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astrologerdave 
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Dark Side


The way I've been conceiving of this deck is to try to have normal positive images alongside the dark ones for I believe both are at work in any given human being and any situation. So I absolutely agree with your dark interpretation of the Knight and will definitely use this interpretation! The thought of having stolen something out of a chapel had never occurred to me. To me the genius of this deck is that it makes it so easy to see the possible hidden meanings, shadow meanings if you will, of any situation. What looks like nobility at first glance can also be interpreted as sinister. My observation, for what it is worth, is that both are almost always at work simultaneously.
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Old 02-04-2009     Top   #11
Thirteen 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrologerdave
My observation, for what it is worth, is that both are almost always at work simultaneously.
I will happily grant that Tarot readers should always be aware that every card in any deck has positive and negative potential, and that no card is ever entirely one or the other no matter how bleak the image. And I've certainly gotten remarkably good readings using this deck, including ones with positive conclusions. But, um, it is full of skulls, skeletons, vampires, Frankenstein monsters, demons, ghosts, werewolves, possessed dolls, references to murder, lunatic asylums, crypts and coffins.

My point being that the stories pictured on these cards tend to go along with its name: Gothic, which are dark and scary stories. So it's likely that our Knight there is part of a dark and scary story.
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Old 02-04-2009     Top   #12
enchanted spirit 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen
I kinda agree with you, but we have to keep in mind, this is the BG deck. That means that in almost every card, we have a "shadow," a dark side. Always be suspect of these cards; very few of them are "innocent," and almost all of them are likely to show the sinister side of the usual RW deck meanings. That our knight is trying to mask his identity is very possible, that he's on a quest is very possible, that it's noble quest, however...not so likely.

Covered chalices (if that's what he's got in his hand) are usually holy relics, infused with great power and magic. They likely did indeed hold sacred wine (which signifies blood, yes? The Holy Grail was supposed to have literally held Christ's blood). That horse's head is reaching, and it looks like the Knight is about to give it a kick and race away. I think our mystery knight has just snatched this "grail" right out of the castle chapel, and not that he's out in the open, he's about to make a run for it. In true, BG form, we have the dark side of our Knight/Cups. Rather than a knight on a holy quest for the grail, we've got a thief. A man wearing the costume of a knight, but committing a criminal, sacrilegious act.

Which, being Knight/Cups, would make for an fascinating interpretation of stealing emotions. Riding away with emotions. Breaking into someone's citadel, as it were, and taking away their heart. A dangerous knight indeed, as it looks like that castle as protected itself for a very long time, and that treasure he's getting away with was probably well hidden.
I just want to say . . . Ohhhhhhhhh! Fascinating stuff! Okay, I like your theory better than mine, although I like the idea that he's gonna conk someone on the head with it. It's just the way he's holding it, it looks slightly threatening. Although if he's a thief I guess it's still a possibility. After I looked at it a bit I realized the horse is moving, it's weird, in fact after you look at it for a bit you can almost SEE it. Really weird. I'm liking, really liking this deck!
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Old 02-04-2009     Top   #13
swimming in tarot 
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Good work finding the eastern chalices, Thirteen! I love how detective work pays off with this deck. I don't know if the things we're snuffling out are covered in the book or not.

Astrologer Dave, surely keeping both ends of the positive-negative spectrum in mind is laudable, and I need to work hard to do that as I go through this deck. In my opinion, to squeeze the most meaning out of the imagery in *this* deck, one benefits from looking at the negative angle first. Because bless them, the deck creators haven't minced around or glossed over or left to our imaginations, cards' negative interpretations, the way is often done in other decks...they give us plenty of meat! Hence it's a "dark" deck, and helps give insight into those other decks whose negative aspects have been glossed over.

I like the thief of hearts idea. Does he have an actual purpose for the chalice, or is it the image merely symbolic of a traditional negative meaning?

And is it possible that it's an "unholy" (not profane) object that he's making off with, or am I way off in an unlikely direction? (I've played Dungeons & Dragons too often.) Would that possibly make him a "better" knight, depending on what he was going to do with it? (Supposing this card came up reversed, and you had to read the positive meaning? )
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Old 03-04-2009     Top   #14
Thirteen 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swimming in tarot
I like the thief of hearts idea. Does he have an actual purpose for the chalice, or is it the image merely symbolic of a traditional negative meaning?

And is it possible that it's an "unholy" (not profane) object that he's making off with, or am I way off in an unlikely direction?
I'm pretty convinced that it's one of those chalices, but I sure hope someone who's read the book or Karen comes by and confirms it. Presuming it is one of those ornate chalices (which evidently can be for kings as well as chapels), I've no doubt that it could be unholy rather than holy. That's as likely a scenario as it being holy and stolen for the purpose of doing something unholy with it.

The look of that castle, like it's in something of a shambles, could easily suggest that this item isn't necessarily good. Maybe our Knight is stealing it from, say, one Powerful Vampire to give it to his Vampire King? But that lamp is lit, and I don't think the knight would light a lantern hanging that high. Which suggests that the castle is occupied.
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Old 03-04-2009     Top   #15
swimming in tarot 
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Sorry, I was unclear!

Agreed, it's definitely that style of chalice that you found...but possibly slightly altered for the sake of this deck. Have a look, if you will, at the website where they show the cards. Click on our knight to magnify. Look at the pointy-eared, grimacing head which is the knob on the lid (often the heraldic royal eagle). Allow yourself to see a hulking body with arms, in the rest of the lid and cup. *Imagine* an "unholy" chalice. Oh, and look again at the knight's blank eyes while you're on the website!
http://www.bohemiangothic.com

The card's appearance has altered a little from an earlier draft on the website, to what has appeared in print, which suggests to me that the creators attached some importance to these features. Maybe they thought the better of them. I think the thief of hearts interpretation is a perfectly good one, and if that's where it stops, that's fine with me. But there do seem to be those little questions that the aforementioned details raise, like whether this fellow really is Christian, or is just pretending; whether his soul won't let him rest until he destroys that object and its contents, idealist that he is, or whether his "fantastic imagination that might be put to "dark" arts is dominating.

Maybe I've had too much caffeine. Or maybe I should have even more!

Last edited by swimming in tarot; 04-04-2009 at 03:53. Reason: fix url
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Old 04-04-2009     Top   #16
Thirteen 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swimming in tarot
Look at the pointy-eared, grimacing head which is the knob on the lid (often the heraldic royal eagle). Allow yourself to see a hulking body with arms, in the rest of the lid and cup. *Imagine* an "unholy" chalice. Oh, and look again at the knight's blank eyes while you're on the website!
AH! I see what you mean. You mean that the nob on top looks like it has horns and the rest could be seen as some sort of demonic body. Yes. It does look that way.

Quote:
like whether this fellow really is Christian, or is just pretending; whether his soul won't let him rest until he destroys that object and its contents, idealist that he is, or whether his "fantastic imagination that might be put to "dark" arts is dominating.
Well, it could go either way. A lot of these cards seem to have a really clear story to them. This one is not so clear.

Among our options are:
1) He could *think* himself a Christian/Crusader (remember our Judge with his book on burning witches), but be working, unwittingly, even zealously for evil.
2) He could be, as you suggest, in disguise. Evil dressed up as a Christian/Crusader in order to get into the castle and steal the item. But he's no such thing. Or maybe he's just still wearing the garments he wore when he was "changed" into whatever he is now. So he was one but is no longer one.
3) He could really be a Christian/Crusader but doing this against his will (possessed? manipulated by some "master"? under a curse?).

And in any of these scenarios, he could be snatching the item to take it back to someone for evil purposes, or to use it for evil purposes himself, or to destroy it.

Ultimately, as the Knight/Cups is often seen as a "Grail" knight, I think what we have here is the ultimate "dark" Grail Knight, and by that I mean both the Knight is dark (on a dark quest) and the grail is dark (unholy). I would guess that the iconic red cross of a Crusader there is ironic. The uniform might honestly be his, but I rather doubt he's ever been a true Knight. In this deck, there seems to be an on-going theme of people playing dress-up. That is, whether they are really, say a Justice or just pretending to be, say a Duchess, the clothes they wear are a costume that hides their true nature, while giving them the trappings of position and power.

This deck plays a wonderful game with the reader. A lot of it's characters ask the question, "Who am I really under this wig/robe/crown?" (Or "Who was I?"). What their trappings say they are often isn't what they are at all.

Last edited by Thirteen; 04-04-2009 at 15:22.
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Old 04-04-2009     Top   #17
Winterchild 
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Knight of Cups


I drew this card in my daily draw today and have just studied it for the first time and blogged about it. This is what I wrote... forgive any random order! I just take it as it comes

The first detail I noticed on the card was the horned devil character carved into the stone of the castle wall. At first I thought it was a Green Man effigy, but when I took out my magnifying glass (a Crimbo gift!!!), I saw the horns and also it looks like his tongue is in two, ie forked. So this dude could be escaping from the devil in order to bring something precious, back to its rightful place. He could indeed be a good guy like the traditional knight of cups.

To me he looks like he is not quite hurrying away, but there is some haste, he holds his arm up as if to show victory....showing off his trophy (which could represent the Holy Grail, as it is a kind of Chalice but has a devil on top by the looks of it), maybe he is holding it up to someone out of the card.. a crowd even?

The portcullis is raised so they haven't resisted his escape, unless they had no time. Looks like he entered the castle courtyard by nightfall, but surely the hooves of his horse would have been heard. He looks sinister and a bit sneaky, but he has no weapon I can see except this chalice. I think it has great power.

I originally connected the red crosses with those of the crusades and the Templars but their red cross was always on a white background.... that this is on a dark background makes me wonder if he is on the side of the shadows.

There is the Redcrosse Knight in the Faerie Queen poem... written by Spenser in 16th Century... He was also called the knight of holiness. Like St George (who also had a red cross) he fought a dragon like monster and killed it. He had a lady who was in love with him called Una which means truth, but I am thinking maybe he fought for love of the Faerie Queen... Elizabeth. He was a Christian, Una means truth, and I think she was the symbol of the true faith in the poem. At one point an adversary of the redcrosse knight uses faerie magic to change a sprite into a false Una and so try to lead the knight astray. Whe the real Una found he was gone she was bereft. I wonder if this is mean't to be Spensers knight? It seems to cross a bit with Lancelot and Guinevere and Arthur in some places too.

The horse has a Fleur de Lys on its collar, usually associated with the French but also popular in much heraldry and royal coats of arms throughout Europe. Both are horse and rider are covered in armour, only the eyes show, but maybe that is all we need to see.

I think though he knows noone will come after him, he may have sold his soul to the devil in order to get that grail, and that's why his eyes are so empty looking.... Even his horse looks disapproving. The grail as we know caused men to burn in fever. The light leaves his immediate path lit but all else in shadow, like a light between worlds of darkness. But what is the light, has he been enlightened?

I see little romance about this knight, and not too much emotion either, but maybe he is doing it all for love as did Lancelot.... so dangerous because he represents the threat of stealing your heart, and love and possibly taking you to a dark place. Looks like he will stop at nothing to get what he wants anyway.

Hmmmmm I guess he is the kind of guy I get attracted to come to think of it....

Geez I need to sort this into logical order in my head. When the card starts coming at you its all pretty random at first!!
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Old 27-12-2012     Top   #18
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