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Gay Tarot - Sage of Swords


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Quote:
Originally posted by Elentir
I like the fact that he's black, too, although it for some reason reminded me of Clarence Thomas... perhaps he's the king of swords reversed!
I agree! I prefer to think of him (upright, anyway) as Thurgood Marshall.

The Court ranks are:

Youth (Page)
Man (Knight)
Guide (Queen)
Sage (King)

The new ranks are not exactly analogous with the traditional ones. Youths are basically Pages. The Man, I would say, is a little more mature than a Knight, basically in between a Knight and a King.

The Guide is the biggest difference, not really comparable with Queens. The Guides are nude, winged men. The wings are of different kinds through the suits. The Guides represent spiritual values and are really the only directly obvious emphasis on spirituality in the deck. Then the Sages represent attainment of wisdom and life experience.

Yes, the box picture is the Wheel of Fortune, although here it is called the Wheel of Life. I'm not sure exactly why. My original title was "The Wheel," but perhaps something got lost in translation. I certainly have no objection to "The Wheel of Life."

-- Lee
Top   #11
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Question


I think I recall you saying somewhere (in another forum, I think) about the potential "camp" implications for the "queens" in a gay-themed tarot. I agree that it would have been a mistake to interpret the four queens as men in drag, but I'm curious if any cards in the deck make some kind of reference to that particular branch of gay culture, or to the transgression of gender-roles in one way or another?
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Quote:
Originally posted by Elentir
[...] I'm curious if any cards in the deck make some kind of reference to that particular branch of gay culture, or to the transgression of gender-roles in one way or another?
Actually, no. I feel that branch of gay culture (camp, drag, etc.) has received plenty of media attention over the years, and while I certainly have no bias or hostility to those things, I wanted to give some attention to people who live quieter, less exotic lives.

-- Lee
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I just realized my prior post isn't really consistent with my previously stated desire to be as inclusive as possible. Oh well, no one's perfect! I guess any creative work will at least to some extent reflect the interests, likes and dislikes of its creator, no matter how inclusive one tries to be.

I think some cards in the Cosmic Tribe deck reflect some of that camp/drag perspective, such as the Moon and Justice cards in that deck (which I like a lot, by the way).

-- Lee
Top   #14
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*


Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice. Then must you
speak of one who lov'd not wisely but too well.


Othello V.ii. (342-344)



*
Top   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lee
Actually, no. I feel that branch of gay culture (camp, drag, etc.) has received plenty of media attention over the years, and while I certainly have no bias or hostility to those things, I wanted to give some attention to people who live quieter, less exotic lives.

-- Lee
Honestly, I think that's too bad. I know that my own sense of gender-identification is in many ways tied to my perceptions of prominent female figures, role-models, idols, archetypes, celebrities, etc. On the one hand, that's very cliche, but it's nevertheless true for many, many gay men (hence it becoming a cliche). This might have been an interesting way to incorporate one or two female figures into the deck.

Similarly, there is a certain relationship between the performing arts (drama, opera, etc.) and gay men that is difficult to deny and difficult to define, even if it's not universal (nothing's "universal" anyway), which has often been expressed through the drag phenomenon as well. (I myself don't dress in drag, but I can certainly be a big QUEEN when the mood strikes me. )

OF COURSE none of this will keep me from loving this deck once I get my copy)!
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You'll be pleased (hopefully) to know that there are still several references to the theater and stage work in the deck.

In one respect I do think it's consistent for me to have avoided the whole camp/drag aspect, because besides being a gay male deck, I also wanted it to be a masculine deck. Bringing in feminine elements would have been interesting, but would, I think, have made the deck a little less unique, since feminine elements, I would say, dominate the tarot scene as it is today.

However, as I say in my previous post, I don't deny that the deck may reflect the preferences of its creator, for better or worse.

And I must say, Elentir, I can't wait for you to get your copy either! I will be very interested to hear your comments (as I am now as well, of course).

-- Lee
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lee
Actually, no. I feel that branch of gay culture (camp, drag, etc.) has received plenty of media attention over the years, and while I certainly have no bias or hostility to those things, I wanted to give some attention to people who live quieter, less exotic lives.

-- Lee
I was going to wait to see the whole deck before saying this but since you answered the drag queen question I thought I'd go for it.

***Note*** Lee I think you're brilliant, witty, and good stuff... and I think by and large this deck is great... but careful criticism has its place on a message board so please please please don't be offended. I've constructed this post in my head for a while and I'm not flying off the handle

I understood the decison not to have a whole load of kitcshy queeny campy stuff in the deck, especially when I read that the intent isn't just a deck based on the world of gay men but a deck for the spiritual empowerment of queer folks and their friends... and their friends. However... the exclusion of Drag Queens in the deck is a nigh unforgivable decision. While the John Q. Homo approach is very inclusive and wonderful for many people out there who don't find themselves in common gay media the Drag Queens have been there from the beginning. They are in the ancient myths, the spirtual traditions of many indiginous people, and it was the drag queens who on June 29th 1969 at the Stonewall Inn told the cops and the world "Here and no further." The gay rights movement was lead in a large part by the drag queens from the stonewall inn up to our modern day Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. One of the most moving images of early gay rights struggles in the United Stated is a postcard a friend gave me of a drag queen entering a paddy wagon in the 1940's. Before they closed the doors she tossed her head back curstied and shot the camera a very Marilyn-esque smile. The image would have made the perfect Strength card. Though I haven't donned drag I really am moved by the way they have put themselves out there when others were content to remain silent and fit in.

I agree that it is important to say well of course that old judge is gay, and the chef, and the stage performer... because anyone coul be gay. However (again I know) sometimes looking at scans I have wondered "So besides guys kissing is there anything gay about this deck?" But then I am reminded that the Magician and his magnanimous smile and i'm reminded of my favorite gay artist Joe Phillips and the way he can depict a variety gay folks in true to life situations.
Top   #18
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Dear Shade,

Please, please, for goodness' sake, don't hesitate to post criticisms of the deck or my work on it. I want people to feel free to say what they think, positive or negative. The best thing this deck can accomplish is to inspire discussion and debate, and that means disagreement too.

I agree with every word of your post, especially when you say "The gay rights movement was lead in a large part by the drag queens from the stonewall inn up to our modern day Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence." I absolutely respect, admire and honor these folks, and I always get angry when people (straight or gay) express the wish that "those people" not march in gay rights parades. I think they have more right to march in them than anyone, and to a large extent the freedoms I have today, I have because of them.

The reason they aren't in the deck is because the deck isn't simply an intellectual exercise where I figure out a strategy of what should be in the deck and what shouldn't. Creating the deck was very much an intuitive, feeling-driven process. Anything else would have resulted in failure. And much as I respect and admire drag queens, it's just not me. Not their fault, not my fault, it's just the way it is, it's who I am (or who I'm not).

So, should there be a deck which features drag queens? Certainly. Am I the person to create such a deck? No. I hope someone makes one. I would certainly buy it.

I do need to disagree with this: "However (again I know) sometimes looking at scans I have wondered "So besides guys kissing is there anything gay about this deck?" While I admire drag queens and enjoy camp, I don't think the essence of gayness lies in a camp or drag sensibility. I think the essence of gayness lies in loving those of the same sex.

This is a difficult subject. No one can be everything, and so it's hard to express oneself without leaving someone out. At the same time, if anyone feels left out, it's important that they say so. Shade, I would suggest, if you're interested, that after you get the deck, that you write a review and submit it to Solandia, expressing exactly the kind of concerns that you address in your post. I definitely think it needs to be part of the dialogue.

-- Lee

P.S. Or... maybe I just need to get in touch with my inner drag queen.
Top   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lee
Or... maybe I just need to get in touch with my inner drag queen.


We could make this a self-help group, Lee!

I for my part am very glad about the guides. The word "Queen" could have invited some pictures of guys in drag- and not these angels I never would have thought every gay man has earned. I never particularly liked angels, but I like these ones. They represent their suits in a special way, I think, they just carry the essence of their suits innate in them, what the queens of other decks ideally do, too.

I don't know how guys who are into drag perceive the deck. Me being the guy from next door, who just happened to fall in love with a man, I would have the same problems identifying with a drag queen as with a "real" queen- and that's why I love this deck. It is just what I wanted. - But if there ever was a "Universal Gender Tarot" or something, I'd be the first to try this, too. But for other reasons and to other aims. For example to make better friends with the drag queen inside But it would not reflect my everyday experiences- and the gay tarot does. Very much so.

-I wouldn't have minded a drag queen in the 6 of wands or "Beyond Judgement" or even "The Wheel", which is much about diversity for me- but I can live without them in this deck for it has a clear (I was tempted to say "straight" but thought better of it ) line- a line I am walking everyday.

Well, and now I wish I had posted a thread "On court cards in general" or something, in time...
Top   #20

 

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