Decades ago I belonged to a small apa (amateur press association) of tarot enthusiasts. My contribution to that group was my concept of “Found Tarot”–that is tarot images (mostly from the Major Arcana but sometimes other notable cards) that have slipped into mainstream media–especially ads in magazines. Tarot imagery frequently shows up on book jackets also, but in those cases I think it is mainly deliberate, and not the subconscious peeking through. I still look through various magazines for tarot imagery. I found this picture in the September 2014 issue of Wired Magazine. Rather than scan it (scanning has become something of a pain at my house) I searched the internet for it, and found the same picture done as a billboard. My first thought on seeing it is that this is the High Priestess. The image shows a mature woman, obviously master of secret knowledge (music and song are secret knowledge) inside a temple (a bar is a kind of temple–home of spirits) wearing holy garb and performing a rite or ceremony. The more I look at it, though, the more I see ambiguity in the image. It could also be The Queen of Cups–the woman is regal enough and the cup is clearly visible. The microphone acts as a kind of scepter for her. It might also be The Moon, though I think that is stretching a bit far. Still it shows a celestial lamp, a pool (inside the gin glass) and the traditional female acolyte of the Moon, which in many cultures including our own is thought to be a female deity. Her tight cocktail dress is all silvery and she might as well be nude considering how tight the dress is, and how it emphasizes her form and femininity.
So, the esoteric is all around us. Which of the three interpretations do you like best for this Tanqueray ad?
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