Why Giants?


Prompted by the "double-horizon" thread, as another "obvious" thing, I have often wondered why some of the figures in the RWS cards appear to be Giants? :D Fwiw, I have seen this alluded to in reference to the Marseille, where the claim was e.g. the "first row" of the major arcana are super-human sized (not too obvious) to reflect their semi-divine status. Perhaps this was catching? ;)



Macavity, I'm curious, what makes you think they are giants? they look pretty normal-sized to me... :confused:


Judging by the scarcity of replies, so did everyone else? :laugh: No matter!

I think, compared to the landscape a lot of the figures in thr RWS DO! (seem gigantic) - Seven of wands maybe? No? Perhaps PCS was being a little "inventive" with perspective in concentrating on symbolism? I have seen authors like Sallie Nichols (Jung and the Tarot) make more specific claims re. size matters ;) - but notably, for the Marseille Tarot (The hierophant is e.g. clearly bigger than his "congregation") But I too share some scepticism - Maybe something... and then again, nothing?



I see them as giants too, Macavity, compared to the backdrop anyway. (although they are quite small compared to me :D)


Giants? That had never occurred to me before it was brought up here. I'll have to bear that in mind the next time I look through my RWS.
On a related note, though - Pamela Smith's medievalized art for the RWS Tarot has a good deal of not-quite-right perspective in it. It's the same sort of flattened, iconic perspective that can be seen in most medieval European art, whether painting, sculpture, or textiles. That kind of perspective, or lack of it, may account for some of what you're seeing as Giant figures.


7 wands

This is one of the cards that does in fact have a person in stature of a giant, or so it can be interpreted. The stream/river below him is prominant, or perhaps its just a runnoff from somewhere else. (He is also wearing one shoe and one boot)

The six of cups may have some indication of this phenomenon, but maybe not. I have noticed this trend in these cards, however it only plays a minor part in some readings, and a major part in others. It is there for some reason.


Maybe it would be to suggest they are not real people but rather images of situations. And hence not normal in size or in the real world. Just a thought.

Little Baron

I agree Marion. They are like a dream sequence sometimes. The dwarf in the 6 of Cups, I often look at as the way that the old woman (if that is what she is) sees her son, possibly - he is a memory; grown up but in her mind, still a child.


If you look at the images in what is called the Mantegna Tarot many of them are the same way, with figures very large in relation to the landscape around them. I have seen this before in other art where the subject is mythological or iconographical and it may be way of expressing that the subject is not just a person but a force, an archetype.



I have not seen any of PCS artwork other than the tarot deck; maybe all her art had different perspectives? Kind of like when kids draw their homes, and they are outside, the same size as the house? And the sun (inevitably in the corner with a cloud drifting by) is also giant-sized. But maybe it's important to the child to fit everything on the page, whether or not it's to scale. So maybe PCS wanted to fit things in the space she had available, whether or not she drew them certain sizes to be symbolic or just because that's the way she liked to draw them! Unfortunately, I guess we'll never be absolutely sure what she intended.