The Fool. Universal Waite Tarot deck. AGMuller, Switzerland. Zero of the Major Arcana.
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
He is the spirit in search of experience. Many symbols of the Instituted Mysteries are summarized in this card, which reverses, under high warrants, all the confusions that have preceded it. Commonly itÂ´s taught that the Fool is the protagonist of a story and the Major Arcana is the path the Fool takes through the great mysteries of life and the main human archetypes. Traditionally in Tarot itÂ´s known as the FoolÂ´s Journey and itÂ´s frequently used to introduce the meaning of major arcana cards to beginners. In his Manual of Cartomancy, Grand Orient has a curious suggestion of the office of Mystic Fool, as apart of his process in higher divination; but it might call for more than ordinary gifts to put it into operation. We shall see how the card fares according to the common arts of fortune-telling, and it will be an example, to those who can discern, of the fact, otherwise so evident, that the Trumps Major had no place originally in the arts of psychic gambling, when cards are used as the counters and pretexts. Of the circumstances under which this art arose we know, however, very little. The conventional explanations say that the Fool signifies the flesh, the sensitive life, and by a peculiar satire its subsidiary name was at one time the alchemist, as depicting folly at the most insensate stage. When The Fool appears in a spread, he would be a signal to strip down to the irreducible core, and interrogate whether The Querant’s self vision is obscured. It may also be a warning that significant change is coming. Some comparisons can be made in universal literature, the Fool would be considered the youngest son or daughter who accomplishes great feats despite the older siblings apparent better position. Cinderella, Psyche, Cordelia (from King Lear), all the third sons of kings in fairy tales who succeed when their older brothers do not; the Grail Knight who may be destined to locate the Holy Cup, where greater and wiser men have tried and failed; the one teetering at the edge of Nietzsche’s abyss, at the cusp of dreadful knowledge that will pull him or her out of the cave or even Hamlet before he decides to embrace his destiny. There is a dog who appears in most versions of the card. The dog, for example, would symbolize the natural world, one path to knowledge and a valuable ally. Although it cannot be seen in all modern cards, The Fool is often walking off a cliff. This raises the question "Is The Fool making a mistake, or is The Fool making a leap of faith?" A quote: Gandhi said once, “If you would swim on the bosom of the ocean of Truth, you must reduce yourself to a zero.” The Fool can be seen as that Zero who can swim in the deeper waters up mentioned. Another issue surrounding the fool is "Who is calling him The Fool?"