Exploring the Major Arcana: The Fool Card
- Written by Frederick Gimino
This article is the first of a twenty-two part series exploring the major arcana. We will explore all twenty-two cards, of this tarot card subset, one card at a time.
The purpose of this series of articles is to provide our visitors with actionable insight into the symbolic meaning of the cards as well as educate our audience about the interrelatedness of each card with other divinatory disciplines and spiritual mysticism.
Let us begin with a brief look into the etymology of the word "arcana". The word "arcana" is the plural form of the word "arcanum" which is directly derived from the Latin word "arcanus". The word "arcana" literally means "hidden secrets" from the Latin. Therefore, we may think of the major arcana as "big hidden secrets".
Now let us move onto the first card of the series, the fool card. The fool card begins our journey into the deeper meaning of the twenty-two cards of the major arcana. The first thing you will notice is the number zero which denotes this as the first card, in the subset. Do not let this number throw you off about the card. Because, the fact that the fool card is ironically enumerated with a zero belies its true significance, in the deck (as well as its deeper meaning in Numerology and the Kabala).
Next let us move onto the hidden meanings found in the symbolism of the card. The fool card represents your journey on the path of life. Notice the wand, pouch, rose, dog, sun, and snow. Each of these symbols represents spiritual lessons you must learn on your journey towards the higher self.
Moreover, to lead a truly fulfilling life you must learn to understand and integrate each of the spiritual aspects of the fool card's symbols into your life. The experiences you gain throughout your life aids you in discerning the importance of the several spiritual principles hidden in this cards symbolism like:
- The white rose which represents unconditional love. The planet Venus and the goddess Aphrodite tie in closely with this spiritual principle.
- The wand represents your need to balance ego, id, and super ego.
- The barking dog denotes your need to exercise prudence in the decision making process (as you teeter at the precipice of a cliff almost oblivious of its existence).
- The snow represents your need to avoid stodgy or rigid thought processes. Avoid crystallized thoughts to remain flexible, agile, and open to learning.
- The sun represents the higher self ever beaming its life giving light down on the path in front of you.
From an Astrological standpoint the Fool card correlates with the sun sign of Aquarius via its ruling planet Uranus and the element of air.
From a Numerological perspective, the fool vibrates at the master number twenty-two. It exhibits qualities of the number four at lower vibrations and the amplified aspects of the number two at higher vibrations.
In the Kabalistic view of the Tarot the Hebrew letter aleph represents the fool card on the "tree of life". Viewed as connecting the sephiroth between Chokhmah and Keter it holds the key to unlocking "logos and sophos".
A basic reading for the Fool card in the upright position:
Embrace your journey through life. Your pouch holds all the tools you need to succeed. You hold a white rose representing unconditional love. The higher self shines white hot behind the fool illuminating your path.
As a result, you seek new experiences in your life. A sense of adventure overcomes you as you set forth on your path. Confidence should not predispose you to hasty actions use your insight to make well thought out decisions.
A basic reading for the Fool card in the reversed position:
You need to have faith in your higher self. Avoid hedonistic attitudes towards life. Look to balance your physical and spiritual self. You need to increase your level of accountability and responsibility in order to move forward on your path.