I have several decks, but today I’m looking at the Haindl and the Illuminati. They’re so vastly different, and yet, the balance the feminine and masculine genders in the court rather than the RWS masculine page, knight, king with the feminine queen.
To even suggest that masculine and feminine are the distinct property is potentially harmful for a young tarot reader. It might be more accurate to say they suggest the social norms we put upon the words masculine and feminine. To suggest that the tarot is non-binary is part of its essence. However, knowing the social binary is important because it’s a part of what the tarot has been based on to date.
Let’s consider the decks I’m about to explore. For the Haindl deck the artist has depicted a son and father relationship that mirrors the youth and experience in the court of any deck. As far as order goes, I believe the intent was for the son to be first in the court, then the daughter, then father, then mother. It’s not your traditional organization with the king finding his way to the top. Still, to think of the father and mother as a partnership might be more accurate. I like the idea of the mother at the pinnacle because all things flow back from or are born from her. Quite different than the Illuminati. The Illuminati deck follows more of the traditional pattern but balanced gender binary: princess, prince, queen, king.
The Haindl sons do not express any overt sexuality as a whole. In fact, Krishna and Osiris are the only two who have nearly an entire body (Osiris being the only one). Parsival and Chief Seattle are head shots. Krishna is the only son who seems to have an inkling of sexuality in his body at all. He’s supple, has a twinkle in his eye and looks like the kind of guy you’d find buying you a drink from across the bar. Osiris is a bit too … on display. Krishna is comfortable in his sexuality and has come to terms with being bisexual. Osiris is a gay republican with OCD. Still, he sees you for who you are, where Krishna sees you for a top or a bottom. Now Parsival is constantly falling in love and telling everyone about his latest flame. He’s not the (this is harsh) predator that Krishna is, but he’s easily wounded when he’s preyed upon by the Krishnas of the world. And the Chief, he’s the stalwart that is frustrated by the seemingly shallow actions of the other three. He’s convinced we need to do something about the gay movement and these three listen and do nothing. Osiris is really his only hope with Parsival close behind. Krishna, well Krishna is probably on the dance floor again.
These boys look to the future and communicate about it with anyone who will listen. Their fathers are a bit different. But we’ll get to them in a moment. Let’s take a look at the princes in the Illuminati.
No obvious sexuality in the boys of the Illuminati, though they are all handsome(ly drawn). What I notice in them that is different from the Haindl is that they are all so elaborately dressed. Not as much as the kings, but still, fancy. Part of it is position, but part of it is also the artist’s depiction of the element to which they belong. They follow the knight pattern of the traditional court, so they are all on horseback. Some more in control of the beast between their legs than others.The POW has a horse so enthusiastic that he can barley control him. The POS horse responds quickly and decisively to his master’s command. The POC horse is leading the way because his master is so engrossed he has implicit trust in his horse. And the POP marches forward at a steady pace, boring everyone around him, but producing. Baring any euphemism, let’s be clear: The POW is lead by his lust, the POS is too busy to be lusty (but makes him all the more attractive), the POC is too engrossed in love to be bothered with sex right now, and the POP is going to reproduce because it’s what he’s supposed to do and everyone else should do the same thing.
the Illuminati princes have the same issues together as the Haindl sons. They’re not great friends, but they’re the cousins at the reunion who are the same age and feel a sense of responsibility to recognize each other as equals.
To the kings and fathers!
The Illuminati kings are significantly more sexualized than the Haindl fathers. They sit with their legs spread, muscle and wealth on display, and stare at the practitioner wit ha sardonic smile, waiting for you to make the move (because they’ve already checked you). The KOW and KOC may be endowed potentially erotic lovers while the other two are more practical. Watch out for the KOP though – his hands are roamers.
the Haindl fathers are a bit too steeped in tradition to find their sexuality. Still, The Old Man is one to be so gentle you never feel unsafe. Odin is so romantic that you forgive his temper. Ra is practically out of 50 Shades of Grey and Brahma can make you feel as if you’ll never be touched by anyone else the same way again.
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