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Monday, 5 May 2014

Sherlock Holmes Tarot -- Hot Pursuit

Hey, it's bank holiday Monday, no work! Lovely. :) Today we begin to see why some people may not like the Sherlock Holmes Tarot (Connections, 2014). The majors have all had their names changed, which might be bad enough to some, but the minors are a great departure from tradition. Not only have all the suits been changed, but there are no pips of any kind on any card. You simply cannot tell by looking at the image which tarot card it is meant to be. Today's card is 7 of Wands. Can you see seven wands here? Can you see anything here that remotely reminds you of the 7 of Wands? Me neither.

John Matthews and Wil Kinghan have chosen to dispense with Swords, Wands, Cups and Pentacles and have instead made their suits Observation (cards have an icon of an eye), Evidence (footprint), Analysis (magnifying glass), and Deduction (question mark). And so the icons and the number are all you get on each card to cue you as to what tarot card it is. The image itself refers to something from the Sherlock Holmes stories, which may or may not seem, to you, to relate to the traditional card meaning.

Let's talk first about the 7 of Wands. It is a card about boldly going on the offensive, going after what you want, defending yourself, standing up to challengers, showing conviction, meeting challenges, fighting spirit, courage, perseverance in the face of seemingly hopeless situations.

In the Sherlock Holmes Tarot, we see Watson with a dog, moving through a tunnel in the usual lamplit, foggy London streets we associate with Holmes stories. To me, it looks like they're taking a leisurely stroll, but according to the companion book, Watson is being dragged along by this dog, hot on the trail of a fleeing criminal. The book refers to the dog as a 'drag hound', but as drag hunting involves an artificial trail created beforehand by dragging something along to create sport, I would say it is more of a trail hound, because he is following the trail of actual prey (in this instance, a criminal). But that's just being picky.

The dog in question is from the Holmes stories, and is called Toby. Holmes says he would 'rather have Toby's help than that of the whole detective force of London'. I can see how being dragged along by a hound hot on the trail would be rather like the tenacity of the man in the 7 of Wands leaning over his enemies to whack and slash at them. It's too bad the image in the card looks more like Watson is whistling a tune with his hat pushed back on his head than having his arm pulled out of the socket by an excited dog on the chase.

The card asks me to consider: where do I need more tenacity in my life? In what areas should I put more effort? What am I hot on the trail of? or Where may I have lost the scent of my true direction? What is the elusive prey that I seek, and what do I need to do to catch up to it? It asks you to consider those things, too.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you! Trying to decide if I want to buy this deck or not. Your comments are helpful.

    ReplyDelete