Go with the flow. The Fool you are familiar with as the Joker in a regular pack of playing cards, so that’s a good place to start to understand this important character of the Tarot. The Fool’s number is absolute Zero, that is O, that is Nothing, because that’s where he’s always starting from. He don’t care.
The Joker was the Court Jester, the in-house stand-up comedian whose job it was to amuse the King, Queen, Court, and the Royal Kids. He was so valuable and so reliable in his ability to seize the moment and create joy and laughter on the spot that the Jester was the only one who could get away with mocking the King without getting his head chopped off.
Today is Saturday which is under the planet Uranus, the eccentric planet of innovation and sudden surprises. Uranus is also the linked with The Fool, so who knows who this wacky guy or girl or gender-fluid person is, but they’re fun to hang out with, because they’re open to anything. Unless you have to be home by 11:00. The Fool carries no clock.
He wanders with his dog, who always reminds me of Sancho Panza, Don Quixote’s loyal Page. In the traditional decks the baby-faced, ageless Fool is shown unknowingly about to step off a cliff. He is so rapt looking up and around and skipping along he ignores the ground beneath his feet. His dog is trying to warn him. He may be a Fool, but he’s smart enough to have a good dog.
He carries a white rose, symbolizing purity of spirit and a feminine receptivity: show me what you got, world. He also carries a hobo’s staff with a small cloth sack tied up at the end, which in the Morgan-Greer deck I just have to point out look like a new pair of balls. I call ’em as I see ’em. This loco stands in front of the King and makes jokes about his bad breath? *Balls.
He left the rule books behind, this fresh-faced Fool. He’s down for taking a risk, and he doesn’t care what anybody else thinks. He’s following his foolish heart, and, just starting out at Zero, knows nothing yet of fear or self-consciousness, and therefore anything is possible.
“To appear mad is the secret of wise men” – Aeschylus
*”His beggars wallet, the color of flesh, is his last earthly possession” – from The Tarot: Art, Mysticism, and Divination by Sylvie Simon.