21st Century Tarot

kayne

Hey All,

Just a thought...
If the tarot cards were characters who lived as real people in the 21st century, who would they be? I think The Fool would be a young hitch hiker, out for adventures and The Empress could be an independant Mum but what about The Star or The Tower etc? Any Ideas?

K.
 

Kiama

Maybe the High Priestess would be the company executive or managing director in the middle of a board meeting.

Star maybe would be a healer of some type? Doctor seems too straight laced though, so maybe a healer who uses alternative therapies? A masseuse?

The Heirophant would be a teacher figure.

The Emperor would be one of those really cool dads you see once in a whil, who can really identify with their kids. He might also be a lawyer.

Just some ideas....

Kiama
 

tarotbear

Actually, I think that the Tarot being created by Major Tom has some of the qualities that you are discussing. However - remember- The tarot is created from archetypes. A high priestess in robes with a moon headdress has archetypical qualities whereas a woman in a business suit seated at a board room conference table does not. Such an application may be 'topical', though not necessarily 'archetypical'. Major Tom's Tower card using the destruction of the WTC is both. Since a picture of the destruction will be included in every history book printed from that day forward, the image of the Tower being destroyed will become an image all humans will someday relate to, even if they are born 150 years from now.
 

kayne

That's is an interesting point TarotBear. Do you think it is possible for the image of a Business person to become an Archtypical Image, after all... I would imagine that cetain politians will be recognised in 150 years time too.
K.
 

tarotbear

Hmmmmmmmmmmm..

An archetype is defined as the original from which everything is a copy.

Everyone who says they were abducted by an alien describes the same skinny grey being with big eyes. Do they really exist, or has that image become so ingrained that people expect THAT is what aliens look like? Is that an archetypical image? Even if when the aliens come we find out they are magenta with tiny eyes and bad breath?

The image of a powerful woman at the head of a board room table would have to become a universal image, IMHO, before it can become an archetype.

Yes, No, Maybe?
 

jmd

I wonder if another dimension which has to be added is the dimension of an image. The Falling Tower and the horrors NY has had to directly experience already has this dimension...

A francophonic tarot site was already describing this mythic element on the very day of the atrocity, and Major Tom, by using this picture in his deck, has certainly tapped into and captured this dimension. He can also take credit for producing the first Tarot deck to use this image, which I sure will be repeated!

I wonder if a business suitted individual, whether male or female, quite captures, or is even able to capture, this mythic dimension of any of the cards. I would venture to suggest that this is part of the reason why certain robes, symbols and paraphernelia are added to certain positions in society (presidential/mayoral/PhDs/etc), so that the power of mythological thinking is able to transcend the mundane.
 

Kiama

The thing is: We accept that there are archetypes in each Major Arcana, well, certainly in the HPS. But, how do we apply these ancient archetypes to the 21st Century? I'm pretty sure most people who would identify with the archetype of the HPS would go around wearing those clothes, with a crescent moon on their shoes, and the crown of Isis on their head to illustrate the point. Although these archetypes are powerful and very, very old, found in all cultures all over the world, irrespective of time and place, sometimes we need to apply them to this day and age, and this society.

The image of a powerful woman, very knowledgable, with some sort of power, and very aware of herself and her power, is not only applicable to teh HPS, but also to a successful managing director. IMHO, the board meetng owman at the head of the table is not in need of firt becoming a universal symbol before she becomes an archetype: She is the archetype in different clothes.

Kiama
 

tarotbear

Yes, Kiama-

But is this image (powerful woman in a board room) INDEED found all over the world?

The image of a 'witch' is multicultural. All cultures have a image of the witch, strega, Bruja, etc- a mature woman living on the fringes of society who is both feared and respected, usually living alone. Mythology and folklore play a large part of this. So, yes, the tarot contains a lot of specialized hand gestures, robes, etc. that everyone may relate to.

How does the image of a powerful woman in a board room 'read' to a South American tribe living in the rain forest? Does it mean something to 80 million people living in China? Would such a symbol mean something to women in Afghanistan? Or to the Taliban? The woman in robes with the moon at her feet and in her headdress, standing before a veil possibly does; the woman in the Armani suit with Gucci shoes with the snakeskin briefcase may not, even if men in Brook's Brothers suits kowtow at her feet. What would it take to make this image 'universal', before it can become archetypical? As I said before, such an image may be 'topical' to people living in 'first world' countries but until those in a 'third world' climate can relate to it...
 

kayne

I think that we always bring the culture we were brought up in, or have learnt about, with us. I disagree that the traditional Rider Waite image of the High Priestess would evoke the same meanings in all cultures and I think it is imposible to find an image that would. I think that is why there are so many fantastic and varied themed tarot decks available. People are trying to better represent the meanings of the tarot in a way that suits them more. I don't think the images need to be universal around the world, as long as they reflect the meanings for the person reading them.
 

Kiama

Tarotbear: I agree iwth what you say, but in my personal opinion, it is pointless to recognise archetypes if you cannot apply them to the everyday world in which we live. Me, I live in a Western, consumerist society. Even though I am Pagan, I have had little contact with High Priestesses, and find it very difficult to apply that to a reading. However, I have had contact with successful business women.

The archetypes that we know of today, although recognised as universal, are not the only archetypes. There are also archetypes which change from culture to culture. The Western world probably doesn't experience a Shaman, whilst a African culture might. And African culture might not experience the rebellious teenager, and the stereotypes surrounding teenagers these days, whilst nearly everybody in the UK certainly does!

I find it difficult to believe that, although we do have set, universal archtypes, there are no more possibilities for expansion. The Universe we live in is constantly growing, be it backwards or forwards is not my placce to say, but through this growth, there will, inevitably, be some change in the roles people play. In 1000 years time, we may have seen the eradication of the Mother archetype... (Read Aldous Huxley's 'Brave new World' for a really chilling insight into 'development' of the world, and the change of society as we know it, then ask yourself which archetypres still exist in that 'Brave New World-ian' culture....)

Just my thoughts, which may be wrong beyond belief...

Kiama