THE FOOL (Innocence)
A child walks on the water. No one has taught him to believe that he can't. Who is ultimately going to say that it is impossible? The Fool is the traveller, innocently joyful at the beginning of the journey of life. Not so very long ago, great thinkers of the Renaissance proclaimed, with absolute surety, that “man would never fly”. Yet there are few of those who may be reading this who have not been in airplanes that flew faster than any bird. Innocence is the child-like, holy state wherein we experience the wonder of being, and when the gifts of childhood’s innocence are gradually left behind, "enlightened innocence" is a quality of the heart to cultivate in order to be open to the vast and mysterious creation of life's extraordinary journey.
Yet there is a difference between innocence and naivete. Naivete can be sweet in children, but for an adult it's a dangerous handicap. All animals, including the human animal, must learn how to survive and must have an instinctual urge to self-preservation. Although we are all naive until we learn through experience, sometimes sustained naivete may reflect an inappropriate, and stubborn, refusal to accept the practical, if sometimes harsh, circumstances of life. This card can also remind the Querant that to insist on childishly naive ideas about the world, long after we have been given information to the contrary, can only bring suffering and disillusionment, if not genuine harm to oneself or to others. Cultivate wise innocence, not foolish naivete. If reversed: You are dangerously close to being naive. Or conversely, it may be time to override your ingrained cynicism, and cultivate some innocent joy.