The Fool Tarot Card Meanings

Take the leap of faith.

The Fool Tarot Card Meanings

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links from Amazon and other sites that we collect a share of sales from. You may learn more here.

The Fool Keywords

Upright Meanings: Beginnings, taking the leap, idealism, stepping forward into something new, free spirited, adventure, youthful spirit, spontaneity
Reversed Meanings: Fear of moving forward, recklessness, naivety, foolishness, carelessness, boredom

The Fool Description

The Fool is in position zero in the tarot’s Major Arcana. On the Fool tarot card, there is a figure of a carefree traveler, carrying a light knapsack and holding a white rose. They are excited to begin their journey, so much so that they are about to walk off the edge of a cliff, despite the dog barking in warning.

The white rose symbolizes innocence. Depending on your interpretation, the dog may represent the fears barking at you when you are ready to take a leap of faith and try something new. Or, it may be a warning that if you continue on the path you’re on, you will walk off a cliff and miss out on the adventures that await you.

The Fool Tarot Card Meanings - Upright and Reversed

What Is the Fool’s Journey?

The Fool’s Journey is also the story of the Major Arcana. During the first part of their journey through the tarot, the Fool meets archetypes that represent energies or people we also meet throughout our lives, such as the Empress and Hermit.

They then experience a series of celebrations (The Sun) and challenges (The Tower) and are faced with temptation (The Devil) and having things turned upside down so they have to see things from a different perspective (The Hanged Man).

Sound familiar? The Fool is all of us. We all embark on journeys in life and when it comes up in your reading, it represents a new journey or unexpected opportunity on the horizon.

The Fool Tarot Card Meanings - Angelarium Tarot Peter Mohrbacher
Illustration Credit: Peter Mohrbacher

Upright Fool Meaning

The Fool card signifies the onset of a journey marked by beginnings, innocence, potential, exploration, and personal growth. It underlines the idea that the future holds abundant potential and unexplored experiences for those willing to venture into the unknown.

This card encourages us to embrace possibilities beyond our current circumstances or comfort zone, affirming that trying new things is not only acceptable but also essential for personal development.

In the realm of tarot, the Fool card stands out as one of the most iconic and symbolic cards. At its essence, the Fool embodies the commencement of a journey, a spirit of spontaneity, and the belief that anything is achievable when taking a leap of faith. Picture the memorable scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Indy courageously steps into the seemingly impassable chasm.

The Fool Tarot card provides insights into the significance of welcoming new beginnings and embracing one’s inherent curiosity and adventurous spirit. As your encounter new paths in life, The Fool serves as a reminder that transformative experiences often emerge when we step out of our comfort zones and dare to explore the unknown.

In its upright position, the Fool represents the initiation of a fresh adventure marked by spontaneity, excitement, and potential.

It frequently appears when you’re standing at the brink of significant life changes, such as starting a new job or undertaking a novel project. This card underscores the influence of carefree fun and play, serving as a source of inspiration during these new experiences.

The Fool Tarot Card Meanings - Modern Witch Tarot
Credit: Modern Witch Tarot

Love and Relationships (Upright)

In the realm of relationships, the Fool tarot card symbolizes the onset of new romantic journeys, marked by spontaneity and innocence.

In the context of romance, it advises embracing love with a spirit of adventure, optimism, and a readiness to release past fears and inhibitions. The Fool urges you to be fully present in the current moment, relinquish control, relish the path of love, and fearlessly express authenticity and vulnerability.

This card signifies a period of unrestrained, genuine romance and love, wherein trust, freedom, and a lighthearted approach can pave the way for exciting and satisfying connections.

Whether a relationship is in its early stages or has endured over time, the Fool emerges as a reminder to infuse it with the energy of carefree spontaneity and openness.

The Fool Tarot Card Meanings - Italian Tarot
Vergnano Tarot

Career and Finances (Upright)

The Fool signifies new opportunities, fresh starts, and a bold, adventurous approach to your career. It represents a willingness to take risks, embrace change, and pursue unconventional paths.

Especially if you’ve been feeling stuck or your current project or venture isn’t paying off, the card suggests being open to trying something new, following your passions, and not being constrained by traditional expectations. Trying thinking outside the box or coming to things with fresh eyes.

Financially, it encourages a lighthearted and optimistic outlook, urging you to invest in new ideas and be open to unexpected opportunities.

The Fool Tarot Card Meanings - Cartoon tarot
Credit: Alba BG

Reversed Fool Meaning

In contrast, when the Fool card appears in reverse in your tarot reading, it conveys a cautionary message, signaling potential recklessness, apathy, or an inclination toward excessive risk-taking that could result in unfavorable outcomes. This reversal serves as a red flag, urging you to exercise prudence and steer clear of allowing excitement or impulsivity to cloud your judgment.

On the flip side, if you’ve been adhering to a overly cautious approach, particularly when the reversed Fool card occupies the present position, the reversal may indicate that you’ve been playing it too safe, perhaps to the point where life feels dull or lacking in excitement.

In such instances, the reversed Fool card is gently nudging you to assess your current approach and consider integrating a bit of adventure into your life.

Whether it’s a warning against imprudent actions or an encouragement to break free from a monotonous routine, the reversed Fool serves as a reminder to strike a balance, ensuring that your choices align with a more measured and thoughtful approach, even as you contemplate introducing a touch of spontaneity and excitement.

The Fool Tarot Card Meanings - Vice Versa Tarot
Credit: Vice Versa Tarot

Love and Relationships (Reversed)

Reversed, the Fool tarot card signifies recklessness, naivety, and impulsiveness in love. It’s when you go on a hot date with someone and ignore the entire box of red flags.

It warns against rushing into love without careful consideration or overlooking important details.

The reversed Fool advises taking a more cautious and thoughtful approach to love, being mindful of potential risks, and avoiding blind leaps into romantic situations. It also encourages learning from mistakes and gaining wisdom before embracing new romantic endeavors.

The Fool Tarot Card Meanings - Fyodor Pavlov Tarot
Credit: Fydor Pavlov

Career and Finances (Reversed)

When reversed, the Fool means imprudence, missed opportunities, and a lack of direction when it comes to your career and finances. It suggests that you might have made or might be about to make impulsive or ill-considered decisions, leading to setbacks or missed chances for growth.

These pitfalls can arise from a lack of strategic planning or the tendency to gloss over crucial details fueled by excessive excitement about a potential opportunity. It’s akin to making an investment solely based on widespread buzz without conducting thorough research, only to find the market taking an unexpected downturn.

The reversed Fool advises exercising caution, seeking guidance, and avoiding reckless or overly optimistic approaches in career and financial matters. It encourages learning from past mistakes, embracing practicality, and taking a more thoughtful, deliberate approach to avoid potential pitfalls and secure a more stable and prosperous future.

Author’s note: When reading the tarot, it’s imperative to be guided by your own intuition. These classic meanings and interpretations are just a foundation that provide you with an underlying understanding.