This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I need better back-up than C3PO and Stick Figure Barbie."
11971 members | you are not logged in | 22 January 2021


May 08 2008

Newsarama shows Buffy Tarot's High Priestess. Well, it's not that hard to guess who she is.

wow... awesome
Do we know when it's going to be releashed? Any other details on how they are handleing it?
They said August...
And I am in no way interested in tarot... but I want these cards. I'll buy anything from the Whedonverse, haha. I'm such a dork. And I love it :-)
Willow looks a bit scary there. Not how I'd have pictured this.



I was kinda digging it right up until I read "all 8 seasons." 'cause...the whole not reading the comics thing.

Oh well. Not into tarot, not one to just buy something because it uses characters/themes from a show I like.

Not saying others can't, just saying I don't. (Although I am a bit curious as to how they'll use Giles. And Xander. Please don't make either one The Fool.)
The Fool is one of the more powerful figures in the Major Arcana. The Fool is on a quest to gain experience and wisdom in the world. He is earnest and trusting. He could make anything of his life-- it's full of potential. He is often seen as the protagonist of the deck. He's often shown about to walk off a precipice-- an act of idiocy, or faith? Depends on how you want to see it.

Xander's kind of a clown and also one of the most grounded characters in the show. He grows a lot during the show, and for awhile he's kind of letting life take him where it will after high school. He's also routinely underestimated. He fits the Fool very well.

ETA: Of course, as our main protagonist, they may have decided to make Buffy the Fool. She is our main hero. But I'm guessing it'll be Xander.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2008-05-08 16:09 ]
Xander more or less fits the Shakespearean fool role too (seemingly clownish but actually the most insightful of the group, using his position to "speak truth to power" etc.).
Doesn't Andrew fit 'The Fool' more?
Sunfire, you're right about the Fool as a powerful figure and perhaps the protagonist of the Tarot.

Saje, I'm not sure Xander is right for this; he seems grounded and practical, where the Fool (as shown in the Waite/Smith deck) is high up and precarious. But Buffy isn't right either; she's strength, power, will. Maybe Joss is the Fool. Or we are?
Wow that is really cool. Can't wait til they are released.
Oh I was purely talking about the Shakespearean fool doghouse, I know virtually nothing about the Tarot (except that in general the symbols aren't literal i.e. don't panic if you get death, it doesn't necessarily mean death) so i've no idea who fits that fool best ;).
A Fool For Love would fit it best. Me subtle as always.
He is earnest and trusting...He's often shown about to walk off a precipice-- an act of idiocy, or faith?
That sounds Xander-like. He's sometimes the most perceptive and sometimes the most gullible.

I don't get the "scary" from this picture of Willow.
Doesn't Andrew fit 'The Fool' more?

If it's a literal interpretation, yeah. I would greatly enjoy a card with Andrew in a jester outfit. He's kinda meta for that though.
My GF was saying that she looked scared. I personally think that she looks startled, like the artist caught her doing something. Plus the added blue robe, and the black pilar and white pilar are all colors that generally associated with this card.

Plus it's perfect to have Willow here:
"The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know in order to make a decision about a problem or a job, an investment, love, career, family, etc.

And, finally, there is, behind her throne, the curtain that leads to the deepest, most esoteric and secret knowledge; the pomegranates that decorate it remind us of Persephone, who was taken down into the land of the dead, ate its fruit, and became the only goddess allowed to travel to and from that strange land. Which indicates that when you get the High Priestess, you're going to be learning some very odd things."

Spike at the Devil, I think, is beautiful again. The Devil represents wild behavior and unbridled desires and the imagery of chains. The fact the Spike is holding the Chains that Buffy has willing AND freely wearing is a very nice touch and very well done nod to Season 6.

Angel as Temperance: Again, very well done and they stick well with the images that should be shown on the card. The fact that Angel/Angelus is an Angel (haha), two cups and the water imagery and almost always on this card. Using Angel/Angelus is again a very good choice. The character(s) are everything that temperance is supposed to be given that they stradle the lines of good and evil. Angel makes a daily decision to do whats right, no matter the cost.

So far, I'm VERY excited in seeing this deck come out because they aren't, like some previously said, just sticking the characters in anywhere. This seems VERY well thought out and planned.

[ edited by kbmartinez on 2008-05-08 18:11 ]

[ edited by kbmartinez on 2008-05-08 18:16 ]
I think she's beautiful.

I also like the inclusion of the gimel behind her, which makes my inner occult geek very happy.

(In certain Qabalah/ Western hermetic traditions gimel is the path on the Tree of life that goes straight up the middle to the highest divine knowledge. Gimel-the-path is also the Middle Pillar between Mercy and Severity (and in Western hermetic stuff is associated with the High Priestess card, note the black and white pillars...)

I also note that Willow, while looking calm and serene also has her black eyes, yet is still in balance. So physically, and if you want to play with the idea, she is the Middle Pillar, the balance, which Willow always has to have with magic now and is simultaneously the conduit and giver of supernatural knowledge.


Kbmartinez, this also seems like a nifty companion to the Angel/Angelus Temperance card, too...I also am happy that there seems to be a lot of thought going into these.
I can't wait for August.

[ edited by JessicaMelusine on 2008-05-08 18:30 ]
JessicaMelusine, THANK YOU for explaining the symbol because I was wondering myself. I agree that it's a really nice companion of the temperance card.

Though am I the only one who doesn't care for the Magician card? I think that Buffy is a poor choice for this one, though I'm not sure where to put her. I personally think that Giles would have made a MUCH better Magician.
Kbmartinez, I hear you. I always see Willow as the Magus myself and Tara as the High Priestess, but I'm kind of biased. (I actually see Buffy as Strength, myself.) However, while it is not my personal choice, I really like the wand/stake imagery and I'm willing to work with it because I do think having a female Magus is excellent.

(I have been trying to think of where Giles might be. I am thinking that he might be Emperor to Joyce's Empress or possibly the Hierophant, since that is more the typically gendered male hierarchical power (from the Council)) Hopefully Tarot geekery is okay for the board--I'm happy to take it elsewhere if it's not okay, too.) Thanks for the great insights too!

[ edited by JessicaMelusine on 2008-05-08 18:28 ]
The only things I know about Tarot come from Persona 3 (which is a PS2 game with a Tarot based magic system), but from what little I do know, this looks kind of cool. Doubt I'll buy one, though.
JessicaMelusine, I agree on the stake.wand imagery.

I'm not sure of Giles in the Hierophant:
The Hierophant's only problem is that, like the Bull, he can be stubborn and hidebound. At his best, he is wise and soothing, at his worst, he is an unbending raditionalist.

As we all know, Giles is FAR from being a tradionalist. He changes that at the begining of the series and grows further and further from traditions. Though in that vein, he falls back on his traditions at the end of the series which is WHY he's so surpried by Buffy's plan and doesn't think of it himself.

Okay so now I'm arugeing with myself.

As for Buffy, I think I'd MUCH rather see her as The Hanged Man. I think it is a MUCH better fit for her.

With Neptune (or Water) as its planet, the Hanged Man is perhaps the most fascinating card in the deck. It reflects the story of Odin who offered himself as a sacrifice in order to gain knowledge. Hanging from the world tree, wounded by a spear, given no bread or mead, he hung for nine days. On the last day, he saw on the ground runes that had fallen from the tree, understood their meaning, and, coming down, scooped them up for his own. All knowledge is to be found in these runes.

The Hanged Man, in similar fashion, is a card about suspension, not life or death. This is a time of trial or meditation, selflessness, sacrifice, prophecy. The Querent stops resisting; instead he makes himself vulnerable, sacrifices his position or opposition, and in doing so, gains illumination. Answers that eluded him come clear, solutions to problems are found. He sees the world differently, has almost mystical insights. This card can also imply a time when everything just stands still, a time of rest and reflection before moving on. Things will continue on in a moment, but for now, they float, timeless.

I'd be interested to see if they choose the 'ruins' to actually be the sycthe.

[ edited by kbmartinez on 2008-05-08 18:41 ]
Kbmartinez--oooh, I like the Hanged Man idea (although it does open up another potential space for our one-eyed truth seer...!)

The Hierophant is a tough one--there's parts of Giles that do seem to fit a great deal. Now I'm curious as to whether the Tower will be Sunnydale High, the (ex) Watchers Council or the Sunnydale Crater.

(and oh yes--it may not be there, but I would so love it if money-loving Anya is the Queen of Pentacles:))

Damn it, my fingers are itching to read with this....

[ edited by JessicaMelusine on 2008-05-08 18:47 ]
JessicaMelusine I'm not sure about Xander in the Hanged Man role spefically because of:

This is a time of trial or meditation, selflessness, sacrifice, prophecy.

Yes Xander has his selflessnes and sacrifice but Buffy's is much more grander than his will be, due to the fact that if he WANTED to, he could walk away; Buffy cannot. Plus that whole pesky dying twice thing.

The Tower will also be an interesting card and I'm throwing my vote to the highschool.

Strength - someone mentioned Oz as this card and the more I think about it, the more I really like it. He would have also been an interesting choice for temperance.

There really is so many ways for this to go and so far (save for the Magician) like what they're doing.

[ edited by kbmartinez on 2008-05-08 18:53 ]
Ya know.. Cordy as the Hierophant might be a good choice:

The Hierophant card has so many Popish trappings that it is sometimes hard for readers to like him, or interpret him as positive rather than seeing his potential for being unreasonable, hide-bound, literal and stodgy. I like to point out the decks where the Hierophant is the Oracle at Delphi or some other less loaded image.

Or I might be reaching here.

When the Hierophant appears as a person, he's likely an old, favored teacher, therapist, counsellor, advisor, sponsor. That young Priest with progressive ideas, or the old Rabbi who was always so down to Earth and fun, or maybe an uncle who always offered such common sense advise. Unfortunately, he can also represent that nasty teacher the Querent is dealing with, the one who refuses to deviate from the text book, or a sour-faced elder who wants to keep the church old fashioned and in the dark ages.

Standing for the Querent himself, the Hierophant might well warn against being too stubborn, especially in matters of theology or ethics. It can remind the Querent what it means to be a good, and beloved teacher. In this, the Hierophant can be very positive. When things are going very wrong in the world, the Hierophant is the one who wades in, quiets the panic, and offers good, practical advise. He symbolizes a connection to the divine, which answers with a very human voice, never oblique or mysterious. You know how to solve your problem, this card says; it is not easy, not a quick fix, but it is do-able. The solution is there, you've only to bring it down to Earth.

Kbmartinez, these are all great. I am curious as to where Xander will fit in (and it's not perfect, but an interesting idea--I do like The Hanged Buffy idea.)

I tend to prefer Strength as a woman, but Oz could be an excellent choice (were it a Thoth-based deck, I would have had Buffy as the Lust (in Rider Waite, Strength) card and Spike as her, er, mount since in that case, she is subduing and guiding the bestial and animal through the power of love (1)--however, it would probably be way too saucy for the audience.:) (2) Again, this is all me.

Your Hierophant idea is very cool.I am now very curious about Cordelia's place in all this--this has got me thinking so much! My big hope is that Drusilla is the Moon. It would be sad to have a deck without her.

(1)Love as in the sexy, erotic kind of love (more is up to the reader)-I am not trying to get into The Great Spuffy Ship War, just toss out a few ideas.
(2)Or not.

[ edited by JessicaMelusine on 2008-05-08 19:14 ]
I think that that is a beautiful likeness and really shows that love and care being put into this set. I have no use for Tarot cards, but I might not be able to resist getting these just because they are so very pretty!
I do like the idea of Buffy as "Strength" - but I also see her as "Justice" - which in some decks carries the idea of "Adjustment" as well.

In most decks, Justice carries the traditional scales, but she also almost invariably carries a sword.

Justice and adjustment - and adjudicating with some fancy weaponry - seem like important elements of the Buffy Hero Journey to me.
My big hope is that Drusilla is the Moon.

Good call. And in my fondness for subversion, I would like to see Anya as Justice. I see "justice" used so very often by people who really mean vengeance or punishment, and I really like that Anya first had that taken away from her and then later found she was incapable of doing it anymore when she got it back. She could represent both the desire to avenge and the desire not to, now.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2008-05-08 19:51 ]
I am loving reading this discussion. Kudos to all of you.
Ooooh I LOVE the Dru idea -- it's TOO perfect!
In another sense - the idea of the tarot deck as both a personal, individual journey, and as representing the multiple aspects of and inside each human - I think "Justice" is meant to mean "discrimination." (Discrimination in its meaning of "distinguishing between" or exercising judgment or discernment; to make distinctions between - not the icky kind of presumption on the basis of race or gender or other category.)

The sword in this sense represents the fine cutting ability required to make distinctions, and render judgments fairly, rather than the sword of vengeance, which is also for me not so much the true justice.
kbmartinez, Buffy as the Hanged Man is brilliant.
I don't really know much about Tarot--I kind of wigged when I got a reading and the Death card was in the middle. I want to learn, though, and I figure I can do it with my favorite characters!

Loving this thread; you guys are very with the knowledge. So I'm going to pose a question to you: how would Tara be used? Or is this already covered?
What about someone like Whistler...might he figure in somewhere? Or Ethan Rayne?
The sword in this sense represents the fine cutting ability required to make distinctions, and render judgments fairly, rather than the sword of vengeance, which is also for me not so much the true justice.

Right, that's why Anya would be a subversive approach, and the meaning would be more about what is done in the name of justice rather than justice itself.
Thanks, doghouse!

BandofBuggered You may want to check out Aeclectic Tarot for basic meanings. It's a great resource to learn about Tarot and where I get a lot of my references. Don't worry about Death because that just means that things are changing. If it was in referese it would mean stagnation. Tarot is easy if you have a good book to look up meanings in. :)

I would place Tara either as the Empress or Queen of Cups. But since it looks like they are putting the major charactors as Major Arcana, I would place her there. I would also think about placing her and willow as the Lovers, but that is generally a male and female to create a equal feeling (male v. female, ying v. yang, sun v. moon)

[ edited by kbmartinez on 2008-05-08 20:48 ]
They need to do a "creator's" Tarot deck with Joss and all his buddies.

Jane Espenson would have to be the Strength card because she is all-powerful.
I think they are going to be reusing some characters more than once in the Major Arcana, since they have Buffy as the Magician, and we can all think of several cards more fitting for her.

I think Wesley could be the heirophant. Granted, he changes a lot once he moves to Angel, but this is the Buffy tarot, so I would not argue if the characters were represented as they were on Buffy.
Sunfire: "Right, that's why Anya would be a subversive approach, and the meaning would be more about what is done in the name of justice rather than justice itself."

Works for me - but then, your idea of the Sub'versive Buffy Tarot Deck itself totally tickles my fancy. (But then it would.)

In my Totally Sub'versive Buffy Tarot Deck, Angel and Spike would be the Lovers, and would also represent the entire shipping controversy... but then I would be doing a meta deck - a tarot deck about the Buffy'verse fandom itself...

(Oh, and I meant to say earlier, kbmartinez, your Hanged Man Buffy is quite nicely thought out... and BandofBuggered, I've gotten the Death card often and for years, and I'm still here and hearty.)

I think tarot is brilliant, on whatever level it works for you - for me, it's more of a Jungian tool for self-exploration, but there's certainly room for many kinds of uses...

(Oh, and look - alexreager just took a meta-step outside, too... we just can't help ourselves...)
Wonder if death actually meant death originally until all these awkward sods kept not dying afterwards ? ;-)

(reminds me of my granddad who would have a few whiskies at Christmas and get a bit maudlin and swear blind it'd be his last, that he wouldn't see another year through. We'd all hush him and tell him not to be so silly but you know the funny thing ? One year he was right ;)
Ta, kb and QG for the link and the reassurance. :) And yes, I think that subversive Buffy Tarot is fantastic. For that matter, anything that has BtVS and subversive in the same sentence gets my nod.

As for my Death card, I got it last March; then I was in a car accident in July that has definitely changed my's made me grow up quite a bit in the last year, having to do school despite injuries and surgery. Probably a good thing, now that I'm looking at it from an existential perspective.

For meta-BtVS Tarot, I'd wonder what Janie Kleinman would be. Perhaps the Empress? (Just a stake in the dark, as I've only been looking at kb's link for an hour or so.) The site is cool and muy enlightening; I'm so glad I'm done with finals so I can actually read and enjoy!! Danke shayne!

Okay...why do I keep getting images in my head from Canterbury Tales and Waiting for Godot from reading about these cards?

Wonder if death actually meant death originally until all these awkward sods kept not dying afterwards? Silly sods! Reminds me of the Grim in Harry Potter.
Saje, your story about your granddad kind of reminds me of the Buffster's fun forays into the realm of drinks, mirth, and merriment. All it took was a snake demon, some cavemen, and kitten poker to cure her. :)
Bandofbuggered, I always see Tara as The Star (1)because of the combination of maternal, sensual and magical energy (The Book of Thoth talks about The Star as the "inexhaustible possibilities of existence" and I definitely see Tara as the character who is the font of inexhaustible, unconditional love (see Season Six with her and the Scoobies (esp. Dawn and Buffy after Buffy's revelation). I think Tara also has the infinite renewal and resources of love going on she seems in some ways to be as Van Helsing says "one of the lights of the world.". So, I think she'd be a wonderful Star.

This of course, is my interpretation.

As for the Lovers card, in my happiest dreams, they do this like the Cosmic Tribe Tarot and put in a m/f couple, a f/f couple and a m/m couple...I can wish. (2)

(1) I also fit her into the High Priestess too, but I can see either one and probably others.
(2) If it's not done, I vote for Giles' Citroen as The Chariot:)
JM - HAH! My GF and I were talking about Tara as the star last night, how funny!

As for the Chariot, I was thinking of the RV in Season 5.
I don't expect them (for "oblivious" commercial reasons) to release Internet pictures of evrey card,b ut I'd, well, not kill, but maim somebody visibly to see a complete list of character names. For psychological and religiousr easons I won't be buying this but like all of us I have favored characters and want to know wherein they fit.

This thread has been closed for new comments.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.

joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home