scrappy Rogue - Jim Lee

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

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, Archangel is all of the Fives, Gambit is all of the Sixes, Beast is all of the Sevens, etcetera. Rogue is represented on the face of all of the Fours.   The number Four represents the four seasons, the four directions and the four elements.  Four is the idea of home, not simply in one’s residence, but also in one’s body and one’s community, and in a larger sense, the world.  Four grounds us in the present, funding our persistence, stability and endurance.  It makes us examine the structures in our lives and what makes us feel secure.  As a mutant whose power to simultaneously absorb powers, memory and psyche with a touch, Rogue is familiar with these concepts.  After all, she has to live with the repercussions of each intimate connection for the rest of her life.  In recent stories, Mike Carey has written Rogue finally finding a way to control her powers.  However, for most of her published history, and especially during the era when these cards were sold, one of Rogue’s defining characteristics was that she was unable to touch another person without compromising her mental integrity.  After all, it was under Mystique’s guidance as a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants that Rogue fought Ms. Marvel and absorbed that heroine’s flight, invulnerability and strength, along with all of the heroine’s memories and personality.

During her tenure with the X-Men, Rogue has absorbed abilities and memories from countless villains and heroes and has had to live with the psychic residue of each one, long after the powers and thoughts wore off.  For a time she shared her mind with the psychic persona of Carol Danvers (the former Ms. Marvel), and when Rogue was knocked unconscious, the Carol entity would take over.  When the X-Men went through the reality-altering Siege Perilous, Rogue was separated from her alter ego.  In recent times, her mental slate was cleared.  The status of Rogue’s mental stability is always in flux, but somehow she always finds a way back to her center.  Whether she is taking a road trip with Iceman, or leaving Gambit stranded in Antarctica, Rogue does whatever she needs to do to feel secure.  And through all of her trials and tribulations, she endures.  She’s a Southern Belle, a Mississippi swamp rat, and everyone’s “sugah.”

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.

Four of Hearts - Rogue

Rogue as the Four of Hearts/Cups

Rogue is definitely ticked off in this image.  She wants to punch something (as befits her self-confessed “action junkie” nature) but she’s not sure where to apply her energies.  This is Rogue frustrated about not being able to touch another person without losing her sense of self.  This is Rogue angry at her foster mother Mystique for leading her down a road of villainy (leading to her absorbing Ms. Marvel’s powers and psyche).  This is Rogue finding out that her sweetheart Gambit betrayed the X-Men by leading the vicious Marauders to the Morlock tunnels where they slaughtered every mutant in sight.  In this watery aspect, Rogue is self-absorbed, defeated and withdrawn.  She wonders if there was ever any hope to begin with and begins an emotional downward spiral towards apathy.  The Four of Cups signals a time of re-evaluation.  Sometimes it is important to focus on one’s self in order to understand how our actions have created disenchantment in our lives.  This time can prove to be a gift, as it gives us a moment to reflect on what needs to change in order to have what we desire.  When Rogue decided to join the X-Men and leave Mystique and her Brotherhood behind, she started down a path that has led to her being regarded as a teacher, a leader, and one of the most prominent X-Men.

Artwork by Jim Lee.

Four of Spades - Rogue

Rogue as the Four of Spades/Swords

The Four of Swords asks us to heed our inner voices, to trust our intuition, to make decisions from a calm, centered place.  Rogue has done this and is ready to unleash her significant strength on her target.  She has found time for seclusion and retreat.  With her mental and physical boundaries in place, she can conquer any adversary.  The intellectual airy nature of this card helps us to consolidate our inner resources for the ultimate perspective.  This aspect of Rogue is the one who speaks her mind to anyone whether they are Cyclops or Magneto.

Artwork by Jim Lee.

Four of Diamonds - Rogue

Rogue as the Four of Diamonds/Pentacles/Disks/Coins/Worlds

Rogue looks behind her as she flies through the air, looking somber and reflective.  Perhaps she is thinking about the past or someone whose actions she wishes she could control (Gambit? Magneto? Mystique?).  She may be experiencing jealousy.  By focusing on possession, Rogue is blocking change in her life.  The Four of Pentacles is about ownership.  It may signify a time of increased material worth, but it reminds us not to let our spiritual growth be hampered by this newfound gain.  Also, this cards asks us who and/or what are we fighting to own?  Allowing wealth and gain into our lives is our lesson to learn and we must deeply understand that we are worthy of it, but control is impossible.  Finding wealth and ownership in our bodies, our homes, our communities, and our world without coming solely from a place of ego is the test.  We must ride the currents of change and find strength in our own self-possession, for then we can never be poor.

Artwork by Greg Capullo.

Fours - Rogue

Rogue as the Four of Clubs/Wands/Rods

Rogue flies footloose and fancy free in this image, and freedom is what The Four of Wands is all about!  There is a sense of completion inherent in this card’s synthesis of success, camaraderie, and satisfaction.  Rogue has broken the physical, mental or emotional shackles that bound her, and she feels triumphant!  She is able to move on to a new period of fulfillment and happiness.  Let this card inspire you to create new growth through virtue, passion and purpose!

Artwork by Jim Lee.

Depending on the layout and what other cards are present, oftentimes the energy of The Lovers is activated by Rogue in a reading.  The Lovers speaks to choices, unions and relationships.  It teaches us to blend two energies into one.  This is alchemy.  This is sexual freedom, establishing values, and making a connection.  Rogue’s status as the untouchable sex symbol skyrocketed her to popularity (especially under the pencil of Jim Lee) and her on again off again relationship with fellow X-Man Gambit is a prominent part of her backstory.  Many readers believe they belong together and many want Rogue to move on to a different partner.  However, these days she seems to be investigating an attraction to Magneto.  Yet the partnership to consider most in regards to the meaning of The Lovers as pertaining to Rogue is her relationship to her self.   Being unable to be intimate meant that Rogue had to find a way to live day to day in control.   She chose to dress provocatively while being unable to touch another person and this established her as a free sexual being.  In X-Men: Legacy she wears more clothing than ever and her costume brings to mind her original appearance.  Her unwillingness to immediately choose Gambit as a partner after discovering control of her powers displays her unwillingness to go down expected paths.  She has not given in to physical attraction simply because her curse is lifted.  She is living her life the same way she always has  as she redefines her physical boundaries.  More than anyone she knows that whatever she chooses will have a great impact on her mentally.  Her union with self is strong and she can withstand however long it takes until she finds the relationship that feels right for her.

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!