What Does the Fool Card Mean in the Tarot?

When I first began studying the tarot, I was often troubled by how The Fool was defined. I found myself feeling offended by the meanings frequently given to that card. They seemed to equate naïvete and innocence with foolishness. There was also the implication that these states of childlike wonder were inherently dangerous. This is conveyed by The Fool being ready to step off a cliff. The idea that this is the starting point of a journey felt harsh to me.

I was relieved when I found that some tarot historians believe The Fool is actually the endpoint of the journey. The Fool is a wise person, an enlightened person who because of their wisdom may seem crazy to others. The Fool is courageous and unphased by danger and their own human frailty. The Fool occupies a realm where compassion is all. With their hard-earned wisdom, The Fool is a powerful force. If The Fool is on your side you are fortunate.

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