Adventuring with The Fool
78 Miles of Mystery; Mile 0
Welcome to a new series for the blog; 78 Miles of Mystery, where I’m taking a journey through each card of the tarot and hoping to have lots of fun along the way. We won’t see the world’s largest ball of twine or the birthplace of Elvis on the way, but we will meet royalty, a lion tamer, daring knights, and maybe even Death . . . don’t worry, he’s a totally chill dude who loves a bit of Guns n’ Roses and a game of ‘I Spy’. Just don’t let him drink too much soda or we’ll be pulling over every half an hour.
I did plan on following a format for this series where I’d draw a random card and go with whatever appeared, but while shuffling to choose the very first card today, one sprung free, and when I flipped it over, The Fool winked up at me. I took the hint, and decided to start at the beginning instead, jumping on board with The Fool as he starts his wild, adventurous journey.
Although I spent time with each card when I first began studying tarot, it’ll be fun to intentionally hang out with each card one-by-one again. My aim is to create uncomplicated and relatable connections for each card, meaning if you’re new to tarot, there’s lots to get your teeth into, and if you’re a seasoned pro, perhaps you’ll unearth a new perspective. I’m excited to travel all 78 wondrous miles with this series, so hop in and join the adventure with me. Who knows what we’ll discover along the way!
I’ll be using the Universal Rider Smith Waite tarot for this series. A brighter and clearer version of the original RSW deck, it highlights the symbols, colours, and imagery within the cards for easier study. Many decks follow the RSW structure within their imagery, so it’s a deck I always recommend for beginners, whether they choose to use the original or universal edition.
Adventuring with The Fool
The Fool is card (or Key) 0 of the tarot deck, and the first of the Major Arcana. The Major Arcana are the cards that deal with the big stuff in life, important lessons that help us grow and evolve. When a Major Arcana card appears in a reading, sit up and take note. Its message is one that typically brings profound learning, and generally heralds a shift in circumstance and mindset.
With his head to the sky, The Fool sets out on an adventure, step full of spring as he leaps into the unknown. At his side, his faithful companion prances. A bright, rising sun shines down, highlighting the snow-topped mountains in the rear. With his few possessions tucked in his knapsack, a white rose in hand, The Fool embodies optimism and joy as his new journey begins.
What The Fool Portrays:
The Fool represents risk, taking a chance, but with faith all will work out. Fool energy is when you decide to do something, and even though you haven’t quite thought it all through, and you’re not sure if it’ll unfold, you go for it anyway, confident you’ll somehow succeed. Forest Gump, Luke Skywalker, and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz all embody Fool energy. Despite the unknown, they moved forward, holding faith their journey would take them exactly where they needed to be. The Fool brings themes of innocence, new beginnings, adventure, and faith in the Universe.
A Closer Look:
The first image to note is the dog at The Fool’s side. What vibes does the pupper give off to you? Sometimes, he’s bouncing alongside his master with encouragement, but occasionally, he’s jumping up to warn of the steep drop ahead. So does The Fool stride ahead with unshakeable faith, or dangerous naivety?
With his simple cloth bag holding his possessions, The Fool also represent minimalism. He’s relying entirely on his wit, talent, and smarts to succeed. This is the beginner’s mind, a lack of experience or wordly knowledge, but with a deep trust that the skills you already possess will ensure it all works out regardless. What might he have packed for his journey?
The backdrop of bright sun, a clear sky, and snow-capped mountains indicate courage, strength, and the purity of intention. The Fool knows he may face adversity on his journey, but with his enthusiasm knowing no bounds, he’s confident of success. Perhaps he’s just taken a deep inhale of the white rose, and exhales in admiration of its pure, youthful scent? He’s stuck a red feather in his green cap. It makes him feel courageous, and reminds him he’s now free as the wind and ready to fly.
The Fool in Motion:
When did you last make an unexpected change? Perhaps halfway through preparing a meal, you threw in a new spice or herb? Or maybe you took a turn on the way home and drove a different route to the norm. A decision to do something out of the blue holds Fool energy. It’s flying by the seat of your pants, and grinning while you do so. Songs I imagine The Fool might listen to if he could connect to Spotify on the cliff edge are:
I wish that I could fly, into the sky, so very high, just like a dragonfly.
I’d fly above the trees, over the seas in all degrees, to anywhere I please.
I want to get away, I want to fly away, yeah, yeah, yeah.
And I can’t wait to get on the road again, on the road again.
Goin’ places that I’ve never been, seein’ things that I may never see again, and I can’t wait to get on the road again.
And my personal favourite . . .
Run away with me, lost souls in revelry, running wild and running free, two kids, you and me. And I say hey, hey-hey-hey, livin’ like we’re renegades.
And I say hey, hey-hey-hey, livin’ like we’re renegades.
Long live the pioneers, rebels and mutineers, go forth and have no fear, come close and lend an ear.
The Fool in Creativity:
Personally, The Fool comes out to play when I’m starting a new book. I’ll begin writing with a rough idea of the story, a few loose plot ideas, and a handful of characters, but the rest I leave up to the process. I don’t think I’ve ever started a book knowing exactly how it will end. I just know that inspiration will strike and I’ll figure it out. Within any form of creativity, Fool energy will appear as diving into the project with enthusiasm and joy, but without a definite plan, or how the finished piece may look. You may not even have experience with the medium being used, but such a minor thing won’t hold you back! It’s simply pure, joyous creativity, and you know it will be fabulous on completion.
Symbolism for The Fool:
Number 0: Beginnings and endings, eternity, the source of all.
Rising Sun: A journey begins, strength of spirit, connection to divinity.
Knapsack: Said to hold instinct and universal memory, some also say The Fool carries the four tools of The Magician in his bag (which clicks with me!). The bag itself holds the symbol of an eagle which represents the desire to fly high with the talents he possesses.
White Rose: Innocence and purity. The white rose also appears on the Death card, which represents transformation. Signifying youth, and often, adolescence.
White Dog: Typically, a loyal and faithful companion. It can also represent man’s animal nature, and how we have evolved from beast. It’s a reminder to stay tuned to our primal instincts.
Mountains: Ascension into higher consciousness. Although they can be seen as obstacles, climbing them brings progress and deeper understanding. Each peak must be overcome in turn before reaching the final summit. The snow denotes purity, something as yet untouched by man.
Red Feather: Rising from his hat, the red feather represents the transformative and primal power of fire, along with vitality and courage. It also denotes how The Fool follows instinct and listens to intuition.
Clothes: White under-shirt denotes purity and potential. The floral over-shirt indicates The Fool’s enjoyment of aesthetics over practicality. Yellow boots represent self-confidence, the element of Air, and the Sun, which holds masculine energy.
Black Wand: The stick holding the knapsack represents the weight of past experience, but is also considered a magic wand, with black representing the unconscious and the wand itself representing the power of manifestation.
Direction: The Fool faces Northwest; the direction of the unknown. His path is unclear, and what lies beyond the ledge is a mystery.
The Astrological correspondences for The Fool are Uranus, the planet of change and rebellion, and Aquarius, an air sign with a curious and unorthodox nature. The rebellious Fool certainly throws caution to the wind as he strikes out on his adventure. The Fool’s elemental correspondence is Air, associated with free-spirit, intuition, wisdom, and the breath of life. Colours associated with Air are yellow and white, both in abundance in The Fool.
Adventuring with The Fool spread
Here’s a spread for Adventuring with The Fool, ideal for situations where you’re thinking about taking a leap of faith, or wondering if the time is right to accept an opportunity.
Place The Fool in the centre of the spread to focus on its energy as you read the surrounding cards. Look out for how other figures within the cards interact with The Fool. Do they face or turn away from him? Are any of The Fool’s symbols appearing in other cards? Where do colours, weather, or the landscape match or clash? Do the surrounding cards support The Fool and his adventure?
Journal Prompts for The Fool:
Are you ready to leap?
What’s waiting out there for you?
How will taking this chance change your life?
What’s in your knapsack?
How will it assist you?
The Fool Reversed
Instead of leaping, The Fool reversed hesitates on the cliff edge. Why? Is there danger ahead, or is he lacking self-confidence? Perhaps he’s forgotten to connect with instinct and doesn’t listen to his intuition. He may even think he knows it all, and doesn’t need to take any further steps. If The Fool appears reversed within a spread, take note of the surrounding cards to decipher why he falters. If it’s a single draw, listen to gut instinct; it’ll advise whether the reversal is a warning to stop and think, or that now is not the time to take a risk.
Looking at the card in reverse, The Fool appears to hang, but unlike The Hanged Man who we’ll meet further ahead, he’s not content in his hesitation. Note too the snow-capped mountains. They’ve suddenly morphed into a giant wave, ready to crash over the scene and drag The Fool and his dog out to sea.
The white rose and red feather are about to fall. Innocence and courage are lost. Has The Fool talked himself out of the adventure, or has past experience frightened him into believing he’s not capable?
For a reversed Fool, consider the following as journal prompts, or a spread.
Why are you hesitating at the cliff edge?
Is the dog holding back with you, or encouraging you to take a chance?
How can you overcome this hesitation?
What might be missing from your knapsack?
Road-tripping with The Fool
If you have a deck, dig out The Fool. An image on screen or page will work just as well if you don’t have access to a deck. You could even take a screen shot and set it as your phone’s lock screen.
Hang out with The Fool for a few days. Find a connection to its energy through music, lyrics, poetry, books, art. TV/Movie characters or well known people. What about those around you? Who amongst your friends/family/colleagues embodies Fool energy? Where could you inject a little Fool energy into your life—and what might happen if you do?
If you’re new to tarot, journaling your time with The Fool will be of great benefit. Discovering your own personal associations is a fantastic way to connect with the themes of any card, so if a connection clicks, write it down! Associating a card with a person, song, or character forges a solid understanding that has personal meaning, and works way better than simply rote learning the meanings. The main thing is to have fun. Don’t worry if you’re doing it ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. Embody a little Fool energy and simply jump in, open to whatever waits.
If you’re looking for guidance on journaling you can check out the post here. Likewise, for recommended books on tarot, hop to the Resources section where all the books are linked for easy access to Amazon. Please note, that as an Amazon Associate I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon. The links you click are affiliate links meaning I get commissions for purchases made through these links, but at no extra cost to you whatsoever.
Decks featured in this post:
We’ll pick up The Magician for the next mile of our adventure. Until then, enjoy adventuring with The Fool. Let me know how you bonded! I’d love to hear associations you make, especially when they’re pop culture based. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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