pops up unexpectedly, deliberately creating what we choose to call a misdeal.
— Sallie Nichols, Jung and Tarot — An Archetypal Journey
The first card in the major arcana, The Fool is also somewhat of an outsider from the outset: assigned the number 0 as it is, there is no other card in the major or minor arcana that has this numerical quality.
I’ve spent some time exploring The Fool in numerous sources, and my prevailing conclusion is that the card is at once simple and complex.
I think these two ideas are embodied in the two versions of The Fool that accompany today’s article: the first, and for some more familiar one, from the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot deck, the second from the Camoin-Jodorowsky version of the Marseille Tarot deck. Each card depicts The Fool differently; both express the “energetic, ubiquitous, and immortal” wanderer that Sallie Nichols describes in the quote above.
Given the airy and pioneering nature of the card, I felt it would be fitting to address The Fool in as flexible and accommodating a way as possible: through the eyes, thoughts and feelings of you, dear readers.
Exploring The Fool for yourself
Using the above quotation by Sallie Nichols as guidance, and working with one or both cards:
- What does The Fool symbolise — what is the story that the card or cards are telling you?
- Where and how does The Fool make him/herself apparent in your life?
- Where has The Fool taken you?
To help you get started, here are some additional questions that you might want to consider:
- Why is The Fool associated with the number zero?
- What is the significance of the dog in both versions?
- What does the white flower represent?
- How does The Fool’s dress work with the concepts you’re exploring?
- What does the use of movement, in both versions, mean to you?
- Is the use of colour significant?
If you feel like sharing anything, please feel free to add your comments below and I’ll join in where I can.