King Penguin Of Swords

Our previously announced animated Tarot documentary is going nicely out of control, as illustrated by the above “content organisation” graph. A linear screenplay is, as of yet, impossible. Most likely, this film will not manifest itself primarily as one coherent full length release, but as loose snippets and experiments that we’ll post throughout its production. We’ve already started sharing own adaptations of standard tarot cards, like the King Of Swords.

We’ve experienced positive reactions to our slow journey into the world of tarot. This article points at at current worldwide state of weirding as a possible reason for renewed/sustained interest in spiritual symbolism as roadmap through the dreamlike reality.

Onstage readings, elaborate books and artworks thrive in an ‘age of uncertainty’

If the present and future are weird and uncertain, then the tarot can safely return to its original function as a game, albeit a game very different from the original renaissance tarocchi game. The divinatory practice will remain the tarot’s primary form for now. But as we abandon the idea of some supernatural predictive power inherent to the cards, and instead approach them as a “system” or “program” that can randomly generate narrative patterns, we can reintroduce the element of play into tarot use. The tarot no longer prophecies any supposed “absolute truths” that chains us to a predetermined future, but instead simulates new possibilities and (inner) worlds that we can freely explore.

“I thought it was all about telling the future and predictions and making money off people’s fears. I went in very sceptical and thinking I would find it all hooey but instead I came out with a huge amount of respect for tarot readers and tarot as a practice. A good tarot reader doesn’t tell you what’s going to happen, they simply allow you to think your question through in a different way.”

Alejandro Jodorowsky, too, describes the tarot as a “mobile cathedral” or a “philosophical machine”.

His guide to reading the cards (co-witten by Marianne Costa) is one of the more coherent and playful ones out there.

The diagram on our King Penguin Of Swords makes reference to Jodorowsky’s theory of tarot numerology.

We have seen how the rectangle that gives the Tarot its structure can be subdivided into two squares, Earth and Heaven(…)

The King card of each suit represents the bottom row of the heaven square (cards 6 and 7 in of the decimal series). Interestingly, the Knight, according to Jodorowsky and Costa) comes above the King (corresponding to cards 8-9). The Knight is the only court card depicted dynamically (on a horsse in motion), so the only one that can transcend its suit into a (weird?) new realm.