The Gothic Tarot by Vargo - I The Magician


This card, unlike most of the deck, is not monochromatic. The scene is at night. In front of a celtic, druidic stonehenge-alike stones, stand the magician and his four helpers, each of them holding an element of the suites, and being on different steps and below the magician: pentacles, wand, cup and sword. At the top of the steps is the magician, his right arm raised up, his hand open as a lightning goes to his hand. At the same time, his left hand is above a fire containing an ouroboros (snake eating its own tail); the fire being on an altar with three skulls. A green mist is coming out of the fire. All the people wear a dark blue-black cloak and we can't see the helpers's faces, they also wear gloves. Characters are written on the side of the steps but I can't read them.

In my dictionary, it says about ouroboros is evolution closed to itself, eternal comeback, pulsion of life, self-fertilization.

I can see in this card elements that were in The Fool, the three skulls and the green mist. Are they related?

Lightning is a sign of power and strengh.


The Magician stands on the fifth step. Five is the number of the Pentagram. Five embodies free will, justice, a desire for freedom and independence. (If you were to look at the arraignment of the Magician and his/her attendants from above, you would notice they are arraigned in a pentagram).

What is interesting about this Magician?

This deck follows the French numbering and progression of meanings (a la Marseilles), later you will note that Justice is in the VIII position, and Strength will come before the Hanged Man. So this is not of the English (and thus A. E. Waite school of thought) tradition.

In the French decks, the Magician is Le Bateleur, more of a Mountebank, or a Juggler. Waite made him a “master” or an Adept. “The Pictorial Key to the Tarot” by Arthur Edward Waite on page 75 states, “This card signifies the divine motive in man, reflecting God…”

Here we have a Magician. Not a Juggler, not a “divine motive”…we have a magician practicing free will. A magician utilizing true power of self to control…this magus stands above those with him, they serve him…

This is the true Magician – but he controls the power, and does not allow it to run free – this is a card that reeks of controlling power. Not human power, or power over others, but power of the other worlds (heaven or hell?). The controlling power of magic.


Yesterday, I was looking at the card with an electrical bulb. I just took a look now using the sun and I noticed a few details I couldn't see yesterday. First, the magician's cloak is green, and second, that the characters on the sides of the steps are symbols I don't recognize; they are not astrologically related though, that's for sure.

Is the green related to the Fool? The Fool who embraced his/her immortality and became green, and now as the Magician is learning to control the powers that come with immortality and with this new realm?


The only symbol I can recognize is the symbol for Pi.


I just noticed that the King of Cups looks a lot like the Magician.


Perhaps we're not supposed to understand the symbols. They could represent the underlying mathematics of the multiverse, and by understanding and manipulating them, the Magician is able to perform his magic. The inclusion of certain symbols we recognise shows that this power is within every one of us, so everyone has the potential to have the Magician's power.


Just had to add my two cents worth.... if you compare the fool with the magician (with the skulls and the arches) it is almost as if things have been organized... the arch has been tighten ed up into the standing stones motif rather than falling down, and the scattered skulls have been collected to hold the flame, and green clocked person has gathered assistants....just a thought


One thing i like about this card is that the magician isnt a lone experimenter with the elements before him. He seems to be getting the power of the elements through his gang. He is not a lone, he is a master, a leader and full of power and control. I dont think the others are envious, they seem to be honoured to take part in this act. The gang (i dont want to use words like coven or magicians circle etc) free the magician to experience the 5th element, Spirit, Awen, the Divine, hence the lightening blot. I wish i could have that kind of control and not be worried of the consequences. They want to see what will happen, maybe they have tried this method and others before and this is the first time they've got lucky? They are not fearful of the power but realise they are akin to it and want to use it to benefit their whole world. In a world of darkness and using candlesticks, the electricity of a thunderbolt must be a wonder to behold, natural and supernatural and strange to them but still part of them.

A definate connectedness here that we certainly do not have much of in our world.
Just a few ramblings from todays card



To me, this card doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the deck. It’s not monochromatic, and it doesn’t have a vampire or gargoyle on it. In fact, it doesn’t look terribly gothic to me. But the green mist intrigues me. It reminds me of the green mist from Braham Stoker’s Dracula, the mist that creeps into people’s bedrooms and calls to them; the spirit of the vampire. The magician is sending this mist out. He has created it, and now releases it to the world. He looks old, ancient, yet, he doesn’t look like a vampire to me. Regarding the lightning that pierces this scene - is it coming down from the sky and into the magician’s hand, like it would do to a lightning rod, or is the magician generating this lightning and sending it to the sky?