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Rock and Roll Tarot

 
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DrPraetor
Knight-Baron


Joined: 02 Apr 2009
Posts: 814

PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:18 am    Post subject: Rock and Roll Tarot Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yes, I'm that bored.

The ranking of the various cards reflects the value judgements of whoever ordered the cards, and I'm sticking to that. So Gladys Knight is II and Aretha III not because I prefer Gladys to Aretha (I don't), but because the author of the tarot ranked the concepts best embodied by Gladys Knight more highly.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rider-Waite_tarot_deck

0 - The Fool -
The Fool is a Prince in the other world, but not in this one; ordinarily, this would be a problem since you couldn't have anyone famous, but if their fame destroyed them I think that's okay. This is the highest card and you want the most successful solo musician ever who also lived in a bizarre dream world. That would be Michael Jackson.

I - The Magician -
Among the rockers who are going to be major arcana, has to be the most intellectual. So, not the GOAT, but the most thoughtful among the top 20. Bob Dylan.

II - The High Priestess -
Spirituality, but also morality and vulnerability. A bit preachy doesn't hurt. Gladys Knight.

III - The Empress -
Femininity as power; many female rockers are powerful, but of course this is Aretha Franklin.

IV - The Emperor -
Needs to be both tremendously successful and conventionally masculine (so Freddie Mercury is not it; Roger Waters is too intellectual). I'm saving Elvis to be one of the Kings for obvious reasons, so we'll go with Bruce Springsteen.

V - The Hierophant -
Represents wisdom, teaching and moral (as opposed to worldly) authority.
Ray Charles.

VI - The Lovers -
Besides the obvious interpretation, represents sacrifice of various kinds so the relationship need not end well.
10 years ago, we would've perhaps settled for Sonny and Cher ( Cher is a legitimate major arcana, but Sonny is not); I'm going with Jay-Z and Beyonce.

VII - The Chariot -
Victorious and aggressive, but also double-edged, mysterious or dangerous.
I'll go with Freddie Mercury.

VIII - Justice -
Is a woman, by the way. Represents the virtue of justice, more than the outcome.
I'll go with Tina Turner.

IX - The Hermit -
Not someone reclusive, but someone who goes into seclusion and returns with wisdom.
Whatever you may think of what he had to say, this fits the persona of John Lennon.

X - The Wheel of Fortune -
Represents sudden reversals, changes in circumstance and so on.
In part for the visual pun, this will be the Rolling Stones.

XI - Strength -
Represents self-control, as much as power. Is a lady.
I was going to go with the lead singer of ABBA (Agnetha Fältskog), but given her relationship with the music industry (and more serious musical accomplishments), I went with Joni Mitchell instead.

XII - The Hanged Man -
More mystical interpretations are of enlightenment through transcending suffering, rather than martyrdom as such; but, it should be someone with a calling.
I'll go with Bob Marley.

XIII - Death -
Generally speaking, it symbolizes transformation or a rejection of the superficial; but, of course, it can also mean death.
I'll go with Kurt Cobain, since he supports both the obvious and subtler interpretations.

XIV - Temperance -
Represents the virtue (of moderation), but also success achieved thereby; is generally depicted as a woman.
Not the virtue most people associate with Rock and Roll, but Dolly Parton apparently doesn't do drugs.

XV - The Devil -
Represents poor decision making based on materialism.
Any number of people would be happy to be on this card nonetheless, but we want a real asshole... http://www.westword.com/music/the-ten-biggest-assholes-in-rock-5691687
Don't know what I want, but I know how to get it works for me, this goes to Johnny Rotten.

XVI - The Tower -
Represents both disaster, and the overthrow of the materialistic worldview. The members of the band chosen for this card are being flung from the tower.
http://q1043.iheart.com/featured/ken-dashow/content/2017-04-19-the-6-most-dysfunctional-classic-rock-bands-of-all-time/
I don't really like Yes (or the Eagles), and Pink Floyd isn't disastrous acid rock.
So it'll either be Fleetwood Mac (who has the dysfunction down) or Jefferson Airplane (since White Rabbit does a good job of reflecting the card, and they're pretty dysfunctional.) I'm sure I'll want one of those for another card.

XVII - The Star -
Is about finding new purpose, which is a naked lady doing inexplicable stuff for some reason.
That leaves you a decent number of choices, I'll go with Cyndi Lauper.

XVIII - The Moon -
Represents imagination and paranoia, somehow divorced from spirituality.
I'll put Trent Reznor on this one.

XIX - The Sun -
Opposite of the Moon, basically; (mystical) insight from conquering fear and uncertainty. Wants to have a child on it.
Sunglasses and all, this would be a young Stevie Wonder.

XX - Judgement -
Is another card about new beginnings not literally about resurrecting the dead. The band does want to be a bit hokey or pseudo-religious, though, so U2 is a good fit.

XXI - The World -
Represents the fulfillment of whatever is desired, and iconographically it has the four evangelists on it.
Not everyone is a fan, but it works a bit too cutely not to put The Beatles on this card.


CardArtistUnits
FoolMichael Jackson>184 million
MagicianBob Dylan>45 million
High PriestessGladys Knight?
EmpressAretha Franklin>24 million
EmperorBruce Springsteen>101 million
HierophantRay Charles?
LoversJay-Z and Beyonce>78 million (B)
ChariotFreddie Mercury>114 million (Queen)
JusticeTina Turner>32 million
StrengthJoni Mitchell?
HermitJohn Lennon?
Wheel of FortuneThe Rolling Stones>97 million
Hanged ManBob Marley>38 million
DeathKurt Cobain>45 million (Nirvana)
TemperanceDolly Parton?
The DevilJohnny Rotten? (Sex Pistols)
The TowerFleetwood Mac>75 million
The StarCyndi Lauper?
The MoonTrent Reznor?
The SunStevie Wonder>34 million
JudgementU2>106 million
The WorldThe Beatles>270 million


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_music_artists
by the way.

Joni Mitchell only has 7 million in certified units - I think someone failed to do the math on Gladys Knight and the Pips...
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Josh_Kablack
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm surprised by the absence of Zepplin of Pink Floyd. I also think that at least one of ( Ozzy, Maiden, Metallica belongs somewhere on that list. )

I"m not so sure about Gladys Knight - because I mentally comparmentalize her music as "soul; instead of "rock"....but that tourist trap in Cleveland disagrees with me.


I"m assuming you left The Doors off since Morrison is the Lizard King.

The Grateful Dead are a surprisingly good fit for Les Barons - but that's a non standard card (major arcana arcana if you will)

I think I want to know if Def Lepard, KISS, The Who, Bowie and Hendrix were intentional omissions?
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Omegonthesane
Duke


Joined: 26 Sep 2009
Posts: 1921

PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

We say omissions, he's explicitly saving Elvis for one of the four Kings instead of making him Emperor.
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Judging__Eagle
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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Location: Lake Ontario is in my backyard; Canada

PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Any reason why Lennon shows up twice ? First as the Hermit; then among The Beatles in The World? (the Tetragrammaton/Evangelists isn't on every Tarot decks "World" card, but I hardly doubt a set of playing cards whose beginings are in Dark Ages Europe wouldn't include Judeo-Christian iconography).

Who are you leaning towards being among the categories of pentacles, cups, swords & wands?

Would Johnny Cash fit in as a replacement Hermit, or is he among the minor arcana? It only comes to mind, as I recall him telling a story from when he was on drugs/alcohol about wanting to commit suicide in Nickajack Cave. Except that instead of killing himself, he had a spiritual experience that changed his mind and resorted to praying that his lost wanderings in the cave would somehow be guided towards reaching exit.

Upon rethinking the story; it's really more of a "Hanged Man"/Well of Mímir/Odin type story of seeking/experiencing death for spiritual understanding/awakening.
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SeekritLurker
NPC


Joined: 02 Feb 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I think the Tower is the weakest of your choices - I would probably look towards a rejection of materialism AND an early death. I'm thinking Janis Joplin fits the bill too well to not be on the list.

As to Judgement - Journey has become its own greatest cover band, so I feel like it would also be a strong contender.
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DrPraetor
Knight-Baron


Joined: 02 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Josh_Kablack wrote:
I'm surprised by the absence of Zepplin of Pink Floyd. I also think that at least one of ( Ozzy, Maiden, Metallica belongs somewhere on that last.


I agree, and would add AC/DC, Foreigner, Van Halen, Pearl Jam... but there are only 23 Major Arcana, of which at most 4 really want to be bands (Judgement, the Tower, the World, and the Wheel of Fortune.)
I'm going to put bands on all of the Aces as well.
So for the Major Arcana especially, I'm tending earlier; more influential historically, even if they might be considered Rythym and Blues or Soul, rather than Rock and Roll.

Quote:

I"m assuming you left The Doors off since Morrison is the Lizard King.


That's a good suggestion (which King should he be?), but that wasn't my plan - although The Doors are legitimate Major Arcana, I just didn't assign the Doors to a card as I went past.

Quote:

The Grateful Dead are a surprisingly good fit for Les Barons - but that's a non standard card (major arcana arcana if you will)

I think I want to know if Def Lepard, KISS, The Who, Bowie and Hendrix were intentional omissions?


I was thinking Grateful Dead as Ace of Cups.
Hendrix (Knight of Swords) and The Who (one of the aces) were intentional; Bowie is tough to place.
But...

SeekritLurker wrote:
I think the Tower is the weakest of your choices - I would probably look towards a rejection of materialism AND an early death. I'm thinking Janis Joplin fits the bill too well to not be on the list.

As to Judgement - Journey has become its own greatest cover band, so I feel like it would also be a strong contender.

I wanted Janis Joplin to be Queen of Swords.

I agree that my choice for the Tower isn't great, but it should be a band not an individual.
I like Journey, but I'm reluctant to put "supergroups" on the major arcana. Except for Chickenfoot, of course.
The Grateful Dead might be better for Judgement than U2?

Judging__Eagle wrote:
Any reason why Lennon shows up twice ?

All of the Beatles will show up twice, even Ringo.

Quote:
Who are you leaning towards being among the categories of pentacles, cups, swords & wands?

I'm shuffling things around.
Putting someone in pentacles is a bit of an insult, because it implies crass commercialism. So Elvis is King of Pentacles, and Madonna is Queen, but I'm not sure who else to put in that suit.
More intellectual types want to be Wands. REM, pretty much all progressive rock and fusion.
Swords are both death and power; so, if someone really belts it out, is often bandied about as best ever, and if someone dies young, those are good for Swords. Chuck Berry, Jimmi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, not sure who would be page of swords.
Cups are warm, faithful, compassionate first, but can be intellectual, powerful and successful as well. So Paul Simon is Cups and not Wands, Meatloaf is Cups and not Swords, Journey is Cups and not Pentacles.

Quote:
Would Johnny Cash fit in as a replacement Hermit, or is he among the minor arcana? It only comes to mind, as I recall him telling a story from when he was on drugs/alcohol about wanting to commit suicide in Nickajack Cave. Except that instead of killing himself, he had a spiritual experience that changed his mind and resorted to praying that his lost wanderings in the cave would somehow be guided towards reaching exit.

Upon rethinking the story; it's really more of a "Hanged Man"/Well of Mímir/Odin type story of seeking/experiencing death for spiritual understanding/awakening.

Bob Marley as Hermit?, Johnny Cash as the Hanged Man, and John Lennon as the two of wands or something???
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Judging__Eagle
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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Location: Lake Ontario is in my backyard; Canada

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Bob Marley as Hermit sound like a great fit. John Lennon using two wands (symbolizing their career during, and after, the Beatles) seems like a great fit.

Jimmy Paige in as the Page of pentacles sounds like a good fit as well. First his name fits the minor arcana's name, and I recall a story from the biography of Led Zepplin that he was trying to raise capital early in Led Zepplins career.

Supposedly he cannibalized working speaker case's speaker units (from a low value case) and transferred them to a speaker case whose speaker units had since blown (a higher value speaker case). The resulting frankenspeaker he pawned for more cash (than the speaker units should have netted him if he hadn't done the switch) that the band needed. I can't recall what the thalers were for, but I think it was for their first US tour.
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Mask_De_H
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It kind of breaks the band rule, but why not The Day the Music Died for Tower? A lot of fleeting, materially popular musicians dying horribly in a cataclysmic plane crash?

If not that, Joplin or Kurt (killing self over tension between being a counterculture icon and essentially a pop musician). Actually, I'd make Kurt Tower and put Joplin as Death.

Also Marley should be Hermit. You could make a Yoko Ono joke out of Lennon being Hanged Man, because there is a reading of deviance and iconoclasm there, and Lennon sold himself big on that.
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Ancient History
Invincible Overlord


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I feel Jimi Hendrix should be The Magician, but that might just be because I loathe Dylan.
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Eikre
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Trent Reznor really really obviously needs to be on the Nine of Swords. On this I will brook no argument.

You can consider replacing him with Pink Floyd on [The Dark Side of] The Moon.

Taylor Swift's image of naivete is unarguably greater than whatever aspect of Temperance Dolly Parton has.

Johnny Cash deserves High Arcana, as a personal inclination. Your choices for Strength and The Star, meanwhile, are sort of weak; maybe think of how Dolly fits Strength and if you're inclined towards Madonna or Lady Gaga (but I repeat myself) for The Star.

If you want each of the Beetles to have their own card, assigning each a different face and different suit from the Minor Arcana would keep it symmetrical.

The Day the Music Died for The Tower is an excellent suggestion, I think. As a contrast, you could assign The World to Woodstock.

I don't think you should deliberately try to weight your roster towards earlier, because popular music has a generational tendency to open up new genres and movements, and the artists at the crest of each such phenomenon are likely more influential, in the end, than whoever R&B Singer #8 would end up being. The distribution of artists over the decades ought to come out relatively consistent.

Bands (or even albums) can likely be made to work for the various number cards. Eddy the Head, for example, could be the character stand-in for Iron Maiden, were they to place for something. Punk, metal, and political music give you a lot of options for Swords. Gangsta rap should make an appearance on Coins.
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Josh_Kablack
Prince


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So lemme talk about, Johhny Cash:

Ring of FIRE, the SUN label and his initial band being named after a Southern State point pretty heavily to a placement in Wands.

Since he has this whole Frenemies mythology going on with Elvis, and Elvis is like the King of Coins. it's really tempting to peg him as King of Wands. Cash is the Man in Black, so a card with the potential meaning of "Dark man, friendly, countryman. Generally married, honest and conscientious" seems to fit.

But with your take on Wands, I guess I should argue that his late-life American Recordings where he covers and curates songs from decades of American Popular music qualifies him as intellectual enough to be Wands instead of Cups. That has a lot to do with the King of Cups being a worse divinatory match for him, but he does sing the line,"I wear this crown of thorns Upon my liar's chair, Full of broken thoughts I cannot repair" in the most well-known song from those albums. And that's actually line about being a king of thinking.

But on more upbeat note, fans of Johnny Cash and rock history should check out this This Mashup Video and the Other Way Around
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