Ok, let’s just get this out of the way right now. Every single card in the tarot deck carries both positive and negative messages. Some cards skew towards the “good", other cards deliver valuable warnings.
For example, let’s look again at the energy of the Fool card.
The Fool is the first card in the tarot deck, number zero. This character represents new beginnings, and he embodies a blissful sort of trust in the universe. He is open and willing and says “yes” to whatever comes his way. He is depicted in the Rider-Waite deck as a young man holding a knapsack and a flower, walking off the edge of a cliff. A happy little puppy bounces right alongside the man. The sun is shining bright and there’s not a cloud in the sky. Looking at this card, you might feel conflicting emotions. On one hand, you admire his carefree, adventurous spirit. On the other hand, you’re a little worried for this man and his furry companion. Where is he going? Does he know his destination? Does he care? He’s not looking at the ground below him. How high up is that cliff he’s walking on? Does he realize how close he is to falling off?
Maybe! And… maybe that’s ok.
Ultimately, that’s something you and your tarot deck will decide together whenever the lovable Fool shows up in your readings.
The general vibe of this card is positive—in some readings, the Fool might say, “I leap off the cliff because I know the universe will catch me. The world is full of fun, and I want to experience all of it.” Powerful words! But like all the cards in the deck, the Fool brings a warning. What would it feel like to fall? Is this a mistake? Will it hurt? Do you worry about other’s calling you a fool? Are you willing to take that risk?
So, with all these conflicting meanings, what message do you end up getting from this card? Does the Fool card mean you should buy that plane ticket to Brazil? Or is the Fool warning you to wait until you can recruit a friend to join you on your excursion? That is completely up to you. There are no right or wrong answers when you’re interpreting your cards. The most important thing is to use your intuition and let your feelings guide you to your truth. Be patient with yourself here, and don’t stress if you feel a little confused. Trust that the answers will come to you when you need them. The card’s meaning will reveal itself when the time is right.
If you’re truly stumped on a card’s particular meaning while doing a reading, there are ways to dig a little deeper.
Ask yourself, “How does this card/spread make me feel?”
For example, if you are trying to decide whether or not to go backpacking in Brazil and you pull the Fool card, what was the first thought that flickered through your mind?
Was it, “Oh no! I’m going to end up a statistic if I do this crazy thing! I’m being reckless.”?
Or was it, “Yes! I’m the Fool, and this is my quest!”?
Those first thoughts are so valuable. Did you feel apprehensive or excited? Those emotions usually come from a place deep inside you. Listen to that voice. Get to know it. That’s where a big part of tarot magic comes from.