The Fool Tarot Card Meanings

The Fool tarot card image
Meaning Indicator


The Fool’s Upright & Reversed Meanings

The Fool (Reversed, Lacking)

Ideas: Compliance, limitation, old business

Traits: Cautious, conformist, conservative, conventional, hesitant, indecisive, serious

Emotions: Apprehension, hope, nervousness, uneasiness

  • Actions:
    • Ensuring things are in order
    • Finishing off old business
    • Focusing on important matters rather than fun activities
    • Taking a bit more time to consider
    • Progressing towards maturity
    • Watching your steps along the way
The Fool (Upright, Balanced)

Ideas: Freedom, innocence, innovation, instincts

Traits: Curious, open, playful, unrestrained, venturesome, vulnerable, youthful

Emotions: Amazement, cheerfulness, eagerness, excitement, joy, optimism, surprise, thrill

  • Actions:
    • Attuning yourself to your instincts
    • Believing the world is a safe place
    • Daring to challenge a risky adventure
    • Embracing innovation and change
    • Exploring your potential
    • Expressing joy and youthful vigor
    • Freeing yourself from limitation
    • Taking a leap of faith
The Fool (Upright, Excessive)

Ideas: High-risk activities, painful mistakes, unnecessary risks

Traits: Aimless, careless, distractible, gullible, ignorant, naive, silly

Emotions: Annoyance, desire, frustration, grumpiness, hurt

  • Actions:
    • Avoiding responsibilities
    • Behaving inappropriately
    • Craving anything new and exciting
    • Disregarding well-established traditions and limits
    • Getting lost in the path
    • Making painful mistakes
    • Refusing to be serious when required
    • Taking unnecessary risks

The Fool’s Advice

Personal Growth

Without falling for every scheme that comes your way, you can cultivate an openness to life. What are your limits? What boundaries define you? What might happen if you step outside those definitions? With eyes wide open, expand your world today.


There’s a reason we say we “fall” in love! Each new romance makes us as giddy as a total beginner. Don’t allow old habits to smother opportunities for growth. You can break rules without resorting to rash action and you don’t have to be in control all the time.


Leap over limits. Don’t waver; now’s the time to jump, even if you don’t have all the facts in hand. Remember that once, every new direction was just another crazy idea. Be prepared, though. Later, your results will determine whether others deem you clever or crazy.


You are old and young, wise, and inexperienced. Life is a cycle of cycles; find your place in the dance and start dancing. Reinvention is the key to transformation. See who you are, but acknowledge, too, the person you can be. Grace abounds; embrace it. Consider Zen meditation.

The Fool’s Symbols & Insights


In the royal court, the jester’s wit bought indulgence for his sharp-tongued commentary. As a result, he could say what the king (and others) could not. How might his strategy work for you?


While later Fools are fresh-faced characters cavorting on cliffs, earlier incarnations were beggars the lowliest of the low, according to the Renaissance worldview. How capable are you of embracing everyone, regardless of their social status?

Animal Familiar

In different decks, different animals accompany the Fool. In the Rider–Waite–Smith, we see dog, the symbol of loyalty and instinct. In the Thoth deck, we see an entire menagerie, including a crocodile (the reptilian brain) and a tiger (violent instinct). Which quality suits you best today?


The Fool is often shown just one footfall short of a tumble; in other decks, he is suspended in space. In your situation, what works best: your feet on the ground or head in the clouds?


The Rider–Waite–Smith Fool carries a bag or wallet, presumably filled with lessons from a previous life. He may carry a white rose (innocence) or a red rose (will). How might your experience, or lack thereof, be the key to your situation?

More About The Fool Tarot Card

Watch for new projects and new beginnings.
Prepare to take something on faith.
Something new comes your way; go for it.
Unexpectedly, if at all
“I am open to new experiences and opportunities.”
The divine madman
Hebrew Alphabet
Numerology Number
(off the scale; pure potential)
Astrology Element
Astrology Planet
Adam before the fall
Christ as a wandering holy madman
Deity wrapped in human flesh
The Holy Spirit
The main character as the story begins, unaware of complications to come.
Questions to Ask
What would you do if you felt free to take a leap?
How willing are you to be vulnerable and open?
How might past experiences help in this new situation?
Related Pages
Tarot Card Meanings Guide
Tarot Birth Card Meanings
Exploring Today’s Tarot
Consulting the Tarot
Traditional Tarot Card Meanings
Thirteen Fun Things to Do with Tarot Cards
Where to Go to Learn More
More Tarot Card Meaningss