When the Fool appears in a reading, don't take it as an insult or something to cause you to worry. The Fool is a card the represents the continuous cycle of Life, Death and Rebirth which is referenced by the number zero which appears on the card.
Historically it was the Fool who could perform with impunity before the Kings of medieval Europe; making fun and folly of the King and all in the court. In many ways this truly describes the energy of this card.
The Fool is often depicted as a young man walking off a cliff, seemingly unaware of the danger that is before him despite the warning barks of is dog companion. To the uninitiated this may seem as though the character of the fool is a stupid or ignorant as the picture suggests. However, as you build your relationship with the Tarot you will come to understand the true nature of this card is in reality much more intricate and intelligent.
When The Fool arrives in your reading, take it as as sign that you will be alright! In other words, even though The Fool is about to walk off a cliff, he is full of trust that however he lands he will be just fine... not a care in the world.
Among many things The Fool really represents the ultimate in trust. Like the kind of trust a young child has in a loving parent. It invites us to recognize that we are in the care of the Divine and that though we cannot see all that is before us, we will surely be surrounded by a hedge of protection.
(Remember the jester and the King)
Sometimes the Fool can also indicate a new venture or taking a leap of faith as opposed to making a calculated decision. In any case The Fool is not a stupid character but represents the virtue of trust and faith, while also possessing a child like nature.
New beginnings, spontaneity, adventure, innocence, potential, faith, fearlessness, a leap of faith, originality, freedom from constraints, purity of action, acting without malice, being in the present, acting without thinking, eccentricity, silliness, seeking freedom.
The shadow side of The Fool indicates that there can be a certain amount of willful ignorance at play. Perhaps you or someone you know is being told to look out or warned of some unseen danger and you aren't listening.
It could also indicate that you are rushing ahead into something without fulling investigating the consequences. Often when we see The Fool show up in reverse it means there is danger ahead and you are just not taking it seriously. While there are additional interpretations, you should know that the most important thing to do is PAY MORE ATTENTION!
Folly, stupidity, not thinking through plans properly, chaos, lack of direction, poor judgement, being gullible, naivety, playing it safe, blocks, restrictions, lacking adventure.