Optimism and naivety. Journeys and Challenges. Loyalty and Ignorance.
These are the pillars of The Fool. The first card in the major arcana of the tarot, he represents the journeys we embark on, and is ever-present. Thus, he has no number, he is with us through all we discover. So who is he and why is he following us?
No, he’s not that annoying bug that somehow only likes the smell of your hair and no one else’s. He is our childlike innocence, that we embody before embarking on a journey, whatever it may be. He is there to remind you that potential can be found anywhere you look, if you look with a child’s eye, and that there is so much yet to be discovered.
He is also a warning of ignorance, of naivety and gullibility. How we may not always be aware of the dangers that a situation may bring us, we may need a reminder to remember why we are where we are, and not to let ourselves be led astray.
There was a time in my life where I felt like the fool was mocking me. I had never embraced my love for unknown places and cultures, because I was afraid of what I might face, even though I had no idea of what it would be. I had never gone on any journeys that meant anything to me, I was ignorant of most of the world, I felt more like the negative end of the fool than the beautiful positives. There may be times where you think that starting something new is scary, or silly, or out of your league. The fool tries to show us that at one point everyone was at a stage of ignorance.
If we learn to embrace him, he can show us the beautiful potential we have to learn and discover new things and places. How rewarding it can be to be loyal to a friend or to your own ideas. How exciting it can be to have your ideas altered and evolved by wonderful experiences you have.
There is a reason he is the first card of the major arcana, he is the first step on the journey to wisdom, the journey through life. He is unavoidable. To reject the fool means to reject your beginning, to look on the times where you were ignorant and yet full of potential with fear and disdain. Do the pillars of the fool make you uneasy? Perhaps you should spend some time thinking about why, then try to embrace all the beauty of being a fool.
Learn to allow yourself to begin a journey. Do not be afraid of getting it wrong at first, of being hurt by people you were loyal to, of not finding what you expected. They are opportunities to grow, to evolve onto the next phase of your journey, they help you realise the virtues you had while you were a beginner. Recognise that you held a childlike wonder that prompted you into amazing action. That you loved with a fierce loyalty you never knew was possible. That you’ve encountered wonderful unexpected people and places on your ongoing journey.
Recognise that to be The Fool is to be human.