Posted by: aediculaantinoi | August 29, 2013

“The Pagan/Polytheist Tarot”: The Living Version

So, after thinking about this for a little while, with a bit of help from some of 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 have read, or that I have at least met on one or more occasions in what is below. Some of the folks mentioned I’ve had a few e-mails or blog comments back and forth with; others I have never met, and may never ever meet–and I suspect at least one would find themselves surprised to be included in this list at all.

Now, keep in mind the following things as you read this list:

1) This is by no means “set-in-stone,” and as stated above, it’s provisional…I am open to moving things around a bit; but, if you really disagree with my nominations, there is nothing stopping you from writing up your own on your own blog or elsewhere!

2) I have tended toward naming people who have at least one book written, or who are known more widely in pagan and polytheist circles, whether they are renowned and liked, or are somewhat infamous.

3) None of the nominations to certain cards are meant at all to be pejorative; I think the Major Arcana are fairly objectively descriptive in most cases where there might be some notion that there is a pejorative meaning. And, cards like “The Devil” carry absolutely no moral condemnation or such in their associations, so just keep that in mind, too…

4) The Court Cards of the Minor Arcana, likewise, do not carry a connotation of the Princes or Princesses beings “immature”; if anything, they are occasionally a reference to chronological age but nothing else, and thus nothing should be implied by the nomination of the individuals to those positions.

And, if you have any questions of “Why?” regarding any of these nominations, please do feel free to ask!

Without further ado…and my apologies for lack of illustrations at the moment…

The Major Arcana

The Fool: Sannion

The Magician: Sam Webster

The High Priestess: Rachel Pollack

The Empress: Glenn Turner

The Emperor: Kirk Thomas

The Hierophant: John Michael Greer

The Lovers: Oberon and Morning Glory Ravenheart

The Chariot: Anomalous Thracian

Strength: Galina Krasskova

The Hermit: Dver

Wheel of Fortune: Dan Halloran

Justice: Patrick McCollum

The Hanged Man: Aidan Kelly

Death: Morpheus Ravenna

Temperance: T. Thorn Coyle

The Devil: Raven Kaldera

The Tower: Z. Budapest

The Star: Diana Paxson

The Moon: Michelle Belanger

The Sun: Lon Milo DuQuette

Judgement: P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

The World: Starhawk

The Minor Arcana

Ace of Swords: Mx. Justin Vivian Bond
10 of Swords: Esoteric Book Conference
Princess of Swords: Christine Hoff Kraemer
Prince of Swords: Aine Llewellyn
Queen of Swords: Erynn Rowan Laurie
King of Swords: Jason Pitzl-Waters

Ace of Wands: joi wolfwomyn
10 of Wands: NOTOCON
Princess of Wands: S. J. Tucker
Prince of Wands: Gede Parma
Queen of Wands: Tamara Siuda
King of Wands: Orion Foxwood

Ace of Cups: Ruadhán J. McElroy
10 of Cups: PantheaCon
Princess of Cups: Alley Valkyrie
Prince of Cups: Raven Digitalis
Queen of Cups: Yeshe Rabbit Matthews
King of Cups: Gus DiZerega

Ace of Pentacles: Melissa Murray
10 of Pentacles: Pagan Spirit Gathering
Princess of Pentacles: Lupa
Prince of Pentacles: Teo Bishop
Queen of Pentacles: Selena Fox
King of Pentacles: Don Frew


So, your thoughts/reactions/suggestions? 😉


  1. I am amused.

    • Glad you thought so! 😉

    • I will be King, and you, you will be Queen!

      • A veritable match made in…Annwfyn…?!? 😉

      • Yes, our juxtaposition was part of my amusement. We shall smite our various annoyances with our swords.😉

  2. Amused and pleased mostly.

    Especially pleased that one of my suggestions made it. . .even if it had to be ya know, initially corrected because I’m kinda dumb.

    Whee, so is this going to be like, actually produced?

    • The legalities of that are questionable at this stage, at least in my mind: what if, say, Aidan Kelly objects to my characterization of him as The Hanged Man? If I can get a photo that he doesn’t own the copyright on, can I still use it without him having legal recourse against me for libel? I don’t know…

      But, perhaps it could be done on a “private” basis, and the limited number of decks made could be privately distributed by me, and it might get around such matters slightly…

      That having been said, I don’t know if this would even qualify as potential libel, slander, defamation, or anything else, since it is basically metaphorical. It isn’t as if Raven Kaldera actually IS The Devil or anything, for example…

      • Hmmmm, I suppose it would just be a matter of securing approval from each individual then? That would be a MONSTER task. . .

      • Especially since Z. would NEVER agree to it in a billion years…

      • Hehe, yes, that is very true.
        *sighs* A boy can dream, can’t he?

      • Of course…and if not, there’s gods you can pray to that might be able to help you with that. 😉

  3. Aw, I am not big enough for my own card yet. Sigh.😉

    • Don’t worry–it’s no comment on my esteem for you that you’re not in the above list. (Some of the people in the above list I have little to no esteem for at all, I should note…I’m sure you can guess a few, at least!)

      • Well in that case I suppose I can handle it.😉

  4. Yeshe Rabbit Matthews is totally the Queen of Cups.❤ Her.

  5. I got to “The Tower: Z. Budapest” and just burst into laughter. I’m sorry (that I’m not actually sorry that I did).

    • Nothing to be sorry about…

      Perhaps that card should be called Schadenfreude instead? 😉

      • Yes, that would be appropriate. I also laughed out loud when I saw who your persona for the Dead Tower – Margaret Murray, poifect!

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

  7. I have to say, I’m incredibly amused. I was chatting with Moonbird after I read the first post where you proposed this idea, and he started teasing me that I’d be the Death card. I was blowing it off, “shut up, no way”… Until I saw this list. And then I went and asked all of my housemates to guess, and they all said “Duh, you’d be the Death card!” My close friends have nicknamed me Little Miss Deathcurse.

    I also have to say, as much as I’m amused by it, I also would never want to see it published for real. I don’t really dig the celebrity Pagan/BNP dynamic. I don’t find it very helpful to my work in the community. So I try not to feed it.

    But I can have a good laugh anyway. LOVE your selection for the Tower, that’s a kicker. I wouldn’t put Sam Webster under Wands though. He is definitely a Swords kind of guy. Or actually, the Magician.

    • I have to admit, I tried to resist the impulse to assign that trump to you…but, as you can see, resistance was futile, and here we are. 😉

      (I think one of the images of you in American Mystic, standing there with the sickle, sort of suggested it rather strongly, amongst all else…)

      I get what you’re saying about the BNP thing, and I agree largely, as cultus of personality is the kind of cultus that I like the least, personally.

      In my thinking, the Wands suit was as close to The Magician as I felt I could get…so, Sam as a kind of runner-up made sense there. But, I might take that suggestion under consideration…

    • And…yeah, with a few minutes’ further reflection, I’m going to swap those two around.

      Who can ignore Death, after all? No one who is wise! 😉

  8. hey, good selection! princess of swords is the card i use to represent me in the deck i’ve used the most for divination (ancestral path tarot — a problematic deck in some ways, but i bonded with it as a teenager and it stuck for the better part of a decade).

    • Nice! My hunches strike gold again! 😉 (If only they did that EVAR on things like relationships or jobs…)

  9. I have no idea why you envision me as Queen of Wands, but I gotta say I have a lovely “family” in that trump there of the ones I know already. Now to go meditate on this card and wonder what it means. (Thanks, I think?🙂 )

    • It was definitely meant to be a compliment! 🙂

  10. I am entirely flattered that you included me!

    • While I’m pleased that you’re flattered, the intent was not simply to be inclusive or flattering, but to be accurate to as many types, levels, areas, and influences of modern living Pagans as possible in this. And, well, even though you have often said “I’m only internet-famous,” still, for modern Pagan purposes, you’re all that and then some! 😉

      • I will, with great wit and intellectual prowess, take my rightful place on the throne.😉

      • I’m reminded of the lines from one of my favorite songs from Disney’s Robin Hood:

        He sits alone on a giant throne
        pretending he’s the king…


        King Richard’s crown keeps slippin’ down
        around that pointed head…


        Which is now prompting a further contrafactum of that tune for Antinoan/Hadrianic purposes…

        Oh the world will sing of the Roman’s king
        two thousand years from now,
        He built a wall that did not fall
        and birthed a sacred cow!

    • He made us swords because we are prickly.

      • Actually, it’s because when both of you come out of your rooms or cars or what-have-you, there’s this *SCHWING!* sound, which is very sword-like. 😉

      • We are just that cool.

      • And pointy.

      • Our heads?

      • See my comment re: Robin Hood! 😉

  11. […] the last few days, the posts I did on the “Living” and “Dead” versions of “The Pagan/Polytheist Tarot” have been, I hope if […]

  12. wand princess stompy boots raaaaar

    • Indeed! 😉

      These boots were made for…singing?!? And also stomping, and traveling, and kicking jerks, etc.

  13. The Devil: Raven Kaldera
    That made me lawl, almost rofflmow. I like his work (sometimes I wish I liked it more than I do), and I respect the work and Work he does, I definitely find him one of the most reasonable TS/TG/IS people on FetLife –but I also understand his preceeding reputation and find this rather amusing.🙂

    The Tower: Z. Budapest
    This, I did rofflemow. She’s kinda gone that way with age, hasn’t she?

    The Star: Diana Paxson
    You know, maybe I just can’t forget her minor involvement in the Walter Breen molestation scandals, but I seriously cringe when I see her name –not as bad as when I see Marion Zimmer Bradley’s, but that was for a lot of reasons before I learned that she was an enabler of her husband’s child sex abuse.

    • Also:

      I initially nominated myself as kind of a joke (and a bit of a personal one –I used to have a reputation for an ego bigger than Sannion’s dong, and I have no idea why, except maybe cos I’m a Leo, so I’ve kind of made self-nominations into a sort of self-deprecating humour), but I am genuinely flattered that you picked me for Ace of Cups –I just read up on it a little, and it does seem fairly accurate, as much as a tarot card aligned to an “Internet-famous” polytheist’s message and personality can be, anyway.😀

  14. […] two other modern pagans I’m citing here and linking to are Sam Webster (you know, The Magician!) and Morpheus Ravenna (you know, […]

  15. Was just browsing through older stuff and came across this again. I was just wondering, though: Are you going to update “Prince of Swords” as, apparently (judging from the associated profiles on Patheos and elsewhere) Aine Llewellyn is no longer male-identified?

    • I was not planning on it–not because of any issues I have in accepting Aine’s position, but because this post is now “old news,” so to speak, and many of the nominations on it are not really “the best” any longer for all sorts of reasons.

      If she specifically asks me to change it, I’d be happy to; but if it isn’t a big worry for her in the meantime, I don’t think it’s utterly necessary.

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