Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Tarot Court: For Adults Only

Are these court card posts boring? Just wait until we get to the knights. They're not boring. Well, maybe the Knight of Pentacles is, but he's got his unboring side, too.

The thing about courts is they CAN be a little boring because they're stereotypes. They're flat figures because of that. And Pages, well...they're just learning, so they're a little dull.

So I thought I'd spice things up with some DecameronTarot images. Heh. Gawd, this deck. I can't even get a decent reading with it, and not because its full of sex, sex, and more sex, but because some of the images just don't align with what I know the meaning of a particular card to be. Take this Knight of Swords over here. Well, seems the lady in question has turned the tables on this knight and is communicating in a shocking fashion all her own. That's usually his job, getting right to the point. Well, I guess he just got a shock himself. And not a bad one, I don't think.

This Page of Cups, ahem KNAVE of Cups is having an awfully good time, to be sure, but there's something very not-so-innocent about this one, and not so pure. And the woman is like, oh, that's going to be a pain to wash off, isn't it? So, I'm sorry, but while the deck is full of raucous, raunchy, medieval fun, it doesn't lend itself well to tarot reading much. I find that the pips are even harder to decipher in this deck, too, with images that, while amusing, shocking, or even disturbing, just don't tell me a thing about what the card is saying. Besides, the deck is offensive in many ways in its depiction of women often in submissive, even violent, definitely nonconsensual acts.

By contrast, Lori Walls' Tarot Erotica does a better job with erotic images that actually match the meaning of the suits and numbers. Here, her Page of Cups displays the kind of free and unbounded emotion typified by the Page of Cups, a fun, overflowing kind of emotion. Her narcisisstic King of Swords is amusing as well, he's just too sexy for, well...anyone but himself. The artist also weaves all manner of sexuality into the deck, hetero, bi, gay, lesbian, interracial, polyamourous, BDSM, you name it and it runs the gamut whereas the Decameron, while featuring some fetish scenes, and one gay card, is primarily aimed at a heterosexual male reader. Erm, viewer.

While there are other erotic decks, they usually fall prey to the same problems as the Decameron. The art is well done, but the meanings are barren. One exception would be the Tarots of Casanova, but again, it is done from a very limited and limiting heterosexual male perspective, an 18th century perspective at that. However, it is readable with the card images aligning with traditional meanings, at least. I am neither a prude nor a tarot purist, and I am used to eeking out meanings from obscure symbolism but when the images say nothing that I am even remotely familiar with that a particular tarot card is supposed to mean, the deck has deviated seriously from tarot tradition and it could be argued that, regardless that it may have 78 cards, 22 Majors, and four distinct elemental suits, it is NOT a tarot deck. It's fine for collectors, I suppose, or those who just like the imagery, for whatever purpose.

I just thought you'd like to see what these folks do on their off time and that the courts really do have lives of their own. They're not so one-dimensional after all, eh?

Decameron Tarot Deck By Luciano Spadanuda & Giacinto Gaudenzi Published by Lo Scarabeo
The Tarot Erotica by Lori Walls Publisher: QED Games Copyright 1999
Tarots of Casanova By Luca Raimondo Published by Lo Scarabeo. Available in the U.S. from Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
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