In traditional Tarot, the 22 cards of the Major Arcana tell the story of The Fool’s journey to enlightenment, thus The Fool is considered the first key in the deck and is unnumbered. Along the path The Fool must overcome physical, emotional and spiritual trials before successfully completing the journey. The image on the card is one of a youth blithely embarking on a journey, seeming to take a step off a cliff into the unknown. The cold mountains of logic and reason and the warm sun of inspiration rising behind The Fool indicate that, as the journey begins, The Fool must make decisions from within, rather than from without.
The Fool is dressed in red and yellow, the colors of carnal desires, but The Fool’s left hand bears the white rose of spirit. The wand carried on the shoulder indicates the will to begin, and the wallet tied to the wand symbolizes universal memory and instinct. Another interpretation of the wallet is that it contains the four symbols of magic The Fool must learn to use (wand, pentacle, sword and cup). The Eagle embossed on the wallet symbolizes strength The Fool will need along the path. A white dog nips at The Fool’s heels, signifying The Fool’s connection with nature.
The Fool key is about a new beginning, about a willingness to step into the unknown and venture forth toward whatever awaits us. While The Fool appears to be ignorant of fate that is awaiting, the Key indicates that we ALWAYS have internal resources and guidance from the wisdom of the ages, if we would but choose to call upon them. The Fool key is about making choices.
As we venture forth in our life’s journey, we must be willing to step with courage and conviction into the unknown. We must remember to assess our choices, use our internal strength, and call for help from our guides. Help is ALWAYS given, if we but ask.