The Symbolism of The Fool

The Symbolism of The Fool
Symbolism is the key to reading Tarot. It is through our own unique interpretation of the symbols on the cards that we intuit the meaning of each card in a spread. This is my own personal interpretation of the symbolism inherent in The Fool card in my Rider-Waite Tarot deck.

The Fool is the first card of the Major Arcana. This card represents new beginnings or a fresh new start. Sometimes it through lookng through the innocent eyes of The Fool that we can see new pathways taking form.

The Fool starts his journey with only the clothes he is wearing, his dog, and a few items he is carrying along with him.

The Sun is shining above him on a bright summer day. It is, however, behind The Fool and not in front of him. It would seem to me that this represents his innocent but unenlighted nature. He has not yet seen the "light" that only life experience can bring. Yet, as he gazes upwards, he is aware of the suns warmth and brightness. He is instinctually aware that the warmth of the sunlight is a pleasant sensation.

The Fool is a newborn. He can only relate to instinct. There in no feeling or emotion present in his nature at ths time. He can only relate to what his body is feeling. Imagine, if you will, a world where time doesn't exist. There is no past or future. There is only the present moment. This is the beginning of life for the Fool.

In one hand he carries a white flower. I see this flower as a symbol of the purity of his nature. He is innocent and pure without any opinions or ideas. He is a newborn baby in an adult body. Imagine a newborn baby that has no fear or past experience of danger. This is The Fool.

In his other hand he carries a hobo's bundle. I see this as a bundle of his potential. It contains the tools he needs to survive as he goes forward on his journey.

He stands on a cliff ready to step forward and over the edge. I see this as the balance of life and death in all our lives. A wrong decision or a reckless act can end a life as quickly as The Fool can walk off the cliff.

The Fool has a little white dog beside him. This little creature seems to be attempting to warn The Fool of his potential danger. But, can the Fool understand the warning anymore than an infant could? I see the little dog as Fate. Fate is also innocent. It doesn't take sides. It just happens.

I have often wondered why some people cancel a flight they were about to take because of a bad feeling about boarding said flight only to find out later that the plane they were to take has crashed. It would seem that either we pay attention to our intuitive feelings or we don't.

Will fate, in the guise of the little white dog prevent The Fool from stepping off the cliff? We can really only wonder about his destiny.

I feel that The Fool card offers us the chance to begin again, see the world through the eyes of a child, and listen to our intuition about the choices we are about to make.

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