Tarot Archetypes The Fool (and a Giveaway!)

T Det Fool 3 I'm pleased to introduce another feature at the Fool Stop Tarot Blog, and I think this one will prove as informative as it is fun: Tarot Archetypes!

Beginning with The Fool, Trump 0, and working through the entire Tarot, I invite you to brainstorm with me–posting all the permutations of a particular card's archetype. (Although some people feel that only Trumps 0-21 portray archetypes, I feel that the entire 78 cards of the Tarot depict familiar universal patterns.)

What is an Archetype? An Archetype is a template or original pattern from which copies are made. Psychologist Carl Jung, author Joseph Campbell, storyteller/author Clarissa Pinkola Estes, psychologist Jean Shinonda-Bolen and others are among those that have brought the concept of Archetypes into our consciousness.

T Det Fool 4 To break it down in practical, every day terms, Archetypes are patterns that are universally recognized. We see Archetypes in myths, fairy tales, literature, and movies. Sometimes, an Archetype plays out right before our very eyes, as in the case of the Twin Towers (The Tower card) or across the big screen (Wall Street, the King of Pentacles card) or in sacred texts (Jesus and Odin, the Hanged Man card).

The Tarot is replete with Archetypes, which no doubt contributes to its lasting intrigue and appeal.

Some Archetypes we find in the Tarot include Soldier, Teacher, Mother, Father, Death, Queen, Thief, Magician, Rebel, Wise Woman, Justice, Resurrection, Lovers, Hermit, Clown, Priest, Bully, Rescuer, Hopeless Romantic, Amazon/Wonder Woman and many others.

In fact, as you can see, some Archetypes share names with Tarot cards!

So our first Tarot Archetype is The Fool. What TV roles, book characters, archetypal patterns, songs, historical figures/events, news items and so on reflect The Fool, in your opinion?

T Det Fool 2 Here are a few of my archetypal associations for The Fool:

General Archetypes: Clown; Jester; Puer Eternis; Wise Fool; Divine Child; Simpleton; Madman; Wanderer

Pop Culture: Pee Wee Herman; Dory in Finding Nemo; Grizzly Man (documentary); Peter Pan; Mork (from Mork and Mindy); Roscoe P. Coltrane (Dukes of Hazzard); What a Wonderful World (song by Louis Armstrong); Jump (song by Van Halen)

So, what are your associations for The Fool? Try not to repeat another's comments if you can! I think this could be an illuminating and informative exercise for us all!

EDIT: Here's the ongoing list of Fool Archetypes and roles; keep 'em coming, everyone, and I'll post yours!

Gilligan (TV show Gilligan's Island) – Kris
Stan Laurel (Laurel and Hardy) – Kris
Susan (from Desperately Seeking Susan TV show) – Prince Lenormand
Yes Man (Movie: Jim Carrey's character) – Dichiaroluna
Alfred E. Newman (Mad Magazine) – Elarbolcelta1967
SpongeBob Squarepants – mdtarot
Teenagers -  Audra
Robin William's character in the movie Toys – Deborah Outland
Marley the dog in the movie Marley and Me – Joanne
Toddlers – Silverlotus
Cameron from Modern Family (TV Show) – Greendaygal540
Fry from Futurama (TV show) – Stephanie
Uncle Fester from The Addams Family (TV show) – Stephanie
Forrest Gump (movie characer) – C.M. Padget
Lucille Ball – Debbie Herbert
Foster Brooks – Debbie Herbert
Baby Bear from the Berenstein Bears – Debbie Herbert

Oh, and did I tell you this will be a giveaway post?

Yep, it's that time again, dear readers. Woohoo!

Every comment you make to this particular post (Tarot Archetypes The Fool) equals an entry to win–drumroll–Kris Waldherr's new Ask the Queens Advice Card Deck! The only caveat is that your posts need to be thoughtful (not merely an "I agree" post)–but you may post as many associations as you'd like when they pop into your head.

The giveaway contest ends next Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 11 PM EST. Every comment made before then will be entered into the random drawing to win the Ask the Queens Advice Card Deck. But even if the deadline passes, feel free to keep posting your archetypal associations for The Fool!

Good luck!

Top card from the Whimsical Tarot ISBN 978-1-57281-253-6

Middle card from the Halloween Tarot ISBN 0-88079-965-X

Bottom card from the Vanessa Tarot ISBN 1-57281-574-4

Janet, Social Media Maven for U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

18 thoughts on “Tarot Archetypes The Fool (and a Giveaway!)

  1. Dichiaroluna

    I was wondering about the movie Yes Man and Jim Carrey’s character. I think he does get into the Fool experience and learn that some jumps really hurt when we hit the ground.

  2. mdtarot

    SpongeBob Squarepants is 100% Fool! He’s happy-go-lucky, open-hearted, innocent, gullible, and optimistic. He lives in a pineapple, which is not exactly grade-A housing material, but by some divine hand it stays intact, though it should by all means have bloated and disintegrated into tiny pieces after all these years. You could even figure that Gary, his snail, is analogous to the Fool’s Dog – he seems to have his head screwed on better than SpongeBob does. While SpongeBob gets into trouble left and right, he never loses his optimism, and things turn out for his benefit in the end… He is definitely the embodiment of the Fool card.

  3. Audra

    I have to say, I rather associate teenagers with the Fool at times — youthful arrogance combined with benign indifference — what is more Foolish than the way a teenager can fall in love or make a life choice?

  4. CherylR

    I suppose this old adage has been posted ad nauseum: “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” Yet it seems that it’s the Fool’s fresh approach to life that keeps the rest of us thinking younger than the burden of our years. I’ve noticed that when I embrace Fool energy I ache less, pain less, and have a decidely noticeable spring in my step, a Joie de Vivre in my whole attitude towards life. Vive Le Mat, Le Excuse !!

  5. Deborah Outland

    What a wonderful thought puzzle! Thank you for posting it!
    The movie Toys (starring Robin Williams) is a great example of The Fool. Robin Williams’ character is certainly it’s embodiment in the beginning of the movie, and his sister remains The Fool throughout the entire movie.

  6. Silverlotus

    Recently I’ve started to see the Fool as being like a toddler: interested in the world, unaware of society’s taboos, moving forward full steam ahead trying to get where he wants to go.

  7. C.M Padget

    I first character I thought of was Forrest Gump. Everyday things in life became an adventures for him.

  8. Janet, USGS Social Media Maven

    What great examples of the varied permutations of The Fool archetype, everyone! Please, keep those insights coming. :oD It would be wonderful if we could make each post and the comments a treasure trove of associations to help Tarot beginners. In fact, seasoned Tarot readers would even benefit from having their cache of assocations expanded.
    Thank you, all, for your particpation! I’m about to announce the winner, so get ready…

  9. Prince Lenormand

    I always thought of Susan, from Desperately Seeking Susan. The character will do whatever she feels like at the time and moves from place to place, regardless of how her actions involve others or her future. The point of the movie is that the main character seeks to be a free spirit like Susan, but none of the characters seem to be able to get a real hold of her.

  10. Kris

    Ah…the beloved, bungling, accident-prone, tampering, dimwitted, naive, man-boy GILLIGAN from “Gilligan’s Island” or the weak-minded, eternally optimistic STAN LAUREL from the 20’s(?) comedy team of Laurel and Hardy. Gosh, there are a lot of Fool archetypes!

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