Tarot Movie #3: Tarot Card Meanings or Plot Pushers?

*Spoiler Alert* I will be discussing plot points that will give away key information if you haven’t seen the movie. Be warned. If you want more background regarding the plot of the movie, please read Tarot Movie Blog #1. *Note: All discussion around tarot, meanings of the cards, etc is my personal opinion. Feel free to disagree. Take what resonates & leave the rest.

Please read Blog #1 for a recap on the movie Tarot before reading this post. Also, please note that descriptions of death scenes are described - be warned.

In the movie, Tarot, four of the seven friends who have their horoscopes read by a cursed tarot deck die based on the cards they receive as the “overall theme” of their reading. Follow me as I explore each reading, death & card with my personal opinions about how relevant the tarot card actually was to the portrayal in the movie. I will be covering the first two deaths in this post & the second two in my next one.

The first character to die is Elise - poor girl, and on her birthday no less. The card she receives as her overall card is the High Priestess. She is told that she will be “climbing the ladder to success” but should be careful she doesn’t “fall”. In the film, an attic ladder keeps appearing in the hallway of her sorority house & she ends up climbing it, coming face to face with “The High Priestess” who makes her fall off the ladder from a pretty good height & then proceeds to continually shove the ladder into her broken body on the floor until she dies. The High Priestess in the movie is pictured blindfolded & robed with a crown. She appears like she is rotting & is quite a horrific sight to behold indeed.

This is the one I have the biggest problem with, honestly. The High Priestess in tarot traditionally represents the Divine Feminine. The idea of The Fates. She has knowledge of the past, present & future but chooses carefully who she gives that knowledge to & who she doesn’t. The traditional Rider-Waite-Smith image does not include a blindfold (that would be the Justice card) and the “crown” she wears appears to be a representation of the triple moon (again a nod to the Divine Feminine via the Triple Goddess). She represents your relationship to intuition. At her best she can represent a very psychic & intuitively aware individual. She sometimes represents fear of the unknown. She sits in front of the veil indicating that wisdom & knowledge are just behind her & she is the gatekeeper. This is a passive card, one for reflection. The High Priestess doesn’t take action. She slows down. I do not see any correlation between the actual tarot card, The High Priestess, and the brutal way Elise dies in the movie. The only thing I can think of is that perhaps if Elise had utilized her intuition & NOT climbed the stairs she might have avoided her death altogether via stair.

Moving on…

The second character to die is Lucas, who received The Hermit as his overall card. He’s told to “stay to the light” but finds himself underground & walking to the subway when all the lights start going out & he sees the figure of the Hermit (a cloaked figure holding a lit lantern) stalking him. He runs wherever he can find light & ends up in the restricted section on abandoned train tracks & essentially gets pushed out of an old car into an oncoming one - splat.

I think one of my biggest complaints with this one is that Lucas is told that he is a Capricorn & therefore doesn’t like to follow the rules & takes unnecessary risks. If you know anything about Capricorns, they are Earth signs & work hard to achieve greatness. They can be competitive but generally play by the rules - even if they might create a new game with new rules to ensure a win. 😉Some of the astrology was accurate within the film, but there were some obvious missteps, this one the most problematic, that highlighted a lack of research & understanding of astrology or tarot cards. But that’s why I’m writing these!

The Hermit traditionally is represented by an old man holding a lit lantern, representing wisdom or the light of truth. The card is about isolation & solitude in order to achieve a greater understanding of the wisdom within. If there is no reflection there is no growth. The Hermit offers a respite & chance for that reflection. We don’t really learn much about Lucas in his short time on screen, but we do know that he seems to have a crush on one of the other characters, Madeline, though he chooses to not take any action on it (despite being told he’s a ‘risk-taker’). Perhaps what he really needed to do was take a good look at what he’s afraid of if he were to “shoot his shot” instead of running away from his feelings (or the Hermit card chasing him).

This one was interesting because I can see how the message of the traditional Hermit card may have helped this character to take some time & reflect on what he wants & what he’s willing to do to get it. He seems like a carefree & easy-going character in the movie but one who sticks to the surface & rarely dives beneath to the murky waters of the subconscious below. He doesn’t ask hard questions or get involved in drama. When put on the spot he changes the subject. The Hermit might have reminded him that he cannot escape his own self-sabotaging behaviors. He can only hope to learn from them.

Stay tuned for 2 More Deaths & 2 More Majors….. If you want to receive the next installment in this blog series straight to your inbox click here.