Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
Article Topics
List of Articles
RSS Data Feeds
Mission Statement
Use of Our Articles
Writers' Guidelines

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

September/October 2015 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.

The Llewellyn Journal
Print this Article Print this Article

April Fools

This article was written by Barbara Moore
posted under Tarot

llewellyn_foolApril Fools Day, a light-hearted day filled with pranks and jokes, heralds the beginning, for me, of Spring Fever—that feeling of wanting to ditch work and mundane obligation in favor of adventure, preferably outdoors. After hunkering down during a long, dark, cold winter, I am ready, even if there is still a chill in the air, to wander. And this, naturally, makes me think of The Fool card.

The Fool card is complex, and made no less so by the evolution of its imagery and meanings over the centuries. What began as a comical figure, base fool, often with his pants down (see the Universal Wirth Fool) has changed into something more admirable. Indeed, early meanings (in the 18th century) focused on madness, on being crazy. This is about being crazy or mad or insane. It is a state or nature. A person either is or isn’t mad; they don’t have a choice in the matter. In the 19th century, we see a shift in the meaning to Folly. This is more about choice; a person commits folly when they make foolish decisions. This is about consciously making choices where one isn’t necessarily crazy but is acting so in the eyes of one’s contemporaries. These days tarotists often talk about The Fool as noble, as a sort of hero. In fact, many see the Major Arcana as a type of Hero’s Journey, with The Fool as the hero. Also, The Fool card is said tomagical_forest_fool represent a crossroads, a point in one’s life when all futures are possible, when one should listen to their intuition and move forward with faith, and the consequences be damned. It is interesting how The Fool has changed from a pitiful and inescapable state to an admirable and brave way of behaving.

The above observations are very general and barely touch the surface of the history of this card’s meanings. Even so, it is interesting that although the meanings are very different, the images retain many of the same elements. Although later Fools usually have their pants up and have lost the crazy, wild-eyed look (although not always—see The Fool from The Sorcerer’s Tarot), they usually retain a person going somewhere, usually carrying something (like a sack on a pole), and accompanied by an animal (usually white and usually a dog). Comparing different Fools can open up many different ways of looking at the card.

Looking at the cards pictured here and The Fools from any of your own decks, note where they are going and by what mode. Are they walking without noticing where they are going, are they taking a physical journey or a mental journey (as in the Fey Tarot and the Sorcerer’s Fools)? Are they walking or riding (as in the Llewellyn Tarot’s Fool)? What animal is with them and what is it doing? What are they carrying—or dropping, as in the case of the Witchy Tarot’s Fool? What if there is no animal with them? How do all these things affect the meaning of that particular Fool card?

sorcerers_fool Besides the variation in imagery and meaning, there is variation in how we, as individuals, feel about the imagery and meanings. How do you react to various Fool cards? I find myself being repelled by the crazy, pants-less Fools. I love the idea of The Fool following his heart and just knowing that whatever he does is right and everything will be okay. I imagine that’s because I want to believe that is true. But is it always true? Aren’t there times when we say we are “following our hearts” just because we want something or don’t want to think things through or consider the consequences of our actions?

Back to April Fool’s Day and spring fever…when I opt to ditch my obligations and wander around outside enjoying the weather, am I making a foolish choice that will have consequences that I’ll later regret, or am I embarking on a journey that will refresh and nurture my soul? If I do a reading on this question, I’ll make sure I pick my deck carefully. You can be sure it’ll be one with an optimistic Fool card. Is that totally cheating?

What’s In Your Bag?

What if you are embarking on a journey or adventure of your own? As we noted, most Fools carry something, a bag or pack of some sort. People speculate a lot about what is in that pack. This spread is about what is in your bag as you begin walking down your path, whatever it may be. Keep in mind, this is not necessarily about actual stuff you are bringing (although it can be). It is more about attitudes, beliefs, and energy with which you are approaching the journey.


  1. This will be very useful.
    This card shows something that will serve you well; you’ll be glad you have it.

  2. This will be come in handy.
    This card is something that you may not use often, but there will come a time when you’ll be very happy you have it.

  3. This you won’t need.
    This is something you think you’ll need but probably won’t use. You’ll probably carry it along more as comfort or security, and that’s okay. It won’t hurt.

  4. This will weigh you down.
    This card is something that is like emotional baggage. It will get in your way and cause problems. Definitely unpack this and leave it behind.

  5. You forgot this!

Barbara MooreBarbara Moore
In the early 1990s, at a party, someone put a tarot deck in Barbara's hands; she's held on tightly ever since. Tarot provides just enough structure so that we don't get lost as we explore the mysteries, plumb our dark corners, and locate our North...  Read more


Witchy Tarot
Witchy Tarot
Lo Scarabeo
$19.50 US,  $22.50 CAN | Add to Cart

Please note that the use of Llewellyn Journal articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions

Stress and anxiety affect us on all levels. Be it the body's pounding heart, the rapid pace of breath, overwhelming feelings, racing thoughts, or a disconnection from our deeper beliefs, stress weaves its way into all levels of our experience. Yoga Therapy teaches us to understand how to address our stress on all layers of being. Ancient yogis... read this article
The Patron Saint of LGBT Persons: 4 Ways La Santa Muerte Empowers the Tribe
The Mutable Grand Cross from the Perspective of Evolutionary Astrology
Realizing the Green Witch Tarot
Three Theories to Explain the Chupacabra
40 Years of Yoga on the Chakra Path

Most recent posts:
Magic of Flowers Oracle
Magic of Flowers Oracle By Tess Whitehurst with are by Anne Wetheim This oracle deck was inspired by Tess’s book The Magic of Flowers: A...

Necromancy Made Easy
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Tomás Prower, author of the new La Santa Muerte. "How can I get in contact with the spirits of the...

Ritual Purity vs. Spiritual Coolness
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Aaron Leitch, author of several books, including Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, The Angelical...

The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband
By: E. J. Copperman, Jeff Cohen
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Yule Yule
Rituals, Recipes & Lore for the Winter Solstice

By: Llewellyn, Susan Pesznecker
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
Wicca Wicca
A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

By: Scott Cunningham
Price: $14.95 US,  $16.95 CAN
Wicca: Another Year and a Day Wicca: Another Year and a Day
366 Days of Magical Practice in the Craft of the Wise

By: Timothy Roderick
Price: $29.99 US,  $34.95 CAN
The Green Witch Tarot The Green Witch Tarot
By: Ann Moura, Kiri Østergaard Leonard
Price: $28.99 US,  $33.50 CAN