This is one of the cards where I went a little bit more creative. It might be a little bit of a leap to get from an old man with a lantern to a young woman with a book, but I still felt that this picture was perfect to capture the spirit of The Hermit:
This is one of those cards which is often renamed: The Monk, Time or The Sage are all possible alternative names. I considered going for The Reader, but then I felt that keeping the title would be more specific.
Usually The Hermit holds a lantern which guides his path, but only lights the next steps and not the whole journey. He needs to take steps forward in order to see where to go next because knowledge won’t be revealed to him all at once. Reading a book is similar, you have to take it page by page and even when you have finished it, there is still the next book to add to your knowledge.
The Hermit stands for soul-searching, introspection and inner guidance, but also for being alone. Belle trusts her own moral compass and the knowledge she gains through reading, but she is also utterly disconnected from the village due to walking her own path. Consequently she is also experiencing the reverse meaning of the card: Isolation, loneliness and withdrawal from the world.
So, hopefully that helped to explain why I made this leap. My pick for the next card will be a little bit more obvious, though. See you next week.
Historically The Strength was the card number XI in the deck, but I went with the now popularized Raider Waite Tarot numbering and put it on number VIII. And I have to admit: This might have been the easiest card of all of them, at least in terms of concept. Just looking at the usual arrangement of this card, I was immediately reminded of this scene:
Everything about this moment embodies strength. Walking away peaceful from an alteration is strength. Convincing someone to do so just with a kind word is strength. The Card stands for courage, persuasion, influence and compassion, and there is no story and no character which embodies all those ideas better than Cinderella. To quote from Wikipedia:
“The Strength card was originally named Fortitude, and accompanies two of the other cardinal virtues in the Major Arcana: Temperance and Justice. The meaning of Fortitude was different from the interpretation of the card: it meant moderation in attitudes toward pain and danger, with neither being avoided at all costs, nor actively wanted.”
That is exactly what Cinderella does. She picks her battles. I put the bells in the background of the card as a reminder of the pressure she is under in this scene. She knows that if Bruno actually hurts Lucifer badly, she would no longer be able to protect him. So she let’s Lucifer “win” in this particular situation, but she also rescues Gus from him just a few scenes later. Cinderella’s interaction with her family is similar. Most of the time she is following orders but if an opportunity presents itself to her – be it an excuse to interrupt “music” lessons or to go on a ball – she will take it. That is in a lot of ways true strength, the ability to endure while keeping an eye out for opportunities.
The low point of Cinderella, when her dress gets destroyed, is a cumulation of everything the card stands for in reverse: Self-doubt, lack of energy and raw emotion.
The Strength is usually my favourite card in every Tarot deck, because there is something dignified and powerful about it. Next week we will discuss the maybe most introspective card of them all: The Hermit.
Sorry for the delay. I had to deal with some very stressful RL issues which simply didn’t put me in the right mind-set to delve into Tarot of all things. But hopefully the situation has evened out enough to that I’ll now be able to go back on schedule.
Anyway, the card I’ll discuss today is The Chariot which I renamed The Traveller. Mostly because there is no picture of John Smith riding a chariot and I feel that the ship is a better fit for him anyway. So the card ended up looking like this:
A few elements of the card are missing. There are no sphinxes, but then, a ship doesn’t need to be pulled by anything. Though I did add the shadow of an eagle on John Smith’s armour (btw, what is the deal with it, it is as if the animators couldn’t decide if it was an armour or a shirt). The cards also has usually a canopy of stars above the charioteer’s head, indicating celestial influences, but I felt that there is enough sky in my take on it to replace it, even if is is stormy sky.
What was really important for me was to find a picture of John Smith which both indicates his status as a Traveller, someone who is constantly on the move, but also expresses control, willpower, success and determination. Him as captain at he helm of his own ship was perfect for what I had in mind.
In reverse the card usually stands for opposition and lack of direction – which actually works better with a ship than a chariot, because a ship can literally be “adrift” while a chariot can’t. But I would add another reverse meaning to this version of this card: harmful overconfidence. Not harmful to yourself, but to others, people whose life you impact without truly thinking about what you are doing.
And that is all for today. I should be back on schedule now. So, until next week.