This is the first article in the series Tarot in 500 Words.
People say that the fool is the beginning, or the beginner, or the beginner’s mind, since it’s the first card. Some also say it’s everywhere, from beginning to end. In Roman numbers there is no zero , so the Fool is outside of the Major Arcana.
let’s not worry about where it is for a moment. The Fool is someone about to take an adventure, to experience something new. Everything is so strange to him that he feels excited and full of amazement, though he may not understand what dangers may be present, or what responsibilities he may have to burden because of his actions.
It’s like a stupid man trying to learn cooking. He knows only that cooking is so much fun, he has no idea that he might burn down the house. It would fit the archetype of the fool more perfectly if he is currently unemployed and shouldn’t spend money on such hobbies.
The fool is oblivious of consequences, responsibilities, and risks. He doesn’t care if his house will be on fire, or if he will die. Or maybe he has no idea that these might happen. Maybe he doesn’t even have an idea what fire or death mean.
So you see it’s actually really a card about a stupid man despite how everyone seems to glorify it.
But everything could be looked at from many angles and stupidity is no exception. Since the fool doesn’t know a thing about the future and maybe even the past, he could be completely immersed in the present. If he reads a book, he reads a book, instead of pretending not to worry about his rent.
Our worries help us survive but it also makes us occupied. Remember when you are a kid and can fully enjoy a game? Remember when you find everything interesting, even if just an ant? The fool is that child who can stare at an ant and not be bored for hours.
Maybe it’s not that the fool is blind to the dangers ahead of him, maybe it’s us who are blind to the wonders of this world.
I remember in the Alchemy Tarot, the fool is a blindfolded Alchemist trying to find the materia prima, the substance that could be transformed into the Philosopher’s Stone.
This materia prima is everywhere, but man couldn’t see it.
I think I’m also a bit foolish by looking everywhere for ways to make money when I always know my strongest two skills are writing and Tarot.
Sometimes we do have answers to our lives that we are too blind to see. Or maybe we don’t and are being foolish believing we do.