0: The Fool


I'm just curious. Does anyone know what the little critter by the fool's leg is supposed to symbolize?


In the rider waite deck it's a dog and to me dogs represent loyalty. It's also barking at the Fool to say "Hey! You're to close to the edge, silly! Watch where you're going! Pay attention!"

Just my take on it.

Rhiannon :)


I've always thought of it as...the dog is following him. And the dog being a symbol of loyalty, represents other people who are loyal, or care about the fool. You know like the old saying, "if so and so jumped off a bridge would you do that too?" Maybe the dog is there to remind you that you effect other people also with your decisions. So while you are being foolish, not only can you hurt yourself...you can hurt others.


It's generally a dog, although older decks seem to have other odd creatures accompanying the Fool. In one of my books the dog is 'leaping at the pouch hanging from the Fool's belt' -- that's not a pouch -- that's the Fools' butt showing through the rip in his tights! :-D


Le Mat (The Fool) in the 1JJ Swiss deck hasn't got anything with him at all, he's just standing there, face fowards.

I like the little dog in the Rider Waite, he's got a smile on his face, I always wonder if he's waiting for The Fool to go over the edge :)


Maybe the little dog is Lassie. You know, he will go home and bark and the Fool's mother will say, "What, Fool fell of the cliff AGAIN?! Okay, HONEY...GET THE ROPE!"

Seriously, I see the dog as a symbol of loyalty. Depending on the spread, question, and position, I have also felt that the dog represented a youthful sense of adventure. Don't ask me why, that is just what I felt.


tarotbear: It's so funny that you said it was the Fool's butt showing through the rip in his pants! I was just thinking about a saying my mother had... if someone was doing something foolish, stupid and wrong and not wanting to face the consequences she'd say that person was (pardon the language) "showing his ass" LOL! What a great comparison the the Fool card!

Rhiannon :)


The fool is a youth who has run away from home (see the knapsack thing he carries,a handkerchief with 4 corners tied to a stick,if this were "the little rascals",wouldn't they run away from home with one of these?)or perhaps a young person who has "left home" for a time to seek their fortune , or see the world. The little dog , or animal is his faithful companion on his (or her) journey,or perhaps a symbol of the inner voice or instincts.


The critter is there to symbolise the fools obliviousness to his surroundings.
In some cards it is a loyal dog barking a warning, in others a beast of some kind biting at the leg. In either case the fool is oblivious and does not notice,paying no heed to the danger.Likewise he does not notice the precipise he is walking towards.


Of course, the symbolism on the Vertigo tarot albeit somewhat traditional, takes a darkened and warped view. View askew...so to speak.

Instead of the fool (john costintine) being on the cliff, he's at the bottom... a shadowy figure being on top of the cliffs. The thing has it's arms and legs stretched out and appears almost as a star.

Wilting flowers and a skeleton of a dog appear in front and behind our fool.

He is definately oblivious to his surroundings and sorta seems withdrawn from them at the same time. His face is blurry which is quite different than the rest of him which is 100% in focus.

Blessed be,