|Left: Aquatic Tarot © Andreas Schröter, |
Right: Lord of the Rings Tarot, Terry Donaldson, © U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Take for example the Fool images on the left; one is the well-known Rider Waite Smith (RWS) based image, the other is from the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) Tarot.
The Fool is one of my favourite cards in the Tarot; it's an image of enthusiasm, optimism, light-heartedness and promising new beginnings.
But my recent acquisition of the LOTR Tarot gave me a bit of a shock, when I saw the creepy shadow creature Gollum representing the Fool. The text on the card says: "Gollum, by a pool of water, considers the many possibilities open to him."
This isn't the regular Fool I'm accustomed to, who's just started on his journey, by daylight, open-minded and carefree. Instead, the LOTR image depicts a gloomy figure at night pondering his options with a dead fish in his hands. The mood is sombre, foreboding with a hint of fear and loathing.
The companion book offers an interesting explanation, why Gollum was chosen for this image (personally, I would have chosen Frodo, who embarks light-heartedly with his friends on a journey to destroy the ring): "Gollum belongs...on neither 'side', neither that of good nor that of bad...Gollum has his own agenda, his own individual sense of right and wrong..."
Whilst I do understand somewhat the reasoning behind the choice of Gollum as the Fool, it is also apparent how much his image can change the meaning of the Fool in a reading:
RWS Fool: new beginnings, optimism, carefree, happy-go-lucky, open-mindedness, adventure, journey
LOTR Fool: lack of movement and direction, dark and gloomy thoughts, fears, no prospects, bleak outlook
What do you make of the LOTR Fool? How would this image change your reading?
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