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December 1, 2013
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My Little Pony Major Aracana Tarot Cards by SouthParkTaoist My Little Pony Major Aracana Tarot Cards by SouthParkTaoist

The Original MLP Tarot Card Set

This was a two year project I started when I first started drawing MLP fanart. While I finished all these cards this summer I realized I forgot to upload all the designs to DeviantArt, so here they are. While I have seen many different tarot decks, now a day most look on the surface without dividing deep to the traditional symbolism of the cards, most just loosely rehashing Rider-Waite imagery. So I decided to create a MLP deck that connects closer to the original symbolism. As a pre-medical student and biology major I avoid divination and superstitious nature of the tarot but am more fascinated by the history and art of traditional tarot. While the Rider-Waite and Thoth decks were used for initial influence, a lot of the symbolism I drew from the older Hermetic Golden Dawn teachings, world numerology, and Eastern symbolism. Working on this deck as inspired me to start working on my own non-MLP tarot deck, where I funneled most of the esoteric symbolism I researched, while make thing this fan themed deck more light hearted and easier to read.  

0 The Fool – Derpy Hooves

While most believe I chose Derpy as the Fool for the association of being foolish or silly, in traditional tarot symbolism the Fool represents the first step or start of a journey. As the current MLP fandom started with Derpy’s image on 4chan, I see no better representation for start of both this fandom and this tarot deck than our friend Derpy Hooves.


1 The Magician – Trixie

In traditional symbolism this card represents energy, creativity, and self-confidence, trying to gain control of the elements that make up this world. This is the first numbered card and coincidentally was the first card drawn. Trixie’s self-confidence and potential is represented in this card.


2 The High Priestess – Twilight Sparkle

This card represents an understanding that comes through personal experience, the main theme of the show and represents Twilight’s growth throughout the series.


3 The Empress – Princess Celestia

The Empress card in traditional tarot portrays a motherly figure which represents fertility, birth, and nurturing. Princess Celestia, acts as the mentor and mother to the characters of the show as well as uniting the three pony races together (Earth Pony, Pegasus, and Unicorn). As this is the third card, it represents the three pony races united under Celestia and the previous 3 Generations of My Little Pony that gave birth to the current incarnation of the franchise.  


4 The Emperor – Lauren Faust

The Emperor card represents creating order and stability. Coincidentally the number four represents foundations and building as well, think of the four Classical Elements, four DNA bases, four directions, and four corners of the house that forms the base. Lauren Faust, who took the MLP franchise from chaos and ruin, rebuilt and gave a new structure to the show. This adds to the numerology if one notes that Faust’s reboot is known as Generation 4.


5 The Hierophant – Cheerilee

This card in traditional tarot represents knowledge, and typically portrays a teacher or figure of authority and education. Cheerilee in the show is the school teacher to all the little ponies.


6 The Lovers – Princess Cadence and Shining Armor

The Lovers represents joining and coming together. Also the decisions that come with such unions. Princess Cadence and Shining Armor represent this card.


7 The Chariot – Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, Applebloom

This card represent seeking adventure or triumph of will in difficult circumstance. The three younger fillies of the show all are currently trying to find their purpose and Cutie Mark.


8 The Justice – Applejack

The Justice card represents responsibility, rational thought, clear vision, and consequence of actions at hand. Applejack represents the element of Honesty in the show and out of all the characters is most focused with her work and profession, providing for her family, and thinking in a rational manner. However sometimes hard work and logical thought doesn’t always led to the expected outcome as Applejack found out in Last Round Up.


9 The Hermit – Zecora

This card represents isolating oneself to be free from distractions and determination to find own truth. Zecora in the show lives in isolation away from Ponyville in the mysterious Everfree forest. Despite isolation from society, she is wiser and has more worldly experience than most other ponies.


10 Wheel of Fortune – Doctor Hooves

This card represents random change at hand. Doctor Hooves is a fan name character who was named for his similar appearance to the 10th Doctor from Doctor Who. Thus the 10th Doctor for card 10. The TARDIS in Doctor Who takes the Doctor to random times and places, always offering adventure. Coincidentally the Doctor is the title of ancient Taoist shamans and are represented by the Chinese character for ten, thus perfect for the 10th card of this deck.  


11 The Strength/Lust – Rainbow Dash

The Strength card, also called the Lust in certain decks, discipline, control the situation, and elevating one higher, as well as the pride and ego that comes with these traits. Rainbow Dash is one of the best flyers in the show and worked hard to get to that point, show knows she is the best however this occasionally leads to her boastful nature. Yet when she needs to gain control of the situation she can fly higher and faster than any other pegasus.


12 The Hanged Man – Pinkie Pie

While the Hanged Man might bring negative images to mind, in traditional tarot symbolism this card represents letting go, willingly surrendering, inner harmony, and a new point of view. All represents the carefree, happy, forth wall breaking Pinkie Pie, who does not worry about the expected or norm and just enjoys her own life doing what she wants; even if this may break the laws of gravity a few times.


13 The Death – Queen

The title of this card is grim but it simple means the transformation needed to created change, for the better or worst. The changeling leader, Queen Chrysalis, is the perfect representation of change and transformation. Her transforming ability could have brought negative change, Equestria being control by changelings, however it brought positive change, the renewal of love and marriage of Princess Cadence and Shining Armor. Originally Nightmare Moon was planned for this card, again another character who represents change.


14 Temperance/Art – Rarity

The Temperance card is also called the Art card, it represents artistic talent, creativity, professionalism, and passion for one’s work and career. The talented Rarity represents this card, not only does is she a successful dress maker, she is good and loves what she creates.


15 The Devil – Discord

The Devil represents probability and random occurrence. Choice and action, chaos, and certain actions that may not have an equal outcome. This discord associated with this card is perfectly represented by the god of chaos Discord. The Devil card, like Discord, is not necessarily evil, but is random and with random probability one will never know if the outcome is good or bad.


16 The Tower – Everfree Castle

The lighting struck tower is considered the most negative card in the tarot deck. It represents an unexpected event which ushers sudden change. In our current world, the struck tower even has more negative connotations. However change can be for the better or worst. The scary tower in the Everfree Castle was the home of Nightmare Moon and was a place of clear danger to the Mane Six however this is where they realized the magic of friendship and allowed for the rebirth of the Elements of Harmony.


17 The Star – Princess Twilight Sparkle

The single small star surrounded by an endless black sky represents the small glimmer of hope in the darkest of times. This card represents guidance as much as hope. The newly crowned Princess Twilight Sparkle will represent the guidance and hope for a new era of the MLP show and franchise. In the new Season 4 premier she helped guide Equestria when Princess Celestia and Luna went missing.


18 The Moon – Princess Luna

Stumbling around in darkness the Moon card represents confusion, lack of clarity, trapped, flux, and lost. Princess Luna, who raises the Moon, was lost for 1000 years when she was trapped in the form of Nightmare Moon. Even as she returned to her normal form she still is trying to understand this current world and her place in this new Equestria.


19 The Sun – Princess Celestia

The Sun card represents clarity that joy brings. Princess Celestia, who raises the Sun, gives guidance and clarity to Twilight and the other ponies whenever they are confused. Happiness, friendship, and joy are the lessons she teaches.


20 Judgement – Fluttershy

Winter Wrap Up! Time to wake up all the little hibernating animals. This card represents hearing a call and awakening. The gentle Fluttershy, the caretaker of animals, is the one who helps wake up the animals during Winter Wrap Up from their long hibernation.


21 The World – Spike

Spike take a letter. The last card, the World, represents the successful completion of a journey. After every trail and lesson, the ponies conclude it all with a letter written by the baby dragon Spike to Princess Celestia. Spike might be the odd one out but an equally important character that completes the pony circle of friends. Signed, your faithful student. 

Please do not use or reproduce my artwork without my permission or for commercial gain. These cards are not meant for serious guidance or divination.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic designs/concepts © Lauran Faust 
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic © Hasbro/Studio B/DHX Media
Artwork by and © SouthParkTaoist

Add a Comment:
CrimsonPaine Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015
In the words of Applebloom:

"i WANT IT NOW!!" 

Seriously, these need to be a real thing! I would never use them as tarot cards (I prefer the more traditional set myself, always have) but just to have them would be awesome! A deck of MLP tarot cards SO need to be made!
Tiger610 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:33< your version is my favorite
ManeStreetPlush Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014  Professional Artist
i need these, how do i get them o.o
PurpleAmharicCoffee Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014
Stunning, and you have the Doctor. 10/10.
ringtailmaster Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014
woooooow, sooooo cool, want to tempt destiny with this n_n great job n_n
LadyMizra Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist
DarkYarns Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2014
Please make this happen!
aka-myself Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014
Any thoughts on making a minor arcana deck?
Dewgonair Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2014
Seriously. This is an amazing piece of work and you put so much thought into all of it. If you were to seriously make this a deck, you'd have a nice little bit of pocket change coming in, especially from me, heh. I'd probably buy at least two myself, one to store and one to use.

There are only a couple of things that I'm not too keen on myself... Those would be the over-use of "The" with some cards. "The Judgement" could be simply "Judgement". Same goes for Sun, Moon, Death, Temperance. Those are all best done as single-word titles. The other is that characters are used twice. I can completely agree with it being a smaller canon world and so there are few major characters that would fit the roles... On the same coin I can completely agree with having to reuse them.

But yeah... tl;dr: Remove some "The"'s and make this already! We'll throw our money at you!
llaffer Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014
I have a set of Persona cards, and would love to have a set of these next to it. :)
GremlockF Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014
Shut up and take my bits!!! *thrusts bits at you*
stlnini Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is quite clever and such beautiful art work, well done :iconrainbowdashclapplz:
bluejay1995 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing work.
Blackoutrogue Featured By Owner May 28, 2014
I've got two questions: do you have MLP Minor Arcana in plans?
and the second: are there any decks for sale now?
KelG13 Featured By Owner May 14, 2014  Hobbyist
Fucking amazing. We were discussing this in the threads on the forums and here I found you.…

Link above is the thread.
SouthParkTaoist Featured By Owner May 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh nice. Yeah, I've been working on this like since 2011, so even before I had all the cards figured out or before characters like Princess Cadence appeared, but I am happy they matched up nicely. 
baldybeans Featured By Owner May 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
securitywyrm Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2014
I'd really like to buy a set of these. Just name your price!
rebelliousdemon Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014
are these for sale anywhere?
FIReNVY Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014
Seriously Choco, you are fantastic! One of the best artists I've ever had the pleasure of meeting!
SouthParkTaoist Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
And Firenvy you are the best Con Chair I have met! And a hella good Head of Vendor Relations. 
LeilaDrake Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thatv is awesome. I noticed some parallels, too, when I studied the Tarot, those ponies make great archetypes, don't they? ^^ I love your interpretation.
temus Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014
i think that king sombra can be a good the devil card, in artistic terms the two people chained that appears in the card can be represented for cadence and shining armor
Miccox Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014
Nicely done. Good to see that you've finished making this series.

On a side note, anyone who'd steal this art to make cards would probably find that the resolution would not be suitable for standard sized tarot cards.
makiclan Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That is badass!
Darkstalker-X Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Student General Artist
I wonder if you would do the minor arcanas as well, I am very much loving this.
123uandmes Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014
wow. just wow.
DarthHaundus Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013
Great cards, great concept. You have my fav
SouthParkTaoist Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Rassilon001 Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013
So... awesome.
jupotmachine35 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Student General Artist
:iconmotherofmeplz: Why did I fail to see this sooner......
opus-13 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013
Just discovered these and they're fantastic! Wonderful artwork and I really appreciate all the thought and research that went into making them. I understand that you've sold them at conventions before, correct? Is there any chance that they might be available to order online at some point? I'd really like to have a set or two of these. They're gorgeous!
jbrug01 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2015
These are simply amazing and you used very good symbolism as well i would very much like to get my hooves on a copy email
SouthParkTaoist Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks. I am a big fan of traditional tarot so I thought it was only fair to make sure these cards were done right with the symbolism matching. Yes, I had them only at BronyCon but they all sold out. Since it is a bit of a process to get them printed, as I use an company that prints overseas, I am not sure I will have any more until the next convention. If you are really interested, send me a note with your email and I can see if I have an extra proof/preview copies available. :)
Pony-Berserker Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
and king sombra for the emperor =P
SouthParkTaoist Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The Emperor card represents building and foundations. King Sombra is a destructive force so it might not work well. 
Pony-Berserker Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
cadance would be  a better Empress because she's the leader of Crystal Empire.

Celestia would be #1 choice for judgment.

aside from this, it's an awesome work.
SouthParkTaoist Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The Empress card presents birth, rebirth, motherly figures and creation. As well the number 3 of the Empress card represents the coming together of forces. So the three races uniting under the motherly Celestia works better. 

But thanks for the suggestions. 
Ox26 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Student General Artist
Is there going to be a complete deck? If so I would like to be able to order it
SouthParkTaoist Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I hope to get one done, all the Majors are completed. At the moment I am working on the Minors, however I did make a set of poker playing cards which can double as Minors in symbolism and function. 
cari28ch3 Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013
Morningstar-1337 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013   Digital Artist
I assume that this was what you're talking about when you said that all the cads were in your gallery?
SouthParkTaoist Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yup, those are all the designs, I might have single cards as well somewhere in the gallery. 
Morningstar-1337 Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013   Digital Artist
Yeah that's what I was referring to (you have the fool, magician, strength, devil, star and judgment as separate deviations)
SouthParkTaoist Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I will probably put them up one by one later, but just wanted to get all of them up at once so people can see what they look like. 
Morningstar-1337 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2013   Digital Artist
I see.
SouthParkTaoist Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It looks like I might have to now, people are requesting this in signal cards. 
MyLittleOreo Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013
I really love Darpy and Spike's roles in the deck (especially your description of Spike's). Together, they complete a feature length journey.
SouthParkTaoist Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks, I actually had Derpy thought up right away and added Spike in after I realized he did not have a card. Then I noticed how well Spike fit in for wrapping this entire deck up. 
MarioandSpyro4ever Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Student General Artist
Yes! Finally! They are amazing! /)^3^(\
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