New Orleans Voodoo Tarot study group - 1 DR. John


Dr john is the Mage, that make so much sense to me as i'm myself a Tamtam player and have use it a lot in the past to do magic..
when you play rhythm you touch the verry essence of life, in modifiying some rhythm you can modify the reality, that can be verry awesome at times !!!!
Theres also the Spacial Geometry understanding in rhythme that can open universe a lot (i love it he ! )

So this is the day of the Drum :)

Love, Light & Power


Dr. John

Dr. John stands for Doctor John. A man of healing abilities but his healing skills are not of the traditional medicine type. In this card he is using the healing power of the drum. I notice his intense gaze with the tribal markings on his face. He is beating the drum in a slow rhythm because one hand is on the drum while the other hand is high in the air. I can almost hear the strong echo of each solitary drum beat. For the way he is beating the drum to the look on his face it is almost as if he is summoning a Loa.

What I notice about this card is that the image of the magician is a man working with his drum. This is a reminder to us of the sacred magickal uses of the drum.


But remember also the drum has a very strong linking to women, so the Dr. John card can also be seen as a witch doctore using and incorporating anima power.


catlin said:
But remember also the drum has a very strong linking to women, so the Dr. John card can also be seen as a witch doctore using and incorporating anima power.

Really? I didn't know that the African drum was linked to women. I thought women drumming was a more modern event. Things I have read indicated that at least in some African tribes that drumming was a sacred act done by the male members of the tribe.



In the early days drums and tambourines were related to women but this has changed in some of the black African traditions. More on this topic can be found in the excellent book "When drummers were women" (author is Lynne Redmon or something like that).

BTW where are the other study group threads about the New Orleans Tarot?


Thanks Omeada,
I thought you all gone further than Dr. John in the study group.

I was a bit tied up with other stuff so I could not follow it regularly and lost a bit track.


Dr. John, consort of Marie Laveau. Some say he was her husband, a trickster, swindler, Svengali.

Dr. John is dressed in a loincloth. His face is painted in tribal marks and a white and blue headband is around his head. He is crouched over a drum. His left hand is raised above his head (channeling/harnessing divine energy) and one hand beats the drum (divine energy  transformation): as above, so below. The drum head glows as he beats it.

A burning torch is on his right hand (light in the darkness). The dark blue background has barely discernible movement (progress even when not apparent). The dark is that of predawn, of coming out of the darkness.

The loincloth and tribal marks indicate the primitive, instinct, back to basics, raw materials.

The drum head glows gold like a mini-sun (energy, abundance, creativity). The burning torch is made of straw (primitive) and underscores the illumination/knowledge principle.

Dr. John sitting on drum  direct contact at crotch level/penis  vibrations at the life-giving level (stimulation of life? Sex as primitive act, procreation?). The loincloth matches the drumhead and the torch  energy, vibrations at 2nd chakra?


  • 1 -- Dr. John.jpg
    1 -- Dr. John.jpg
    55.5 KB · Views: 1,812


looking at Dr. John with his drum I am not so sure just what this man is up to. I am a accomplished drummer, play on stage and also am a member of a Voodoo Rada "orchestra" where we play all night the sacred Afro-Haitian rhythms like the Abakua or the Ibo.... until the Lloa come in.....
Most of us drummers go into trance easy....the expression in the face of this man is not one of trance but of full allertness and chalange!
also the way he is portrayed drumming is not how one drums in real life. The rhythms are FAST and hand movement is low and minimal + NO time to raise the hand all the way like this and keep the beat, not even in the Yanvalou or Guaguanco which are less than 160 beats/ min.
So my bet is that this man is not drumming for the Lloas but for show and to impres the tourists in a bar.....

He is playing a trick on you guys, that have never seen a real ceremony or a bembe'.....


That's very, very interesting Mi-Shell. It makes more sense as the Magician that way, doesn't it?