21 – The World

Card:  21 – The World

Deck:  The Vertigo Tarot

Visual Description:  Glowing green primordial ooze.  Silhouettes of plant life.  A female form seems to be emerging from the ooze or sinking into it.  The figure has no head, hands, or feet – or these extremities are still submerged.  A wreath of metal flecks dominates the center of the card, above it is a scrap of paper with color samples.

Another image I’m not wild about.  For the reasons noted on The Star, but also because its just not McKean’s best work.  The composition is stagnant, uninspired.

Character Analysis:  The character illustrated on this card is supposed to be the Swamp Thing, but he’s not really here – merely suggested in the plant silhouette.  What seems to be illustrated instead is the vegetable spirit of the Earth, “the Green,” that he communes with.

Astrological Attributions:  Saturn

My Stuff:

The World, The Universe, The Aeon

All that is and ever will be


The physical world as opposed to the spiritual one

Opinions of others

Weight of the World

Deep, deep primal truths

Looking outward

I get by with a little help from my friends…

Carlos Santana


20 – Judgement

Card:  20 – Judgement

Deck:  The Vertigo Tarot

Visual Description: An infant being held aloft above a sea of reaching hands. Above hir head, the bells of trumpets. The card is very red and fiery, but the feeling is celebratory.

Astrological Attributions: Uranus

My Stuff:

Reward and punishment

Snap judgement

Punishment does not fit the crime

Just deserts

Acknowledgement of a long, silent struggle

Delayed gratification

Happiness in the next life for suffering in this one

Resurrection (metaphorical)

Caution and careful thought are warranted


19 – The Sun

Card:  19 – The Sun

Deck:  The Vertigo Tarot

Visual Description: An infant riding what appears to be a wolfhound (definitely more “large dog” than “pony.”)  Gold metallic flecks cover the bottom of the card and circle around the child’s head.  On the left side of hir head are 7 symbolic solar rays.  A sumptuous looking bit of red fabric floats around the child and the dogpony.  Above the child’s head is a drawing of the sun surrounded by the moon in it’s orbit.  The upper part of the card glows with a light emanating from the drawing of the sun.

Astrological Attributions:  The sun

My Stuff:



Adam and Eve before the fall

Paradise regained





Helios Apollo


Robert Plant

18 – The Moon

Card:  18 – The Moon

Deck:  The Vertigo Tarot

Visual Description: Above, the moon, mostly full, with a slightly distorted face as though the surface of the card was a pool of water and someone threw a stone into it. Below, a giant lobster, in it’s claws are two skeletal dogs howling at the moon. Behind the dogs, two skyscrapers against a purple sky. The one on the left appears to be glowing with fire and possibly smoking. (This deck was published in 1995.)

Astrological Attributions: Pisces

My Stuff:





Trust your gut


Stevie Nicks

17 – The Star

Card:  17 – The Star

Deck:  The Vertigo Tarot

Visual Description: A headless form, initially appears to be female, but the right side is obscured in such a way to suggest a hermaphrodite. Three golden vessels are attached to the figure all pouring forth clear water. Behind it is a circular shape accented by a few gold stars. Over the right side of the image appear the gold flecks from Temperance and the Hanged Man.

This is such a positive card for me, and I don’t like this image.  None of the figures in this deck, male or female, are entire and proportional but this card, Temperance, and the World bring to mind the documentary series Killing Us Softly about how advertising completely objectifies women by reducing them to their “important” parts.  I seriously doubt that’s what McKean intended, but there it is.

Astrological Attributions: Venus

My Stuff:



A good omen

The opposite of the Tower – things are going your way

Take a chance


16 – The Tower

Card:  16 – The Tower

Deck:  The Vertigo Tarot

Visual Description: A huge tower on an outcropping of rock, struck by lightning. It appears to be exploding from the top and flames ring it’s middle. Falling from it are a book, on the left, and something not quite identifiable on the right – upside down, it looks a bit like a woman’s tank top or camisole, with words across the chest.

Astrological Attributions: Mars

My Stuff:


The Gods are laughing at you

Things are not going your way- gather your resources to weather the storm

Roll with the punches – and there will be punches

Damage control

A warning – something’s amiss, but you’ve got the chance to set it right if you act

Jimi Hendrix


15 – The Devil

Card: 15 – The Devil

Deck:  The Vertigo Tarot

Visual Description: A glowing masculine face with horns hovers over a beach chair. His left hand is in shackles. At the bottom left is a symbolic devil tail. A very simple image for this deck.

Character Analysis: Lucifer in the Vertigo universe quit his job as Lord of Hell and went on beach vacation. Later he opened a night club in LA.  So, yeah.

Astrological Attributions: none, Capricorn

My Stuff:

Bondage (not the good kind)

Holding on too tightly to things you don’t really need

Deception, lies, self deception

You hold the keys to your own liberation

Take back control

Mick Jagger