Greetings, dear reader! This post is the fifth in a series about my process regarding my X-Men Tarot. Today we take a look at all of the cards featuring Archangel!
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, Gambit is all of the Sixes, Beast is all of the Sevens, Bishop is all of the Tens, etcetera. Archangel is represented on the face of all of the Fives. The number Five represents change, action and challenge. Archangel certainly knows about change as he went from a billionaire playboy to X-Man to Horseman of Apocalypse (with membership in quite a few super-hero teams under his belt as well). He is no stranger to action either. When his original feathered wings manifested as a young adult, he posed as an angel in a wig and a dressing gown, and saved people from within a burning building. He has been saving lives as Angel, and taking them as Archangel, ever since. Alternating between his feathered winged form and his metallic winged form and the differences in personality that come with them is his challenge. At the time this deck was sold, however, Warren Kenneth Worthington III was trapped as the blue-skinned warrior with metallic wings and his previous life as the ebullient Angel was over. This is the man on whom we are focusing.
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.
Archangel as the Five of Spades/Swords
The Five of Swords represents the need to be rid of negative thoughts and behaviors. Selfishness, strife, and unethical aspects of one’s character are at stake here. As Death, the fourth Horseman of Apocalypse, Archangel personified judgment and destruction. It is important to understand that once Angel’s wings were destroyed in the Mutant Massacre, his descent into despair destroyed his will to live. After human doctors amputated his wings, which were a symbol of his identity, Warren flew one of his private jets high into the sky and pushed the self-destruct button. He was snatched from the jaws of death by Apocalypse to be his servant. His willpower was easily overcome because he sacrificed his integrity and he submitted to the brainwashing of the ancient shape-shifting mutant. When Apocalypse placed some of his own techno-organic cells in Angel, he created a link between them. This link eventually helped Warren break free of the control thanks to the help of his teammates Jean Grey and Iceman because he knew the ancient mutant as well as himself. The Five of Swords represents losing your moral compass and letting the ends justify the means. This is a struggle that Archangel fights everyday. Let him inspire you to move forward in your life, understanding your demons so that they may be vanquished.
Artwork by Brandon Peterson.
Archangel as the Five of Diamonds/Pentacles/Disks/Coins/Worlds
The Five of Pentacles represents several kinds of deprivation. It asks us to look at our health. Are you honoring the needs of your body? We require vitality and strength to move through life’s challenges. This card also speaks to our material resources. Are you struggling to make ends meet? We need a strong base to feel secure. Feeling strapped makes everything else much more difficult. Take a look at your personal relationships, to community. Do you feel ostracized? Our emotional well-being requires mutual support. Archangel was welcomed back to the fold by his friends when he broke free from Apocalypse, and yet he still felt dejected and alone. His wings seemed to have a mind of their own and he worried which of his thoughts were truly his. His body had been tampered with and his powers came from a deeper darker place than he had ever known. He could not see a future for himself that would ever be better. Every day he was reminded about what he had lost. What the Five of Pentacles reminds us is that comfort is nearby and abundance is still our birthright. It is challenging to see this when anxiety overwhelms our animal bodies. Consider the uses of adversity. Wear your scars with pride. Stay in the present and let your imagination be your ally as you look with faith to the future.
Artwork by Whilce Portacio.
Archangel as the Five of Hearts/Cups
Shortly after he was transformed into Archangel, Warren was attacked by his former college roommate, business advisor, and best friend Cameron Hodge. Hodge had been secretly jealous of Warren’s good looks, money and mutant powers for years and had focused his entire life on destroying him. It was he that convinced Warren to turn over all of his assets to Cameron in case of death, subtly encouraged Warren’s depression that led to his suicide attempt, and planted false documents so the doctors amputated Warren’t wings. When Warren returned as Archangel, he learned of Cameron’s duplicity. Before he could confront him on his own terms, Cameron kidnapped Warren’s girlfriend Candy Southern. In the battle, Cameron killed her in front of Warren. The Five of Cups speaks to the emotional experience of loss. When we are disappointed in love, we feel vulnerable. Sorrow fills our heart and regret and denial are not far behind. In those moments, we may be unable to see the silver lining of our loss. However, that is exactly what we must do. Loss creates opportunities for growth and change. We would do well in times of loss to review our experience with the compassion of an open heart. Understanding our roles in the situation will help us as will looking toward the future with hope instead of despair. The loss of Candy was devastating to Archangel and he grieves her still. However, it was not long before he saved the life of police officer Charlotte Jones and they began a relationship. It was during his time with Charlotte that Warren realized that his wings responded to his emotions, such as attacking others when he was angry. Concerned for the safety of Charlotte and her son, Archangel found the inspiration to control them. Archangel’s story teaches us that the more we struggle to hold on to what has been lost to us, the more pain we endure.
Artwork by Brandon Peterson.
Archangel as the Five of Clubs/Wands/Rods
Competition is the theme of the Five of Wands. Competition is divisive. Conflict with ourselves or with others keeps us blind to the worth of the “other”. What is called for here is to lay down our arms and find a spirit of cooperation in which to work on our goal. If we can work in combination, rather than confrontation, than we can achieve much more. This card speaks to minor, irritating setbacks rather than large obstacles. Call upon patience and perseverance to assist you. Archangel understands that his day to day frustrations are more easily dispersed when he focuses on teamwork. His community provides him with a support system that helps him move beyond his individual hangups. Collective cooperation is the answer in this instance.
Artwork by Marc Silvestri.
Depending on the layout and what other cards are present, oftentimes the energy of Temperance is also present when Archangel flies into your reading. Temperance speaks of a need for moderation. Cooperation, discipline and patience are the themes. These elements combined can create a synthesis of physical and spiritual struggles. Just as Archangel struggles with keeping his darker and lighter aspects in balance, we too can learn to find a quiet composure within ourselves. Our center is a still place that can bring opposing elements together to create something completely new. Temperance is the alchemy required for true success.
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!