Dragaeran Projects - Dragaeran Tarot Deck

Fri Nov 18 08:16:03 PST 2005

> I would expect people who believe in Tarot to be unwilling to 
> accept a 
> completely alien mythos.    

I think a Dragaeran Tarot would mostly be limited to Brust fans as the
audience. Still, if you wander into your local new age store, you'll find a
fairly wide selection of Tarot variants, many of which are barely
recognizable as Tarot cards. I think that most of the people who produced
things like Native American Tarot a couple of decades ago have gone on to
just create their own new kinds of divination/meditation decks these days
instead. The trick with marketing a Tarot deck is not so much that it have a
clearly understood background (mystery is desirable in these things) but
that it have images that resonate with recognizable emotional states and
that it have an instruction booklet that pulls the reader into the milieu
used by the deck so that she become receptive to its symbology and feels
some sort of intuitive boost from "interpreting" it.

> There's really no reason that Dragaeran Tarot has major and minor 
> arcana, Fools, hanged men or any of the things that have evolved into 
> current Tarot.   (How long have our current Tarot been stable 
> anyway - 
> if nothing else, time will change things).    But those might 
> be selling points for people who collect such.
> Still, it might be more interesting to come up with a completely new 
> deck with new rules that matched Dragaeran reality.

I'd agree with this. I'd find a "real" Dragaeran Tarot that "feels" like it
came from the Empire more interesting than a re-formatted earthly Tarot. The
one justification for going with the earthly Tarot (marketing considerations
aside) is that Tarot may, in fact, be imported from the East. 

The real Tarot has been rather surprisingly resilient in the face of
hundreds of years of use. There are individual variants by noted
paranormalists (The Crowley Deck being one of the more famous ones) but by
and large the cards and the cocepts behind them are pretty well-grounded in
tradition. The artwork is primarily what changes, with the symbols on the
cards changing to fit the beliefs of whoever has published the deck. There
are exceptions like the Morgan Tarot (The Magician is represented by the
phrase "Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards. They are subtle and quick
to anger." You can get a computerized "reading" at
http://www.sleepbot.com/morgan/request.html) and the "special interest"
variants but the core of Tarot today is mostly just what it was four hundred
years ago. Rather like I-Ching, the evolution has mainly come from the
hundreds of years of commentaries rather than from any major change in the
mechanics of it.

Dragaerans have been shown to have no compunction about borrowing features
from other cultures. I'd have no problem believing that the original
Hungarian colonists brought Tarot with them and that it survived  reasonably
intact into the "present day", though with changes to the art that reflect
the culture of the Empire rather than the East.