The Fool is one of my favorite Tarot cards. He’s not scared of being different – The Fool is afraid of being the same. A fave alias of the Trickster, this is the only Major Arcana card to transition into the modern playing cards, as the Joker.
You get the Fool in a reading when it’s time to take a massive leap of faith, trust your instincts and move on even if everyone around you is doing w.t.f style disapproval or your path seems counter to the obvious.
In fact, perhaps it is more a case of especially if…You know the sorts of people whose disdain is actually an affirmation? You can successfully navigate by doing their ‘don’ts?
Most recently I saw it in the spread of a guy who was wondering whether he could cop the crap from breaking up with his ‘perfect partner’ – so revered and intermeshed with their community were this couple that my friend knew for sure he’d lose a whole pile of friends, community and biz contacts if he left.
I think he was actually hoping the cards would throw up one of those “stay put for now” answers but no, there it was: The Fool. Leap or congeal. But it’s weirder than that…
In most decks The Fool is depicted as wandering cheerily along a path, a few possessions in a little rucksack, cute dog yapping away and about to step off a cliff. Idiocy or magic? It’s the ultimate start-over card and the cliff doesn’t represent doom or even a crash – it’s the unknown. Card Zero is a start-over cue and ‘the game’ is never over.
Idiocy or Magic?
It also reflects those times in your life when you organically shed things and perhaps people – you don’t want to be encumbered or be socially performative. The non-conformity is innate and no effort at all – it’s more of an effort for the people tut-tutting about you.
You may or may not like him but Elon Musk is a classic Fool archetype. Time and time again he’s deemed a flake in the media – foolish for starting this, crazy for having done that…bound to fail any moment now etc.
The Fool is a psychic minimalist, not needing to signal status or crimp their soul to fit into a hierarchy. The little dog symbolizes intuition – you could get real fancy about this and invoke Anubis/Wolves etc – but this familiar could just as easily be a cat, eagle, owl, snake…
The Fool Is A Psychic Minimalist
When the Fool shows up in your Tarot spread, think animal spirits and raw life force without all the layers of saturnine mundane convention. Yes, we all need to pay heed to worldly demands to a certain extent and the Fool archetype is free – not forever in court for refusing to pay parking fines – but why emotionally invest?
You can pay the toll fees or do whatever you need to do for resource-acquisition without buying into magic-damaging, mind-numbing banality or surrendering your intuition.
The man who got the Fool card as ‘the answer’ in his reading endured all the social fracas that usually comes with ending an officially admired relationship. But as I said, disapproval from mediocre vibe vampires is one of the best indicators that you’re heading in the right direction.
Their approval would be a worry. Now this ‘fool’ is super-chill and content, replete with the quiet ebullience of someone following their path. You could see the Fool as the youthful version of the Hermit, a more mature self-navigator.
But you see, the Hermit gets rad respect. They’ve got gravitas and people accept that they’re self-governed. When you’re in the Fool stage of something, you only get to the good bits if you’re willing to have people write you off as a complete raving flake.
If you stop to explain yourself or divert energies to the purchase of status-quo signals, you’ve lost the quest.
Image: Leonora Carrington