The Gothic Tarot by Vargo - 0 The Fool


OK I start. Here is the Fool.

The cards in The Gothic Tarot are mostly monochromatic, shades of white, grey, blue and black. Still, this card is green and there are only three cards of the deck with this color: The Fool, The Devil and the Queen of Wands. What is so special about this color? Well, my Dictionnaire des symboles (Symbols Dictionnary), Robert Laffont, has a lot to say about green. Apparantly, green is a sign of renewal and youth, hope and immortality, wealth and occult knowledge. Green also bears life and death, the green at spring and the dark green at autumn. And the green must hibernate during winter in the world of the dead (red) to renew itself at spring. Persephone, the green, is an exemple at this, spending winter with her husband in the world of the dead, because of the red pommergranata, and coming back in the spring. There are similar stories in other cultures as well like Egypt and for the Azteques, like Osiris the green who is murdered and resurrected by his wife Isis the red.

We see a lot of red in the deck, indicating the world of the dead.

There are a lot of doors, portals and arches in this deck. My dictionnary says that doors represent passages between two realms, and invitation to go further. There are often guardians to such doors to make sure the right people come in and the others can't. Passing in front of the guardians and going throught the door is an initiation, giving you access to revelations.

The scene is very gloomy, as a person, very pale and wrapped in a black cloak, is a the top of the steps in front of a arch. A black wolf with red eyes is at his/her feet. The arch is made of old big stones, falling apart at some place. There are three ravens at the top of the arch, and a dead tree at the left. There are two gargoyles-like on the sides of the arch, probably the guardians I mentionned above. There is a mist and three skulls at the bottom of the steps. We can see a scene inside the arch, with a house, surely.

Is the person coming in or coming out? The wolf seems to be coming from behind the person, coming from the house we see inside the arch, which could indicate that the person just entered and is at the top of the step of this realm, looking around, a dark realm with nothing but death around. That means that the person just went through the passage and entered a new realm, and is taking a break, the wolf following in the back.

Both wolves and ravens are considered guides to the world of the dead, both are on the card, the wolf replacing the dog.

My guess is that the green means renewal in a new world, immortality, the life that has to spend some time in the world of the dead, a new beginning.


Three corbae are above the arch. Three skulls lie below. 3+3=6… Sixes symbolize a transition from the past to the future.

Whether or not the ‘Fool’ is leaving the buildings in the background, or taking a last look at the land it’s about to leave – this is a depiction of transformation in progress.

Both the foreground and the background (around the bell-tower) are in decay. The green reminds us that this is transitory – the arch reminds us that to pass through, one way or another, begins the progression of change.

Many folks resist change – since this card indicates change is underway, with or without you – it could indicate troubled times for the individual.


See? That's the reason why I started a study group, to see how other people interpret the cards. Many heads are better than one. Thank you Umbrae for your input and sharing the numerology part!:cool:


One step further:

Corbie and skulls – Air and Earth. Not the normal fire and water…

“A dog is never simply what we think we see. He keeps us safe from the wolf and the coyote, but deep down in his heart he is a wolf, a coyote, he is one that can walk between worlds. Only the dog may go into the underworld and return. He can lead us there, but he can also lead us into other worlds. He is descended from the clown dog of the old gods, and is fickle and unpredictable. Always be careful in your dealings with them.” I don’t remember the original author of those words but I think it was Charles De Lint.

Air and Earth, the ‘doorway’ or arch, the dog/wolf accompanying him.

A nice representation for a transition, a beginning of a journey, some may think into the underworld, but also perhaps out.

Into the ruin or out of the ruin?

You cannot have something unless at some stage you have had nothing.


In the world of the dead, you are immortal, but in the world of the living, you're not.

Umbrae said:
A nice representation for a transition, a beginning of a journey, some may think into the underworld, but also perhaps out.

This tarot being gothic, I would say the underworld. I noticed in XXI The World, that there are angels (life) fighting demons (death). I guess with the angels winning, The World could mean going back in the world of the living.

Umbrae said:
You cannot have something unless at some stage you have had nothing.

This is probably what this card is about, the journey in this tarot, losing everything. The Fool looks dead (lost his/her life) and his/her cloak is falling in pieces.


The green coloring is definitely the first thing that strikes me with this card - as mentioned elsewhere when looking at this deck, it seems to convey both growth and decay (or, as I see it, the growth of spreading decay).

In this deck, everything is different, so decay may be an indication of something good - growth, and change.

To me, this apparition lingers in the doorway ... neither commiting himself to the path into or out of the stone archway.

Three ravens - and when I focus on these cards, sometimes I can hear the ravens' voices in my head. If these ravens "popped" like that at me during a reading with this deck, I would be inclined to interpret them as messages from Divinity that one should be listening for. Ravens are messengers, they transcend the world of material (the ground) to the immaterial (air). Because I have a personal rapport with the birds, I would interpret them a little differently I guess.

It almost feels like this apparition withholds himself from commiting to a decision. And I feel like moving into the doorway would take him into the present time, which is resisted. Instead, he lingers, undecided.

The red eyed wolf is his familiar, sure ... like the dog, but different. A wolf holds allegiance to none ("lone wolf"). However, it *choses* to accompany this person for the time being ... but as a guide or guardian, it's hard to know.

The necessity of deciding, making a decision, seems to just pop at me when focusing on this card. I want to tell this guy to hurry up and DO something, quit thinking so damn much and just get going already.


Alissa said:
It almost feels like this apparition withholds himself from commiting to a decision. And I feel like moving into the doorway would take him into the present time, which is resisted. Instead, he lingers, undecided.

When I look at the card I don't see him as lingering or being undecided. To me it seems as if he is waiting for us to step with him through the gate. He and the wolf could be our guides. I know this is not the traditional meaning of the fool but couldn't we transform into the fool? I can almost hear him saying:"Come on. I'll show you something. Do you dare?" }) ;)

September Pixie

Everything in this card is set by 3...

3 ravens, 3 skulls, 3 + 3 small stones in the arch way on each side, and 3 larger ones at each point in the upper arch..

so we have

9 is a number divisible by three 3's..

Odd.. I had never associated that number with this card.. What immediately comes to mind is the 3 fold law.. Being a Wiccan, I take to heart the 3 fold law.. (Harm Ye None & Blessed Be, Rewards come 3 fold.... Break these laws and sorrow come 3 fold).. so basically you are standing at a doorway (symbolically at this point) which is drawn by the arches you have a lighter path or a darker path to choose (again positive and negative/karma)..

The Green Man is drawn on each side of the arch and the color of this card is green which is appropriate.. he is the God of the forest and his color is green... gnarled trees and ravens indicating something dying.. possibly meaning coming out of your shell... shedding past.. wealth of knowledge to come..

I also see the green as a ghastly vapor .. something to be aware of.. there is so much going on in this card I think I need to study it for awhile...

My Initial reaction is.. WOW!


Charles de Lint (OT)

Yes those words about dogs were from Charles de Lint in his book "Forests of the Heart" reccomended read!


okay, I just got my deck last night, but my first impression of the Fool here is that he reminds me more of the TdM Fool than the RWS... rather than stepping off a cliff, he's stepping out onto a path, beginning a journey. I see a church in the background. He's a vampire, ghoul, zombie, whatever, but he's leaving the graveyard and beginning a journey. I don't see him hesitating, but rather, just beginning. And I think it's taken him some time to get to the point where he's ready to leave. The wolf is his guide and encouragement.