The Fool Card from the Inner Child Tarot Deck

The Fool card from the Inner Child tarot deck is very different from most fools. Instead of the usual variation of a youth on a cliff, it shows Little Red Cap (Little Red Riding Hood), basket in hand and a butterfly perched on her finger, as she starts out on her journey to her grandmother’s house. The Wolf lurks behind a tree, waiting to approach her.

There’s a sense of innocence and wonder here, but with the real presence of evil or danger waiting if you’re not careful. It’s also, like most of the Inner Child cards, very pleasant to look at.

I did read the entry in the book when I got it, so I have a memory that this character stands for innocence. She has no idea of evil or who the wolf is and no thought to be careful. (Well, her mother warned her, but the warning has no real meaning for her yet, as evil is outside her personal experience.)

Two things pop into mind here:

First, the innocence of the Fool may be very closely related to what Jesus was talking about when he said “whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (Luke 18:17 RSV) I’m thinking of the Kingdom of God not in the narrow conventional Christian sense, but in a broad, inclusive sense and one that recognizes that this spiritual Kingdom (or Queendom!) is one we can reach here and now (by becoming as innocent and full of wonder and trust as the Fool!)

Second, the idea of “evil being outside her personal experience”. This is part of innocence but it’s perhaps an innocence we need to recapture. There are times in our lives where we need to “forget” that we know there’s evil and just go ahead and trust - in God/Spirit, in our Higher Self, whatever.

What the Book Says

It says that Little Red Riding Hood is a story of childhood innocence and curiosity, of excitement at the start of a journey, temptation, and the first stages of becoming an individual. As a naive and innocent child, Red Riding Hood has no concept of the dark forces that may be ready to steer her off course and away from her destination.

She ignores her mother’s advice and talks to the Wolf. The Wolf eats the Grandmother and then, when she arrives, eats Little Red Riding Hood. They are saved by the woodsman, who frees them by cutting open the wolf (the book says they are reborn).

The red color of her cape or hood represents will and fire, and symbolizes the initial stage of spiritual adventure and mental power.

The wolf represents the dark, unintegrated aspects of consciousness and the temptation to stray from your higher path. He also signifies anti-social tendencies. The daughter, mother and grandmother stand for the Triple Goddess: Maiden, Mother and Crone.

Additional Comments

Another, possibly better, fairy tale choice for this card might have been the younger brother or younger sister who appears over and over in so many tales. In these stories, the youngest one is often called a Fool (Foolish Hans, Silly Gretchen) and does things that seem foolish at first glance (helping ants, going off on a side road to investigate a noise, and so on), but that in the long run are essential to whatever quest the story is about (the ants help him gather the grains of wheat the king has tossed in the garden, the side path leads to a talking flower that will help her in the quest).

What I like about these Fools, as compared to Little Red Riding Hood, is that their “salvation” (the successful accomplishment of the quest) comes about from their own actions, including actions that others thought foolish. Yes, Foolish Hans receives help from the ants, but only because he stopped to help the ants first.

On the other hand, Little Red Riding Hood is saved simply because of the intervention of the woodsman, not because of anything she did. All she does is make mistake after mistake (talk to the wolf, listen to his advice to pick flowers, mistake him for her Grandmother)

And I can’t help but wonder, if this story is really about what the Inner Child book says, why the Grandmother is eaten. If she represents the Crone, she should be wise enough to easily outwit the wolf, and then to begin to teach her granddaughter how to do so as well. There’s no need for a man to appear out of no-where to rescue them!

Inner Child Cards: A Fairy-Tale Tarot

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Comments (3) left to “The Fool Card from the Inner Child Tarot Deck”

  1. Matt Stone wrote:

    I agree that “…the innocence of the Fool may be very closely related to what Jesus was talking about when he said ‘whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.’” But I think this very expansiveness excludes many people, for few want it to be that easy, to come through innocent response to God’s grace.

  2. Donna Dolezal Zelzer wrote:

    You make in interesting point. I think some people want achieving God’s grace to be a difficult thing, so they can feel they’re a member of a select group. If anyone can do it, just by retaining or regaining their innocence, then they feel they’re not special anymore.

    On the other hand, retaining or regaining your innocence isn’t necessarily that easy….

  3. Cheryl Haskins wrote:

    I have been using the inner child deck for over a decade. All the things mentioned are interesting and I can see the link in them. Also remember that after you reach the 21st card ( the universe) where do you go? It is like the rebirth after you have experienced and have understood the lessons of the universe card. Back to 0 ( the fool) . To restart , rebirth, like a child with all the innocence , wonder, and trials of a new adventure. I love the little Red Cap Card, as I love this deck.

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