Star Wars Tarot: Episode 2

This is the second part of my Star Wars Tarot post, the first part can be found here:  Episode1

Episode 1 showed some of the Major Arcana and discussed a few of the specific cards and how they relate to the traditional Rider-Waite deck.  This post will be similar, but will highlight the Minor Arcana.

So the main reason why I chose the deck I did for the creation of the Star Wars Minor Arcana is because of two things; the Pictures are great and every card image is unique, second each card along with an image has an individual quote from the films.  Tarot is about symbolism and the images are very important, not just for the reader but also the querent – If there’s one thing that’s important to Tarot it’s the images and what they represent.  Now, being that I’m creating a deck here from cards that have been massed produced without the intention of holding any symbolism other than for mundane play not all the cards excel at presenting the ideas found in the Tarot…but surprisingly most do, and hit the mark dead on.

When I use normal playing cards as a Tarot stand-in my system of correspondence is this: Wands=Clubs, Pentacles=Diamonds, Cups=Hearts, and Swords=Spades.  This makes sense to me, but I have seen other correspondences around and in books, but this works well and with the Star Wars deck it works to near perfection.  As long as you understand the correspondences you have assigned to the deck prior to readings you’ll be fine, I’m not one to get to caught up with how things “should be”, my main goal is that things work.

Minor Arcana

Here’s an example of some of the cards

shot 0016 of Cups/Hearts

7 of Cups/Hearts

9 of Swords/Spades

Ace of Swords/Spades

shot 004King of Wands/Clubs

Ace of Wands/Clubs

10 of Pentacles/Diamonds

Queen of Pentacles/Diamonds

Highlights from the Minor Arcana:

The Six of Cups: Generally this is a card showing Hopes rejuvenated, recreated, or returning.  Leia being saved here by Luke is representative of that hope.  This is the first meeting of the two siblings and the card details well the turning point in the first film and in the Saga – A new beginning.

The Seven of Cups: This card has to do with wishful thinking and/or illusions that come from within and effect our lives.  Obi-wan and Anakin are meeting for the first time in the card image and it’s fairly easy to embed the traditional meaning onto this card.  Both Anakin and Obi-Wan can be seen here as harboring thoughts and feelings about the other that are illusory…both immediately as in the scene presented and down the road as their relationship evolves.

Nine of Wands:  I won’t get into this card to much.  Resolve – plain and simple

Ace of Wands:  Vadar here with the super statement that had fans quaking.  Motivation and actions of Determination are what this card is about.  Both themes are readily seen here.  Vadars motivation is apparent, and he is Determined to push his will onto the Galaxy and onto his son.

King of Swords:  Force of Will.  It’s important to know that Swords as a suit represents mental aspects of the self.  Here Palpatine in full Sith transformation mode represents the complete ruler of his will, no longer hiding, no longer a shadow of the man he was…he is fully truthful to himself and others and therefore an honest being.  Good or bad do not factor in here…the King of Swords is beyond such things.

Ace of Swords: Luke in Episode 1, about to work his magic.  Swords, again is about mentality.  The Ace of any suit holds the purified intention and meaning of the whole suit.  This card is about the Clarity of Intent.  To me the Ace also signifies intellectual clarity…and Luke, recognizing the power of the Force, here for the first time, is shown clearly understanding the Force as real and intellectually accepting the peace and calm that comes from that knowledge.

The Ten of Pentacles:  This card is about wise investment, having the insight to look to the future and understand the need for prudent management of the present leading to beneficial consequences.  Here Luke confronts Vadar in Episode 6 with all the wisdom he has been granted by his teachers…easy to see the meaning here.

Queen of Pentacles:  For me the Queen of Pents is about earthly intuition.  This intuition relates to money, physical life, and material based wisdom.  Amidala is a ruler and knows the burden of understanding, body and soul, the needs of her kingdom and people.  She must make intuitive choices that come from within based on her compassion for her planet – choices that are made quickly.

Conclusion:

This deck is used and quite frequently.  On thing with this deck is that it has no Knights being that playing card decks don’t have Knights.  Not a big deal in my opinion, but others may have a problem with this.  The power of decks like these that hold common social imagery readily recognizable by most in our modern culture is that the querent brings to the table her/his own ideas of the scenes and characters displayed.  Not only are my interpretations in play, but also the person getting the reading.  I enjoy this aspect of reading, it’s a two way street and a conversation instead of merely me as the reader interpreting cards.

If you would like a reading with these cards give me a buzz at  risinginsight at gmail.com

Star Wars Tarot: episode 1

What is Tarot supposed to accomplish?

It should function as a guidepost and accomplish the task of allowing for personal reflection.  Tarot is not, to me, a magical oracle that casts a future set in stone.  Tarot is only a symbolized representation of life’s common challenges, a tool or a lens by which we can better understand the choices available to us within the framework of  what Western culture presents as common experience.

So I believe it’s important to use common themes when working with the Tarot to explore these challenges, themes that can be recognized, mythologies that are shared, and images or memes that exist throughout modern human experience.  Don’t get me wrong I think there are many great decks out there…but what good is a deck that uses symbology that only I understand or draws on myths that only I think are important.  If I’m doing a reading for a client wouldn’t I want that client to be able to tap into his/her own understandings and experience?  What better way to do that than by using images, stories, and personae that we have a shared experience of.

About a year ago I crafted a Star Wars themed Tarot deck.   Now many Tarot users would probably scoff at this, but I’d like to think that more serious Tarot aficionados and the more mystically/magic(K)ally inclined in the community would completely understand its creation and use. After all Star Wars is merely a mythology that is current, no different in my mind from classic mythology or the tales of gods and heroes that our ancestors revered and told, it’s only difference lies in that it is being manufactured as we speak. Anyone who was born during the 1970’s and who lived through the original trilogy release experienced the power of Lucas’ mystical/mythical/magical retelling of the Hero’s Journey, and doesn’t need to be convinced of its effect.  And yes it’s fun and odd and a bit strange…who says Tarot has to be so damn serious all the time!

Being as there is no manufactured Star Wars deck out there I had to be creative and thought I’d share a bit about mine and why I chose the cards I did…and perhaps it may help other Tarot creators and users out there to get their own Star Wars deck started.

I used playing cards to build the deck:  The first pack was used to create the Pip or Minor Arcana cards.  For the Trumps or Major Arcana I used a combination of the Heroes deck and the Villains deck.  The first deck is called “Famous Quotes”, I used this for the Pips because each card has a different scene and a unique quote.  Most of them work very well within the established meanings found in Tarot, and I have found them to be insightful.

3 decks = 1 Tarot
3 decks = 1 Tarot

I started with those three decks of normal playing cards – using the entire Quotes deck but cutting out a majority of the Heroes and Villains cards until I felt comfortable with my Major Arcana choices.  It’s important to note that the Minor Arcana cards have white borders while the Major Arcana have black.

Fool - Hierophant
Fool – Hierophant

Major Arcana:

Fool = Jar Jar (I’ve also used Wicket in this position)

Magician = Lando

High Priest/ess = Qui-Gon Jinn

Queen = Leia

King = Han

Hierophant = Yoda

Lovers = Padme Amidala

Chariot = Biker Scout

Hermit-Temperance
Hermit-Temperance

Strength = C3PO

Hermit = Obi-Wan (Episode 4)

Wheel = R2D2

Justice = Luke (Episode 6)

Hangman = Anakin (Episode 3)

Death = Darth Vader

Temperance = Bail Organa

Devil = Darth Maul

Tower = Boba Fett (Episode 6)

Tower-The World
Tower-The World

Star = Mon Mothma (Episode 4)

Moon = Stormtrooper

Sun = Boss Nass (holds a glowing orb above head)

Judgement – Grand Moff Tarkin

World = Shmi Skywalker

Highlights of the Major Arcana:

The fool – Jar Jar acts without thinking but his impetuousness eventually leads him into roles of power where his experience and intellect have allowed him a good life.

The Magician Lando is an expert at many things – gambling, politics, economics, business, he’s a ladies man, a fighter, a thinker, stately and thoughtful – He commands the elements of the Tarot well.

Strength – C3PO is my favorite Star Wars Character.  Like the traditional meaning of Strength in the Tarot C3PO’s power is not in brute force but in mediation, smarts, and will.  He tackles his goals in odd ways and always remains to address the next challenge.

The Hangman – Anakin Skywalker is the man in the middle.  The Hangman in the Tarot is a representation of being drawn in opposite directions, sitting between heaven and earth, and points to a time of indecision and possibly misdirection.  The Hangman isn’t sure which way to go and cautions the seeker to sit it out and think rationally about choices.  Anakin is a good representation, especially during the time depicted in the card image, of being at precipice or a time when sitting back and rethinking ones options is important.

Temperance – Bail Organa is sensible.  He is not heavy handed, in fact his presence in the Star Wars mythos and films is hardly felt, yet his role is paramount to the survival of the Jedi and the Republic.

The Tower – Bob Fett symbolizes the Tower well; a turning of events that drastically force the rebellion and the heroes to rethink their goals.

The Moon – Stormtroopers were always a mystery to me when I was younger.  I wasn’t sure if they were men or if they were robots.  The Moon in the Tarot is about illusion and about seeing things differently, somehow Stormtroopers still embody that odd something.

Judgment – Moff Tarkin is the ultimate outgrowth of judgment.  It’s important to remember that Judgement is not Justice.  Judgement is only the utilization of the wisdom gained by the fools journey up until this point.  that journey may be different depending on the goals of the individual.  Tarkin is merely able to make concise judgements based on his experience…right or wrong judgements may be different all together.

The World – Shmi Skywalker is perhaps the progenitor of the tales that take place in the Star Wars films.  It’s from her that everything blossoms.  The World in the Tarot terms is the full awareness of life and all its wonder by the Fool at the end of his journey, but the World is as also the beginning and a reminder that the cycle never ends.

Episode 2 will discuss the Pip cards and a bit about how they relate to the traditional Tarot.

Tarot decks: preferred and home crafted

These are the decks I use most often…there are others I want but that’s a different post.

The Fradella Adventure deck.  This deck uses images of superheroes and villains to portray the scenes typically found in more traditional (and boring)  Rider-Waite decks.  No it’s not filled with pictures of Wizards and lantern wielding Hermits, but it’s images are wondrously animated.  Also, the fiction Ezine put out by the iHero team responsible for creating this deck tells the stories of the Heroes and Villains found upon the 78 cards.  Here’s the Heirophant from the deck, which depicts The Swan:

click to see more

The other deck I like is the Lord of the Rings Tarot by Peter Pracownik & Terry Donaldson.  This deck is great and probably my favorite to work with.  Its symbolism is right on the money.  I like decks that have a story behind them and that don’t just portray static scenes.  This deck takes the  hokus-pokus out of tarot, much like the Fradella deck, but does so in a way the bridges both the modern mind and  the mythic one.

click to see more

The last one I’ve been using more recently is a self created Star Wars themed deck.  I fused three different regular card playing decks together to create it.  I scoured the internet for a Star Wars tarot specific deck, and could only find a few cards that represented the Major Arcana.  Some were good, and some were not.  In the end I used regular sets of playing cards, but with a Star Wars theme.

Firstly I’m using: Diamonds=Pentacles, Hearts=Cups, Clubs=Wands, Spades=Wands.  The numbers are the same and the only difference is that I left out Knights as is common in playing cards.  I’m not going to go into detail here as to why I use Spades for Wands or any of the other specifics – there are plenty of resources for this, and in the end I went with how I felt about it. Here’s a sample image from the finished deck:

The light bordered cards are the Minor Arcana cards – The black bordered cards are the Majors.  This is only a sample, the whole deck is done and has been used quite often.   Most of the Minor Arcana scenes are in line with Rider-Waite meanings, and I have to admit I was quite shocked at just how close they truly are.

If you’re interested here are the decks I used to construct the Star Wars Tarot.

Minor Arcana = Star Wars Famous Quotes Playing Card Deck

Major Arcana = Star Wars Heroes and Villains Playing Cards  –

All decks were bought at a dollar store, separate, and I probably spent less than $5 on all of them.  As you can see I sleeved them.  The reason is two fold; I want this deck to last and the sets have different card backings making it difficult to get an honest reading.  I thought about inking the backs but these sets are not laminated and I felt the ink would go right through.  I would love to get rid of the sleeves, so if anyone as any ideas please share.

Here’s a list of the Majors, which some may disagree with:

Fool = Wicket

Magician = Lando

High Priest/ess = Qui-Gon Jinn

Queen = Leia

King = Han

Homemade Force

Hierophant = Yoda

Lovers = Padme Amidala

Chariot = Biker Scout

Strength = C3PO

Hermit = Obi-Wan (Episode 4)

Wheel = R2D2

Justice = Luke (Episode 6)

Hangman = Anakin (Episode 3)

Death = Darth Vader

Temperance = Bail Organa

Devil = Darth Maul

Tower = Boba Fett (Episode 6)

Star = Mon Mothma (Episode 4)

Moon = Stormtrooper

Sun = Boss Nass (holds a glowing orb above head)

Judgement – Grand Moff Tarkin

World = Shmi Skywalker