0 - The Fool

0 - The Fool - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

The Fool is widely regarded as the first Tarot Card in most Tarot decks. Although some decks break with this convention, placing it at the end of the Major Arcana instead. The Fool represents absence, not through loss but through the element of emptiness and the concept of a void within us. The Fool is seen by some as the representation of a blank canvas waiting to be filled.

The Major Arcana tell the story of the Great Journey through life, this journey follows the Fool from the point of ignorance to the point of elevation, enlightenment and fulfilment. The trials and tribulations of the Great Journey represent the stages of life that we pass through.

The four domains of the Tarot are each given a suit of the Minor Arcana dedicated to their individual journey, but it is the Fool ultimately who traverses these domains. Representing absence and ignorance, the Fool can be said to be lacking in each of the four domains. Creativity and Action represented by Wands, Emotions and Feelings represented by Cups, Thinking and Communication represented by Swords, and Wealth and the Material realm represented by Pentacles, together these form the four domains.

The Fool lacks creativity and action, they may have ideas and grand dreams or aspirations but they have not applied themselves to these dreams. The Fool lacks movement, engagement, commitment, and determination.

The Fool lacks Emotions and Feelings, the former represent internal states, the latter represent the projection of those internal states. The absence of both represent a lack of belief in ourselves, a lack of confidence in our ability, a failure to recognise the potential we hold, and a dismissal of the idea that we could actually realise our visions if we took the steps needed to make them a reality.

The Fool lacks the mindset needed to fulfil these desires, their thoughts are distracted by other things. Too much time and effort is dedicated to anything and everything that isn't related to their vision, perhaps because there is a safety and security in knowing that your pursuits will not realise your dream, making it easier to accept failure as opposed to dedicating time and effort to your vision only to be met with failure. The Fool in this regard fails to recognise that every trial is a lesson that teaches through experience, every failure is a revelation, and every step is necessary even those that at first may lead us further from our goals.

The Fool lacks wisdom, the combination of knowledge and experience gained through action. The Fool has not yet amassed the wealth this provides, but they also lack the baggage, dogma, habits, and the engrained misconceptions that others hold who have travelled farther along the Great Journey than the Fool. Again the Fool fails to recognise the potential they hold as a blank canvas not yet marred by their experimentation and the mistakes of others which strike us as collateral damage.

When the Fool appears in a Tarot Reading or drawn as a single card from the deck, they prompt us to consider the missing element, what potential do we hold, what paths still lie open to us, and whether rather ironically we would be wise to think less and act more on impulse. The Fool leaps before they look, their ignorance of risk, in the pursuit of reward, allows them to overcome the fear of failure.

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