Card zero in traditional tarot is always The Fool. A typical depiction is a person and an animal companion joyfully walking toward the edge of a cliff. The person is carrying all of their earthly belongings with them and is off to start a new adventure. It’s beautiful and exciting, fresh and new. The Fool is so engrossed in their new idea, venture or exploration that they are not closely watching their steps. They are not aware that if they don’t watch their steps, they are about to walk off the edge of a mountain.
In Tarot, The Fool is always the beginning of something new. It’s stage one of the life events that unfold in the 22 cards of the Major Arcana. The Major Arcana is a cycle and is not linear. We are The Fool multiple times in our lifetime, and we are The World an equal amount of times. We work through each card, 0-22, along the way.
When The Fool appears in a reading, it is a warning to look before you leap. It does not mean to stop your walk or to turn around; but to take a beat and look ahead down your path. Do you see all the obstacles? Are you aware of the potential cliff? Plainly, have you done your homework and prepared properly? Be excited, venture out into the unknown; but do it wisely.
When The Fool appears reversed, his energy is stifled and turned on its head. In most readings I read this as a “not quite ready.” Upright, The Fool comes with warnings but is an encouraging card that is a green light to go forth and explore. Reversed, the brakes are on and there is still work to be done.
Possibly you are not completely ready and that’s ok. You have the idea but something is holding you back. What is holding you back will usually be determined by the cards surrounding The Fool in the spread. It could be self inflicted insecurities or it could be circumstances out of your control. The Fool Reversed is an invitation to dig deeper into “why” this new venture/idea/life event is not moving forward. Is it time to take the next step or abandon ship? Is this a message that you need to re-evaluate and go back to the drawing board; or is it screaming to get moving already? These are the questions The Fool Reversed asks us.
Reading by Shelby Bundy, The Moon in Carolina