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.

7 comments:

Carol said...

You are so naughty!!! I love it. I've looked at some of the erotic decks--the same ones you have--and had the same problem. I don't see readable symbolism in the cards and some of them, even for this jaded mid-aged woman, are misogynistic rather than kinky. I don't mind kinky, but ya gotta love the woman first.

I'm enjoying the court card descriptions. I still find them hardest to read, except when they're so obvious a two-year-old would get it. One of my daughter's most impulsive, dramatic friends drew the Page of Wands as her significator the other day. Well, duh.

As for whether she will ever find true love, gotta be glad for the 4 of swords that says slow down! She brought over a oija board that day, but left a believer in the tarot.

Ginny said...

I think the main problem with erotic tarot is that so far the decks have limited themselves to the scope of sexual behavior rather than the entire realm of sexual intimacy. I think in tarot, in which so many themes of human experience is portrayed, the limitations of "sexual acts" in a deck severely limits the range of meaning for the cards. The Walls deck is so inclusive that it loses a personal identification factor, and the other decks are no narrow (heterosexual male view) that, again, many women (and many tarot readers are women) just cannot relate to or find the images offensive. I think the decks are novelties, personally, and not true reader decks.

A fun exercise to do with court cards is, as you suggest, to relate them to people that you actually know. This helps to flesh them out, so to speak. Most of us are a healthy combination of many different court personalities, but if you can choose one that predominantly catches the person, it helps.

heathervescent said...

Totally hot!!!

Ginny said...

LOL. heathervescent. :D Yeah, some of these images really are hot. Some are really funny, too, and others are truly beautiful.

Oleanna Potter said...
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MentorTAZ said...

I had been seeking an Erotic deck for some time and after viewing several I found one that I absolutely love! Tarot of Sexual Magic by Laura Tuan art by Mauro De Luca made by Lo Scarabeo. While it is true the art doesn't match traditional meanings and thus isn't a true Tarot deck I find it VERY useful as an oracle along with Tarot. It is quite useful to augment a relationship spread done with the traditional Tarot.
Ginny you are an articulate writer and I am enjoying perusing your 78notes! Keep it up the industry needs intuitives with great minds like you!

Ginny Hunt said...

Mentor TAZ, that's what I found the Decameron useful for -- as an adjunct to a tarot or on it's own as an oracle. I also found that the Decameron can be very metaphorical and that may be one of the better ways to interpret erotic decks. For example, the card shows anal sex and it's referring to a situation in which you totally feel assfucked. The cards may recommend a more assertive, dominant approach or conversely a more submissive approach -- and the situation is entirely non-sexual, but the language of sex speaks clearly. It's interesting.

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