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The Gothic Tarot by Vargo - 0 The Fool

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mercenary30  mercenary30 is offline
Join Date: 19 Aug 2003
Location: MIles Under the SurfAce
Posts: 3,963
The Fool

There is a stone arch entrance to a village, with a wall that is crumbling leading away on both sides. Three ravens can be seen perched upon the top of the arch. On either side of the arch-stones a façade of the Green Man can be seen. Stairs lead up to the arch rising out from the fog. A disembodied spirit floats across the stairs, and his wolf companion seems to be walking along beside him. There are a number of skulls scattered on the different stairs. A dead tree seems to have grown up on the embankment right next to the stairs, and the roots have invaded both the base of the wall and part of the stairway. The whole scene in this card is tinted in an eerie green mist. The eyes of all the living creatures in this card are glowing red.

What I see when I look at this card is an entrance to the town that has been neglected for a very long time. A large and deadly battle occurred here many years ago, and the cost in lives was extensive. Although the town was victorious in the defense of their homes, the invaders succeeded in killing and cursing the intrepid hero of the town. It is his ghost that now haunts this egress. The battleground is now his haunt, and evil permeates the land here. He was young and powerful, and held a high standing in the eyes and hearts of this community. His bravery and self sacrifice are legendary now, inspiring the youth and puffing up the elder’s chests with pride. The haunted gate is avoided by the people now. They say those who have seen his ghost grow sick with heartbreak and melancholy.
Top   #11
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annik  annik is offline
An strange animal
Join Date: 28 Sep 2004
Location: Montreal
Posts: 1,825

Very impressive card! And I don't know if I can add something! Lol!

It's pretty desolate. Even the tree is barren. But there is the ghost, a wolf and ravens. I am under the impression they are welcoming the viewer of the card to enter to a new world (the rest of the deck). Or they going visit another unknown place were we are.

I almost want to shake the hand of the ghost and introduce myself. And see the direction the conversation will take...
Top   #12
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Deidrui  Deidrui is offline
Join Date: 23 May 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 44
The Fool

Found this and thought it would be nice to put up so others could see and look at:

I have this set and think it is wonderful. I just got it a few days ago and have been studying it. To me I find that the Ravens and Wolf always are together and both bring messages. As you see the one Raven is flaping his wings and is talking thus trying to convey a message. However, in this card I see the wolf as a gaurdian, seeing that the wolfs paw is already in motion to move out of the archway it appears as the wolf is telling the person to move ahead. Stop staying stagnet or standing in one place. It is time to venture out.

To me, I see the skulls as letting go of some past issues or ancestors that are watching over you.

Did anyone notice the wolf on the left hand side in the smoke just sitting there?

Reversed: Chaos is coming up and the wanting to return to a simpler time or one that is more comfortable to you seems to appeal. And yet, you have to pass the wolf to get through the door. It is not always easy going backwards.
Top   #13
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Emeraldgirl  Emeraldgirl is offline
Join Date: 01 Mar 2005
Location: Floating in an ocean of dreams
Posts: 3,689

I agree that I think that the wolf is protecting him. I never noticed the second one before.

The greenish glow and mists remind me of London and the old gothic vampire and monster stories. Also true crime like Jack the Ripper. I think the mist on this card shows the things unknown and the things that are sometimes better left unknown.
Top   #14
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caridwen  caridwen is offline
Join Date: 13 Jan 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 8,419

Ghoulish green mist at the feet of this weary looking vampire. He looks lost, alone and frightened even though he is surrounded by members of his clan. Three ravens, a wolf and three skulls keep him company on his lonely sojourn into infinite darkness. A church tower, place of sanctuary and rest is some distance away. Although it will never be his sanctuary again, he is forever excluded from its sanctified walls, the bells will toll in fear should he approach. He pauses on the fifth step of a threshold, very much uprooted and unsure of himself. He doesn't have the confidence of other, older vampires. Two gaping greenmen mark either side of the entrance to his new 'life'. He is guarded by the wolf beside him.

I wonder if this is a trick, if we were to be foolish to believe this member of the undead is really so vulnerable, shivering alone in the green mist. If the screeching ravens above him don't' warn us to beware our own gullibility. Is this vampire the orphaned Aubrey, who was so taken by the enthralling Lord Ruthven, deaf to all entreaties to flee because he was a vampire. Lord Ruthven eventually married Aubrey's' sister and he (Aubery) died in apoplexy.

The skulls signify the past, the green signifies renewal. Maybe the greenmens' mouths gape because this figure is an abomination.

This card marks a new beginning, one where the querent leaves what they knew and embarks on a new journey. Hesitant to tread this path because you will have to do so alone and are not sure where the path leads, you will be guided and protected on your journey. In order to move forward you must must shed the skin of your former self and let go. You are no longer that person and the sooner you realise it, the sooner you can move forward to a more rewarding place. A place where you will feel more 'yourself', where you can be naked without worrying about the consequences of your actions or what others think.

The skulls signify the 'bare bones' of the situation, what has been burnt away in order to create anew. The man is shivering, alone and vulnerable but he will soon have a new, more fitting skin. He will soon grow into what he truly is and through that change, gain in confidence.
Top   #15
Hemera  Hemera is offline
Join Date: 06 Jun 2006
Location: Building wings on the way down
Posts: 10,735

What I first saw in the Fool was someone walking out and leaving something behind. What was s/he leaving behind? Behind the Fool I saw a village and a church in the middle of it : established religion, conservative ideologies, old well worn paths and the like, perhaps? It´s night and the village is asleep. Only the Fool is awake and aware of another reality-the one that comes alive at nights..s/he seems to be aware of another reality beyond all that which is safe and tried even if s/he would choose not to step out of there. The Fool has turned her back on all that

After having read this thread I´ve got other ideas from you guys, and they all seem like good interpretations,too.
The beauty of the Tarot in general (and these Gothic cards in particular) is the verstility and diversity.
Top   #16
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Little Owl  Little Owl is offline
Join Date: 16 Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 97
Little Owl 
The Fool

Loving this study group, there is a great deal of info here.
I just wanted to add something about wolves. As well as being a familiar or a guide they can also be a teacher or pathfinder. Not sure if this adds something to the thoughts on this card or not but I thought I would mention
Top   #17
LeoBe  LeoBe is offline
Join Date: 03 Nov 2011
Location: PA, USA
Posts: 3
0 - The Fool

The first thing we see is a cloaked man standing in an archway in front of what appearns to be an old medieval looking manor with a tower. At the bottom of the card is a green mist that gives the feeling that it's poisonous by the three skulls, each on different steps, laying in it. There is also green mist around the man as well as the manor. At the left edge there is a dead tree in front of the crumbling wall of the archway. On either side of the archway are ghastly looking "Green Man" guardians heads with mouths wide open, as if woeing. Immediately to the left (his right) of the cloaked man, is a black wolf with glowing red eyes, looking right at us and coming from behind him and with its right paw stepping to the side in front of him. On top of the archway are three ravens (they seem too large to be crows) with red eyes; the left one is cawing, and the center one is cawing too but with its wings open. The crow on the right is merely perched to the side of the archway with its wings tucked. The man's cloak is black and is draped down the stairs in front of the archway leading into the mist, as if he has just walked up them. His face is his only visible flesh and it's pale white with darkened eyes. He appears to be frowning. At the bottom of his cloak we see no feet, though it looks like from the tatter we should; perhaps he's floating there, or perhaps his feet are just together, standing sturdy in place, not about to move either forward into the mist or back towards the manor. The sky above the archway is pure black.

What I get from this card is that the man is a recently deceased soul, wanting to go back to the world of the living. The world of the dead is where he belongs, but he's not ready for that path. He desires to go back home. The wolf, who seems to be either his familiar or his guide, is blocking his path to the manor and pointing staring into the world of the dead. It's telling him that that's where he belongs. The world of the living is no place for a dead soul. Only misery await him if he chooses to haunt there as he is. The wolf seems to be staring at us, maybe conveying that we are the fool, the lost soul, stuck between where we want to be and where we currently belong. The two Green Man guardians seems to be warning that the path beyond back to the manor is not one to be desired. The three ravens to me represent the passages of time: past, always cawing at us, ever in our thoughts; the present, our current actions and ideals, and the future, silent and still, mysterious and giving no hints as to what it has in store for us. The steps leading down into the underworld, the world of the dead, show that we are at the start of our journey, we have recently just begun or will begin a new chapter in our lives. The dead tree shows us that life used to be here, but it has run its course and now it is our turn to face the same rite. This is a journey taken before, by other long forgot with only shallow remains left. It seems like a few others have been on the same path we our now embarking, but they have been stopped short in their journey, a warning that if we linger too long we might share the same fate. This deck takes the journey through death, but really it could represent any journey that we may take. We are often hesitant to start change, to take the first steps into the unknown, scared of what lies beyond, but the archway is crumbling, our opportunity won't won't be there forever, and if we wait too long, we'll suffer the same fate as those before us, who never even came close to making it to the end of their journeys. And while what lies behind us seems appealing, it's what we know, what we desire, we have to move on and accept change.
Top   #18
Axer  Axer is offline
Join Date: 03 Jul 2012
Location: California
Posts: 7

Originally Posted by WolfyJames View Post
See? That's the reason why I started a study group, to see how other people interpret the cards. Many heads are better than one. Thank you Umbrae for your input and sharing the numerology part!
Hahaha, yeah thank you!
Top   #19



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