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He pointed at the next one. It said THE FOOL.

"This one means you're not afraid to take risks, to walk that line where only fools dare to tread. But you are protected by a certain innocence and good intention. While you are a fool, others can learn from your actions. You bring a certain wisdom that at first does not appear wise. It's innocence and wisdom rolled into one, like a child."

- from Chapter Eleven of The Book

Introducing The Fool

00Fool

The Fool, from the Vertigo Tarot, designed by Dave McKean

The Fool represents naivety, innocence, ignorance, blind faith, all child-like qualities. Often depicted at the edge of a cliff top, not looking at the drop below, a dog barking at his heels, the sun shining brightly on him as he walks along oblivious, wearing smart clothes, his possessions slung over his shoulder. In very basic terms it represents someone who is open to all sorts of experiences because they don't limit themselves within boundaries, don't confine themselves to set routines and habits. The drop before them could be a terribly dangerous experience, but knowing the Fool's luck it will all turn into an exciting adventure, and he'll find himself in a similar predicament next week. Wild and care-free.

Fools are also those who refuse to conform. They may be rebels and wild spirits, those who aren't afraid to be individual and different from the majority (because, quite frankly, they don't know how to live the 'normal' lifestyle).

The Fool is 'numbered' zero in a pack of Tarot Cards. This means it doesn't quite fit in with the rest of Major Arcana, which are numbered 1 to 21. Some people say The Fool belongs at the beginning of the set, some at the end. Some say The Fool represents the archetypal hero, and that the 21 other cards are events and obstacles that it encounters during his journey.

When drawn, the Fool almost always refers to the individual who picked the card rather than any 'fools' around them - he represents the spark of inspiration inside a person, the ability to run with a situation and trust fate, the inner child who doesn't understand the need for rules and laws. Sometimes it's asking a person to make a leap of faith. And those that trust to whims of The Fool often find luck looks out for them and all sorts of weird coincidences and events weave themselves into their lives.

The Fool jumps off the cliff because he knows the angels will catch him. I am The Fool. The Fool jumps off the cliff... - Megan Skinner

'Famous' Fools

Various musicians might be said to live up to the archetype of The Fool. Rock stars such as Mick Jagger or Jim Morrison. Rap artist Eminem.

Countless comedians too. It goes without saying that Danny Wallace is a prime example of The Fool, as are Dave Gorman, Tony Hawks, and anyone else that insists on setting themselves Silly Boy Projects.

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