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The Gothic Tarot by Vargo - I The Magician

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inanna_tarot's Avatar
inanna_tarot  inanna_tarot is offline
Join Date: 28 Jan 2004
Location: Devon UK
Posts: 5,233

ohh sending it to the sky is a different way!! I mostly see lightening in cards as destruction and divine presence but if the Magician is sending it out.. hmmm have to ponder that!!

Top   #11
Livia's Avatar
Livia  Livia is offline
Join Date: 02 Jun 2004
Location: Denver, CO USA
Posts: 84

i like that he could be bringing it in to create the fire, and mist, or sending it out by drawing on the fire and mist..We could combine the two and say he is sending it in, or bringing it out.
it is all a matter of perspective, maybe even the situation in which the card comes up in a reading will lend it to one or the other...
Top   #12
mercenary30's Avatar
mercenary30  mercenary30 is offline
Join Date: 19 Aug 2003
Location: MIles Under the SurfAce
Posts: 3,963
The Magician

The scene is of an ancient ritual at a site that has some resemblance to Stonehenge. The magician stands upon a raised dais, his right hand reaching towards the sky, his left raised over a short altar. Lightning has struck his right hand and he is converting the energy into flames upon the altar. Within the flames is the symbol of the snake devouring its own tail; eternity. To the left and to the right of the magician further down the stairs leading up the dais are four cloaked figures, probably acolytes assisting during this ritual. Each of them carries one of the four symbols of tarot; the sword, cup, pentacle, and wand.
Behind them is a huge archway made of stone obelisks. The night is bleak and stormy.

The skulls mounted around the altar tell me that this ritual is less than savory. It is obvious that the Magician is the leader of this group and has the necessary skills to be performing these types of rituals. This is a rather raw display of power, and lends me to the belief that although this ritual is being invoked by a full fledged Magician, he is not very worldly or wise. He has a lot more to experience and learn before his skills are tempered and strengthened.

This looks like more than a simple ceremony or training session. It seems that this is a rather extensive and dangerous ritual. To what ends I do not know, but I would guess a bit of bluster and ego is involved on the Magicians part. This could be his undoing if things go too wrong. With any luck and a little restraint the worst case scenario would be a tough lesson learned. All steps towards toward a more fortuitous future.
Top   #13
Annwyn's Avatar
Annwyn  Annwyn is offline
Join Date: 06 Jul 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 40

The magician- wow what a powerful card indeed!

The Image is of a robed man (hood around his face). He appears human, not a vampire. Stands at the top of 5 steps, in-between 2 pillars of stone. (A temple) In front of him an altar with 3 skulls carved in the front. Above the altar is the ring of fire and an eternity snake in the fire. He appears to be controlling this fire with his left hand while the other hand is above his head conjuring lightning. There is a big bolt of white lightning coming from the top of the card (sky) either going up from his hands to the sky or coming down from the sky to the palm of his hand. Not quite sure.

There is a green mist flowing around. And his robe is green. The 4 other people in this card are also robed in blue but you cannot see their faces, the hoods hide it.
They each carry a symbol, sword, cup, wand and pentacle.

The formation of how they stand is, 2 on the left carrying the wand and the pentacle
Then 2 stand on the right carrying the sword and the cup. They stand on the sides but face the man in the middle. The symbols represent the 4 elements. Earth, air, fire, water.

And of course the coded writing on the steps which have been already decoded here.


The style of the temple stones is similar to Stonehenge. The images of the people are like druids. The center man (the magician) appears to be very wise, he appears to be controlling the power they have conjured during this magical ritual they have performed.

I donít feel like he is more powerful than the other 4, as I get a sense of teamwork here. At first glance you would think he is the superior being but he needed the other 4 to make the spell work, he is the 5th element of which he draws in the power or is sending out power. (That part is not clear). He was the one with the self-control to handle this power.

The green mist indicates conjured spirits. This to me speaks of spiritual matters. Of spirits and spiritual awakening and tapping into the power.

When you take a first glimpse at this card you automatically assume the magician has the power, his is the superior. But I think there is much more too it than that and I donít think its about superiority as I said before.

I do have a particular nagging thought about the green mist; it keeps drawing me back to it. Why have they done this ritual, what are they trying to do? Raise spirits of the dead? Send out the spirits?

I had many questions about this card at first glance, so decided to spend a bit more time with it.

One question answered straight away.
I feel he is definitely gaining power from the heavens/the lightning is being drawn from the sky down into the palm of his hand.

This is his communication/connection with the celestrial realm).

The skulls could represent 3 lives past over they are trying to raise spirit wise or put to rest. Either way the ritual they have performed is definitely to do with invoking spirits or leading the spirits to rest? Working with spirit. (Green mist).
Something is not put to rest here, hence the reason for either raising the spirit (the ritual)in the first place.

The card speaks of qualities needed to be able to perform such a ritual.

Self control, power, knowledge and strength (as previously mentioned) is definitely speaking loud and clear here. Your own ability to recognize these qualities in yourself and how you use them.

Still this is a very spiritual card, magic, energy, spirits. You cant ignore those signs.
He has a connection to both realms, celestial and earthly. (fire) You have this within you.
Perhaps this card is telling you to use it?
Top   #14
Deidrui's Avatar
Deidrui  Deidrui is offline
Join Date: 23 May 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 44

This card is amazing! To me it takes me back to Stonehedge. I see 5 druids total in the card with one standing center. Calling upon the powers that be. I also see the three skulls under the alter representing knowledge. The thunder bolt could represent war or protection.

To me this card represents balance and knowledge. It is power within in not power out.
Top   #15
annik's Avatar
annik  annik is offline
An strange animal
Join Date: 28 Sep 2004
Location: Montreal
Posts: 1,825

This card is almost magical. But I wonder (maybe I ask questions too easily, sometimes! lol!) This card is quite nice to look at.
Top   #16
Emeraldgirl's Avatar
Emeraldgirl  Emeraldgirl is offline
Join Date: 01 Mar 2005
Location: Floating in an ocean of dreams
Posts: 3,689

I agree that this card doesn't seem to fit with the rest of the deck. I find the "pillars" really interesting as a lot of magician cards don't have a the image between two of something it is usually reserved for the High Priestess and the Hierophant.
Top   #17
inanna_tarot's Avatar
inanna_tarot  inanna_tarot is offline
Join Date: 28 Jan 2004
Location: Devon UK
Posts: 5,233

I drew this card today so thought i'd re-read the thread and my earlier thoughts on it and compare them with now and my vision of some odd monty python sketch.

Various grumbling and mumbling (which is apparently chanting) in the dark leads them to this point, a very nice atmospheric standing stone.. hmm in the middle of a roundabout on the high way, one of those nice bits of contemporary art sculptures.
In the dead of night they have crossed the road, for the apprentices to pass their test. Each of them will take in turns to chant the magic words and create the bolt of lightening, to prove they have the skill and the ancient ones have bestowed their blessings on them.
John Cleese is obviously the teacher, that gets more and more irate as these apprentices can't even start the fire for the altar let alone a bolt of lightening to prove as a blessing from the 'ancient ones' (said out of the side of your mouth). Each go up and try but get the words wrong, so John Cleese has to keep coming back and forth chanting and mumbling doing the sacred olde ritual hop and skip (perhaps a tap dancing routine) with the end TADA jazz hands bringing the bolt of lightening and the snake.

Sorry I have a warped sense of humour lol. If you want a job done properly you do it yourself, you concentrate and put all your power and energy into forcing the chaos around you into the one thing you wish to achieve. Union of Above and Below, to past the test and of skill and 'science' to go on to the next which is pure 'art' and intuition.

Top   #18
LeoBe  LeoBe is offline
Join Date: 03 Nov 2011
Location: PA, USA
Posts: 3
I - The Magician

The first thing we notice about this card is the bolt of lightning touching, but not harming, the Magician's hand. He's wearing a green cloak, while four assistants in blue cloaks stand on the steps below him, two on the step right below him on either side, and two below them, and each of the is holding one of the four symbols of Tarot. There are five steps in total, each having some runic like writing on them (some symbols are obviously runic while others are a mystery). We can see the Magician's face, but his eyes are covered in shadow. We can not see the assistants faces, as they're turned to the side facing him and their heads covered by their hoods, but we can see their hands which are a cold blue. Behind the Magician are two boulder like pillars holding up a third horizontal pillar, much like one of the blocks of Stone Hedge. Right below the Magician on the same step as him is a short alter, with three visible legs and three skulls underneath. On top of the alter is floating fire with a circular snake eating its own tail inside. Two streams of green mist coming from either side seem to be pouring into the bottom of the fire, while a third stream is pouring into the bottom of the the alter coming from the right (the Magician's left). The Magician is holding his left hand right above the fire at heart level, with the top flame seeming to touch it. The Magician's right hand is raised above him with a light emanating from it, with the thinner part, or more condensed, of the lightning bolt touching his fingertips. In the background dark storm clouds are gathered, though it's not raining and the clouds actually seem to be a fog surrounding the site, as right above the Stone Hedge the sky seems dark but clear. Inside the pillars of the Stone Hedge there is a dark fog, darker than the one surrounding them, as if it's a gateway to another dimension or place. There is a light blue mist over dark barren ground in the foreground of the image.

The Magician is obvious the leader of the rite. His assistants, by their blue hands, seem inhuman, almost like ghouls summoned by the Magician of other purpose than to channel the the four elements of life (as Tarot is about the different aspects and journey through life) so he can concentrate on his task. The snake in the fire symbolizes the constant cycle of eating and being eaten, the constant and eternal struggle of survival to stay alive. Fire is a chemical action, a symbol of transferance and transformation. The skulls represent the three cycles of the spirit: life, death, and rebirth. The green mist is the spiritual energy of the world. The Magician is absorbing the the spirit energy of the world through the fire and eternal snake through his left hand (the receptive hand, attributed to taking in energy in Wicca and other pagan belief), and channeling it through his body and out his right (the emitting hand, attributed to sending out energy) in the form of lightning, the power of the gods. The Magicians eyes are darkened, keeping secret his intentions. Is it to become immortal? To gain the power over life and death? To summon something from the other side? And what's through the Stone Hedge? Is it the afterlife? What is behind that dark fog? Is he trying to summon a creature of darkness? One of life and death? To bring forth a vampire from the depths of hell perhaps? Whatever his task, one things for sure, it's complicated and require doing multiple things at once. The Magician seems to be powerful, creating the lightning and drawing in the the eternal flame, he's really deceiving us. Where he lacks the skill to preform this task alone, he is wise enough to gain assistance to do it anyway. Which bring me to the question: Are results the same when you take a shortcut to reach your goal? Will the Magician have full control over the power he's trying to summon? Will it be divided between the five of them, or be able overpower each other them? Should we trust this Magician? He seems wise and clever, but can he help us with our own journey?

This card brings up many questions dealing with power, cooperation, wisdom, the possibility of deceit, spirituality, death, and the unknown. We have taken the first step on our journey and are full of questions as how about to go it. There are many different ways our journey can end, some with us getting what we want, many not at all, and a few somewhere in between.
Top   #19



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