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Join Date: 18 Oct 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarotbear
I feel that the images are placed on the wrong cards and if it was my deck I'd have them changed with the next printing, reversing their LWB commentaries, too. However, I am not the creator of this deck. So, what I will probably do is merely read the cards as each other when they come up in a spread. The querent would probably never know.
Tarotbear, you are certainly free to do that! I remember thinking the same thing about the Sacred Circle Magician v. Hierophant cards (I forget their titles in the deck).

A few thoughts... first, when I give the divinatory meanings in the LWB, and they list several short phrases separated by periods, it was my intention that each phrase be considered a separate possibility. In other words, when I say "Curiosity. Research. Computers, e-mail. Immature communications. Spying (or "hacking").", that means that each of those can be considered a separate possibility, not that they all need to be considered as one big meaning encompassing all of them at once. So, the Youth of Swords doesn't need to be considered a hacker first and foremost. That's only one suggestion at the end of a long line of suggestions.

Further, although I endeavored to follow the general direction of RWS meanings in many of the cards, that doesn't mean that every one of my phrases for every card is meant to echo RWS, or some particular author or authors' take on the RWS. For the Youth of Swords, for example, I sat and thought about what I wanted to put on the card. I took my particular view of the RWS card, then thought about what kind of modern setting and character would illustrate my view of that card. Then, when I wrote the LWB, I started out with "Curiosity," since that's one of my primary views of the RWS card. Then, I departed from RWS and went on to meanings suggested by the image itself: "Research. Computers, e-mail." Next I have "Immature communications," suggested by my view of pages in general, combined with the meaning of the suit. Finally, I have "Spying ("hacking")", suggested by both the image and by traditional meanings given to the RWS Page of Swords, many of which speak of spying or snooping.

Now, I'd like to say something about adherence to RWS in general. First, as seen in my previous paragraph, authors differ about divinatory meanings in the RWS tradition. Some speak of spying for the Page of Swords, some don't. I think it's only natural that a deck which is created to follow RWS will differ in some respects from any particular reader's views of RWS, since any particular reader's views of RWS will of necessity be personal and will differ to a greater or lesser extent from the deck creator's views.

But the main thing I need to point out here is that the Gay Tarot is not a deck which follows RWS directly for each card. It's true that I tried to follow the general direction of RWS in many cards, and that certain cards comment directly on RWS. But this is not an RWS clone. The fact of the modern setting, the "theme" of gay male sexuality and how it relates to modern life, together with the fact that I drew connections between the numbered minors and their correspondingly-numbered majors, all mix together to create a deck which has some connections to RWS but should not be regarded as a RWS clone. Thus, it may be more trouble than it's worth to take each card and try to relate it to its RWS counterpart.

I admit that it might have been better if I had either (a) stuck more closely to RWS, or (b) abandoned RWS altogether. In other words, if I had done one or the other whole hog, so to speak, rather than create what some may see as an ungainly mixture. I had hoped to do something somewhere in the middle; that is, something which would go in some new and interesting directions in terms of divinatory meanings, but which at the same time would retain some connections with RWS so that a reader wouldn't have to feel like they have to learn an entirely new system, just maybe a few cards that would be different and an emphasis on a different set of connections (the major-minor numbering connections). Maybe such a mixture would never work, or maybe I just didn't do it well.

Personally, I don't believe that RWS is the only set of minor meanings that could exist for a deck. RWS works, and it's certainly a tradition among a majority of readers, but I think there can be other systems as well. Whether or not readers want to go to the trouble to deal with other systems is another question, of course.

It might help the situation if we put this deck in the context of other Lo Scarabeo decks, whose minors often have no or very little connection with RWS. Instead, many LS decks' minors relate to European or Continental traditions of meanings for the minors, or are related to no tradition, just the creator's whim.

I hope I don't appear argumentative here. Tarotbear knows it's in the spirit of dialogue. I'm so appreciative of Tarotbear's and everyone's posts, it allows me to address and to think about lots of different aspects of the deck.

-- Lee
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