Storm Arcana

Heroic Tarot & Arcana Academy

Heroic Tarot Tuesday: Iceman

Iceman by Jim Lee

Greetings, dear reader! This post is the third in a series about my process regarding my X-Men Tarot.   Today we take a look at all of the cards featuring Iceman.

The X-Men playing card deck is adorned with images of Marvel’s Merry Mutants.  I have created a system combining traditional Minor Arcana meaning with my vast knowledge of X-Men comic book stories.  The archetypal roles the X-Men represent bring the energy of the missing Major Arcana to the overall calculation.  I reveal the superheroic tales relevant to your path.   This dual reading is amplified by the elemental nature of whatever suit is pulled in addition to the numeralogical/feudal court energy contained therein.

One of the interesting aspects of the X-Men cards that I use is that every character gets to be represented four times. For example, Rogue is all of the Fours, Archangel is all of the Fives, Gambit is all of the Sixes etcetera. Iceman is represented on the face of all of the Threes.   The number three represents growth, self-expression and expansion.  This is interesting in relation to Iceman because out of all the original five X-Men, Bobby Drake would at first glance appear to have progressed the least in terms of character growth and power set.  Jean Grey became the Phoenix and died and returned and died again, Angel lost his feather wings and gained bladed wings as Archangel and is now capable of transforming into both forms, Beast went from a smart guy with big hands and feet to a furry Beast (at one point losing and regaining his intelligence) and then his secondary mutation transformed him into a cat-like beast and Cyclops once merged with Apocalypse and is now a taciturn general of all mutants.  Although his artistic representation has varied over the years, Iceman has remained relatively the same.

There have been times when the potential of Iceman’s abilities has been investigated.  Unfortunately, these moments were enacted by villains such as Loki, Mikhail Rasputin, and the White Queen.  Much later, Iceman gained new levels of power after an adventure in space and time and then appeared to undergo a secondary mutation in which he was turning completely into ice.  During a battle with the Children of the Vault, he used his powers to become a sentient gas.  Although Iceman has undergone various physical transformations and attitude adjustments throughout the years, his characterization as the youthful, fun-loving  jester eventually reemerges.

Note: I will be referring to each card by their traditional tarot names, although I will provide the equivalent playing card terms under each image.

Above artwork by Jim Lee.

Iceman - Three of Hearts

Iceman as the Three of Hearts/Cups

Iceman is classically portrayed as a kind-hearted, but joke-loving guy, just as affable as he is silly.  There is usually a sense of merriment about the character, an upbeat manner combined with a “can do” attitude.  This kind of personality dovetails nicely with the meaning of the Three of Cups, which is a card of celebration, friendship and community.  Being an X-Man means a great deal to Bobby.  His parents were not supportive of his mutant status and the X-Men became a family to him.  They are his friends, his comrades, his peers.  Iceman once shared that he kept up his jovial attitude even when he didn’t feel like it, because he thought it was his duty to keep up the spirits of those around him.  He saw his teammates embroiled in drama and chose to reflect joy.  His team spirit is often contagious because out of all the angst-ridden mutants in the X-Mansion, Bobby is perhaps the one most in touch with his inner child.  Let’s raise a toast to Iceman, the bond of friendship and the rewards of community!

Artwork by Jim Lee.

Iceman - Three of Swords

Iceman as the Three of Spades/Swords

On the other hand, we have The Three of Swords, which represents sorrow, loneliness and betrayal.  This is the Iceman who has difficulty finding a girlfriend.  From his high school flame Zelda Kurtzberg to Lorna Dane (Polaris) to Laynia Petrovna (Darkstar) to Opal Tanaka to Nurse Annie Ghazikhanian, Iceman has endured a string of heartbreak.  Some conjecture that Iceman is secretly gay and point to these relationships as proof.  I do wonder if Iceman’s inability (or refusal) to own up to his Omega level powers status is related to him being unable to find a partner that likes him in return.  I wonder if he is scarred so deeply by his parent’s rejection of his being a mutant that he secretly doesn’t like himself.  Bobby has admitted that his jester behavior is sometimes a mask to get through crises, but what if even he doesn’t perceive how bitter he has become?  After House of M, Iceman appeared to be one of the mutants robbed of their powers by the Scarlet Witch, but it was revealed that he simply had a mental block.  When we are disappointed or feel mistrustful, we lose focus.  Healing can only come when we make room for the sadness, allow ourselves to grieve, and then let go of our expectations that created our assumptions in the first place.  Creating his iceslide, Iceman is literally the master of his own path.  If he listens to his intuition, he will learn he need not travel it alone.

Artwork by Lee Weeks.

Iceman - Three of Diamonds

Iceman as the Three of Diamonds/Pentacles/Disks/Coins/Worlds

Being a master of the elements is hard work.  Like the Three of Pentacles, Iceman knows the value of teamwork and planning.  Oftentimes, he does not receive the credit he deserves.  For a moment forget about his string of bad romances, and his untapped potential.  Instead, let’s focus on Iceman’s tenacity.  Let’s celebrate his discipline.  Let’s praise his dependability.  From his time as an original X-Man to his brief tenure on the Champions and then the New Defenders, to X-Factor and then to the X-Men again, Bobby has been a rock.  One knows what to expect from Iceman.  And let’s not forget that if it wasn’t for Bobby creating an ice duplicate of himself when X-Factor fought a brainwashed Angel, then Jean wouldn’t have been able to help their teammate break free and come back to them.  Iceman is much more clever than people think and like the Three of Pentacles, he works hard to prove it.  It may have been his father’s wish that he study Accounting in college, but it was Bobby’s decision to follow through with commitment and focus (Yes, that’s right, you could hire the Iceman to do your taxes).

Artwork by Joe Quesada.

Iceman - Three of Clubs

Iceman as the Three of Clubs/Wands/Rods

The word that most people bandy about online regarding Iceman is “potential.”  They complain that he’s stuck, that he could be so much more.  They want him to be more powerful, more successful, more together.  They get upset when Psylocke has to amp his powers to freeze a monstrous Marrina.  “He should be able to do that on his own!” they say.  And perhaps they have a point.  Like the Three of Wands, Iceman is a bundle of opportunity waiting to be tapped.  In the picture above, Iceman is wearing a belt that was used to dampen his powers by the villainous group The Right.  Later, he was used as a pawn by the Norse god Loki who increased his powers to a point where Bobby had to use the belt just to battle alongside his teammates.  Did he groan and moan about being cursed by a god?  No, Iceman was happy that his scientist friend Beast was able to help him, that his other friends gave him their encouragement to keep faith that he would be cured.  On his best day, Iceman sees the longterm.  He has learned many lessons of leadership from those around him and understands that shared responsibility leads to teamwork.  He knows that with passion, direction, and ambition, he can manifest anything he wishes.  Though he manifests cold, his fire burns bright.

Artwork by Walter Simonson.

Depending on the layout and what other cards are present, oftentimes the energy of The World is symbolized by Iceman in a reading.  The World is the last card of the Major Arcana.  Just like Iceman is consistently tested to integrate his human side with his mutant ice manifestation, The World teaches us to experience wholeness. We accomplish our goals,  we share what we have, and we take pleasure in life.  Like Iceman, who relearns his life lessons over and over, we have been here before and we will be here again.  However, The World assists us in synthesizing of our knowledge of our past trials and moves us to the future with an uplifted spirit and an open heart.  Bobby Drake would have it no other way.

Thanks for reading about my X-Men Tarot process!  If you would like an X-Men Tarot reading (or a traditional Tarot reading), please contact me to make an appointment!

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