Number: 0 (or 22).
Astrological correspondence: Uranus.
Keywords: New beginnings, minimalism, innocence, carelessness, spontaneity, freedom.
The Fool beyond tarot: Odysseus, Sigfried (in Wagner’s Ring cycle).
The Fool is on a journey towards a new beginning. He carries his few belongings in a knapsack (see it as destitution or minimalism, whichever you prefer!), and walks, carelessly, at the edge of a cliff. The precipice represents the unknown, of which The Fool is unafraid; he is past fear, or maybe is too unexperienced to know what it truly means.
The Fool’s number is zero, the number of universality, so its place in the Major Arcana varies. Some readers consider him to be a trickster, and place him between The Empress and The Emperor so they can both, so to speak, “keep an eye on him”. Many consider the Major Arcana to be representative of the Fool’s journey, so he is always present and can be placed anywhere. I like to place it at the beginning of the deck, because this is what The Fool has always represented to me.
When The Fool appears in a reading, ask yourself how you feel about leaving a particular situation (a move, a job, a relationship…) behind and starting anew, from nothing. Take the time to really consider that possibility, with all the what-if questions that will emerge. Know that if you’re being challenged with that questioning, it is meant to be. You are meant, if not to take the plunge towards the unknown, to at least consider the possibility. By thinking (or meditating) on it, knowledge will emerge that you will use to ameliorate your current situation.