Interpretation of any Tarot card or spread must take into account the reader, the querent and the context. That said, here’s my general interpretation of The Fool from the Rider Waite Tarot deck and its meaning.
Reading The Card – Meaning
The Fool is the most complex and most contradictory of all the Tarot cards.
The number zero is usually associated with this card. In fact this is simply a shorthand for saying that The Fool has no number. He is outside of such systems: “I am not a number, I am a free man”. As such this card can be considered to fall at the beginning of the Major Arcana, or at the end, or anywhere in between.
The Fool represents naivety and childlike innocence – yet the Fool is wise.
He carries only what possessions he really needs, having thrown off the rest of the materialistic baggage that we carry. He journeys through life, tasting everything it has to offer then letting it go and moving on. In many ways he is the journey.
In many Tarot decks The Fool is illustrated as being about to step off a cliff. Is this image symbolic of dangerous, impulsive risk-taking? Or does it indicate one who simply refuses to be held back by the problems life throws in our path?
Whether the Fool represents opportunity or danger, bravery or recklessness, one thing is clear: this world needs more fools.