I thought with this post I would continue my exploration of the Dragonlance Tarot. Again this Tarot is not for sale, and was not meant to be a profitable venture. It was meant merely as a way for me to investigate the lessons gleaned from a world of good, evil, and neutrality; heroism, courage, and villainy.
Some of the Cards
The Queen of Orbs (Cups)
Crysania Tarinius is depicted as the Queen of Orbs
Golden Dawn title from Book T – Queen of the Thrones of the Waters
” Beautiful, fair, dreamy – as one who sees visions in a cup” (1).
In the Dragonlance Tarot Cups have been transformed into Orbs and the Court is controlled by Mages and Clerics. This choice reflects the intuitive nature of magic and the inner work that allows for the healing of others via communion with the gods. Orbs also play a central part in the themes and plots of the ‘Chronicles’ story arc functioning as a metaphysical bridge for self (personal power), the Krynn cosmos, and the near immortal essence of the dragons within the setting.
In the card image Crysania is accompanied by Tandar, her protector and unbeknownst to her a former trusted ally turned tiger, Valin. Crysania is blind, a metaphor which heightens the aspects of intuition found within the Orbs suit; the Queen of Orbs/Cups is a woman of heightened inner awareness. She may be prone to strong visions, but not controlled by them. Crysania is the highest Cleric/Priestess of Paladine and able to mitigate the lessons of her god with the inner lessons of her intuitive wisdom. A crescent moon also appears in the background further acknowledgement that the Orbs signify a inner wisdom and intuition.
The Star XVII
Golden Dawn title from Book T – The Daughter of the Firmament, the Dweller between the Waters
” Dog-Star, or Sirius, also called fantastically the Star of the Magi.”(1)
Here we see Guerrand DiThon standing before the gates of the Lost Citadel, a repository for the wisdom of Magic(K) beyond the material plane.
If we look at the DL Tarot and the Waite-Smith Tarot side by side we see some interesting similarities. The mountain imagery, the stars, the fog and water. The Wizard, Guerrand carries a staff ( a wizards staff is the symbol of marrying Above and Below, Earth and Sky) and the woman carries jugs of water, one foot on land the other in the pond, symbolizing the knowledge of elemental workings and of standing in two worlds at once. The Lost Citadel is only accessible during the Night of the Eye, when all three moons are imposed upon on another and inhabit the same spot in the sky; there is an order to things that must be adhered to in order to gain Magic(K)al insight.
Waite associated the Star with the Sephirah Binah and therefore with the Mother of All, the matrix that informs all creation (2). The Lost Citadel is also an enclosure of great wisdom, a place set aside by the gods of magic to safeguard the lessons and laws of Magic(K). Both cards remind us that ultimate knowledge demands a journey of a lifetime, a journey of Hope and Aspiration, and the realization that the Truth may be unattainable or beyond the comprehension of the seeker.
The King of Swords
Sturm Brightblade is depicted as the King of Swords
Golden Dawn title from Book T – Lord of the Winds and Breezes
The King of Swords is defined by the phrase Force of Will. He is not merely a warrior, but a man of mental alacrity and cunning. Sturm embodies the tenants of judgement, authority, intelligence, and law. It is the role of the King of Swords to challenge the present with Reason, sometimes that reason is born from the lessons of the past or from battles won.
Est Sularus Oth Mithas (My Honor is my Life) is the motto by which the Knights of Solamnia live and Sturm is the epitome of this ideal. Sturm however challenges the notions of honor that the Solamnic Knights have embraced in his time. He reminds them, and us, that following our Will must be done in a way that incorporates Honor and Pride and the respect of others.
The image used card is one of the my favorites of Sturm. He stands against the cold winds of winter that seem to be a direct metaphor for the failure of the Solamnic Knights to recognize him and his code of ethics because they seem outdated. He looks out above the mountains and the trials that await him with an even stare and a silent grace, his strength held within, his determination and bold resolve symbolized by the armor of his ancestors.
1. Waite, Arthur Edward. The Pictorial Key to the Tarot: Being Fragments of a Secret Tradition under the Veil of Divination. New Hyde Park, NY: University Books, 1959.
2. Katz, Marcus. Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot: The True Story of the World’s Most Popular Tarot: With Previously Unseen Photography & Text from Waite & Smith.