The Original MLP Tarot Card Set
This was a two year project I started when I first started drawing MLP fanart. While I finished all these cards this summer I realized I forgot to upload all the designs to DeviantArt, so here they are. While I have seen many different tarot decks, now a day most look on the surface without dividing deep to the traditional symbolism of the cards, most just loosely rehashing Rider-Waite imagery. So I decided to create a MLP deck that connects closer to the original symbolism. As a pre-medical student and biology major I avoid divination and superstitious nature of the tarot but am more fascinated by the history and art of traditional tarot. While the Rider-Waite and Thoth decks were used for initial influence, a lot of the symbolism I drew from the older Hermetic Golden Dawn teachings, world numerology, and Eastern symbolism. Working on this deck as inspired me to start working on my own non-MLP tarot deck, where I funneled most of the esoteric symbolism I researched, while make thing this fan themed deck more light hearted and easier to read.
0 The Fool – Derpy Hooves
While most believe I chose Derpy as the Fool for the association of being foolish or silly, in traditional tarot symbolism the Fool represents the first step or start of a journey. As the current MLP fandom started with Derpy’s image on 4chan, I see no better representation for start of both this fandom and this tarot deck than our friend Derpy Hooves.
1 The Magician – Trixie
In traditional symbolism this card represents energy, creativity, and self-confidence, trying to gain control of the elements that make up this world. This is the first numbered card and coincidentally was the first card drawn. Trixie’s self-confidence and potential is represented in this card.
2 The High Priestess – Twilight Sparkle
This card represents an understanding that comes through personal experience, the main theme of the show and represents Twilight’s growth throughout the series.
3 The Empress – Princess Celestia
The Empress card in traditional tarot portrays a motherly figure which represents fertility, birth, and nurturing. Princess Celestia, acts as the mentor and mother to the characters of the show as well as uniting the three pony races together (Earth Pony, Pegasus, and Unicorn). As this is the third card, it represents the three pony races united under Celestia and the previous 3 Generations of My Little Pony that gave birth to the current incarnation of the franchise.
4 The Emperor – Lauren Faust
The Emperor card represents creating order and stability. Coincidentally the number four represents foundations and building as well, think of the four Classical Elements, four DNA bases, four directions, and four corners of the house that forms the base. Lauren Faust, who took the MLP franchise from chaos and ruin, rebuilt and gave a new structure to the show. This adds to the numerology if one notes that Faust’s reboot is known as Generation 4.
5 The Hierophant – Cheerilee
This card in traditional tarot represents knowledge, and typically portrays a teacher or figure of authority and education. Cheerilee in the show is the school teacher to all the little ponies.
6 The Lovers – Princess Cadence and Shining Armor
The Lovers represents joining and coming together. Also the decisions that come with such unions. Princess Cadence and Shining Armor represent this card.
7 The Chariot – Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, Applebloom
This card represent seeking adventure or triumph of will in difficult circumstance. The three younger fillies of the show all are currently trying to find their purpose and Cutie Mark.
8 The Justice – Applejack
The Justice card represents responsibility, rational thought, clear vision, and consequence of actions at hand. Applejack represents the element of Honesty in the show and out of all the characters is most focused with her work and profession, providing for her family, and thinking in a rational manner. However sometimes hard work and logical thought doesn’t always led to the expected outcome as Applejack found out in Last Round Up.
9 The Hermit – Zecora
This card represents isolating oneself to be free from distractions and determination to find own truth. Zecora in the show lives in isolation away from Ponyville in the mysterious Everfree forest. Despite isolation from society, she is wiser and has more worldly experience than most other ponies.
10 Wheel of Fortune – Doctor Hooves
This card represents random change at hand. Doctor Hooves is a fan name character who was named for his similar appearance to the 10th Doctor from Doctor Who. Thus the 10th Doctor for card 10. The TARDIS in Doctor Who takes the Doctor to random times and places, always offering adventure. Coincidentally the Doctor is the title of ancient Taoist shamans and are represented by the Chinese character for ten, thus perfect for the 10th card of this deck.
11 The Strength/Lust – Rainbow Dash
The Strength card, also called the Lust in certain decks, discipline, control the situation, and elevating one higher, as well as the pride and ego that comes with these traits. Rainbow Dash is one of the best flyers in the show and worked hard to get to that point, show knows she is the best however this occasionally leads to her boastful nature. Yet when she needs to gain control of the situation she can fly higher and faster than any other pegasus.
12 The Hanged Man – Pinkie Pie
While the Hanged Man might bring negative images to mind, in traditional tarot symbolism this card represents letting go, willingly surrendering, inner harmony, and a new point of view. All represents the carefree, happy, forth wall breaking Pinkie Pie, who does not worry about the expected or norm and just enjoys her own life doing what she wants; even if this may break the laws of gravity a few times.
13 The Death – Queen
The title of this card is grim but it simple means the transformation needed to created change, for the better or worst. The changeling leader, Queen Chrysalis, is the perfect representation of change and transformation. Her transforming ability could have brought negative change, Equestria being control by changelings, however it brought positive change, the renewal of love and marriage of Princess Cadence and Shining Armor. Originally Nightmare Moon was planned for this card, again another character who represents change.
14 Temperance/Art – Rarity
The Temperance card is also called the Art card, it represents artistic talent, creativity, professionalism, and passion for one’s work and career. The talented Rarity represents this card, not only does is she a successful dress maker, she is good and loves what she creates.
15 The Devil – Discord
The Devil represents probability and random occurrence. Choice and action, chaos, and certain actions that may not have an equal outcome. This discord associated with this card is perfectly represented by the god of chaos Discord. The Devil card, like Discord, is not necessarily evil, but is random and with random probability one will never know if the outcome is good or bad.
16 The Tower – Everfree Castle
The lighting struck tower is considered the most negative card in the tarot deck. It represents an unexpected event which ushers sudden change. In our current world, the struck tower even has more negative connotations. However change can be for the better or worst. The scary tower in the Everfree Castle was the home of Nightmare Moon and was a place of clear danger to the Mane Six however this is where they realized the magic of friendship and allowed for the rebirth of the Elements of Harmony.
17 The Star – Princess Twilight Sparkle
The single small star surrounded by an endless black sky represents the small glimmer of hope in the darkest of times. This card represents guidance as much as hope. The newly crowned Princess Twilight Sparkle will represent the guidance and hope for a new era of the MLP show and franchise. In the new Season 4 premier she helped guide Equestria when Princess Celestia and Luna went missing.
18 The Moon – Princess Luna
Stumbling around in darkness the Moon card represents confusion, lack of clarity, trapped, flux, and lost. Princess Luna, who raises the Moon, was lost for 1000 years when she was trapped in the form of Nightmare Moon. Even as she returned to her normal form she still is trying to understand this current world and her place in this new Equestria.
19 The Sun – Princess Celestia
The Sun card represents clarity that joy brings. Princess Celestia, who raises the Sun, gives guidance and clarity to Twilight and the other ponies whenever they are confused. Happiness, friendship, and joy are the lessons she teaches.
20 Judgement – Fluttershy
Winter Wrap Up! Time to wake up all the little hibernating animals. This card represents hearing a call and awakening. The gentle Fluttershy, the caretaker of animals, is the one who helps wake up the animals during Winter Wrap Up from their long hibernation.
21 The World – Spike
Spike take a letter. The last card, the World, represents the successful completion of a journey. After every trail and lesson, the ponies conclude it all with a letter written by the baby dragon Spike to Princess Celestia. Spike might be the odd one out but an equally important character that completes the pony circle of friends. Signed, your faithful student.
Please do not use or reproduce my artwork without my permission or for commercial gain. These cards are not meant for serious guidance or divination.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic designs/concepts © Lauran Faust
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic © Hasbro/Studio B/DHX Media
Artwork by and © SouthParkTaoist
"The Justice tarot card is a symbol of truth, fairness, and law. As she sits in her chair, the scales in her left hand represent how intuition should balance logic. She symbolizes impartiality with the double-edged sword in her right hand. The clarity in thought which is required to dispense justice are symbolized by the square on the crown she wears. Behind her, there is a purple cloak and standing grey pillars. Beneath her red cloak, which is held together by a clasp, she shows the tip of a white shoe. This is a spiritual reminder that what she delivers are the outcomes of their actions."
Your description while accurate imply Applejack as being a very logic pony. I digress, AJ almost always has chose what she felt was right(Intuition) over logic. As the better example of her deviating from logic was how she dealt with Zecora, while Twilight was trying to exhaust every possibility before jumping to the supernatural, AJ was not only going with it from the start but she was the most terrified of the mane six. This isn't exactly 'balancing intuition with logic' however overall I don't think she stray much from balance. Or from what the card Justice symbolize, like the aspects of fairness, truth and responsibility. So yeah, good pick.
I am assuming you must get this a lot but I was wondering on how I can purchase the decks from you. I saw your schedule ( not sure if it is up to date) and I don't see you being on the East coast any time soon that I can travel too. I am willing to pay extra for S&H. Thank you in advance, hope to hear from you soon!
Can't guarantee it's the original one from 1983, in fact I'd say it's an original creation because it reads as 3.x, but it also seems like a nicely balanced artifact as far as these things go. I'd be more willing to put this one into a real campaign than the basic version, given the diluted chance of something catastrophic happening.
The Deck of Many Things is actually based off of a modified tarot deck. The DMG mentions being able to use a deck of playing cards, which is also true of tarot (hearts = cups, diamonds = coins/pentacles, clubs = wands, spades = swords). Some of the cards are more obvious than others, for example the Tower in tarot becomes the "Throne" (castle) card in the DoMT.
Interesting fact! An early Dragon magazine issue (#77) had a full 78 card "tarot deck of many things", I couldn't begin to tell you all the effects of said cards so good luck hunting down a copy of that issue
The takeaway is this: If you want to use an MLP-themed deck of many things, this image is the one you want. The 3rd edition DoMT is a twenty-two card deck, which is exactly the number of cards in the Major Arcana (the Fool is card #0). You'll have to decide which ones are which and make your own cheat sheet, but that might also inspire you to modify some of the effects of the cards, which could make things even more fun. The DoMT is a bit of a D&D legend most players are familiar with, so custom cards can be a great way to mix things up while using a classic item.
Bonus fun fact: The Tower card (aforementioned as inspiring the Throne) always displays lightning striking the tower. This is because originally the "tower" card was the "strike of lightning" card. The tower symbolism was added later. The more you know!