With today’s post, I am starting a very personal journey on my blog, presenting a series of outfits in a format that is both dear and significant to me: the Tarot. Many of you may be familiar with what the Tarot is, some of you may not, but without turning this blog post into a Tarot lesson, I will try to give you a very brief introduction.
The Tarot is a deck of 78 cards, featuring different symbolic pictures. A standard deck consists of 22 trump cards (the Major Arcana) and 56 pip cards (the Minor Arcana). The symbolism and art on the cards represent primal patterns and experiences that occur in each human life. While each card has a general symbolic meaning, a significant portion of the interpretation of tarot cards is dependent on the reader. The most well-known and “grandfather” of Tarot decks is the Rider-Waite Tarot. The art and symbolism on this deck provide the basis for the design of most modern Tarot decks.
Many Tarot decks are designed around a theme, integrating the Rider-Waite symbolism into a new overarching motif, such as fairies, art or even cats. There are hundreds of different Tarot deck designs, and it comes as no surprise that the rich world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth has also been used as an inspiration for a Tarot deck. As far as I am aware, there are two Tarot decks based on Tolkien’s work: The Lord of the Rings Tarot and the Hobbit Tarot. While I am personally not very fond of the first one, the Hobbit Tarot is actually quite lovely. The art-work is well done and in general the Hobbit theme weaves well into the original default meaning of the Tarot cards. It is this deck that inspired me to create a virtual deck of my own based on LOTRO. I have no idea how many cards I will end up doing and I will probably not follow any particular order, except for my first card, The Fool.
The Fool is the very first card of the Tarot. It is numbered 0. The Fool, and the number 0, represent the unwritten page, the step into the unknown, innocence and youthful excitement. It is who we are when we are children, full of wonderment and eagerness to take the step into adulthood, without the slightest notion of the inevitable pitfalls that will follow. All options are still open. We can go anywhere we like. The card also represents a warning though, because the Fool is nearing a cliff and may fall off if he doesn’t watch his step. The Fool in the Hobbit Tarot is represented by Bilbo, leaving behind his familiar hobbit hole to take the step into the unknown and journey with the dwarves to the Lonely Mountain.
“It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to.”
~Bilbo Baggins – Lord of the Rings~
With my virtual LOTRO Tarot Series I do not aim to represent any of Tolkien’s characters, nor parts of his stories necessarily, but rather use the game environment and outfit system to create an image that I think captures the symbolism, colors and meaning of that particular Tarot card. So here’s my first Tarot card: The Fool.
For comparison, I will add the images of three real Tarot cards to each post in this series. The original Rider-Waite card, and two cards from a deck of my own choice. For this card I chose Bilbo from the Hobbit deck of course, and in addition I chose The Fool from the Robin Wood deck.
Oh awesome! I shall have a proper look tomorrow as I am yawning my head off and need to get some sleep, but your fool card looks great! Shall look very much forward to what else you create in this series (and I’ve thought to try recreating a particular card I have though haven’t yet looked into possible outfit pieces to use)
Would love it if my series inspires to create a range of other personalized LOTRO Tarot cards all over!
Oh I hadn’t thought to do a whole deck, just had one particular image in mind from a deck I’ve got (which could well end up more, but I don’t know about a whole deck 😉 ) Pretty much had it in mind when I created a character as the name kinda made me think of it. Anyhow, I may get around to trying to do it that much sooner now!
I do like the colours of your Fool, and the hat is very fitting 🙂
I love this idea and look forward to what you do with the other rich characters in the cards. I don’t see a cliff near your fool, but I like that he’s running headlong towards something. 🙂
The cliff is represented by a blurry edge in this case. I have no idea where he’s going but he sure seems confident!
what a fantastic idea! I’ve always been intrigued by tarot cards (and the varying art work found on them) so I’m really looking forward to seeing more of yours 🙂
Very ambitious, very exciting! Can’t wait to see The Hermit 🙂
Ambitious indeed! Probably way over my head! But better things get created when we provide ourselves with dilemma’s and challenges. 🙂
This is such a neat idea! I can’t wait to see more of your cards 🙂
Wow, really cool concept! The Tarot seems so interesting to me, but I know next to nothing about it, so I’m looking forward to learning a bit more through your posts. This little Fool looks great, I love the colours and especially the pose and expression you captured — perfect! 😀
LoL well at least the Tarot is something I feel very comfortable talking about, so it should add a bit of depth to what otherwise would be just another outfit. 🙂
I am very familiar with Tarot and LOVE what you have created! Very inspiring to say the least. You have captured all what The Fool [card] has to say or teach us. Thanks for this series; looking forward to the rest of your ideas.
Oh sweet holy taters! *giggle* I just can’t watch that little fool without smiling! He’s so cute and cheerful, and I really love the colours, and the hat, and the gloves, and the bag and… well everything! 😀
I like the outfit very much and while i do not know anything about the deck of cards I feel you did a good job sticking to the theme of “The Fool”.
I am happy you found a project to focus your outfitting talents. Best of luck!
Thank you Fairymore! 🙂
Incredible – what a great idea and hope you stretch the concept to a full deck! I have started many times to ‘draw’ a full deck and always been distracted…reminds me of one of my favorite novels: ‘The Castle of Crossed Destinies’ (Italian: Il castello dei destini incrociati) – Italo Calvino which uses tarot as a narrative device. For more info: http://madinkbeard.com/archives/castle-of-crossed-destiny-by-italo-calvino/
Ha ha a full deck would take me years to complete, but who knows. I’ll be happy if I do get a decent amount of cards done. For some I already have a good outline, so I will go with the flow of inspiration and we’ll see where it ends. 🙂
This is delightful! I love that you used the riddle master’s hat! The white daisy on the glove is perfect. And how lovely that you retained PCS’s green-yellow-orange color scheme. Page of Cups? Knight of Wands? Looking forward to whatever you come up with next.
Sorry for my english (I’m a french gamer) but, I love the look of the chest you use for The Fool.. can you share where you find this outfit ?
Thank you !
Hello laruedusabot, the chestpiece is the Everstout: http://lorebook.lotro.com/wiki/Armour:Everstout. It’s a piece that drops in dungeons like Barad Gularan and Carn Dum.
You can see it used in a previous outfit on this blog: https://cosmeticlotro.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/a-good-day-riding/