A figure that has to be taken as symbolic of a teacher or moral leader, in the contemporary world: he does not have the supreme authority that he once held in many people’s lives.
‘The Pope in a Tarot reading is a teacher or instructor, a guiding figure in the situation.'
It was customary to portray disciples or pupils as tiny figures, compared to the stature of the teaching figure.
6 The Lover
‘The Lover must choose; the hand strays one way, the eye another. A card of decision.’
Although most traditional Tarot sets show the Lover making a choice between two women - sometimes said to represent Vice and Virtue, but probably a little more complicated than that! - early Tarot decks, which varied more in their imagery, can show a different picture. The image I posted from the so-called French Charles VI deck (actually from 15c Italy) looks remarkably like a Triumphal Procession. These medieval processions may have provided at least some of the sources for Tarot imagery. In my book 'Tarot Triumphs' there's a re-creation of watching one such pageant, the Twenty-Two Triumphs passing by.
7 The Chariot
No reins? The driver must remain ever watchful, self-reliant and alert’
The famous Rider-Waite Tarot pack, devised in modern times, shows the Chariot drawn by sphinxes. This is a break with portraying horses in traditional Tarot - or is it? One early pack, the Vieville of 1650 does have sphinxes pulling the Chariot. And in Renaissance imagery, triumphal cars and chariots were sometimes shown pulled by lions as well as sphinxes and other exotic creatures. Going further back, the Phrygian Goddess Cybele was conveyed in a chariot pulled by lions. More to Chariots than at first meets the eye!
‘Justice, clear-sighted, witnesses every action and its consequences.’
'In ancient Egypt, every person was said to undergo an elaborate judgement ritual after death to have their deeds scrutinized by the gods. This involved entering the Hall of Truth and having their hearts weighed in the scales of Justice.
The Tarot Justice is traditionally shown with her eyes open, ie clear-sighted, as opposed to later versions of this emblem with eyes blindfolded.
More on Tarot card 'Justice' – I posted two lovely cards from historic packs known as Jean Noblet and Jacques Viellville (both French, 17th c.). Both have a very clear, open gaze.
And there's a very good article about the life of the card-makers at this time in Paris at http://www.tarot-history.com/Jacques-Vieville/ Here's a quote from it:
"In the mid-17th century, Paris (composed of what is today only 6 arrondissements) had 4,000 gaming rooms. Cards were fragile, often discarded, and therefore represented an important market. To keep a better watch over them, card-makers were confined to a certain area of each town. They were under permanent surveillance by the police and tax agents. Workers were hand-picked and required to carry a pass."