Posted by: aediculaantinoi | August 29, 2013

“The Pagan Tarot”

The following post will not be what you think it’s about at all…

So, tarot: we all know it, we all love it, many of us use it on a regular basis, etc. You know the drill.

Some tarot decks are preferred over others, and there’s new ones coming out all the time, most of which are just different art for the same seventy-eight cards; while there are a few decks that have a larger or smaller number of cards, or that have played with the formatting and organization of the traditional Major and Minor Arcana set-ups, most go for “the usual” in this regard.

We could debate long and hard about which decks are the best and which aren’t…but, I don’t want to do that.

I want to make a new one.

And, what will the subject be, you might ask?

PAGANISM!

But wait, you might be wondering: how? What? Why?

By “The Pagan Tarot,” I mean: who in the modern pagan and polytheist communities, amongst the better-known leaders, teachers, authors, and other such personalities, might be right for the different cards of the Major Arcana, and for some of the cards of the Minor Arcana?

I have some ideas in this direction already, but I’d like to lay out a few formatting guidelines, and then get your suggestions on this topic.

1) The genders of the gendered Major Arcana cards should stay whatever “traditional” gender they are: thus, don’t suggest a male for the High Priestess, nor a female for the Hierophant, and likewise with the Emperor and Empress. All others, though, are rather up for grabs…

2) The court cards in the Minor Arcana should be Princess (for Page), Prince (for Knight), Queen, and King; and, the genders of these, likewise, should be as they are traditionally.

3) The “ace” cards for the Minor Arcana should also be individuals, but they should be gender-variant individuals exclusively. (Gender-variant individuals would also be great on a number of the Major Arcana cards, e.g. Temperance, the Universe, etc.)

4) The “Ten” cards for the Minor Arcana should be places, or modern pagan/polytheist activities–so, for example, PantheaCon might be one of them, Pagan Spirit Gathering another, etc.

5) And, on further thought (this is a subsequent addition to the post): all of the nominees should be currently alive, as of late August, 2013. If there is interest, perhaps we can do a “living” and a “dead” version and see which one ends up more interesting!

And, if there is enough interest in this, perhaps we can see if it can be made into a real, physical deck! Who knows…

After a few of your thoughts/contributions/answers come in on this, I’ll post some of my own ideas in the comments to this post.


Responses

  1. …if Isaac Bonewits wasn’t made the Fool in that deck, I think I would be sad. :)

    • Interesting thought! But, I kind of would like all the nominees to be currently living…I’ll add that stipulation above.

      Perhaps we can do a “currently living” version, and then an “Osirified” version, as it were. ;)

  2. I have the following nominations:

    The Devil- Sannion
    Ace of Swords- Aine Llewellyn
    The Hierophant- John Beckett
    The High Priestess- Suz

    Only ones I could think of folks for!

    • Interesting…

      I have another Trump in mind for Sannion, personally, but that’s an intriguing suggestion.

      Aine is a guy, so he might be more suited to the Prince of Swords…

      I don’t know Suz, though I’ve heard the name. Hmm…

      • D’oh. I thought by the ace cards you meant folks who have made transitions. My bad, no offenses meant there. Suz is fabulous She runs Suz’s Muses and is the current Grammateus for Hellenion.

  3. I wonder if it even needs to be said…. Crowley=The Devil, of course.

    • That would make sense…

      But, as I just stipulated above, I’d like to keep all the nominees in the living world at present. For the “dead” version, though, that would probably be the most logical choice.

  4. So, tarot: we all know it, we all love it, many of us use it on a regular basis, etc. You know the drill.

    We do? I’m kind of indifferent, myself, and while I’ve tried using some “oracle cards”, I’ve never really had good-enough experiences with proper tarot decks to say I “love it”.

    Oh well, guess I’m not a “real pagan”, then. :-(

    PS: LOL

    • also, re:

      1) The genders of the gendered Major Arcana cards should stay whatever “traditional” gender they are: thus, don’t suggest a male for the High Priestess, nor a female for the Hierophant, and likewise with the Emperor and Empress. All others, though, are rather up for grabs…

      2) The court cards in the Minor Arcana should be Princess (for Page), Prince (for Knight), Queen, and King; and, the genders of these, likewise, should be as they are traditionally.

      …I will be watching Tumblr to see how long it takes for someone to accuse you of trans/queerphobia or “(internalised) cissexism”. LOL.

      Some days, I swear, for every single good point raised by Tumblr’s social justice community, there are at least ten painfully sheltered yet exasperatingly overzealous people who don’t even barely understand the issues they try to talk about yet think reading and parroting some of the least-thought-out commentary from Shakesville is just as good as being a sociologist.

      3) The “ace” cards for the Minor Arcana should also be individuals, but they should be gender-variant individuals exclusively. (Gender-variant individuals would also be great on a number of the Major Arcana cards, e.g. Temperance, the Universe, etc.)

      And now you’re stereotyping gender-variant people AND by designating the “Ace” of each suite to gender-variance, you’re TOTES erasing the asexual/grey-A/demisexual community!

      LAWLZ

      (Sorry, been pruning my following-list on Tumblr nearly three straight days, please deliverthe e-smack-on-the-hand if you feel I’ve been venting inappropriately.)

      • I have only looked at a few things on Tumblr ever, and I’m rather glad of it…perhaps even more so than I am of never having been on BaceFook or Twitter.

    • Considering this is one of my posts under the “Humor” category, nearly everything in it–especially blanket statements like that–should be taken with a planetoid of salt. ;)

      I’ve gone through phases where I’ve been so sick of hearing about tarot that I run in the other direction; and then I meet people like Rachel Pollack and I go “How could I have been so wrong?!?” We’ll have to fit her in somewhere…

  5. As for who I’d nominate:

    * The Fool: Sannion (I’ll even go so far as to say that nominating anyone else for this card, or nominating Sannion for any other card is WRONG)
    * The Hermit: Dver
    * Fortitude: Galina Krasskova
    * The Lovers: myself (I also won’t be offended if people nominate me for The Star –nor would I be offended if someone nominated me for something you’d idealised as gender-variant, cos I am of the belief that even generally “fully transitioned [to their own liking/definitions]” trans women and men are technically gender variant, even if those who are binary-gendered and very “traditional” in their roles and expressions of that gender are in a bit of a grey area between the gender-binary and gender-variance; and, if I want to get technical, I do consider myself a effeminate or androgynous man and feel more naked without eyeliner and clear lipgloss than I do without trousers –which is tenfold more “gender variant” than Buck Angel or even Raven Kaldera)
    *The Wheel of Fortune or The World: Kyrene Ariadne (I can see her working for both)
    * The World: Lupa
    * Death: I forget her name, but her blog is Graveyard Dirt
    * I’m also totally flaking on who could best represent what, but I also think that Raven Kaldera, Raven Digitalis, and Michelle Belanger should be represented

    …and as you can see, I’m not really familiar with the Minor Arcana at all. I did some reading on tarot when I was younger, but I’ve mostly just retained a few of my favourites from the Major and, like I said, I’m not really that into tarot, anyway.

    • You’ve read my mind re: Sannion as The Fool, and I totally agree that (at least for the “living” iteration of this) that he’d be the go-to guy for it like no one else possibly could (including most Discordians).

      I think the two Ravens you mention would be great–and I have a notion on Raven Kaldera that I’m sure he’d appreciate, but many others may misunderstand terribly–and Michelle Belanger is an intriguing idea, too…

      Your suggestions for Dver and Galina are also good!

      I’ll think more on this, and compile my own list later, but thank you for all the good ideas!

      • and I have a notion on Raven Kaldera that I’m sure he’d appreciate, but many others may misunderstand terribly

        Those are usually the best references, in my experiences –if only cos the angry Tumblr SJWs (or similar Angry Bloggers) that follow really illuminate who’s been paying attention, and who merely thinks they’ve been.

        If you actually plan on going through with it, I’ll certainly approve.

  6. […] the commenters, I have written up a provisional line-up, as it were, for the cards I mentioned in my previous post. I have slanted towards individuals who I either know and have worked with personally, whose work I […]

  7. […] those of you who read my last post and the motivations for it, a version of “The Pagan/Polytheist Tarot” which includes a variety of people important […]

  8. […] “The Pagan Tarot” (aediculaantinoi.wordpress.com) […]


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