The Importance of the Fool
Updated: Apr 6
"Why is the Fool so important? Why should we follow the Fool, what possible benefit would there be for us? The reason is very simple. The Fool is the only character in the tarot - the only one - who carries a Multi Pass. Those of you who have seen The Fifth Element (1997), directed by Luc Besson and starring Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich and Gary Oldman, know what I’m talking about. A Multi Pass is your ID, driving license, bank card and probably one or two other documents, all rolled into one. With a Multi Pass you have access to all levels, zones, areas. It’s like a bump key which the Fool carries, which opens all doors, every single lock. If you take the Fool by the hand and let him / her / them lead the way, you will get to see the entire kingdom. All there is.
The Fool will show you the marketplace, where the Magician is performing in front of a crowd. You will get to visit the hidden temple, where the High Priestess utters the sacred words. You will get to meet the King and the Queen, the rulers of your own empire. With the Fool, you will even be granted audience to meet the Pope. All of these people will have your face. You will even get to travel in the triumphal chariot. You will visit the cave hermit, and if you’re lucky, he will reveal to you something more precious than all the gold in the world. And if you’re brave enough, the Fool will take you to visit the dungeon, where the prisoner, long forgotten by the world, is being kept behind locks. This prisoner will likewise have your face. If you play your cards right, the Fool will let this prisoner free. The Fool’s key works on every lock there is, remember? That is why the Fool is so important.
If you let the Fool take you by the hand and show you all there is in this internal kingdom, you will get to meet and integrate all the various aspects of yourself into a one, united and unified whole. Without the Fool this won’t be possible. If you refuse the Fool’s call, if you mute your ears to those little bells jingling from the Fool’s tunic, the various parts of yourself will remain forever detached, disconnected, operating without any unity or harmony. Nothing good will come out of this: what happens all too often is that one part will suddenly become more powerful, too powerful, and take full command. If it happens to be the Lovers, you will be always be looking for the ‘right’ person to make your life complete. If it is the Pope (Hierophant), you will always need to be right, and telling others how they should think. If it’s the Tower, you will always destroy what you’re trying build. If it’s the Fool, you will never take responsibility of your own life.
That’s why the Fool is so important. We need to become fully conscious of all these 22 archetypal forces operating within our psyche. Usually they operate beyond our awareness, in our unconscious. The Tarot is one tool - and a fine tool, at that - how to become conscious of these basic building blocks of life. After all, what could be more important than this; to become truly whole, fully realising your own Self, and by so doing understand why you’re here."
© Tero Goldenhill, 2021. Excerpt taken from my forthcoming tarot book.