At first sight, the young man on this card appears irresponsible, or high on some sort of substance. He is walking towards the edge of a cliff, blissfully unaware of the danger.
But the card is ambiguous. Is he actually oblivious, or is he, deliberately, taking a leap of faith?
The Fool is often accompanied by a little dog. In some decks, the dog is barking or pulling on his pants, possibly in an attempt to warn him. In other decks, the dog is walking along, sometimes even leading the way. As such, the dog could represents instincts. The Fool follows his instincts.
Regardless of his surroundings, the Fool is determined to follow his path. He may not know where this journey takes him, but he feels in his heart the call for adventure.
At the core, the Fool represents innocence, curiosity, and freedom. He lives without fear, without guilt, unconstrained by rules or institutions. He trusts that life will guide him and grow him through experiences. This card represents infinite potential. At the beginning of a new journey, everything is possible.
This card is an invitation to have faith in yourself and in life. An invitation to take more risks, explore new opportunities, and begin a new journey.
But freedom can come with a price. When you choose your own path, people may not always understand. They may think you’re lost or have gone insane.
I do not like the idea of imposing a negative meaning to reversed cards in a reading. I believe it is the role of the reader to consider possible interpretations and share relevant aspects with the querent, based on the context of their story. I like to share possible interpretations with the querent. I find that this practice is engaging and gives them an opportunity to reflect on their experience.
A negative reading of the Fool can be that you are not taking enough risks or that you are not following your heart. You are playing it safe. Or maybe you feel trapped by rules or expectations and this card is encouraging you to break free.
An almost opposite reading would be that that you are living carelessly, unaware of the consequences of your actions. You are not preparing for the future.