Author Topic: XV. Devil - Magus  (Read 1499 times)

tushantin

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XV. Devil - Magus
« on: December 14, 2011, 01:41:39 pm »
XV.
DEVIL:



Summary: *Reserved*

Symbolism: "In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Devil sits above two naked human demons—one male, one female, who are chained to his seat. The Tarot Devil card is derived in part from Eliphas Levi's famous illustration "Baphomet" in his Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie (1855). Baphomet is winged and horned, combining human and bestial features. Many modern Tarot decks portray the Devil as a satyr-like creature. In the Tarot of Marseilles, the devil is portrayed with facial features in unusual places, such as a mouth on his stomach, eyes on his knees, and with female breasts and male genitalia.

According to Waite, the Devil is standing on an altar.[1] In his left hand, the Devil holds a great flaming torch inverted towards the earth. A reversed pentagram is on his forehead.

Eliphas Levi says in his book, Transcendental Magic, its Doctrine and Ritual that:

"A reversed pentagram, with two points projecting upwards, is a symbol of evil and attracts sinister forces because it overturns the proper order of things and demonstrates the triumph of matter over spirit. It is the goat of lust attacking the heavens with its horns, a sign execrated by initiates." In Native American tarot, the attribution is often more complex than this.[2]"

(From wikipedia)

Keywords: Ravage, weird or strange experience, downfall, unexpected failure, controversy, violence, disaster, an ill-tempered person
Reversed: Divorce, release, handicaps are overcome, enlightenment
(From themysticeye.com)

Description: "Perhaps the most misunderstood card of all the major arcana, the Devil is not really "Satan" at all, but Pan the half-goat nature god and/or Dionysius (Bacchus). These are gods of pleasure and abandon, of wild behavior and unbridled desires. Sometimes, this card says, it is good to dance with Bacchus, surrendering control, or be Bacchus and manipulate. Too much restraint can hold you back and keep you from achieving important things.

In this regard, we might say that this card is about being honest with yourself. What do you desire? What gives you pleasure? What has power over you (and will enslave you if you let it), and what makes you feel powerful (and will help you reach your highest goals)?

With Capricorn as its ruling sign, the Devil is also a card about ambitions, about commitment and resourcefulness. This is the mountain goat that aims to get to the top and does all its needs to do to get there.

As a person, the Devil can stand for a man or woman of money or erotic power, aggressive, controlling, or just persuasive. This is not to say a bad person, but certainly a powerful person who is hard to resist. The querent needs to watch themselves lest they end up needing this powerful person to give them identity. On the other hand, the querent might find themselves in "Devil" mode, egging others on, playing puppetmaster. This, too, can become their identity. Thus, the addict and pusher can create a co-dependent relationship that is not healthy for either.

When not indicating a person, the Devil card is synonymous with temptation and addiction, anything that we find hard to resist be it chocolate, sex or heroin. Readers should ask querents if there's anything they've been having trouble resisting of late. It is important to point out, as the card does, that, often (though not always), we don't resist is because we don't want to. This needs to be recognized and acknowledge as it means that the power to change the situation is with us, not with what tempts us."

(From Aeclectic Tarot)

Fool's Journey: "The Fool comes to the foot of an enormous black mountain where reigns a creature half goat, half god. At his hooves naked people, linked to the god's throne by chains, engage in every indulgence imaginable: sex, drugs, food, drink. The closer the Fool gets, the more he feels his own earthly desires rising in him. Carnal desires, hunger for food and power, greed and selfishness. "I have given up all such desires!" he roars at the Goat god, resisting the beast's power with all his might. He is sure that this is a test of his new spirituality, one where he must prove that the temptations of the material world cannot sway him.

The creature responds to his defiance with a curious look. "All I am doing is bringing out what is already in you," it responds mildly. "Such feelings are nothing to fear, nothing to be ashamed of, or even to avoid. They are even useful to helping you in your quest for spirituality, though many try to pretend otherwise."

The Fool gestures angrily at the chained men and women, "You say that even though these are clearly enslaved to the material world?"

The Goat-god mimics the Fool's gesture. "Take another look." The Fool does so, and realizes that the chained collars the men and women wear are wide enough for them to easily slip off over their heads. "They can be free if they wish to be," the Goat-god says, "They remain here because they want to be controlled by their base, bestial desires. There are, however, others…."

At this the Goat-god gestures upward, toward the peak of the mountain. "…Others who have used these same impulses to climb to the highest heights. If they had denied their desires they'd never have gotten there."

On hearing this, the Fool sees that he has mistaken the Goat-god. This is not a creature of evil as he thought, but of great power, the lowest and the highest, both of beast and god. Like all power, it is frightening, and dangerous...but it is also a key to freedom and transcendence. '"

(from Aeclectic Tarot)

Feel free to post additional insights into the card, questions, & ideas for the artists to consider!
« Last Edit: December 14, 2011, 01:55:18 pm by tushantin »

tushantin

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Re: XV. Devil - Melchior
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2011, 01:44:29 pm »
Reserved for further info from Syna, Lady Marle or xcalibur.

Although here's mine:
- For one thing, I think the "reversed pentagram" bit is lame (for many symbolical reasons), but we can have the "Pentacle" that Magus uses in his fort to construct an elemental barrier.
- Rather than chained man and woman, we could have something else: How about chained Guardian soldiers?

Actually, I would say Mystics rather than Guardian soldiers. Magus fought the Guardians, but he entralled the Mystics. Seems closer to the meaning of the card, anyway.

Alternately you could portray the Mystics in thrall to the Magus statue, though I'm personally a little less fond of that idea.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 02:51:03 pm by tushantin »

alfadorredux

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Re: XV. Devil - Magus
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2011, 05:49:22 pm »
Actually, I would say Mystics rather than Guardian soldiers. Magus fought the Guardians, but he entralled the Mystics. Seems closer to the meaning of the card, anyway.

(I have got to stop trying to cast a Cross tarot—even coming up with a list is kinda premature until we have the first deck finished...)

tushantin

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Re: XV. Devil - Magus
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2011, 11:21:15 pm »
(I have got to stop trying to cast a Cross tarot—even coming up with a list is kinda premature until we have the first deck finished...)
If you'd like I can start a Cross discussion thread. XD

Syna

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Re: XV. Devil - Magus
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2011, 02:37:02 pm »
OH HOWEVER WILL YOU MAKE MAGUS LOOK LIKE THE DEVIL MY I JUST DON'T KNOW

... *cough* This really should not be too difficult.

My feeling about this is that Magus' infamous summoning-Lavos room would be the most evocative and appropriate. The four-armed statue in there is incredibly Satanic-looking, and you could add some symbolism -- chains, bat wings, dead babies, pentagrams, whatever your fancy -- to the circle below him, the candelabras, or random pillars. (BTW, what've you got against the inverted Pentagram, tush? I do like your pentacle idea, though.)

Alternately you could portray the Mystics in thrall to the Magus statue, though I'm personally a little less fond of that idea.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 02:45:34 pm by Syna »

Syna

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Re: XV. Devil - Magus
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2011, 02:45:01 pm »
Full disclosure: I detest Toriyama's Magus artwork. I think it makes him look like the Elephant Man (with apologies to the Elephant Man, who does not deserve such treatment). I'm not putting it up here, though someone else is welcome to. Have some Synn et al instead:





And here's some throne room & statue for good measure:





tushantin

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Re: XV. Devil - Magus
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2011, 03:02:06 pm »
...dead babies...
...wow...

(BTW, what've you got against the inverted Pentagram, tush?)
Based on my open-ended research and assessment, the reversed pentagram is symbolically incorrect to what it is seemingly supposed to represent (then again, I think on this term abstractly). Unfortunately, that's a long topic though worthy of discussion; we wouldn't wanna derail this thread, do we? XD

BTW, what's a "Synn et al"?

(Updated the second post)

My interpretation of Magus was always sorta "Demon King-ish", the devil awaiting the fool (Cyrus) to fall, always patient and decisive -- the superior evil who simply can't go wrong. Back when I was writing a Cyrus fanfic I managed to give the maturing Janus such depth that intensified Magus' characters in ways some couldn't imagine. I think I also wrote some verses based on the events of burning of Zenan forest (the same verses played when the Masamune breaks):

"All hail Magus, King of the Mystics,
King of fiends and vehement wrath;
Legends break unto his name,
Salvation bathe in bloodbath."


Unfortunately I forgot the rest.  :?

Speaking of which, how particular are you about details? Would it be awesome to have drawn a whole set of sigils on that pentacle, just for the art, or shall we half-ass it and go squiggly kids on it?

(P.S.: I'd say Zephira would have been the best artist for this tarot, if she was still around; she's a Magus fan, and loves those styles rather than Toriyama-canon)
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 03:05:20 pm by tushantin »

Syna

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Re: XV. Devil - Magus
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2011, 03:46:17 pm »
I was joking about the dead babies, but again, feel free to surprise me ;)

Quote from: tushantin
Based on my open-ended research and assessment, the reversed pentagram is symbolically incorrect to what it is seemingly supposed to represent (then again, I think on this term abstractly). Unfortunately, that's a long topic though worthy of discussion; we wouldn't wanna derail this thread, do we? XD

Ohh. We should discuss it over PM sometime. My only attachment to it, in terms of the Devil, is that it signals the meaning of materiality-slash-flesh, versus the spiritual. But that can be represented through other symbology! 

Quote
BTW, what's a "Synn et al"?

Synn is the artist of the first three fanarts I put up there.

Quote
Speaking of which, how particular are you about details? Would it be awesome to have drawn a whole set of sigils on that pentacle, just for the art, or shall we half-ass it and go squiggly kids on it?

I'm not going to presume -- if an artist is awesome enough to contribute to this project, I'll respect their vision. My job is to inspire. :) However, if someone would like to do a whole set of real sigils, I can definitely contribute more ideas, and I'm sure the others can too.

And indeed, I never met Zephira, but I'm a fan of her artwork through deviantart. She'd be a good candidate.

xcalibur

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Re: XV. Devil - Magus
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2011, 12:14:14 am »
the summoning room will work well, with the summoning circle and satanic statue. You could have Magus seated on a throne, with a Naga-ette and Goblin chained to it. or if you can't fit the throne, you could try variations - such as the Mystics chained to torches.

tushantin

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Re: XV. Devil - Magus
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2011, 04:35:59 am »
That reminds me: Isn't it possible that the satanic figure in the summoning chamber...



...is actually the fallen angel Arcmyst, the Shadow Emperor? The Black Wind himself?

Also, I'll see if I can get in touch with Zephira.