Many believe this number was chosen to match the twenty two letters in the Hebrew alphabet.
The first card in the Major Arcana is called "The Fool" who's number is '0'…
Using the King James Bible, we will discover who this so called "Fool" really is.
Keep in mind that promoters of Tarot put *you* in the position of the Fool while, at the same time, suggesting that this is somehow a wonderful, magickal, mystical journey towards enlightenment that everyone should either go on or you are on already and must keep going.
Are they correct?
Is this sound advice?
The Bible has the answer...
1 Samuel 26:21
"Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly"
Saul 'played the Fool' and concluded that he 'erred exceedingly'.
Not off to a good start with this whole 'Fool's Journey' business eh?
Let's now explore the various elements of the card and compare each with the Word of God.
We will also use quotes from the creator of the Rider-
With light step, as if earth and its trammels had little power to restrain him, a young man in gorgeous vestments pauses at the brink of a precipice among the great heights of the world; he surveys the blue distance before him-
His act of eager walking is still indicated, though he is stationary at the given moment; his dog is still bounding.
The edge which opens on the depth has no terror; it is as if angels were waiting to uphold him, if it came about that he leaped from the height. His countenance is full of intelligence and expectant dream.
He has a rose in one hand and in the other a costly wand, from which depends over his right shoulder a wallet curiously embroidered.
He is a prince of the other world on his travels through this one-
The sun, which shines behind him, knows whence he came, whither he is going, and how he will return by another path after many days.
He is the spirit in search of experience.
Many symbols of the Instituted Mysteries are summarized in this card, which reverses, under high warrants, all the confusions that have preceded it.
In his Manual of Cartomancy, Grand Orient has a curious suggestion of the office of Mystic Fool, as apart of his process in higher divination; but it might call for more than ordinary gifts to put it into operation.
We shall see how the card fares according to the common arts of fortune-
Of the circumstances under which this art arose we know, however, very little.
The conventional explanations say that the Fool signifies the flesh, the sensitive life, and by a peculiar satire its subsidiary name was at one time the alchemist, as depicting folly at the most insensate stage.
According to Wait's commentary, the Fool is "a young man in gorgeous vestments".
Let's see what happens when we search for the word 'Vestments' in the KJV...
2 Kings 10:22
"And he said unto him that was over the vestry, Bring forth vestments for all the worshippers of Baal. And he brought them forth vestments"
Those two occurrences are the only ones in the Bible and right away we see a correlation with the worship of BAAL, a devil.
What about the word 'Gorgeous'?
"And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate"
This is the only occurrence of the word Gorgeous, and of course it's in reference to a Vestment.
Who was this man being mocked in the Gorgeous Vestment?
Can you believe it? It would appear that Waite is using certain 'Key Words' as a type of Code to those with Wisdom enough to understand what is being said.
And it's all too obvious that Waite is mocking Jesus.
But just to be sure, let's try another Waite commentary...
"...it is as if angels were waiting to uphold him, if it came about that he leaped from the height"
And the matching verse…
"And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone"
Now let's make one thing crystal clear...
The practitioners that have done their homework and truly understand the imagery that they are looking at in these Tarot Cards know FULL WELL what they represent.
They are counting on YOU the FOOL to be naïve and ignorant enough to believe the lies and deception they feed you.
This is how their Magick works... by using the Profane as Guinea Pigs and sacrificial Scapegoats.
Disgusting isn't it?
Note that Waite was a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn...
...as well as a Freemason.
Can we find someone else in Scripture that is clothed in a type of 'Precious Covering'?
"Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created"
Yes Lucifer... full of Pride.
And we all know what happens next don't we?
"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall"
Looks like we just found the perfect verse for this card.
"His countenance is full of intelligence..."
"Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty"
Feather in the Cap
A 'Feather in the Cap' is an old saying regarding One who is proud of One's own accomplishments.
It is a 'self-
Verses regarding Pride is easy to find in Scripture, especially when combined with the word 'Fall'...
"And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up: and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him"
1 Timothy 3:6
"Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil"
Scrip and Eagle
"over his right shoulder a wallet curiously embroidered"
Although the word 'Wallet' is not in the KJV, there is a match for it called a 'Scrip'…
"And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse"
Jesus is telling his Disciples to go on a Hero's Journey with him but carry no Scrip.
Ah, but the Fool carries one because after all, he is on the Fool's Journey as he mocks the advice of Jesus.
The word 'curiously' occurs one time...
"My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth"
The embroidery is actually an Eagle...
"Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD"
Now that verse has it all!
The Fool is full of Pride as he walks among the clefts of the rock. He is at the height of the hill and as high as an Eagle.
What will God do to the Fool? Bring him down.
Again, we see the Fool as Lucifer and the Eagle about to plunge off a cliff...
"Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD"
Some interpret the Scrip as a symbol for the Mazzaroth or Zodiac.
The Eagle can also be interpreted as a Phoenix flying towards the Sun.
Still others may interpret it as Air, one of the Four Elements in Witchcraft...
"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience"
What was that word Waite used to describe the Fool?
"He is a prince of the other world"
What could this 'Other World' be?
In our Four Forces of Nature study, we found that the Eagle represented Gravity.
Falling and Gravity go hand in hand.
Perhaps ultimately the Fool carries with him the Key to the Bottomless Pit in which he is about to fall into...
"And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit"
Staff or Wand
"He has a rose in one hand and in the other a costly wand"
The Wand is straightforward enough. Most folks know what a Magick Wand is.
However, when contrasted with the Rose, there may be an Occult meaning worth mentioning.
The Wand may be seen as Masculine while the Rose Feminine.
Thus, the Fool may be a type of Androgyny.
Another Rose/Wand combination can be seen in this verse...
"Behold the day, behold, it is come: the morning is gone forth; the rod hath blossomed, pride hath budded"
The Rose may represent Pride that has budded as the Fool walks in the Morning Sun.
Another interpretation is that life is but a fading flower...
"Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!"
And finally, if the Rose represents something Holy like the Rose of Sharon, then the Fool may be rejecting it as he is about to toss it aside...
Song Of Solomon 2:1
"I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys"
The Fool's Robe has eight stars with eight rays each.
The number eight in the Bible is often related to 'New Beginnings' and indeed, this is something that the practitioners attribute to this card.
Here is another famous 'Eight'…
"And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition"
The Fool is definitely going into Perdition or Destruction.
The 'of the Seven' can be seen in the Fool's Seven Pearl Belt.
An interesting verse about Pearls relates it to Dogs...
"Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you"
Interestingly, the only person in the Bible that is dressed with Pearls is Mystery Babylon...
"And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication"
"The sun, which shines behind him, knows whence he came, whither he is going, and how he will return by another path after many days"
Waite is suggesting that the Sun has Wisdom and knows more than the Fool.
Also, the Sun knows the Fool will return someday via a different path.
Thus the Sun represents Illumination which the Fool is walking away from in a form of rejection.
"his travels through this one-
The Sun is in the Morning position, linking the Fool to the Son of the Morning, i.e. Lucifer...
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!"
So how will the Fool return?
In Waite's book, "The Pictorial Key to the Tarot", the Fool is not in alphanumeric order as the other cards are. It is instead placed right after the 'Last Judgement' Tarot and before the 'World' Tarot, which is the last card in the Major Arcana.
Could this be a hint that the Fool will come back during the End Times when God brings judgment to the World?
...or was the placement some type of April Fool's joke?
Who can ignore that cute little Doggy there? They say that a Dog is Man's best friend.
Not so fast!
We must let the Word of God tell us what the Dog really represents...
"As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly"
Seems the Bible is linking Dogs to eating unclean things...
1 Kings 21:23
"And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel"
Evil Jezebel was eaten by Dogs.
Every verse in the Bible speaks bad things about Dogs...
"For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet"
It is clear that the Dog is up to no good. In fact, if we look closely at the Dog, we notice that the Dog is white like a sheep...
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves"
The Dog may represent a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing.
Look at how skinny the Dog is. See the ribs sticking out?
No doubt it is hungry. Could the dog be waiting for the Fool to fall to his death so he can eat?
Look at what it's right paw is doing. The Dog is tripping the Fool!
We should note here that older Tarots show the Dog attacking the Fool.
A curious statement by Waite...
"...and by a peculiar satire its subsidiary name was at one time the alchemist..."
See our study on Hiram Abiff and his most famous act of Alchemy... plunging into the Abyss of Initiation and Rebirth.