Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Tarot archetypes have so spread throughout popular culture that even people with no interest in the cards might identify a favorite. Could such a favorite card be emblematic of a person's life?

Let's consider the recording artist Nico, renowned for her work with The Velvet Underground. She professed a virtual abhorrence for Tarot cards. When asked if she ever used the cards, she answered:

"No, that is one thing I cannot stand. I just don't like tarot cards. I mean, I like the four of swords. That's about all." (interview from The Velvet Underground Companion by Albin Zak)

The Four of Swords traditionally symbolizes a period of rest, with a connotation of isolation/exile and an undertone of entombment. Does this card represent Nico's life? Her final fifteen years were characterized by heroin addiction. She died prematurely from a heart attack and head trauma while bicycling.

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