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Community Spotlight: the 'Azerothian Tarot' Project - Major Arcana Based on World of Warcraft Deities
09/11/2021 à 04:18
Our Community Spotlight for today falls on the 'Azerothian Tarot' Project. Artist Fredus-Rex has created a tarot trump deck based on Azerothian deities. The project, in their own words, is "a take on the tarot as if made by and within the universe of Wow but with a functional deck that has elements of our Tarot." These gorgeously stylized Major Arcana cards, evocative of stained glass windows in a solemn hall, exemplify the gravitas that such a deck would hold in a "real world" Azeroth.
Here is the
by Fredus-Rex including their take (with very minor editing for grammar and readability) on each card as it relates to our Earth Tarot.
The Keeper of Souls
Earth Tarot Equivalent: The Magician
In Tarot the Magician symbolizes initiative, conscious awareness, persuasion, knowledge, focus and ability to manifest your desires and intentions. It is also the bridge, the card that connect with the divine or metaphysical planes allowing the passage to the other side... and talking about 'da other side'... Bwonsamdi is the perfect magician, always making deals with mortals and establishing a connection between them and the divinity. He embodies the values of the card like no other deity, and so 'the Keeper of Souls' becomes our 1st card of the Major Arcana.
The Wisp Mother
Earth Tarot Equivalent: The High Priestess
The second card of the Major Arcana, the High Priestess, symbolizes intuition, healing, the power of the feminine, the potential of silence and unconsciousness, and It is fundamentally linked to the Moon card. With these characteristics there was no other option than Aessina, The Wisp Mother to assume such a position in our Tarot of Azeroth. Fundamentally linked to Elune, and being herself the personification of all the other card qualities. the Matron of Restoration Druids takes her place as the 2nd card of our Deck.
The Life Binder
Earth Tarot Equivalent: The Empress
The Empress in the Tarot symbolizes feminine vitality and sensuality, pleasure, abundance, creativity, nurturing, Beauty and art. She is in complete harmony with the natural world and is its guardian. In the universe of Warcraft few other characters could embody these qualities better then Eonar, therefore she assumes her position on our Azerothian Tarot as the 3th card, The Life-Binder.
The High Father
Earth Tarot Equivalent: The Emperor
The Emperor in the Tarot symbolizes the opposite or is complementary to the Empress, that is power, authority, fatherhood, leadership and the power of reason, dogmatism and Order. No one in the entire Wow universe represent those better than Aman'thul, Chief of the Titans and main head-figure of the forces of Order. So, he assumes its position in our Tarot as the 4th card, The Highfather.
The Light Prime
Earth Tarot Equivalent: The Hirophant
In Tarot the Hierophant has many meanings, the main ones are respect, teachings, tradition and ceremony, discipline and higher values. On its higher polarity those things are comforting and uniting aspect of celebration and virtue. However on its lower polarity they represent how oppressive, restricting and unchanging traditions and costumes can be, especially in the religious aspect.
In Azeroth the Light is a powerful cosmic force for rectitude, healing and guidance, and the Naaru have provided guidence in saving mortals from certain doom... However there is the oppressing forceful side of it. Uncompromising and single-minded. Xe'ra was the most powerful embodiment of the light we know of and therefore becomes our 5th card of the Major Arcana deck, The Light Prime.
Earth Tarot Equivalent: The Lovers
This was the hardest card to translate. The lover in Tarot is often immediately associated with sexual love, but there are many kinds of love. The Card in fact represents all forms of love or relationship, emotional completeness and commitment. After thinking hard on it I decided for the Twins, Ursol and the late Ursoc. Sibling bonds can often be among the strongest and most long-lasting of all relationships in someone's life, so the twins embody here the values mentioned and become the 6th card of our deck.
The Lord of Forests
Earth Tarot Equivalent: The Chariot
The Chariot in Tarot symbolizes diligence, willpower, honesty and especially perseverance. It symbolizes the movement of persisting even against the worst odds. It also symbolizes sexual prowess and health. All those symbols can be found within 'The Lord of Forests', master of Malfurion, and patron of the form of druidism named after him, Cenarius. Through out its long existence Cenarius has never cowered from a challenge, stomping forward to face it head on. Often that got it killed, but under the care of its aunt in Ardenweald it has constantly come back and persists on.
Earth Tarot Equivalent: Strength
In the Tarot 'Strength' used to be called the Force, and has a very literal meaning - it relates to how power can be used productively and for the good, or destructively for evil and horror. Sargeras was strongest of the Titans. For eons this strength was used for good in a long and endless war against the legions of demons of the twisting nether, but then Sargeras lost sight of the goal, deceived by the Nathrezim, he lost all hope and embraced despair. Believing that all creation was already lost, he set out to destroy it himself, to spare it from a fate he considered worse than death. All his immeasurable strength was now misguided in a vile and appalling goal, so he assumes his position as the 8th card of the Deck, reminding all of the two faces of Strength.
Earth Tarot Equivalent: The Hermit
The Primus fit perfectly as the 9th card of the Major Arcana, the Hermit, the embodiment of introspection. The journey within that makes us realize we have all the answers all along, and so did the Primus. He departed on a journey, leaving Maldraxxus, losing his memories and being made a slave, and finally, once free, finding all answers within himself.
The Hunter and the Witch
Earth Tarot Equivalent: The Wheel of Fortune
As the Wheel of Fortune we have not one but two characters, Vol'jin and Helya. Both started as mortals and both ended up achieving some sort of divinity... but, although their predicament was similar their fortune could not have been more different. Helya, betrayed by Odyn, killed and forced to serve, consumed by bitterness and revenge became a goddess... but a twisted shadow of herself. Vol'jin on the other hand, lead a good life and departed fighting, his heroism and bravery even after death granted him divinity once Rezan fused the last of its essence with him.
Both became gods... but how different were their fates.
Earth Tarot Equivalent: Justice
For Eons the Divine Automaton known as The Arbiter, dispensed justice by judging and selecting the souls who entered the Shadowlands. Even though she was destroyed at the end of recent events, hers is a symbol of Justice and impartiality. In tarot the card of Justice symbolizes fairness, equality, harmony, cause and effect, and balance. No one could better embody such values in our Tarot, so The Arbiter becomes our 11th card.
Earth Tarot Equivalent: The Hanged Man
The symbolism of 'The Hanged Man' card in the Tarot is twofold, Sacrifice and Rebirth. This card refers to transition and to the idea of seeing the world from a profoundly different angle, and therefore approaching it in an amplified, changed manner, shedding the skin of the old and growing anew. Self-sacrifice is the highest form of sacrifice, the true way to rebirth and ascension. All these qualities are perfectly exemplified by Sethraliss, the snake Loa of Vol'dun, who sacrificed herself in order to save the whole of Zuldazar from Mytrax. Her people would eventually manage to cause her rebirth as an avatar, thus completing the cycle of the rebirth of the martyr. The Martyr then becomes our 12th card of the Major Arcana.
The Winter Queen
Earth Tarot Equivalent: Death
The Winter Queen is the 13th card of the Major Arcana. Contrary to what many people expect, the card of Death in the Tarot actually means rebirth, the end of something so something new can become. Who better to represent such idea than the Queen of Ardenweald who oversees the spirits before they are reborn in the realms of Life?
Earth Tarot Equivalent: Temperance
The Temperance card's qualities of Self-control, Compromise, Moderation and Virtue are all present in the narrative arch of the Kyrian. Kyrestia had always been Self-controled and Virtuous, however thanks to the events of Shadowlands she has learned Compromise and moderation. Hence here she replaces this card taking its position in the the deck as the 14th card of the Major Arcana.
Earth Tarot Equivalent: The Devil
The Devil, in Tarot symbolizes bondage, vicious cycles, addictions, obsession and manipulation. The card represents how those things trap and chain people to their own vices and self-destructive behaviors. Nothing speaks more of how fitting Zovaal is to embody this archetype than the fact its main symbol are its chains, chains once meant to hold him, and that he has now weaponized to chain and enslave the entirety of creation, before trying to undo it.
Earth Tarot Equivalent: The Tower
The 16th card of the Major Arcana, the feared Tower, represents a catastrophic and unexpected change... Who better to embody such an idea than the cause of the Shadowlands' anima drought, Sire Denathrius?
The White Stag
Earth Tarot Equivalent: The Star
The Star, represents inspiration, serenity, calm, respite, visionary progress and revelation. It is the 'calm after the storm' since it follows the sorrows and surprises of the Tower. In our deck, Malorne, The White Stag assumes this position, not only given its connection with the next card (The Moon), but also for representing the same archetype and qualities.
Earth Tarot Equivalent: The Moon
The Moon card in the Tarot means Intuition, Dreaming, Illusion, Mysticism and Esotericism and the power of the subconscious and the unconscious over the conscious mind.
Translating it to the universe of Azeroth, there is no question of who should assume the archetype. Elune is therefore the 18th Card of the Major Arcana.
Earth Tarot Equivalent: The Sun
The Sun in the Tarot represents Joy, fulfillment, sharing, growth, all of them qualities that the Tauren display in abundance, hence why no one better to fit the bill of the 19th card of the Major Arcana than the Tauren's sun god himself, An'she.
Earth Tarot Equivalent: Judgment
As the 20th card of the Tarot, in the place of Judgment we have, The Prophet, here incarnated by Il'gynoth. Judgement was a really hard card to reimagine, but after considering its qualities of liberation, search for the truth and the need to make difinitive choices, I landed on our old friend, who, in its whispered prophecies, has only ever told us the truth, always urging us to make choices and warning us of the dangers to come.
Earth Tarot Equivalent: The World
We finally got to the 21st Card of the Tarot, The World. It is one, if not the most positive card in the Major Arcana, it represents fulfillment, completion, freedom, cosmic ascension, accomplishment, celebration reward and most of all feeling one within yourself and the universe.
No one in the entire metaphysical universe of Azeroth could best fulfill this role other than She of course. Azeroth is our World, because there could be no one else for the role.
Earth Tarot Equivalent: The Fool
'The Fool' is a card that despite its name is not negative at all. The First card of the Major Arcana, is in fact, the main character of its journey. It represents us in a sense, it also represents naiveté, uncorrupted purity, optimism, beginnings and leaps of faith. The Fool is in fact the hero of the 'hero's journey'. It also directly relates to the last card of the Arcana, The World, thus completing the cycle.
Nothing is more appropriate then we becoming its representation in our deck. We the Heroes of Azeroth, who naively made our little avatars to live in that fantastic world and through them experienced our personal 'hero's journey' throughout this universe we choose to call home.
So 'The Hero' becomes our final card of the Major Arcana, thus completing it.
A printed set of these cards would be a treasure. Perhaps Fredus-Rex would consider following in
capable footsteps and Kickstart a print run.
To check out more of the work of Fredus-Rex, go to
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