Dragaeran Projects - Dragaeran Tarot Deck

Howard Brazee howard at brazee.net
Wed Nov 16 09:37:27 PST 2005

Scott Schultz wrote:

>What does the Dragaeran Tarot represent? In the real world, Tarot operates
>on several levels. At the highest level, it's a symbolic guidebook of the
>stages of life and enlightenment and a kind of philosophical teaching aide.
>At the middle level it's a semi-magical apparatus full of arcane symbology
>(how much depends on the agenda of the publisher of any particular deck)
>which lends itself to divination of various sorts. At the lowest level, it's
>simply a fancy deck of playing cards. It's rather amusing to look through a
>modern Tarrochi deck because the cards are duplicated vertically in the same
>fashion as a deck of standard playing cards. The Hanged Man, for instance,
>becomes nothing more than two pairs of disembodied legs joined at the waist.
That's funny.

The trouble with comparing arcana of our world with that of Brust's 
universe is that ours evolved from various religions and religious-type 
beliefs.   We have no way of checking to see if one fantasy works and 
another doesn't - so we end up with a mismatch.

In a world where divine beings can actually be called with measurable 
responses, such confusion messes things up.   One god will not want to 
be confused with his enemy god.   Rules that don't work - can have 
bigger consequences than losing paying customers.

>I guess the biggest question to answer is whether this is to be truly a
>"Dragarean Tarot" or if it's simply a standard Tarot illustrated with
>Dragaeran imagery. The latter would be easier to create, while the former
>would be of more interest though to a possibly narrower audience. (There are
>plenty of people who collect "standard" Tarot decks who might be interested
>in a Dragaeran Tarot.)
I would expect people who believe in Tarot to be unwilling to accept a 
completely alien mythos.    But I suspect that most of us who attend SF 
conventions are like those characters in _Charles Fort Never Mentioned 
Wombats_, we separate out our fantasy out from the world.    I have to 
admit I have zero patience with people who believe in Tarot and 
astrology in our world.  

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.