THE FOOL’S JOURNEY
The story of The Fool is the beginning of all of the Tarot stories. The Fool is the protagonist. He represents you and me. He is everyone who opens to the Tarot and seeks its guidance.
Just like we start our lives without an idea of where we are going or where our journey will lead, The Fool has packed all his worldly possessions into his small pack, a symbol that represents untapped knowledge. He holds a white rose in his other hand, a symbol of freedom from carnal or base desires.
The Fool is so filled with visions of adventure and hopes for his potential, he doesn’t see the cliff he could possibly fall over. Near his feet, a dog both encourages his journey, but also warns of possible dangers.
When The Fool shows up in your readings, he almost always symbolizes the first step toward a new beginning, new experience, or new choice—the first step on a new path. We may be unclear where these beginnings will take us, but this is a concern we must overlook, taking a leap of faith, because our vision and desire for growth drives all ambition and forward movement in our lives. The Fool is the first step in a long journey, but without that step there would be no journey at all.
The energy of The Fool is neither positive nor negative, but because he is so unmolded and innocent, there is potential for both. He is called The Fool because he is naïve, but in this naivety is a secret power—Because he is so untainted by the base desires of the world, he can be driven to try to do things that more experienced people would never imagine doing. He thinks outside of the box, and doesn’t care what people think about him. He is totally driven by what he knows is right for him.
People might say that The Fool dances to the beat of his own drum, something which can be frowned upon in our modern world where following the status quo seems to be more valued than creativity, but The Fool knows no better, because he hasn’t yet fallen under the weight of someone else’s expectations. The only expectations he has are his own.
The Fool’s childlike innocence brings with it qualities like complete trust, fearlessness, and total self-reliance. Everything he sees is new and exciting. He is like a child, but in that is his light.
The Fool reminds us to never let another person control your life. Live in the present and trust your own abilities.
Living this way does imply some degree of risk, of course. Take the chance, even in the uncertain face of change, the fears of the unknown, or the risk of failure. The end result may not be what is important when The Fool is present; it’s the journey that matters.