Heroic Tarot Tuesday: Magneto, Sabretooth, Mr. Sinister & Apocalypse
Greetings, dear reader! This post is the eigth in a series revealing my Heroic Tarot process. Today we look at four distinctive shadowy mutants!
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 is that every character gets to be represented four times. However, there are four different characters on all of the Eights! Each card features four prominent antagonists from X-Men mythology: Magneto, Sabretooth, Mr. Sinister and Apocalypse. Due to their “bad guy” status, we will be looking at each character as a Shadow Guide.
A Shadow Guide is a spirit teacher that activates our fears in order for us to transcend them. They represent a lesson that we need to learn in order to let go of negativity. A Shadow Guide encourages us to return to the heroic path by activating change in our thoughts and actions.
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.
Magneto: Eight of Spades/Swords
As any character created in 1963, Magneto possesses quite the colorful published history. He began his super-career as a villain, but became an anti-hero and then later a hero. He has returned to villainy on many occasions, has been de-aged to infancy (he subsequently grew to adulthood rather quickly) and cloned. In modern times he stands with the X-Men as an ally and is concerned with his three children (Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Polaris) and his presumed grand-children (the assumed twin sons, Speed and Wiccan, of the Scarlet Witch).
As the 8 of Swords, Magneto represents restricted mental energy. Like the woman traditionally shown on this card, Magneto is lost and alone. For all of his power, he was unable to save his wife Magda and he did not discover the existence of his children until they were adults. He has been faced with indecision all of his life. Due to his harsh belief system and his obsession with the past, he is often blind to the greater picture in the present. In the image on this card, Magneto is consumed with ego and is not wearing his helmet which blocks Professor Xavier’s telepathy.
When we are forced into a corner from outside influences, we must go within for mental composure. Coercion is not the answer. In times of mental duress, we must wait, calm our mind and allow our higher self to show us the way. Inner knowing clears the web of confusion.
Artwork by Jim Lee.
Sabretooth: Eight of Diamonds/Pentacles
Sabretooth is a mercenary with animalistic powers much like Wolverine’s. He has superhuman senses, razor sharp claws and fangs and a healing factor. He’s basically a bully and a sadist. As a character who rambles along from one fight to another, Sabretooth represents the antithesis of this card’s meaning. The Eight of Pentacles represents building a a foundation for one’s future. It is an artisan or craftsperson card, when we take pride in our abilities and use them carefully. Productivity and discipline are highlighted here. Sabretooth lives simply for the next thrill, regardless of the consequence to others. He is the voice that questions our ability to make our dreams real. As a long-time foe of Wolverine, if this card comes up with any of the Jacks, Sabretooth may represent an inner struggle between one’s lower impulses and higher self.
Artwork by Mark Texeira.
Mr. Sinister: Eight of Hearts/Cups
Mr. Sinister is a bit of the obsessive sort. His claim to fame came when he cloned Madelyne Pryor from Jean Grey, having wanted the genetic offspring from her and Scott Summers (he’d been manipulating events in Cyclops’ life since his time at the orphanage). As leader of the Marauders (responsible for the Mutant Massacre, one of the darkest times in the X-Men’s history), Sinister was responsible for the slaughter of the subterranean Morlocks as well as many other casualties. He also had a hand in Gambit’s shadowy past, tricking him into working for him. Mr. Sinister is, in short, a leech. He has no life of his own so he has spent his entire life interfering in the lives of others.
The 8 of Cups represents emptiness and emotional exhaustion. When this card appears it is time to withdraw from the people in your life who have not been supporting you in the way you have supported them. It’s time to establish new emotional boundaries in order to balance your needs with the needs of others. If Mr. Sinister appears with any of the Kings, Nines, or Sixes you may need to be especially careful in how you choose to react to those who project jealousy in your direction. It’s best to stay focused on your dreams and goals instead of waste any energy on the negativity.
Artwork by Marc Silvestri.
Apocalypse: Eight of Clubs/Wands
Apocalypse is, according to him, the oldest living mutant in the world. He has a rather specific Darwinian approach to the world after such a long lifetime, believing that only the strongest are fit to survive. His job as he sees it is to winnow out the weak as a service to the evolution of mutants. He doesn’t regard himself as evil, but as a tool of nature.
The 8 of Wands is a card of action! Carpe Diem! Things tend to speed up when this card appears and we are presented with the challenge of adapting to the new situation. Now is the time to speak your mind, chase your dream and activate new possibilities! If Apocalypse appears with any of the Fives, you are being challenged to rebuild aspects of your life from scratch.
Artwork by Jan Duursema.
Thank you 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!
Help your friends and lovers find their inner superhero!