Date: 29-AUG-1994 20:53
(Amber Mailing List)
Subj: Court Cards
I have finally seen the Ambre French Tarot deck, and what struck me most
was the lack of correlation between the traditional tarot meanings of the
suits, and the Amberites representing the royal cards in those suits. Having
Fiona as Queen of Pentacles doesn't make sense from a Tarot perspective.
The Artist, or publisher, obviously thought that it made sense on a superficial
level, but just plain didn't know very much about Tarot. Also, the mere presence
of Swayvill and Dworkin in the deck doesn't jibe with Corwin's description
of who was represented.
Here are the associations I would have made, and, in some cases, why.
WANDS/RODS/CLUBS (Fire): (Wands, representing fire, also
[sometimes] connote magical ability. Furthermore, in those decks that even
admit to the existence of people with red hair, they are [often] represented
as members of the Wand suit.)
King Oberon (Placed here for his magical prowess
and for the position of Wands as the
"first" suit, as Fire is the "first" element
represented by a Zodiacal sign (Aries).)
PENTACLES/COINS/DIAMONDS (Earth): (Pentacles are earthy and
fixed, often represented as Coins. THEY DO NOT IMPLY ANYTHING MAGICAL
in Tarot usage, but refer rather to mundane, practical matters, such as money,
and to people who take a more down-to-earth view. It is possible to rearrange
this to make Random the Page - as he would certainly have appeared at the
time that the Trumps were drawn.)
SWORDS/SPADES (Air): Swords, representing Air, do NOT necessarily
refer to anything Martial or Militaristic. Instead, they refer to the workings
of the intellect. Hence Benedict as Knight, rather than King (because he
never had it in mind to *be* King), and Corwin as Page, representing more
than anything else his tendency to be erratic.
CUPS/HEARTS (Water): Cups, representing Water, refer primarily
to matters of the Heart, AND also *usually* refer to people with light colored
hair. So we can see Gerard and Flora in this category, as motivated more
by heart certainly, than by any proficiency in Rocket Science. Also, the
angry way in which Osric and Finndo stormed out of Amber (and later went
down in flames) might qualify them for this suit. Besides, I had to put them
somewhere, since Corwin mentions them being in the original Trump Deck.
These opinions were spun out of the Primal Chaos 3.218 Eons ago.
George: "If we do happen to step on a mine, Sir, what do we do ?" Edmund
BlackAdder: "Normal procedure, Lieutenant, is to jump 200 feet in the air
and scatter oneself over a wide area."
- somewhere in No Man's Land, BA4