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    Dune Tarot

    Postby gwern » 07 Jun 2011 13:53

    A number of years ago, someone suggested on DUNE II, IIRC, that a Dune Tarot deck could be drawn up using _Dune_ characters. I thought it was an amusing suggestion and drew up some correspondences. Submitted for your amusement from my archives:

    * 0 - The Fool == Paul Atreides
    * I - The Magician == Pardot Kynes/Kwisatz Haderach
    * II - The High Priestess/The Papess == Alia
    * III - The Empress == Irulan
    * IV - The Emperor == The Padishah Emperor
    * V - The Hierophant (or The Pope) == Siona? (Heretic == Hierophant, Siona was main character of _Heretics of Dune_)
    * VI - The Lovers == the twins of Children of Dune (Ghanima and Leto II)
    * VII - The Chariot == Spacing Guild
    * VIII - Strength == Farad'n
    * IX - The Hermit == The Blind Prophet in _CoD_
    * X - Wheel of Fortune == water of life/gom jabbar/Reverend Mother
    * XI - Justice == Truthsayer
    * XII - The Hanged Man/The Traitor == Ghola Idaho
    * XIII - Death == Water of Life
    * XIV - Temperance == Stilgar
    * XV - The Devil == Baron Harkonnen
    * XVI - The Tower == the Jihad, the conspiracy, and the actual tower on Arrakis; or the actual bridge Leto II fell off?
    * XVII - The Star == Jessica
    * XVIII - The Moon == Muad'Dib
    * XIX - The Sun == Chani
    * XX - Judgement == Shai-Hulud
    * XXI - The World == Dune
    "Uproot your questions from their ground and the dangling roots will be seen. More questions!"
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    Re: Dune Tarot

    Postby Freakzilla » 07 Jun 2011 14:12

    Siona was in GEoD. I think a Dune Tarot should resemble an in-universe deck and anyone past CoD shouldn't be in it.

    My choices (without much thought):

    * 0 - The Fool == Paul Atreides
    * I - The Magician == Korba
    * II - The High Priestess/The Papess == Alia
    * III - The Empress == Irulan
    * IV - The Emperor == The Padishah Emperor
    * V - The Hierophant (or The Pope) == Jessica
    * VI - The Lovers == Paul and Chani
    * VII - The Chariot == Spacing Guild
    * VIII - Strength == Gurney Halleck
    * IX - The Hermit == The Prophet
    * X - Wheel of Fortune == Melange/Spice
    * XI - Justice == Truthsayer
    * XII - The Hanged Man/The Traitor == Dr. Yueh
    * XIII - Death == Water of Life
    * XIV - Temperance == Stilgar
    * XV - The Devil == Shaitan
    * XVI - The Tower == CHOAM
    * XVII - The Star == a star
    * XVIII - The Moon == Arrakis' two moons
    * XIX - The Sun == Salat
    * XX - Judgement == Shai-Hulud
    * XXI - The World == Dune
    Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
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    Re: Dune Tarot

    Postby SandRider » 07 Jun 2011 18:08

    I'd like to see some more speculation on this - what did the cards for sale
    in the Arrakeen markets look like ?

    Dune Encyclopedia wrote:The secrets of the Dune Tarot
    are said to be revealed in the Azhar
    Book, but its obscurities only pique the
    inquiring intellect and convey nothing
    to the uninitiated. Some revisions of
    the Orange Catholic Bible confirm
    some of the symbols, but these
    spurious editions have unreliable
    origins in older, abandoned faiths from
    the time before space travel. Scholars
    date the Tarot from more than 20,000
    years ago, and find in the Dune Tarot
    some symbols common to cultures as
    diverse as the Bene Gesserit and the
    Fremen; however, initiates in the
    Mysteries refuse to divulge any secrets
    of the Temple, and indeed refuse even
    to acknowledge that a Temple exists in
    physical and not just in ideal form.
    A tarot deck has 78 cards: the
    major arcana, 21 cards of power
    symbolizing the forces of greatest
    import in man, society, and the
    universe; and the minor arcana, 56
    cards divided into four suits of 14 cards
    each. The number seven is the mystical
    seed from which the deck grows: each
    minor suit has twice seven cards; the
    major arcana, or trumps, have thrice
    seven; the suits together total 77. The
    joker (or Fool) is unnumbered in the

    Some have argued that the four
    suits of the minor arcana-Knives,
    Globes, Staves, and Basins-are of
    Fremen origin because their designs
    suggest aspects of that culture. The
    suits and their associations are:
    Knives Crysknives Head Nobility Earth
    Globes Glowglobes Heart Clergy Fire
    Staves Windpoles Loins Merchants Air
    Basins Dew Collectors Feet Peasantry Water

    the minor arcana, with its four-
    fold significances, including the four
    seasons and what the Reverend Mother
    Gaius Helen Mohiam called the "four
    pillars of the universe": "the learning of
    the wise, the justice of the great, the
    prayers of the righteous, and the valor
    of the brave." The four suits are twice
    linked in sets of two: Knives and
    Staves, both elongated forms, are
    black, symbolizing the welcome night;
    Globes and Basins, both circular forms,
    are red, symbolizing the sun and the
    day it brings.
    The bridge between minor and
    major arcana and the central symbol of
    the trumps is the sign , recognized
    throughout the Imperium as proper to
    the letter M in many alphabets; the
    initial of melange, which is the true
    them, or "water of life;" and a
    hieroglyph for the S of the sandworm
    hi its transverse motion. The sign
    unites the elongated and circular shapes
    of the minor arcana also, and in most
    designs of the Tarot deck appears on
    four cards of the major arcana.
    The major arcana suggest a
    journey — Hajj or Hajra — to a
    Temple, either inner or outer,
    supported by the four pillars of the
    universe. In keeping with other
    Mysteries, the trumps imply esoteric
    rites which lead the initiate to
    membership and then to an exalted
    state in which the traveler gains the
    universe, becomes one with the
    Kwisatz Haderach, or attains Alam al-
    Because several versions of the
    Tarot vary in small respects, the
    following offers only the terms and
    designs of the major arcana which are
    I. The Hajrite. A man wearing a Jubba
    cloak holds a lasgun upright in his right
    hand as if it were a spear, and he raises
    his left hand in a fist. He stands under
    the vaulted ceiling of an Atreides
    castle, and behind the castle the First
    Moon appears. He symbolizes a fateful
    journey made in anger; success
    II. The Hajrita. A woman whose black
    Aba suggests a Fremen lifts a
    Glowglobe high; but behind her, down
    the recesses of a vast vaulted hall, a
    crone lurks. She stands for a quest
    made in love, and failure follows her.
    III. Baraka A man wears a crown with
    the sacred emblazoned on it. The
    barrel cactus and the evening primrose
    provide a setting in the peaceable
    kingdom brought by justice.
    IV. Auliya. A woman likewise wearing
    a crown with the sacred ,
    surrounded by Akarso leaves. A catch
    basin appears in the background,
    symbolizing the delights of the blessed.
    V. Ampoliros. The vehicle unites the
    physical and spiritual, or unites one's
    own planet with the regions of Alam
    al-Mithal. Any heighliner could
    symbolize the soaring spirit, but this
    particular one suggests the endless
    nature of the task.
    VI. Wawi or Vahi. A man and woman
    stand hand-in-hand looking toward a
    rising Moon. They symbolize Two-in-
    VII. Baraka-Heiros. He holds a baliset,
    for he plays the music of the spheres
    which can be heard by only — and yet
    by all — true seekers of the way. He
    stands for harmony in art or nature.
    VIII. Krimsful. Wearing a garland of
    Akarso leaves, a stillsuit-clad figure
    kneels, arm around a couchant
    sandworm, both figures against a
    background of a Cheops board. The
    man, worm, and gameboard signify
    physical strength moderated by
    IX. Ilmist. An eremite. The journey is
    always solitary. He represents either
    self-reliance or loneliness.
    X. Ixion. Celebrates the invention of
    the wheel as the beginning of culture.
    All small things, like the journeyer, are
    fated for great things; but the wheel
    turns downward too, and the card can
    mean a fall from high degree.
    XI. Istislah. The Fedaykin and the
    Sardaukar were both devoted to
    Istislah. The card depicts a perfect
    square to imply equal proportions for
    all. There is no adornment (no
    obstruction) on the square, and it is
    upheld by four pillars.
    XII. Giudichar. An inverted strong
    man: the truth which supports the
    universe. When heaven is reflected in
    earthly dealing, it means "Right makes
    might — as above, so below"; when
    times are bad, it symbolizes the
    triumph of might.
    XIII. Erg or The Desolate Sand. A
    monster like a Maker entwines himself
    in Inkvine and enchains a black box.
    The unlikely combination of Maker
    and Vine implies that the initiate must
    pass through a death phase and emerge
    having conquered fear. Or the Desolate
    Sand itself may represent a great
    mystery or an ultimate test — a
    Tahaddi al-Burhan.
    XIV. Great Mother. The horned
    goddess, sign of Time, treads on a star.
    XV. Great Worm. Sometimes depicted
    as Shaitan. He lies curled deep in a
    cave and guards the "pearl of great
    price." The negative side of each
    person, or in society, the Fall of a
    XVI. Pillar of Fire. A Pyrocket falls in
    the desert, and a Cielago hovers in the
    background. The exoteric yields to
    Mantene, symbolizing a swift
    enlightenment or the breaking of a
    XVII. Star or Sayyadina. A Star adorns
    the hood of a cloaked Fremen woman.
    From love mid service come the light
    of knowledge.
    XVIII. Al-Lat, The heat of the desert
    sun encourages the growth of Shai-
    Hulud, but this is the devouring sun, a
    deadly power. It glowers over the
    Desolate Sand and a Sandworm. It
    signifies an approaching trial, or
    growth of the spirit.
    XIX. Moon. Either of two satellites of
    Arrakis. The moon confers the
    refreshing dew, a source of life, and
    glimmers over Akarso and catchbasin,
    the latter adorned with the central
    XX. Judgment. A Sadu presides over
    the traditional scales, which here weigh
    either the soul or the water rendered
    from the dead, for the scales form the T
    of the Tau.
    XXI. The Universe. A figure with two
    faces represents the Kwisatz Haderach
    bridging space and time, and
    symbolizes the intrusion of the divine
    into the ordinary.
    O. The Wanderer. Against the
    desolate sand he walks alone, his
    bindle with staff over his shoulder. He
    does not know what the bindle
    contains, for he does not understand the
    affliction a Hero brings to his planet.
    The card may mean escape or
    When the major arcana were
    used in prognosticating, the deck was
    shuffled and cut, and the top card,
    representing the one whose fate was
    probed, was dealt face up. Around it
    were dealt six cards, face down, in the
    following positions:
    At the prompting of the seeker
    (if present), the six cards were turned
    face up one at a time. The order of their
    revelation established the order of
    event. The significance of the cards
    was determined by their position: thus,
    for example, al-Lat represented a
    spiritual burgeoning if it fell in a
    "fortuna" position — Head or Right
    Hand; but warned of a test to come if it
    fell in an "infortuna" position — Left
    Hand or Loins. The cards had a ranking
    of "power": Gods, Demigods, Heroes,
    Men, Animals, Things. Within each of
    these ranks, the expected ordering
    prevailed: for example (in descending
    order), Baraka-Heiros, Baraka, Ilmist,
    Hajrite, Wanderer. Thus, a more
    powerful figure on a "fortuna" position,
    say, will outweigh a less powerful on
    an "infortuna" position.
    The skill of the reader came into
    play, too: as Elagar Lunacharakii says,
    "Meaning resides not in the cards but in
    the mind of the reader; the cards
    provide only a focus and a symbology
    for the channeling of the energy, for the
    clearing of the vision, for the opening
    of the eyes of the seeker." And there
    were many in high and low positions in
    the Atreidean empire who had that
    skill. A new edition of the Tarot pack
    appeared from unknown sources about
    1021%; both Paul and Alia were vexed
    by its increasing popularity, but they
    could do little to halt its use and they
    knew moreover that the rising tide of
    divination of all kinds had been
    inspired by their prescience. They had
    marked out prescience as part of the
    Fremen way, and spoke more clearly
    by their example than by proclamation.
    Further references:
    x Melange;
    x Elagar Lunacharakii, Pasteboard Prophets: On
    Reading One's Own Fear and Calling It the
    Future (Kaitain: Linthrin UP);
    x Hadi Bai, Love, Wealth, and Peace Through
    the Tarot (Zimaona: Kinat).

    Dune Messiah wrote: They make much of the Dune Tarot which clouded Muad'dib's powers of prophecy.
    -Analysis of History: Muad'dib by Bronso of Ix

    But it was the time of the tarot which he'd forecast in an
    early vision. The damnable tarot! It muddied the waters of Time until the
    prescient strained to detect moments but an hour off. Many a fish took the bait
    and escaped, he reminded himself. And the tarot worked for him as well as
    against him. What he could not see, others might not detect as well

    For furnishings, it contained
    one flimsy basket chair occupied now by the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam,
    a pallet with a brown cover upon which had been spread a deck of the new Dune
    Tarot cards, a metered water tap above a reclamation basin, a Fremen privy with
    moisture seals.

    She glanced at the cards. They spoke of the powerful turning their
    backs on supplicants. The card of the Great Worm lay beneath Desolate Sand.
    Patience was counseled. Did one require the tarot to see this? she asked
    When she had gone, the Reverend Mother returned to her tarot cards, laying
    them out in the fire-eddy pattern. Immediately, she got the Kwisatz Haderach of
    the Major Arcana and the card lay coupled with the Eight of Ships: the sibyl
    hoodwinked and betrayed. These were not cards of good omen: they spoke of
    concealed resources for her enemies.

    Red and green packages containing the new Dune Tarot were prominent among
    the vendors' wares, Alia saw. She wondered about the tarot. Who was feeding this
    device into the Arrakeen market? Why had the tarot sprung to prominence at this
    particular time and place? Was it to muddy Time? Spice addiction always conveyed
    some sensitivity to prediction. Fremen were notoriously fey. Was it an accident
    that so many of them dabbled in portents and omens here and now?

    And he thought of the performance out there in the Great Hall. The dancers
    had entered in the costumes and guise of the Dune Tarot, flinging themselves
    about in seemingly random patterns that devolved into fire eddies and ancient
    prognostic designs. Then had come the rulers -- a parade of kings and emperors
    like faces on coins, formal and stiff in outline, but curiously fluid. And the
    jokes: a copy of Paul's own face and body, Chani repeated across the floor of
    the Hall, even Stilgar, who had grunted and shuddered while others laughed.

    Children of Dune wrote:Many things were being offered for sale, the
    voices shouting in competitive stridence: there was the Dune Tarot with its
    booklets of commentaries imprinted on shigawire.
    ................ I exist only to amuse myself ................

    I personally feel that this message board, Jacurutu, is full of hateful folks who don't know
    how to fully interact with people.
    ~ "Spice Grandson" (Bryon Merrit) 08 June 2008
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    Re: Dune Tarot

    Postby Freakzilla » 07 Jun 2011 21:09

    They had images of the cards in the DE, too.
    Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
    ~Pink Snowman
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    Re: Dune Tarot

    Postby Robspierre » 08 Jun 2011 12:13

    Brian mentions in "Dreamer of Dune" that his mom had aset of the Dune Tarot made up. Wonder what ever happened to it?

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    Re: Dune Tarot

    Postby Freakzilla » 08 Jun 2011 12:36

    Robspierre wrote:Brian mentions in "Dreamer of Dune" that his mom had aset of the Dune Tarot made up. Wonder what ever happened to it?


    Another OH holy relic.
    Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
    ~Pink Snowman
    User avatar
    Lead Singer and Driver of the Winnebego
    Posts: 18106
    Joined: 05 Feb 2008 01:27
    Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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