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June 19th, 2005
02:35 am
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Survival ... Tarot?
I was just kickin' around the living room - minus perhaps the kickin' - taking a break from admiring our three new guppies, and caught sight of two books stacked on top of each other suggestively.

On a recent expedition to Borders, I picked up "The Encyclopedia of Survival Techniques," because I figure it looks useful, and hey, someday (after the increasingly inevitable nuclear winter) I may urgently need to figure out how to make an igloo. Lying on top of it was "The Merlin Tarot Handbook," which I had been consulting as a reference for a story I'm planning, and must have put down absentmindedly in the living room.

The juxtaposition -- and especially the relative position of the books; so that I briefly did actually read the combined title as "The Encyclopedia of Survival Tarot" -- kicked my brain into a gear I haven't really been able to get it out of; which is why I'm making this post.

Namely, What would a "survival tarot" look like? I mean, heck, you can wrap pretty much any arbitrary theme into a Tarot deck already ...

I noodled briefly over this, both alone and with kadyg, and figured the four suits would be food [earth/pentacles], shelter [air/swords], fire [fire/wands], and water [the aforementioned igloo ... uhh, I mean, cups]. The necessities. I toyed with the idea of having one of the suits be protection, but if you're dropped in the middle of nowhere, chances are very good that comes fifth, so it probably can get folded into the major arcana, or perhaps the court cards.

Some of the major arcana lend themselves to quick parallels. Such as Tower -> forest fire. Devil -> (insert local large predator here, or perhaps hostile humans). Kady suggested food poisoning would be Death, but that seems a little off to me, and I counter-suggested the Hanged Man, which in retrospect also seems as badly off.

And, of course, the Wheel of Fortune -> "Edible" Mushrooms. ;-)

Any other card suggestions?

Current Mood: peacefulweekendy

(7 comments | Leave a comment)

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Date:June 19th, 2005 10:05 am (UTC)
Well, nothing needs to change about the Hermit. And if the Empress is a symbol of fertility... she's definitely becoming a Rabbit. Or something.

I started thinking up a "Geek Tarot" at one point. I only got as far as "The Tower" becomes "The Blue Screen Of Death" before giving up in a fit of giggles.
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Date:June 19th, 2005 10:54 am (UTC)

Survival Tarot

Hmmmm.... Which card would represent surviving by becoming someone's bitch?

Just wondering.

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Date:June 21st, 2005 06:46 pm (UTC)

Re: Survival Tarot

The three of swords (inverted) is probably the 'being somebody's bitch' card. Three of shelter in the survival tarot would make sense.
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Date:June 19th, 2005 02:01 pm (UTC)
oh my. I love this.

the fool: a camper walking off with lots of things wrong, like a badly fitting pack and the wrong map...

giardia has to be in there somewhere.
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Date:June 20th, 2005 12:31 am (UTC)
I was thinking the Fool to be a casual hiker, who hasn't thought about survival at all, and is doing everything wrong... so yah, same concept, I think. :)

Hmm... for the Moon, you have a tent at night, with wild animals prowling around outside; safe in the tent, dangerous outside. The World is a hiker standing on a high hillside or mountaintop, looking back and down at all the terrain he's survived. The Magician is a hiker laying out all of his supplies, carefully inventoried, making sure that he has everything necessary; the High Priestess is a hiker in the forest, deciding which way to go based on natural clues, like the direction of a stream.

This has potential... ;)
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Date:June 21st, 2005 06:50 pm (UTC)
The fool should probably be a neophyte, someone who is inexperienced or unwise rather than someone who is directly foolish - no bag, rather than a poor one.
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Date:June 19th, 2005 04:56 pm (UTC)
Temperance = Rationing.
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