Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Advice about a Tarot-based Mage

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Advice about a Tarot-based Mage

    Hi.

    I started a Mage chronicle this year, and I'm getting used to everything after more than a decade of not-playing Mage.

    One of my players is a newbie whose character is a Hermetic based around Tarot cards. She basically conjures effects using the allegories of the Major Arcana (which - under that interpretation - can call up pretty much any effect). Those have been her main foci (or instruments if you want to use M20 lexicon) so far. I havent pushed her to integrate more hermetic stuff (powders, crystals, magic words, etc) into her paradigm because, as I mentioned before, shes a newbie.

    Last session she didnt have the cards at hand and felt really frustrated because, even though she had ideas for using her magic, she couldnt due to the absence of her main instrument. I wanted to use the situation as a learning opportunity for her, to show her the disadvantages of being to tied to a single instrument (or sets of instruments). Thing is, when it comes to give her advice about other things she could integrate to her paradigm - without losing her predilection for the cards and without tossing random hermetic stuff just because - Im out of ideas.

    Any recommendation about practices, or other instruments she could combine with the cards in a thematically-fitting way?

  • #2
    She could get the various cards tattooed onto her body


    You've been playing around the magic that is black
    But all the powerful magical mysteries never gave a single thing back

    Comment


    • #3
      Point out to her that there's more to the Tarot than the Major Arcana. Get her thinking about the Tarot's meanings for the different suits (cups, swords, coins, wands); and from there, get her thinking about using actual cups or other containers, swords or knives, coins or pentacles, and wands or staves as stand-ins for the cards. Once she's used to the idea of substituting physical props for Tarot cards, get her thinking about what kinds of substitutions could be made for various Major Arcana.

      The whole thing will still essentially be Tarot-based; but ideally it will end up being less Tarot card based and more symbolism of the Tarot based.


      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
        Point out to her that there's more to the Tarot than the Major Arcana. Get her thinking about the Tarot's meanings for the different suits (cups, swords, coins, wands); and from there, get her thinking about using actual cups or other containers, swords or knives, coins or pentacles, and wands or staves as stand-ins for the cards. Once she's used to the idea of substituting physical props for Tarot cards, get her thinking about what kinds of substitutions could be made for various Major Arcana.

        The whole thing will still essentially be Tarot-based; but ideally it will end up being less Tarot card based and more symbolism of the Tarot based.

        Dataweaver, this is PURE GOLD. It is just what I needed. Thank you very, very much!

        Comment


        • #5
          As someone who has actually studied the Tarot, I totally second what Dataweaver said. Good luck!


          The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Penelope View Post
            As someone who has actually studied the Tarot, I totally second what Dataweaver said. Good luck!
            Good to read that from someone who has actual knowledge about the topic.

            In my case, one of the good things about Mage is that it definitely leads me to knowledge - superficial at least - one way or another. I have done a lot of research about a lot of stuff just because of that chronicle.

            Comment


            • #7
              Awesome 😊. Sounds like a cool chronicle.


              The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

              Comment


              • #8
                The four Tarot suites are all corner stones of certain parts of Hermetic (and most Western) ritual magic. Pentacles, cups, coins and blades are all used in rituals and rites, and each has a lot of mystical significance and meaning behind them. They're also the basis behind modern playing cards (Swords = Spades, Coins = Diamonds, Cups = Hearts, Pentacles = Clubs). The simplest way to build off of the Tarot as far as foci/tools would be using some sort of blade (ceremonial dagger or sword, or the like), a ritual cup/chalice, one or more coins or gemstones of significance, and chalk or other implements for drawing pentacles. (Alternately, if you're into the sort of modernist Chaos magic influenced Hermeticism that House Thig was big on, you could swap those out for their modern equivalents like a gun and credit cards.) Language/chanting/writing is also a big Hermetic focus. Especially of you can learn the True Names of certain spirits or other entities tied to certain cards.

                The Awakened also have their own associations for parts of the Tarot. Back in the day, there was even a Mage Tarot Deck made, which the included booklet discussing the suites' associations with both the four Avatar Essences and the four factions of the Ascension War (Traditions, Technocracy, Marauders, Nephandi), and the Major Arcana's associations with various WoD elements. (It also had suggestions for using it as a method of character creation and as a ST tool in various ways.) You can get a reproduction of it from DriveThruRPG's DriveThruCards section.
                (I've long wished I could get the Sons of Ether-as-The Chariot and the Euthantos-as-Wheel of Fortune images blown up to poster size.)

                And thou it was made for Mage: The Awakening, the Keys to the Supernal Tarot book has a lot of interesting ideas to mine.

                And if you've never read Alan Moore's Promethea, it delves into a lot of classic Western mysticism, including an entire issue devoted to explaining the Major Arcana of the Tarot as the magicians journey from the ignorance of the Fool to the enlightenment of The World/Universe.


                What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Penelope View Post
                  Awesome 😊. Sounds like a cool chronicle.

                  It is the best one I have run in years and Im really proud about how it is turning out. It has made me really happy in this sad pandemic world.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
                    And if you've never read Alan Moore's Promethea, it delves into a lot of classic Western mysticism, including an entire issue devoted to explaining the Major Arcana of the Tarot as the magicians journey from the ignorance of the Fool to the enlightenment of The World/Universe.
                    Im actually reading Promethea after I saw it recommended on this forum.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It might be good to look at some of the popular Tarot card deck designs for imagery that could be incorporated directly into practice. Geometric designs, scales, and other tools tend to feature prominently in the decks I saw. She may be more comfortable incorporating those symbols. Also, perhaps she could take drawing/images and make her own tarot related imagery on the go. It wouldn't be as effective as a real deck, but could maybe work on the go. (i.e. making an image of the Sun or Tower on a brick wall with spray paint...)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There are dozens of Tarot deck designs she could mine for images. Also two new Major Arcana cards, Separation and the Farrier (blacksmith), and four Ladies one for each suit that somebody developed back in the Seventies.


                        The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Another option to get her more comfortable with expanding her practice may be to have her "embody" the persona on some of the cards. For example, perhaps you can introduce the idea that she has to BECOME the Magician, Hierophant or High Priestess in this scenario and have her approach from that angle.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kalinara View Post
                            Another option to get her more comfortable with expanding her practice may be to have her "embody" the persona on some of the cards. For example, perhaps you can introduce the idea that she has to BECOME the Magician, Hierophant or High Priestess in this scenario and have her approach from that angle.
                            That sounds good having Different personas for different tasks, one of my characters has a secret backup personality in case the main one is mentally compromised.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kalinara View Post
                              Another option to get her more comfortable with expanding her practice may be to have her "embody" the persona on some of the cards. For example, perhaps you can introduce the idea that she has to BECOME the Magician, Hierophant or High Priestess in this scenario and have her approach from that angle.
                              The art of Theurgy was a thing in Ancient Greece, in which one would invoke the action/evoke the presence of a specific deity or higher power in order to disclose sacred mysteries, perfect oneself, and ultimately unite with the divine (effectively Ascension from a Mage point of view). This sort of thing continued through the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and was a part of 19th and 20th century ritual magic. While this frequently involved the idea of angels (especially those associated with various planetary bodies and the like), it could easily also include the idea of powerful Incarna or Celestines which are represented by/associated with the Major Arcana and evoking their power. (It could also be used to channel said spirits into inanimate objects, usually statues, which be a fairly cool way to use Spirit and Matter magic to bring objects to life for a short period.)


                              What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                              Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X