Symbolism of The Fool in Tarot

Number Zero

Number Zero symbolises the Zero Point, unknown drives and desires ‘Eternity’. It represents wholeness, oneness and continuing cycles. 0 is Alpha (beginning) and Omega (the Highest), as there is no beginning and no end. All is infinite. In reference to The Fool, 0 is considered to represent the beginning of a spiritual journey and highlights uncertainties.

The Ancients proclaimed that the ‘God force’ is a circle whose centre is everywhere and it’s circumference is nowhere. All numbers with the number 0 puts one closer to the ‘God force’ or energy.

The Zero can represent the concept of the cosmic egg or a big bang.theory. Can be understood as a pure potentiality or continuous circle without an end nor the beginning. The cyclical nature of life. As all is infinite. Speaks of our ongoing learning experience through life. Can also represent the beginning of a spiritual journey and highlights uncertainties.

Appearance

Although The Fool appears to be a masculine archetype, the face contains an air of femininity. This gives The Fool an androgynous appearance which symbolises a combination and union of both the male and female essences. This means that The Fool does not experience his journey through either a male or female perspective.

He experiences it through both perspectives. This androgynous (Hermaphroditic) portrayal of The Fool reminds us that The Fool's Journey is a journey that is available to any man, woman, boy, or girl who wishes to participate in an Adventure.

An androgynous motive can be also found on card XXI The World. The Fool opens the beginning of our journey and The World signifies it's final stage. The motive emphasise the concept of the cyclical nature of life. That the universe has no beginning and no end.

The Black Stick

The stick represent the burden that each of us has to carry. Black suggests the unknown and unconscious. Implies both danger and mystery. Denotes one's drives and motives, at first only dimly perceived.

The motive of the black stick/black pole can be also found on card VI of Swords (ferryman) and VII of Pentacles (gardener).

The White Shirt

Symbolises: purity of motive, innocence, new beginnings, hope and faith. The white shirt shows that underneath The Fool's fanciful floral tunic his intentions and motives are pure. Stands for The Fool's purity of spirit.

Can speak of clean or blank slate and also understood as absence of intent.

Figure Pose

His pose is open and welcoming. He looks like he is his ready to take off, ready to launch himself into the unknown, with his large wings spread wide.

The Fool gazes up into the heavens because that is where his dreams, aspirations , and imaginings reside. The heavens also represent the highest realm of Divine Consciousness that The Fool can look up to for spiritual inspiration and guidance.

The Fool holds his chin and nose high up in the air. This can also be a sign of insecurity and arrogance.

Standing on the mountain top can represent his prior achievements, sense of being in paradise, feeling some what "high", having an upper hand. Nirvana.

Legs

He stands firmly on one leg, the other is the mid-motion. This represents the forward momentum.

The Fool wears the dirty-yellow tights. The mixture of yellow and black. Yellow stands for the manifestation of sun consciousness. Black for the darkness and unconscious. This shows that the forward movement is a mixture of the conscious choices and decisions as well as those unconscious drives, urges and desires.

The Yellow Boots

The yellow boots imply The Fool's self-confidence and belief that every step is taken consciously. Even though he doesn't pay attention to what is ahead of him.

The Ledge

It is impossible to say whether The Fool's next step will take him over the edge to disaster or simply to the next ledge, we can not yet see. This encapsulates risks that need to be taken in order to progress along our path. It also symbolises a leap of faith.

The ledge upon which The Fool is standing also symbolises the threshold where one journey ends so that another journey can begin.

As well as denotes the mental obstacles we create for ourselves which deter many of us from taking the next step in order to achieve and experience our dreams.

The White Sun

The star we call The Sun is considered to be the most conscious cosmic body. Symbolises the raw and life giving force. Without the Sun all essential life sustaining functions would cease. All revolves around it.

The real colour of the sun is white. The reason that the Sun looks yellow to us is because the Earth's atmosphere scatters higher wavelength colours, like red, orange and yellow less easily.

The White Sun is a symbol of the pure enlightenment which is forever accompanying The Fool on his journey. It indicates that The Fool has a direct link with the highest forces in the Universe, and is gifted with a clear channel of connection.

The white sun that is shining behind him which illuminates The Fool and his world. Showing it all in the best possible light and nudging him onward.

Signals The Fool's self developing consciousness which can exert freedom and freewill, and growth of his individual consciousness.

Together with the white rose and dog can mean on the one hand: nativity, cleansing, clean slate and mind going blank. For the other; completion, liberty, freedom from any attachments and lack of any preconceived conceptions.

The Red Feather

Denotes his life force, vitality, strength and potential. Represents the flame of life and shows liveliness of a person's soul and heart. The red feather symbol is depicted on the card XIX The Sun and XIII The Death.

The Bundle

Marks The Fool's worldly possessions wrapped in a small sack tied to the black staff. His bare essentials. Four talismans, the symbols of the minor arcana. Signifying one's potential and abilities. Including not yet recognised latent talents.

The White Rose

White roses are said to showcase the structural beauty of the rose better than any other colour as there is no bright colour to distract from it. The pure white colour conveys purity, balance virtue and innocence. It expresses promise, new beginnings and hope. It's thorns represent defense, physicality, loss and thoughtlessness.

The symbol of the white rose often denotes that "the best is yet to come".

The white rose symbol can be also on the card XIII The Death.

Clothing

He is dressed in fanciful, some what extravagant, brightly patterned clothing. Wings like open sleeves are burnt orange.

Burnt orange can be polarising because it symbolises negative emotions such as selfishness, pride, or aggression. While others characterise with drive, vision and creativity.

The Fool's clothing appears to be unsuitable and inappropriate. Chosen rather for it's fashionable sense than requirements of the mountain road, his journey ahead.

Therefore, The Fool is sometimes known as the ‘Mad Man’. His clothing represents a carefree, flamboyant, superficial, relaxed and open attitude. It suggests the ability to live day-by-day without worrying about the future.

The Horizon

The Horizon symbolises the realm of the possible. Represents the loftiest border between realms. The highest borderland between heaven and earth.

The Mountains

The Mountains indicate spiritual or mental "rising" or improvement. They represent the higher realms of consciousness. The higher the mountain, the higher the realm of consciousness. The highest mountain peak symbolise the highest realm of consciousness that we can experience while still on earth.

Although The Fool is standing at the top of a high mountain, there are much higher mountains in the distance. These higher mountains remind The Fool that there are still more journeys, and higher realms of consciousness to be explored, experienced, and conquered.

The Mountains equally signify: obstacles, climbing over one or passing through a range indicates overcoming obstacles or making progress climbing up.

And the only way for The Fool to conquer these mountains is for him to continue to follow his dreams, and aspirations, until he reaches the highest and ultimate peak. The enlightenment.

The White Dog

The dog embodies instinct and self-preservation. It is also a symbol of loyalty, trust, protection and companionship. The Dog also suggests a warning against the dangers. The colour white denotes; balance, virtue and innocence as well as childlike behaviour.
The Dog has a dual meaning. We can’t tell for sure if the dog is trying to warn The Fool or is merely joining in the fun.

On the one hand, the dog's behaviour and body language indicate fun and excitement. The dog is happily looking up to The Fool. Almost like saying: "Whenever you go, I go with you". Both appear to be walking in step with each other.

On the other hand, frantically attempting to get The Fool’s attention to warn against the danger at his feet.

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