The Bohemian Cats Theatre Tarot, The Fool card. A cat tarot by BabaBarock. Copyright Alex Ukolov and Karen Mahony 2023
Anthropomorphic cats,  Bohemian Cats,  Bohemian Cats' Theatre Tarot,  Cat artists,  Cat Illustrators,  Cat Tarot,  cat themed tarot,  Dressed cats

The Fool – how to depict a free and feckless feline?

The Fool is one of those cards that everyone has an opinion about. In the Rider Waite Smith (RWS) Tarot, he is shown as someone smiling blithely as he steps off a cliff.

He (or indeed, she) is reckless, in some ways thoughtless, and yet optimistic and able to take a risk. Yet for The Fool, naivety seems to be something of a protection, and so heedless behaviour that could lead to catastrophe instead often seems to pay off.

The Fool from The Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot, 2011 edition
The Fool card from the 2011 edition of The Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot
The Fool card from The Mythical Creatures Tarot
The Fool card from our Mythical Creatures Tarot

We began with a decision to show this Fool as a jester. This is actually quite a popular depiction in many historical and modern tarot decks and we felt that not only would it work symbolically, but it would also make for a spectacularly attractive costume. 

We had already used (teeny tiny!) patchwork for our Two of Pentacles costume, and so we had some experience of how to go about this on a small scale.

We chose two very fine pure silk fabrics in black and yellow. The tiny bells were found online, and The Fool’s pack was made from a piece of vintage cotton that was originally found in a bric a brac shop in Prague – and finally found its purpose!this 

Alex Ukolov shooting figure for The Fool, The Bohemian Cats Theatre Tarot
Alex positioning the model for the photo shoot. We used large stones from our garden to stand in for rocks!

Here is the final card. We hope that it shows The Fool as a free (and maybe feckless?) character, and also as a character who is happy to trust fate when he takes some risks.

The Fool. The Bohemian Cats Theatre Tarot, 2023. Copyright Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov
The Fool. Please note that sadly we have to show these final cards at a small size because of persistent theft and counterfeiting of our work. Do not steal The Bohemian Cats - The Cats do not take kindly to it!

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