Tarot – The Fool

Tarot as a Path to Success

TAROT & SUCCESS: Using the Tarot as a Map to your dreams

When you want to begin something new, what is the first thing that happens?

Likely, you feel a rush of excitement at this creative burst that has made an impression on you and that has shot like a lightening bolt into the sky of your mind. You may start feeling adrenaline rush forward, hear ideas about directions to take it, and sense a physical or mental energy explode from within… the impulse to act!

You are the fool standing on that cliff, smelling the salts of a hidden sea that waits far below you. You have a new vision of something unknown and fresh. Something that may as yet have no specific form, but is the germ of an idea. Or it may be less than the germ of an idea. It may be an unfocused pull towards something different, something new. Or a divine discontent with what exists in your life now.

Whatever it is, you have a sense of impending movement. You feel a compulsion to step forward.

Yet… this primal impulse can be fraught with potholes. For as soon as we receive this shudder of an idea that guides us to step off the metaphorical cliff, we may get a backlash that comes at us with equal force and vigor… the backlash that screams at us “Stay where you are! It’s dangerous out there!”

 For others, the stop signs to this divine impulse may sound like, “But I can’t leave my job!” – “I can’t afford this!” – “I’m too old to go to school!” – “I have no talent!”

So as we stand on the edge of this precipice into the unknown, like the fool on the edge of the cliff, pulled forward by an evolutionary force to succeed on our soul’s path towards our goals, we may find ourselves firmly yanked back into our holding stall.

And there we may remain.

We may remain just a few minutes before deciding what the heck! And jump up to call a local college to inquire about courses, or buy an instrument, or sketch our ideas for a new garden, or a new gardening business. Or we may wait, and heed those fearful inner voices, many of which do not even belong to us, but rather are voices echoing the wishes or expectations of our family, society, and culture.

We may suppress our impulse forward for many other reasons too. Perhaps confusion if we have no clear endpoint. We feel a call to move, but don’t understand towards what? We don’t understand that the Universal Spirit knows that giving you the big picture for your life might be so far from any sense of what you now know about yourself, that the magnitude of it would scare the daylights out of you and kill off the germinating idea before it could sprout the first bud.

And so we sit. Unmoving. And we feel our frustration and confusion build.

This can last for years. For many, it becomes an entire lifetime of “quiet desperation”. If we have a concrete vision, and still refuse the call, it is even worse, as it is a shining beacon pleading with us to come forth.

But we may prefer the safety of the known to the frightening specter of what lies at the base of our cliff.

After all, what if we jump… and crash? What if we die? Jumping out of our safety zone can feel like a death, because we may be leaving everything we know. Whether conscious or not, we know that changing who we are, or what we do, or how we approach life, may very well mean the end of certain relationships. Certain comforts.

And so we wait and we wait and we wait.

But the voice, the feeling, the sense, the vision of what lies down that road not taken will not leave us. Oh, it may fade away leaving behind an unspecified numbness, or a vague memory of some hidden shape behind a curtain. But we tell ourselves; “My life is alright. Perhaps not a grand adventure. Perhaps a few dreams unlived. What does it all matter? I’ve paid my bills on time. I’ve had a comfortable home. A comfortable relationship. A comfortable life. So what if there wasn’t much spice in this stew I call my life?”

Yet… something in the back of our mind says, “Why am I sacrificing my life just to pay the bills? Just to follow the status quo writ large by people I never knew or who no longer are in my life?”

The Fool card in the tarot has the potential to ask all these questions.

And what does the Fool card represent. Well, like the Tao, it is the ground of our being. It is our Inner Self. Our soul. It is the Self that is transcendent. The part of us that is not caught up in the list of daily “to do’s” that we carry around on our notepad or i-phone. It is the part of us that knows that life is meant to be lived as an adventure. The adventure doesn’t have to be something like a hike up Everest, though if called, that would be a heck of a journey. The adventure can mean becoming more active with your grandkids … or moving away from them if that is the call. And skipping their birthday parties too!

Our call can go in many directions. And the Fool part of ourselves knows which direction will bring us joy and freedom and that feeling of being fully alive. And it also knows that for some of us, too much information may kill the spark before it has a chance to grow into a flame. So we are given but the next step on the journey, rather than the entire map. But we can rest assured that the Fool, our Higher Self, the Universal Mind does have the map and if we follow the path it is laying out for us, small step by small step, we will arrive at a success that is beyond our wildest dreams.

For those of us who are not given the endpoint up front, sometimes all we have to work with is an inkling that we should attend this function, or turn down that street, or call this number. If there is not a big picture vision, we start by following these little hunches. These intuitive sparks. The next step ahead of us. If our Higher Self is only revealing the next small step, it is to help us break things down into manageable and doable tasks, so that we can build our confidence.

But we must begin. We must take that step over the cliff and into the arms of the unknown.

It is helpful to know at this seminal point in the journey that, while following our bliss may involve challenges that frighten us; we will be taken care of as we go forward. Whatever obstacles come with following the path of our Higher Self, we can be sure that the gains and rewards will outweigh the losses.

It can be scary, as all we really know is what is here before us. We can see very clearly what we may lose. And we cannot imagine what we are losing by not following our Souls beckoning, because as yet it is entirely unknown. So we are trading what is certain, for… who knows what?!

We hold before us a choice. Not an intellectual choice of pros and cons and strategies. But a simple choice of the heart to surrender to what our Higher Self wants of us. Because none of us wants to be eighty years old, and wondering how our lives could have been different if only we had….?

The Fool is the beginning. The beginning of a journey towards success. A great big “Yes” to a quiet little voice, to a feeling, a hunch, a knowing, or a vision.  A “Yes” to surrendering ourselves to something that as of yet is unknown. In that unknown place, normal laws and rules do not exist. It is a place of magic where the impossible can happen.

In essence, the traditional meaning of the Fool embodies infinite potential and unlimited possibility. It is the realm where magic exists, where there are no limitations or borders to what can be created. The Fool stands atop a mountain, completely free, the world before her or him. She or he can create anything. Multiple possibilities exist! Infinite possibilities! The Fool holds the white rose, representing a pure desire, and is ready to move towards that, to bring it from the symbolic realm to the level of manifestation beyond the next step. This pure desire is the one that is most truly in alignment with our soul. The purity of this desire means that all other tasks and goals pale in comparison, and we leave behind our daily “to do” list to follow our true and pure soul’s desire.



Questions are like magical wands that open doors to our imagination, our subconscious dreams and our desires. Get yourself a pen and paper, and spend some time playing with questions that have the power to open you up to what lies beyond your current reality.

A. If money were no issue for you, what would you do? Or create?

B. How about time? If time were no issue for you, what path might you follow?

C. If you knew you were guaranteed to succeed, what would you begin today?

D. If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?

Go wild with your answers! Don’t narrow things down just now. Experiment! Play! Be extravagant! Flamboyant! Outrageous! Write at least two pages worth of possibilities and potential paths you could take.

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