Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tarot and Dragons: Celtic Dragon Tarot by Conway and Hunt (1 of 2)

Celtic Dragon Tarot
Before purchasing a Tarot deck, I usually review two cards from the deck to get a feel of it.  They are The Fool (0) of the Major Arcana and the Ten of Swords of the Minor Arcana.  For me, these two cards are filled with complex meanings that will reveal the author’s intent for their deck.  Will the author rely on the traditional Rider-Waite (R-W) meanings for the Tarot or will they add their own meanings?  How does the author approach the Fool’s Journey as well as using the Tarot in daily life?

In the Tarot, The Fool is the seeker starting out on his journey.  Heedless of the dangers before him, the Fool is confident in his abilities to overcome obstacles.  What adventures will he have and who will he meet?  To me, this card presents the possibilities of life.

The Fool (0), in “The Celtic Dragon Tarot” by D.J. Conway and Lisa Hunt, is an apprentice wizard, who has arrived at a crossroads within a magickal forest.  This Fool has already undertaken his journey, and now has to decide which path to take.  Three small dragons entice him to go one way.  Meanwhile, several animals and dragons watch in the background.  

D.J. Conway writes, “The Fool is the Dreamer, the novice who is beginning on the path of a new cycle of life.”  She continues, “This person is one who stands at a crossroads in his spiritual growth.”  According to the author, during his journey, the Fool will meet and learn from various dragons.  I interpret the authors’ intention that this deck would be used mainly for the Fool’s Journey.  

Examining this card further, several things stand out for me.  Dressed the white of the Seeker, the Fool is armed with his wizard staff and scroll.  Unlike the Fool of the R-W Tarot, this Fool is prepared and ready for what he encounters.  He does not seem to be a novice to me, but rather someone who is undergoing a new stage in his journey.

In front of him are three small dragons in the primary colors of blue, red, and yellow.  These dragons indicate both the purity of the quest and the future of making many choices.  As the Fool continues on his quest, these primary colors will mix into purple, orange, and green to reflect his continual learning.

At his feet is a forked path.  The Fool cannot go back since the way is blocked by trees and dragons.  The owl and raven (Yin and Yang, the Union of Opposites) in the background reflect his choices.  Conway writes, “If the Fool allows the critical conscious mind to regain control, he will miss the correct path and wander off into the desert of materialism.”  (This indicates to me that the authors intend for the deck to be used for a spiritual journey rather than for everyday matters.)

My feeling about The Fool (0) in this deck is different from what the authors indicate.  I see crossroads as choices to be made, except there is no correct path, only differing experiences.  The Fool has to make a choice on the direction of his journey.  The little dragons enticing him reminds me of the little dog in the traditional R-W version, who tries to get the Fool’s attention to stop him from stepping off a cliff.  The difference between the two is that the Fool of “The Celtic Dragon Tarot” is ready to be guided.  He is ready and able to continue on his journey through the forest, taking with his scrolls and staff.

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