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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Fool


Fool: One of the trumps of the Major Arcana of the tarot. Numbered 0. In the system of Eliphas Levi, it is placed between XX Judgment and XXI The World and corresponds to the Hebrew letter Shin. In the system of the Golden Dawn, The Fool corresponds to the Hebrew letter Aleph and the element of Air.

Fool: The instigating character in the English mummer’s play tradition.
source: Bronwen Forbes


Number: Generally numbered "O" or "22" of the Major Arcana

Image: Variously a Court Jester and a dog about to step off a cliff, naked child with a dog, a pilgrim in a strange land or an enthused rider with his dog jumping his horse across the chasm between the worlds

Hebrew letter: Aleph

Divinatory meaning: foolhardy courage, determination, act of faith

Path on Tree of Life: 11th path connecting Chokmah to Kether.

Sometimes called "The Foolish Man," the Fool is perhaps the most interesting card in the Tarot for it is he who makes the journey through life, from Start "0" to Finish "22." It is the Fool who is transformed by his journey, just as each of us must be to become a Whole Person.

Qabalistic Description.  The Zero Key, the 11th Path. The Magickal Title of this card is the Spirit of Ether. The Path of the Fool connects Kether to Chokmah and is known as Fiery Intelligence. It is the first current of physical vibration. The Hebrew letter Aleph is attributed to this card, and means absolute unity, hence the number is 0.

Card Description.  This card usually shows a man in a jester’s costume striding along, heedless of a dog tearing at his garments and possibly threatening to attack him. In the GD pack, an effort is made to reveal the deeper meaning. A naked child giving the Sign of Silence sits beneath a rose-tree bearing yellow roses; while reaching up to the Roses, the child also holds in leash a grey wolf—worldly wisdom held in check by perfect innocence. The colors are pale yellow, pale blue, greenish yellow—suggestive of the early dawn of a spring day.

Interpretation. Idea, thought, spirituality, that which seeks to rise above the material (that is, if the subject of enquiry is spiritual.) However, if the Divination  regards a material event of ordinary life, this card is not positive, and may indicate folly, stupidity, eccentricity, and even mania, unless balanced with very good cards. It is too ideal and unstable to be generally positive in material things.

Psychological Value. This card can be used whenever you are seeking to awaken, stir and use the energetic forces of the universe. By reconnecting with these natural forces, it can enhance your creative energy and the vital principle which is inside you. By fostering an open and quick mind, it helps you prepare for changes, challenges and trips. (According to the Divine Arcana of the Aurum Solis—Divinity: Ouranos; Greek Letter: Rho.)

source: Llewellyn's Complete Book of Psychic Empowerment, by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke & Joe H. Slate (Llewellyn Publications) - Carl Llewellyn Weschcke

Also See: Le Mat


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