TV Tropes Monday: Tarot Motifs


Tweet of the Day:  You’re Allowed to Avoid the Frost Trolls

As of late I have been fascinated by the Tarot. It summons forth ideas about Destiny/Fate and that one can both know these things and perhaps control them. Because if you can ascertain you future you can also defied it. Flip the bird to forces that should be beyond your control. The very act of divination creates a sense of order out of the Unknown and makes it knowable if not controllable.

But a Tarot also creates a tapestry of ideas through a language that appears to be simple yet it subtly complex. In the Tarot things are not what they appear to be. Major Arcana (the trump cards) suggest immediate symbolism, like the Fool, Death or the Devil. Yet the Fool can be just that, a fool, by virtue of ignorance, yet also be the hero, by virtue of ignoring the very fact that he doesn’t know. He is the every man, who knows just enough to be a wise man but never enough to be a god. Death is an end, but that end is also change, sudden, dramatic, inevitable change, but not necessarily danger. That role tends to be fulfilled by several Swords in the Minor Arcana (numbers X and under). And the Devil? Again like Death, change, but also rebellion and freedom rather than evil.

And when you put the cards together they create a story, or at least the framing of one. Will the hero follow the path of Destiny or defy it? What if there was nothing in the tapestry until such time as the cards were laid down upon it? In other words, nothing was certain until the magic of the cards, or the belief of those participating in the reading made it so.

All very intriguing if you ask me.

2 comments on “TV Tropes Monday: Tarot Motifs

  1. Clearly, the next step from here is to (re?)watch Escaflowne in its entirety. (Probably the best Tarot-themed fantasy out there.)

    Liked by 1 person

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