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Mama Deb
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Rowling and Tarot



Using cards for divination is not permitted, but I didn't know that back in college and I'd just read (oh, the shame of it) Piers Anthony's Tarot series, which was far from his worst work, so I got a couple of decks and started reading about it.

We know about the Lightning Struck Tower - in fact, as I just learned during my reread, Trelawney had found that card just before *that* chapter.

There's at least one other member of the Major Arcana mentioned in the series - in GoF, the pub in Little Hangleton is called "The Hanged Man".

What is the Hanged Man? It's a picture of this relaxed guy *hanging upside down from one heel.* Like this..

Yes, he's tied to an odd sort of tree, but think about levicorpus. I wonder if there are other images that we've missed. *Goes to check Three of Wands*

Comments

?? Why is it not permitted?

All forms of divination are forbidden by the Torah.

Ah, I understand. Thank you for clarifying why/how it was forbidden for you to study/practice it. Since it is not forbidden in my religion, I sometimes forget that this isn't the case for all religions.

On a different note, I think you are on to something with those comparisons in Rowling's books.

The Hanged Man is a card about what must be given up, sacrificed or suffered if one is to obtain wisdom. It's the card of Odin giving up one of his eyes and being hanged for nine days on the Tree of Life so he can learn the secrets of the Runes. It's about change of perspective, how sometimes you have to go the opposite way from the rest of society -- and be reviled for it -- in order to gain wisdom. It's the card of Merlin in T.H. White, who lived backwards. It's the card of the Backwards Society of the Sioux, or Native American berdache culture (men living as women). It's all the crap you gotta go through in order to gain enlightenment.

Huh... I'm a horrible amateur at Tarot (I only picked it up from my mother) but if you read that wikipedia description of the Hanged Man's significance it fits perfectly on some of the main HP themes. But why is it the pub in *Little Hangleton* ?! What's the meaning of that?

(here via friendsfriends)

The name of the town, perhaps? I mean, it makes sense that the name of the local might reflect the name of the town.

Oooh, interesting!

Yay, Tarot ! One of my random hobbies !

but I didn't know that back in college and I'd just read (oh, the shame of it) Piers Anthony's Tarot series,

Oooh, someone else read this serie. I remember loving it, it's what got me into Tarot in the first place, even before Tim Powers. It had so many great ideas. Loved the space travel through possession of other bodies.

Yes, he's tied to an odd sort of tree, but think about levicorpus
Yes, I've read the compareason before (actually the Hanged Man is tied to two columns on classical cards, though there's a definitive tree connection to be made through the myth of Odin tied to Yggdrasil)
Snape is an interesting character for a Hanged Man archetype. He's tied up a lot, though, to many different masters, obligations, debts, vows, but might ultimately find redemption and freedom of all of those through his being tied up, so he fits it quite well. (Better IMO than the Lightning Struck Tower fits the 16th arcana which is supposed to be about the myth of the Tower of Babel)
The whole reversal theme with the Hanged man also fits very well to Snape.

I think Luna generally fit well the High Priestess archetype, but I don't think it's meant to be by JKR.

College was far too many years ago - I started it the year you were born - for me to place anyone in the major arcana, and the minor arcana is...well, the elements of the Houses don't match the artifacts, and I hesitate to use physical characteristics.

You studied Tarot in College ? Fun ! XD

I hate using physical characteristics for the minor arcana. I've been wondering also about the lack of match between the elements of the Houses and the horcruxes. I wonder if there's a story behind it that hints at relationships between the House Founders. Something like the Hufflepuff Cup was gifted by Slytherin (the 'water' house) etc.

I was in college when I studied it - I would have taken that as a class even if Rutgers had offered it, which I don't think it did.

You probably already knew about this, but I don't think we can discuss JKR and tarot without mentioning the founder's artifacts: a sword for Gryffindor, a cup for Hufflepuff, and a disk for Slytherin, matching three of the four tarot suits. So the fourth must be Ravenclaw's wand, and is likely the wand seen on a purple cushion in Ollivander's shop in the first book.

I'd completely forgotten about Ollivander's wand.

I did remember the Tarot symbols for each house, and how off they are.

If I were to place the Houses into suits, Gryffindor (fire) would be wands, Hufflepuff (earth) would be discs, Ravenclaw (air) would be swords and Slytherin (water) would be cups. So, yes, since the other suits have been placed, Ravenclaw must be wands, and that wand is the most likely thing.

I wonder how or if Voldie got his hands on it? He didn't get to the Gryffindor sword.

(here from the daily_snitch)

Well, Ollivander said that Voldie bought his wand from the shop, so he had the opportunity then- but somehow I don't think he was making Horcruxes at age 11. There's probably some long involved story behind how he got to it- it could be through Borgin and Burkes, or maybe he's got some sort of hold on Ollivander. I think he did get to it, because why else would Ollivander disappear? Either Ollivander knows what Voldie did to the wand and thustly went underground, or Voldie knows what Voldie did to the wand and kidnapped Ollivander, thus covering a base. It's anyone's guess which it is.

Re: (here from the daily_snitch)

I was wondering if that's why Ollivander's left.

On the other hand, Fortescue is gone, as well. Not that that needs to mean anything.

Re: (here from the daily_snitch)

Well, ice cream is sold in cups, aina?

Re: (here from the daily_snitch)

If that wand is a horcrux...and yes, I do like the theory...then I would guess that Voldie had it *before* Ollivander did. Remember, after Voldemort died, his various possessions might have gone anywhere. It makes perfect sense for Ollivander to be the holder of a rare, famous wand, if it somehow came adrift from wherever Voldie had hidden it.

As for Ollivander's disappearance: We don't know much about Ollivander, except that he's the best wandmaker in Britain, if not beyond. Making wands must require a pretty bit of magic, which means Ollivander is a very powerful and wise wizard, in his way. Ollivander might have known the significance of the wand, or Dumbledore might have tipped him off. If so, I would say Ollivander went into hiding to *protect* the wand.

Given that Fortescue's place was wrecked and that Ollivander's place was neatly packed up and emptied, I believe strongly that Ollivander went underground by choice.

Oh, then I might be in deep kimchee. I'm in a tarot deck. The New York Photographic deck, two cards. 9 of Swords and Resurrection.