The Fool

The Fool symbolises a complete rebirth, fresh start, and as the French quite aptly say, "starting from zero". It is the ultimate blank canvas upon which querents can direct their destiny as they see fit.

This new beginning is not without its pitfalls and there is a caution to look before one leaps. When this card appears in a reading, the querent can expect life to take a wholly unexpected turn; it signifies a departure from the old ways and the dawn of a new existence. This can entail a new job, major house move, new relationship, or a desire to completely leave behind their previous life and allow the universe to direct their path.

The Fool is said to be associated with the planet Uranus which can be known as being an astrological grenade. It provokes innovation, unorthodox behaviour, electricity and the central nervous system. Whatever this planet makes aspects to or affects will be subject to upheaval and disintegration in order to pave the way for new beginnings.

In the Rider Waite deck the Fool emerges from the eternal, genderless "no-thing" of the universe in order to create a life and path free from the constraints of any previous incarnation. This "no-thing", sometimes referred to as "Ain Sof" in Hebrew and " Advaita" in Sanskrit, is the engine of all creation; it is from where we are conceived in thought and ushered into the material plane as physical constructs of consciousness.

The Fool is said by some to be of indeterminate gender, a characteristic derived from its origins, which suggests that in this almost embryonic state, destiny can be directed in any manner of choice. The Fool can also be interpreted as embodying the archetype of the "noble savage" described by Rousseau; man in a state of grace, innocence, purity, untouched by the purported vices of civilisation and social mores. Looking skywards in supplication of the beneficence of the heavens, a blind eye turned to the potential dangers below the precipice on which he stands, submission to the caprice of fate is intimated. The white dog feverishly snapping behind The Fool can be interpreted as a symbol of the unconscious mind, the part of the psyche which adheres to ingrained behaviours, modes of thinking, and that part of the mind which is wholly without awareness. Like the ever servile canine its job is not to scrutinise or to discern, but to merely repeat that which it has become indoctrinated with. The colour white further reflects its naivete as this colour is reputed almost universally in esoteric dogma as representing innocence and purity. The Fool disregards the white dog and has taken a conscious decision to experience this present life unfettered by established rules.

The number of this card is 0 and as such signifies an entirely blank canvas for regeneration but also alludes to the infinite cycle of the universe that nothing is ever truly destroyed and that we are all consumed once again into the universal ether. The number 0 is reminiscent of the Ouroboros, the serpent which is said to eat its own tail, forming a circle and thus symbolising the apogee of the alchemical pursuit: to make oneself whole through death and rebirth, becoming ultimately immortal.

In a love reading the Fool is a good omen if you are single. It can represent that you will be beginning a new chapter in your love life and could be potentially swept off your feet. In terms of the partner you will meet, it suggests that they may well be not immediately attractive to you as something about their demeanour or mannerisms is perhaps not what you are accustomed to. It can indicate a personality who is content to go with where life takes them and may have a fatalistic approach to romance and life. They may not be determined to settle down as an ultimate goal but they are neither averse to the prospect of marriage if they find the right person for them. In an already established relationship, the Fool is not positive as it indicates one party or both of them are not taking the connection seriously; there is a fear of commitment and a laissez-faire attitude towards one another. In terms of reconciliation with a former partner, the Fool advises you to focus on new experiences, embrace your rebirth, and to reject the past since your lost flame is not likely to ever commit to you.

In a work or career reading, the Fool suggests a completely new venture. Perhaps a long held dream of starting a business will be realised or work in an entirely new field will be offered. Sometimes this can mean that your current career trajectory is over and this may not be a welcome sign. However the Fool tends to promise that your path has been redirected by the will of the universe and that your faith will help you endure this time. In a more negative light the Fool can indicate that you are not taking your business or career seriously and are much more concerned with the entertaining aspects of your work. It can even suggest lack of consistency and erratic behaviour such as working diligently for a few days and then neglecting duties.

Timing: Timing is dependent on card placement within a spread but since Uranus is the planet of unpredictable behaviour, this can suggest change at any given time. Uranus also stays in one sign for 7 years; depending on your manner of reading, this time frame may also be applicable.

Major Arcana: Card 0

Astrological Correspondence: Uranus, 11th house of the Zodiac wheel

Element: Air

Quality: Mutable

Positive Aspects: break from mundane life, complete new beginning, new romance, submission to the will of fate, spiritual regeneration, leaving outmoded concepts behind, shedding the shackles of the old self

Negative Aspects: hasty action, unpredictable and erratic behaviour, lack of conscientiousness, aversion to commitment, nonplussed attitude towards a romantic connection