The Fool


FOOL Marseille Tarot
from the Marseille Tarot
illustrated by Jean Dodal
FOOL Rider-Waite Tarot
from the Rider-Waite Tarot
illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith

The Fool steps out - sely - on a quest
From ground zero, circling empty space
Always returning to the point of departure.

Or is it a joker - what a card! -
Who tricks us into thinking
There is somewhere to get to

Other than HERE, somewhere else to be?
Always a new game, a fresh adventure,
Perhaps to wed a giant's daughter.

Who is the Keeper of the Gate?
"On the first day of the year, the gate is mine
To open and to step through into the World".



In some packs The Fool - though still numbered '0' - is placed before the final card 'The World' rather than at the beginning, sometimes both at the beginning and the end of the sequence. This ambiguity is inherent in the significance of the card.

In the medieval Welsh tale of Culhwch and Olwen, Culhwch sets out to wed Olwen who is the daughter of a giant. This is apparently an impossible task both because he doesn't know where to find her and because the giant routinely kills all such suitors. There may be multiple 'gatekeepers' on such a mythic quest as indeed in Culhwch's story.