Tarot: Symbolism of the Fool

Hermit’s view on Aelius as the Fool

Trump 0 in the Revenant Tarot deck
Trump 0 in the Revenant Tarot deck

The Fool is Loki’s card, a card of infinite possibilities and beginnings. It’s an exciting card, of one just setting off on a journey. Aelius, the strange, trickster figure of the story, is perfectly fit to the innocent, playful energy of this card, even though he’s been through some interesting times himself. He never seems to let the bad things in life get to him, and neither does the Fool, even when he’s about to step off a cliff and into the unknown.

There’s an uncanny sense of freedom about this card. Aelius seems to not be bothered by anything. The air is cool, the sun is rising, the trees are starting to bud – a sign of new beginnings – and he has everything he needs to be or do whatever he wants. The pack that both Aelius and the classical Fool carry symbolizes this, the idea that he has with him everything he needs. He’s well prepared for any situation that might befall him… if only he would stop and unpack. He has unlimited potential that is not yet tapped, so who knows what he’s capable of?

The dog is missing from the Rider-Waite card. In the classical Fool, the dog is both a protector, a companion who will help him on his journey, and the driving force pushing him to learn the lessons he came here for. In this card, Aelius instead carries a rapier, and a grackle watches him from the branch of a tree. The rapier is his protector, in fact he can protect himself with it. Being a decent duelist, he has the ability to get himself out of sticky situations. The grackle is the bark – or cackle, in this case – of warning, that he should watch his step. The grackle is his driving force, and generally indicates that something is not being said. In Aelius’s case, this is true. Lots of things aren’t being expressed, and it isn’t until much later in his journey that he learns to take his mask off every once in a while. The grackle is his totem, in a way. A teacher of sorts.

Aelius and the Fool both look up, toward the sky, an indicator that their minds are preoccupied with the workings of Spirit. They’re both about to step off the edge of a cliff(Aelius much more immediately so than the classical Fool) and into the Material world, something for which they might not be immediately prepared. In the classical card, the Fool holds a white rose, a symbol of purity and innocence. Here, the rose is replaced with the white flower in Aelius’s hat, which is joined by a smaller gold one. The gold feather symbolizes potential, again, and hope. He expects a lot from this journey, though extended hardship might not be one of them. Aelius wears blue, green, and black, the colors of curiosity or expression, compassion, and the unknown respectively.

The Fool has no astrological correspondences, being unlimited in its possibilities, but the rune for this card is Kenaz, the torch. It lights the way through dark times, and guides us on our journeys. It brings clarity to emotions and thoughts, and lights up the connections needed to get from here to there, mentally or physically. Kenaz brings totems to light as well, such as Aelius’s grackle, or the Fool’s dog, and generally brings forth the best in a situation. It is an important rune to keep in order, reminding us that having the creativity and innocence of childhood snuffed out leaves us with only darkness. It is the rune that the Fool will need most on his journey. We all have a little bit of Kenaz in us, as well as a little bit of the Fool, and the mischievous Aelius.

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