Don Bisdorf

Inexpert Tarot Reading: March 18

Categories: [blog]

It turns out that the answer to the question "Are the 1910 Rider-Waite tarot images in the public domain?" is "it's complicated" with a spoonful of business intimidation on top.

But we're not here to talk about copyright law. We're here to talk about The Hermit and the Ten of Cups.

Tarot cards depicting a robed wandering figure, and a family rejoicing below ten floating cups.

This must be the fastest retelling of The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings ever. "In the beginning, Gandalf shows up. In the end, the humans and hobbits are happy, and there's no sign of the elves. The end!"

Of course, this particular version of the story implies a sequel, where someone says "I know that business with the twenty magic rings didn't end well, but how about ten magic cups?" They'll probably get J.J. Abrams for that one.

Can we do anything else with these cards? Maybe the card on the left shows a ten-mile-tall robed figure, walking over the Antarctic mountains, looking for the magic cups he dropped. Turns out he's looking in the wrong place, and they're stuck in a rainbow over medieval France.

Or the hermit is just setting off on the first day of their self-imposed solitude, and the village he left behind is rejoicing because they never really liked him, anyway. Not very charitable, those villagers.

Or it's a message about social distancing...nah. Not doing that today.

Let's agree that it's a message about looking in the right place. Our hermit here has been on a lonely search for enlightenment all his life. He's wandered the entire world, and hasn't trimmed his beard once. But he's only been looking at the ground. All he had to do is look up, like the family on the right did. Enlightenment was right there, up in the sky, all along. So if you're not finding what you're looking for, maybe you're not looking in the right place.

And if you're stuck at home and need something to do, you could always write a fanfiction Lord of the Rings sequel that starts with some magic cups.

« »