More on the Tarot Deck

Thu Nov 17 10:35:22 PST 2005

> There are 22 Major Arcana but only 17 houses in Brust's world so we
> have a translation with 5 additional aspects of Dragaera to make up
> the 22 total. But, being you all are the really BIG fans we thought
> we ought to see how closely our Major Arcana comes to what some of
> you might like to see. 

So the objective is to create an earthly Tarot instead of a Dragaeran Tarot?
Personally,  I'd still expect a Drageran Tarot to have 17 trumps. As far as
that goes, if the trumps  were to be represented as the houses/themselves,
as appears to be the suggestion, then  the numerical order of the trumps
should correspond to the numerical order of the Cycle.

I'd also still want to know where the Tarot came from. Maybe this isn't so
interesting if  the goal is simply to represent an earthly Tarot with
Dragaeran imagery. 

Anyway, here are my ideas on mapping the earthly Major Arcana to a Dragaeran
Analog. It  goes without saying that the artwork should feature the colors
of the House associated  with the card.

The Fool
	House: Phoenix
	Card Concept: Decay/Rebirth
	Analog: Beginning/End of the Journey of the Fool, Beginning/End of
the Cycle
	Poem: Phoenix sinks into decay/Phoenix rise from ashes grey

The Magician 
	House: Tiassa
	Card Concept: Curiosity/Cleverness/Trickery
	Analog: Loki, Coyote, and Monkey would all be Tiassa.
	Poem: Tiassa dreams and plots are born
	Name: The Trickster

The Papess
	House: Issola
	Card Concept: Courtesy, nurture, hidden wisdom, unseen danger
	Poem: Issola strikes from courtly bow
	Art: An Issola minstrel performs before an audience of mixed social
standing; all   clearly feel welcomed and comfortable. The tip of a rapier
protrudes from under her  cloak. (Yes, I'm aware it's an Eastern weapon.)
	Name: The Minstrel

The Empress
	House: Chreotha	
	Card Concept: Creation, fertility, beginnings
	Poem: Sly chreotha weaves his net
	Art: A Chreotha craftsman at work upon his latest creation
	Name: The Tradesman

The Emperor
	House: Dragon
	Card Concept: Leadership, Authority, Command
	Poem: Haughty Dragon yearns to slay
	Art: A Dragon general on a hillock with sword drawn, prepared to
lead his troops  into battle.
	Name:The General

The Pope:
	House: Lyorn
	Card Concept: Tradition, Social order, manners 
	Poem: Lyorn growls and lowers horn
	Art: A Lyorn referee advises two duelists standing within a circle,
while their  seconds look on.
	Name: The Arbiter

The Lovers:
	House: Jhegalla
	Card Concept: Change, choices, consequences
	Poem: Jhegalla shifts as moments pass
	Art: A Jhegalla merchant serves a peasant, an outlaw, and a noble;
clearly  getting the best of each of them while simultaenously moving goods
from one to the other.
	Name: The Merchant

The Chariot:
	House: Dzur
	Card Concept: Victory, force, perseverance against the odds,
	Analog: The opposite colored horses of the Chariot map readily onto
the Monad.  This duality of the Chariot is also the duality of House Dzur,
which paradoxically  produces some of it's most renowned Wizards as well as
its most renowned Heroes.
	Poem: Dzur stalks and blends with night
	Art: A Dzur Hero charges joyously into outnumbered battle. Dzur
Mountain is  silohetted in the distance.
	Name: The Hero

	House: Tsalmoth
	Card Concept: Persistence, the power that comes from knowledge
rather than brute  strength. 
	Poem: Tsalmoth maintains though none know how
	Art: A Tsalmoth noble makes obeisance to the Emperor.
	Name: The Courtier

The Hermit:
	House: Athyra
	Card Concept: Wisdom, scholarship
	Poem: Athyra rules mind's interplay
	Art: An Athyra wizard studies in his solitary keep, surrounded by
his tools and  the wondrous fruits of his activities.
	Name: The Wizard

Wheel of Fortune:
	House: None
	Card Concept: Reincarnation, cycles, luck, changes
	Poem: Everything old is new again
	Art: The Cycle as it appears in the Halls of Judgement
	Name: The Cycle

	House: Iorich
	Card Concept: balance, harmony, law, fair representation,
	Poem: Quiet Iorich won't forget
	Art: An Iorich judge hands down his decision
	Name: The Judge

The Hanged Man:
	House: None
	Card Concept: Sacrifice, knowledge or power gained thereby
	Poem: none
	Art: Sethra Lavode, enigma
	Name: The Enchantress

	House: none
	Card Concept: Transformation, transition
	Poem: none
	Art: Deathsgate Falls
	Name: The Paths Of the Dead

	House: Hawk
	Card Concept: Balance, moderation, challenges, learning
	Poem: Hawk looks down form lofty flight
	Art: A Hawklord meditates, in perfect balance with his surroundings
	Name: The Scientist

The Devil:
	House: Jhereg
	Card Concept: Evil, deception, hidden desires
	Poem: Jhereg feeds on others' kills
	Art: A Jhereg hides, poised for his victim, though whether to entice
him or  attack him is unclear.
	Name: The Assassin
The Tower:
	House: Vallista
	Card Concept: Destruction, revelation, rebirth
	Poem: Vallista rends and then rebuilds
	Art: A Vallista engineer tears down a castle
	Name: The Engineer

The Star:
	House: Orca
	Card Concept: hope, revelation, discovery
	Analog: The mariner is the last true explorer in the Empire
	Poem: Orca circles, hard and lean
	Art: An Orca sailor smiles as he watches a single bright star pierce
the limit of  the Enclouding.
	Name: The Mariner

The Moon:
	House: Yendi
	Card Concept: Secrets, illusions, hidden plots, subtlety
	Poem: Yendi coils and strikes unseen
	Art: A person of no discernable house whispers into the ear of an
assassin with  knife-drawn against his victim, while simultaneously
singaling a passing Guardsman.
	Name: The Pretender

The Sun:
	House: None
	Card Concept: Illumination, understanding, power
	Poem: None
	Art: The Imperial Orb
	Name: The Orb

	House: None
	Card Concept: Reason, acceptance, fate
	Poem: None
	Art: The Halls of Judgement, Verra and Barlan featured prominently
	Name: The Halls of Judgement

The World:
	House: Teckla
	Card Concept: Completion, fulfillment, success
	Poem: Frightened Teckla hides in grass
	Art: A happy Teckla family enjoys the fruits of a peaceful and
succesful Empire.
	Name: The Farmer

This isn't perfect by any means. House Jhegalla best fits Death
thematically, but the direct analog between Death and The Paths of the Dead
is so compelling that it made much more sense to put symbolism above theme.
I'm sure that other readers would likewise re-arrange the Houses according
to tastes different from mine. I never did manage to come up with a good
name for the Dragaeran Fool, as it's difficult to find a word that embodies
both death and rebirth better than the word Phoenix already does.