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The Fool Art and Meaning

Papus Trumps B

About the Deck

Provenance

According to Many Schools of Thought

A. E. Waite's Secondary Meanings

The Fool, Mate, or Unwise Man. Court de Gebelin places it at the head of the whole series as the zero or negative which is presupposed by numeration, and as this is a simpler so also it is a better arrangement. It has been abandoned because in later times the cards have been attributed to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and there has been apparently some difficulty about allocating the zero symbol satisfactorily in a sequence of letters all of which signify numbers. In the present reference of the card to the letter Shin, which corresponds to 200, the difficulty or the unreason remains. The truth is that the real arrangement of the cards has never transpired. The Fool carries a wallet; he is looking over his shoulder and does not know that he is on the brink of a precipice; but a dog or other animal--some call it a tiger--is attacking him from behind, and he is hurried to his destruction unawares. Etteilla has given a justifiable variation of this card--as generally understood--in the form of a court jester, with cap, bells and motley garb. The other descriptions say that the wallet contains the bearer's follies and vices, which seems bourgeois and arbitrary.

S. L. MacGregor Mathers's Divinatory Meanings

Upright

Folly, Expiation, Wavering

Reversed

Hesitation, Instability, Trouble arising herefrom.

Papus's Divinatory Meanings

Inconsiderate Actions. Madness.

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