“Emerging Revelation and Recalcitrant Ignorance.”
At its simplest, the Fool is a simple card. Usually regarded as the first card of the Major Arcana, it can represent naïveté and nativity. See the child taking their first steps. See the neophyte pledging themselves to the cause. See the person who is beginning a new thing, a new cycle, and has become a new person in the process with a mind as clean as a new slate and just as empty.
In this assumption that the Fool is as deep as spilled wine, these interpretations can reveal the assumed puddle to be a surface entry into a sinkhole. The child is taking their first steps, but is this card showing the moment before their first stumble? Will there be anyone present to help them work through the shock, surprise, and pain of the unexpected outcome? Are they expected to learn everything the hard way, with no feedback or instruction? Or will there be someone available to guide them through these first steps and to hold their hand so when they do stumble, they do not fall into harm.
When a neophyte enters into a new commitment, they often do so with a fervor so intense, that they are held back lest they harm themselves by overexertion. The cause they have committed to fills their sight and mind so thoroughly that they have no regard to consequences or how their actions will affect the people already involved in their life. They have made themselves a vessel for what they have pledged themselves to, to the point of erasing who they were before. With such a person there is a risk that they are so ignorant of the negative effects that they bring harm to themselves and those around them. Regardless of age, such Fools are to be held carefully because it might not be immediately apparent to them why they are being restricted.
What then of the Fool that is already mature and deeply aware of who they are and what they are getting into? In mundane matters, this card can signify the start of a process, be it a production, a review, or even a vacation. It can be the reception of the raw materials into the factory. It can be the auditors entering the building. It can be the road trip away from the regular and well-known that allows you to recharge and renew yourself. Any step that leads into the transformation of what was into what could be, can be represented by this card. It often indicates a step that cannot be walked back.
And what happens then, of the Fool that knows all these things but refuses to move on from where they are? This is the person that has taken what was supposed to be a waypoint and turned it into a destination. This Fool, ill-dignified when reviewed in context of the question and/or other cards, has a deep-seated belief that they have all the understanding necessary to take care of the matter and will refuse to be corrected. Or worse, already knows better yet refuses to do better, because they feel the benefits they have in this contrary position is better for them regardless of the consequences to themselves or to others.
In this way, the Fool card is a mirror. It can be held straight and true if the Querent is being honest with themselves and seeks the truth no matter how it irritates their pride. It can be warped and misleading if the Querent is seeking to be justified for what they have already committed themselves to. In a one-card reading, the Fool can represent starting over and/or personal ignorance. It will give no new information but will fill the space framed by the query.
When read in conjunction with other cards, the Fool can represent timing as the start of a new thing, the risk of relying on assumed information, the need to explore the possible consequences of a decision, a refusal to do such a thing, and the folly of relying on untested matters.
It is not bad to be a Fool. Everyone has to start somewhere. What you decide to do once you begin, there is the tale that you will write into your life.
Next Card: XX – Judgement – “It’s not about being proven right, it’s about being proven.”
Noxporium’s Tarot Card Masterpost: 78 Tarot Cards
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