The Fool is a figure that we also find in modern playing cards. In these cards, however, the Fool is a sort of court jester, grinning and trying to make people laugh.
In the Tarot, however, the depiction has evolved increasingly in the direction of a nomad, a person who has lost his mind and is wandering the countryside.
A dog, or another animal, is chasing him and biting at his clothes, although the Fool doesn’t seem to care. In some of the oldest Tarot decks, instead of the dog we find children or small people, who are making fun of the Fool.
Lastly, he is carrying a small bundle, a symbol of his limited possessions (just enough to live on).
The Fool of the Tarot is the only card of the Major Arcana that does not have a number associated with it, a further demonstration that it is unconstrained by any standards or rules.
Since the card depicts a madman, a person who has lost his mind, one could easily conclude that it is an extremely negative card. However, this is not always the case.
Today we live in the era of absolute control in which reason has the upper hand everywhere, especially in the West, where anything unexplained that we have to accept as it is, with an act of faith, literally unnerves us.
The Fool is therefore an important warning. Sometimes we must follow our instinct. There is no point calculating to the tiniest detail whether an action of ours will impress or will not impress the person we are interested in. Likewise it sometimes pointless to think too much about the consequences of our actions, about what people think we should do, and how we should behave. Sometimes it is good to behave like a Fool, to do what we feel is the right approach, without hesitating, and just stop caring about everything else.
If you think about it, the Fool is free precisely because he breaks laws that “do not exist”. He does not break natural laws, he only breaks the laws of conformity, in other words, the laws based on what others judge to be right or wrong. In so doing, he is happy (unlike those who judge him).
Aeschylus, on the other hand, said that appearing insane is the secret of the wise.
You can find other articles like this in the section:
“Meaning of Tarot Cards”