A Tarot Moment…

 Posted by on May 18, 2015 at 11:53 am  Mad Men
May 182015

I read tarot cards at last night’s finale event in NYC, and after the show decided to pull one last card to sum up the finale. The Angel/Judgment came up (not for the first time that evening). Deb Lipp and I both agreed it was the perfect symbol of Don Draper’s ending moments. The image of the sun, the card’s associations with rebirth, absolution, redemption and new beginnings…

If you’re interested, you can read my ruminations here on the series’ pagan ending. I hope to write more on this and related topics (like tarot!) for the Basket of Kisses blog in the near future, as well as discuss some of the last season’s color symbolism.

What a finale, huh?


  11 Responses to “A Tarot Moment…”

  1. Intriguing. I almost wonder what a MM-themed tarot deck might look like. (A themed pack of regular playing cards would likely be more appropriate for the show’s milieu… but not *nearly* as full of potential!)

    • Interesting idea!! It would have a great many advertising images in it, I imagine. Maybe the four suits could be four different types of product/themes (and memorable moments containing them) while the trumps could be the main characters. Swords = automobiles/travel, air = tobacco, cups = cosmetics, pentacles = food/drink.

      I think my next post will be a casting of the Major Arcana trumps with characters; stay tuned!

      • Who would Don be: the Magus ( the Juggler pre-Waite) or the Fool ?

        • My first thought was to have him be the Fool; but of course, the Magician makes MUCH more sense. Maybe Harry Crane as the Fool? 😉

        • My thoughts so far (just rambling around in my head):

          The Fool: Peggy Olsen
          The Magician: Donald Draper
          The Priestess: Stephanie Horton
          The Emperor: Roger Sterling
          The Empress: Joan Holloway Harris
          The Hierophant: Bert Cooper
          The Lovers: Megan Calvet Draper
          The Chariot: Pete Campbell
          Justice: Ken Cosgrove
          The Hermit: Sal Romano
          Wheel of Fortune:
          Strength: Henry Francis
          The Hanged Man: Layne Pryce
          Death: Rachel Katz
          Temperance: Freddie Rumsen
          The Devil: Harry Crane
          The Tower:
          The Star: Betty Draper
          The Moon: Sally Draper
          The Sun: Glen Bishop
          Judgment: Anna Draper
          The Wheel of Fortune:
          The World: Stephanie Horton

          Still playing around with these. My article will explain the reasons for the choices based up the tarot’s symbolism, attributes and associations.

          • Perhaps Anna as the Priestess?

            • She was my first choice for High Priestess; and Stephanie was the World; I may change back to that.

            • oops, I had forgotten to put Anna as the World; so yeah she and Stephanie are interchangeable as High Priestess and World, sorta; But I like Stephanie in the more youthful role of priestess…

          • Freddy Rumsen as Temperance is a good choice. :) I wonder about using only one person for a card titled “The Lovers.” There are many romantic pairings in the show, of course; it’s hard to select which would be the most definitive, i.e. “THE Lovers.”

            One approach to this (to the whole deck, really) might be to view each card not as belonging to an individual character, but rather, in terms of Don’s relationship to them. Viewed that way, “The Lovers” could be all of Don’s paramours, the ones to whom he wasn’t married: Midge, Rachel, Bobbie, Suzanne, Allison– the whole lot. Women were important to Don Draper, the construct; none were individually that significant, except in the moment, but all served the same purpose, which was absolutely necessary to letting him be him.

            Going from the same idea, perhaps The Fool could be Dick Whitman?

  2. In Anna’s reading for Don, Judgment was in position 5 (Crowning):

    • That’s right!!! I had forgotten; I am in the process of reviewing the tarot stuff from that episode for the piece I am working on…(busy week)

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