The Fool Tarot Card Meaning - Upright, Reversed & More

The fool upright

The Fool At A Glance

Keywords: New beginnings, innocence, youth, a new journey, a new lesson, naive, reckless, new life, making uninformed or rushed decisions
Season: Winter
Zodiac/Planet: Taurus

The Fool Tarot Card Description

The Fool is the very first card within the Major arcana and is usually numbered as zero. In the RWS (Rider Waite Smith) original tarot system The Fool card shows a young man who blissfully strides close to a cliff’s edge whilst carrying his pack on his shoulder.

Full of the joys of Spring there is a feeling of great adventure and his mind is clouded with the excitement of all the possibilities which could meet him on his journey. All the while he is unaware of the dangerous cliff face or situation he is quickly striding towards. A dog darts around his heels to try to get his attention and warn him.

The Fool Upright Meaning

When turning over The Fool card and it is in its upright position (the art work is right side up) it often means the start of something new within the reader’s life. This could be either a situation they haven’t encountered before or something they will have to learn because they currently aren’t skilled or practiced in this area, yet.

Like the unaware man on the cliff we are being asked to stop and take note of our surroundings and seek guidance in this new area because we may not know enough to be able to navigate this situation effectively. We will receive a new opportunity soon and with it comes learning, retraining and growing our skill set.

“You are never too old to learn something new, or too young to learn too much.” - Suzy Kassem

The Fool Reversed Meaning

The fool reversed

If The Fool card is reversed (the artwork is upside down) then it carries a new meaning. The card, even when reversed, is still about being a novice and learning but there is a negative side to being a novice: making mistakes. It’s this we learn with The Fool reversed. It is an unfortunate fact of life that we often have to learn by making mistakes.

These are unavoidable and The Fool reversed says not to judge ourselves harshly when we stumble or fall but instead to pick ourselves back up and learn from our mistakes. It can also be guiding us not to resist new information or the need to learn more or retrain when we are presented with the opportunity.

It can be challenging to have our thoughts, world view and opinions challenged and to put ourselves in the vulnerable position of admitting we don’t know something but when we do we develop more complex and well-rounded views which further our development.

“Wisdom never comes to those who believe they have nothing left to learn.” - Charles De Lint

The Fool: Yes or No

The Fool can generally be understood as a yes card but it includes the caveat that we will need to learn something valuable along the way. We have said yes to the opportunity to learn or begin a new project and we need to commit to the learning process fully.

If reversed then The Fool is a no. It is saying we currently don’t know enough to make the decision so we should decline this time.

Let’s Break Down The Fool In Our Lives

How The Fool card might apply to our lives. Here we break it down in more detail and what it means more specifically in our love, career, financial, internal and external facets of our lives.

The Fool In Love

If the reader has asked a question about love either romantic or platonic and The Fool card appears then it can suggest that there is a new relationship on the horizon of the reader’s life or it can mean learning more about someone which will deepen their relationship together. It can suggest remaining in the honey moon period for a little longer and enjoying time spent together.

Reversed regarding love The Fool can be saying not to jump in too quickly and spend more time getting to know each other before making any big life altering decisions. It could also be a warning not to disregard red flags or bury one’s head in the sand.

The Fool With Money

If The Fool card appears when a question about money has been asked it is suggesting not to squander money frivolously but to think more long term. We should consider investing this into something which will benefit our future not our current mood.

Reversed regarding money The Fool suggests we have already made a mistake and we may be quite literally paying for it now. We must limit the damage as much as possible and learn from this lesson but most importantly remember not to be too hard on ourselves. There will be other money opportunities in the future.

The Fool At Work

When asking a question about a situation at work or about our careers The Fool card can mean that it’s time to take that course or opportunity that is being or will soon be offered to us and try to add new skills to our belts.

We might be scared to try something new, we may make a mistake or temporarily have to take a step back (reduced hours or less free time) but it will be worth it in the end. The Fool card says it’s time to start the work now.

Reversed it can be challenging our perception of what we think we are capable of. It’s easy to find our mind cluttered with self limiting beliefs. They may feel somewhat safe but they ultimately keep us small and prevent us from achieving our dreams. The Fool Reversed says we are the only thing stopping ourselves from growing so we must drop that negative self-talk and get moving.

The Fool With Others

If we are asking about our external world, either our immediate world of people we know or the world at large and we get The Fool card as an answer it means that we don’t know as much as we think we do and we should ask for more information before we make a decision.

We may feel like diving in and acting but instead we should quietly listen. For example, we should think more about the club or group we were thinking of joining and try to get to know people better before committing.

Reversed it can mean we really don’t know people as well as we thought we did and that we could be negatively surprised or disappointed by something we have found out about someone. But we shouldn’t instantly judge the person for their past actions and dismiss them out of hand, we must listen more and take time to decide how we feel.

The Fool With Self

The Fool card relates to our internal world by asking us to get in touch with our inner child. The part of us that still enjoys play and fun. Let this part of us stretch their legs every now and then and try to just enjoy life for a little bit. Life can get us down when we take it very seriously all the time so we mustn’t forget to make time for joyful activities.

Reversed regarding the self it can mean we are refusing to accept something about ourselves and this is making us incredibly unhappy. Sometimes we fear facing the unknown or difficult feelings we have so we shut them away but in time this causes even more pain than facing it would have. There is something we need to finally forgive ourselves for. Once we work this out we will feel so much lighter.

The Fool As Feelings

The Fool as a feeling can range from excitement to fear. Excitement for the new projects and opportunities we may be looking forward to starting soon. Fear for the unknown and the way being a novice or newbie may make us appear vulnerable or stupid. It’s new kid at school or day one on the job.

There is equal feelings of excitement and apprehension but it is ultimately a positive feeling because we will not stay the novice forever. We will learn and grow within this field and so our confidence grows parallel to our knowledge base.