Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's a cliché in mystery novels and true-crime investigations that a killer leaves a Tarot Death card at the scene, as an ominous sort of calling card. It's as if people have forgotten that death isn't the opposite of life but rather the opposite of birth. A far "spookier" calling card would be the Wheel of Fortune, signifying the swift and unpredictable hand of fate.

The image depicted here is an early medieval Wheel of Fortune, from the illuminated manuscript Hortus Deliciarum (Garden of Delights) by Herrad of Hohenbourg. We shared this image with Tarot expert Adam McLean, who added, "This image was created around 1180, nearly 300 years before the first painted tarot cards were produced."

1 comment:

Eidolon said...

Death is the opposite of birth — Patrick Harpur talks a lot about this in Daimonic Reality: A Field Guide to the Otherworld.