Author Topic: Eris in Tarot  (Read 2111 times)

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Eris in Tarot
« on: September 14, 2008, 06:12:24 am »
Doing a speech on tarot and ran across this in my research. It greatly amused me, so I thought I'd share.

Quote from: Clive Barret, creator of the Norse Tarot and Ancient Egyptian Tarot
You say you continue to make discoveries about the deck which you were not aware of during its creation. Can you elaborate further on this?

This has happened many times, usually intentionally placed symbolism is found to have other shades of meaning. For example, the Five of Swords shows a woman loosely holding a sword while the man, possibly her husband stands by the window leaning on the wall for support. The woman rests against a chest draped with a black cloth, on the chest is an apple.

This apple was originally intended to suggest the story of the Garden of Eden, with the associated ideas of woman's control over man. But the apple is whole, no bite has been taken from it and it's colour is gold.

When I considered this later I realised that the apple also suggested a another myth. According to the ancient Greeks the goddess Eris (goddess of Strife, which links the card to the Five of Wands), who had not been invited to a wedding, took revenge and thereby, caused trouble for Paris and directly brought about the Trojan War (the Five of Wands again). She did this by throwing an apple, baring the inscription "For the fairest" into the midst of the wedding guests. Three goddesses claimed the apple and Paris was given the task of judging which of the three was the fairest.

This myth adds a further dimension to the interpretation of the card.
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Re: Eris in Tarot
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2008, 11:12:16 am »
Interesting.  In Thoth Tarot, the five of wands is the card most closely corresponding with Eris and Strife.

There are connotations of trickery, fire, change, struggle, conflict, destruction and renewal.  The card itself is titled "strife" and obviously you can have plenty of fun with the five and Kabbalah, if you're bored. 

The five of swords, however, is a far more negative card.  It suggests fatalism and defeat, an intellect that can clearly see the problems and struggles to come, but is unable to resist.  On the other hand, it is about the most negative interpretation in the entire pack, and you could interpret it as an intellect that distrust stability and order and prefers the struggles of change and chaos, no matter how hard they may be.

Here endeth my symbology talk.


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Re: Eris in Tarot
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2008, 05:25:38 pm »
I've found that most Tarot decks use the five of all suits as a form of strife within the suit.  Usually because 4 is such a solid dependable number, and five following seems to undermine that stability. Which is evident in the Kabbalistic tree of life as well.
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