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An earlier version of this article was published on Tumblr in September 2023.
In the decades after the Godsfall the survivors began building new civilizations and with those came artifacts from the before times that people adapted for the new world. One of those was the Tarot deck, essentially the well-known Rider Waite Tarot deck. In time it became known as a Fate or Moira deck and the original cards transformed as people looked at the world in new ways. Each entry in this series describes one or more cards.
The Empress has always represented bounty and physical comfort but modern deck users will be surprised that it was historically represented by the figure of royalty on a throne. Today the card is not only represented by a grandmother hard at work cooking for the family – it is often named the Grandmother. Many still continue to use The Empress, though, feeling it works just fine.
If the Empress represents feminine power and bounty, the Emperor classically represents masculine power, the ability to rule by force, and bounty through nation-building. The figure used in contemporary Moira decks is one of the five tribes of wolfmen from the north renowned as savages. He is depicted on a throne, ruling over others wearing decorative golden armor, and even his ears are decorated with gold. He is not the architect, but the man who commands the architect. The transformation from savage to civilization.
ABOUT LETO ARMITAGE
Leto Armitage was born in America under a set of circumstances that prophesied that he would one day unite the lost tribes and return the Ever Summer. Somewhere around twelve, he realized he had been left unsupervised and binged too many Arthurian movies in his formative years and that he was just another kid who accidentally got an education while reading above his age level.
By the time he turned old enough to get a passport, he started finding excuses to travel determined to find out what culture, food and women there were to experience. After learning to grill in Oaxaca, do kinbaku in Japan, and being banned from several former Soviet block countries, he returned home to settle down and see what damage he could do locally.
After working jobs including being a short order cook, bodyguarding strippers and professionally doing reader’s advisory for erotica he realized the most reasonable path forward was to become a writer. Today he lives with cats, dogs, and humans who seem to like him despite actually knowing him. He prefers to sit on his back deck, listening to the birds and Barry the Bumblebear bee, while he writes cozy, uplit romance and raunchy erotica.