|Title card for the deck (box cover).|
|The Fool - Clay.
A leap into the unknown, risk-taking, hope, gaining through loss.
Reversed: problems from recklessness and impulsiveness, foolhardiness.
Artist's note: Loses a lot of the original Tarot symbolism I know - no way I could get a dog in anywhere - but it seemed fitting. It's Clay, after all, who drags them all off on the 'quest' for Max.
Here's a link to the card reversed, to see Clay better.
|The Magician - Jensen.
Knowledge, creativity, the mind, mysteries.
Reversed: trickery and illusion, fantasy, lack of will, inability to face reality.
Artist's note: Symbols of the four suits are in the card, as will be clearer from the suit cards in chapter two. And just a tiny slashy detail...
|The High Priestess - Aisha.
Mysteries, secrets, knowledge, dualism, female power.
Reversed: emotional instability, imbalance, lack of wisdom and foresight.
Artist's note: She looks a little voodoo to me - I think it's the hat.
|The Empress - Jolene.
Fertility, nature, sexuality, beauty, growth, motherhood, nurturing.
Reversed: domestic upheaval, maternal over-control, problems with fertility, alienation.
|The Emperor - Max.
Authority, power, control, command, influence.
Reversed: egocentrism, weakness, giving way to authority, failure of ambition.
Artist's note: A darker take on this card's meanings than in most decks, but this is the Losers Tarot, after all.
|The Hierophant - Stegler.
Institutions, conservatism, maturity, intelligence, an interface or bridge.
Reversed: deception, misinformation, distortion, propaganda.
Artist's note: Because the CIA are playing god, and Stegler's their interface with the Losers.
|The Lovers - Clay and Aisha.
Desire, sexuality, connection, temptation, moral decisions, choices.
Reversed: a moral lapse, severe temptation causing indecision or bad choices.
|The Chariot - Roque.
Will, drive, ambition, break-through, conquest.
Reversed: struggle for control, self-interest, ruthlessness, riding rough-shod over others.
Artist's note: You might think of Pooch for a "chariot" card, but he didn't fit the meanings, which aren't about transport, more about brute force. Apologies to AU!Roque-lovers but it's a canon representation of him in this deck - and neither the movie or the comics are kind to Roque.
|Justice - Aisha.
Justice, retribution, balancing, decision, analysis, severity, intellect.
Reversed: injustice, bias, prejudice, double-dealing, unfairness, coldness.
Artist's note: Again, a darker card than in most decks, but justice tends to be harsh in the Losers.
|The Hermit - Cougar.
Introspection, silence, solitude, inner search, isolation, distance, journey.
Reversed: obstinate self-isolation, turning away from help and advice.
|Wheel of Fortune - ensemble.
Turning point, possibilities, fate, chance, superior forces, the sudden and unexpected.
Reversed: bad luck. Fate which has to be endured until one's fortunes turn again.
Artist's note: No reason why backgammon for Cougar except that I liked the colour, and I can see him frowning over a board.
|Strength - Jolene.
Self-control, patience, stability, fortitude, perseverance, discipline, resourcefulness.
Reversed: defeat, surrender, failure of nerve, loss of hope.
Artist's note: The dogtags are a little large, but hard to manage the engravings on them otherwise.
|The Hanged Man - Cougar.
Sacrifice, letting go, patience, acceptance, renunciation, waiting.
Reversed: psychological problems, an inner struggle. Giving up, passivity.
Artist's note: Here's a link to the card reversed, to see Cougar better.
|Death - Max.
Ending and regeneration. Necessary loss and change, transition, the inescapable.
Reversed: loss as a blow from fate, separation, grief and decay.
Artist's note: The city of Pripyat (near Chernobyl) from comic-verse is a pretty good symbol for the death and regeneration meanings of the card - photos of it show that it's filled with trees now, among the abandoned buildings.
|Temperance - Pooch.
Temperance, balance, moderation, security, equilibrium, transcendence, healing, integration.
Reversed: imbalance, clumsiness and ineptitude causing problems.
Artist's note: Pooch's wings are taken from a pilot's badge. He seemed a good fit for this card, being the designated driver.
|The Devil - Ahmed Khalfan Fadhil, Fahd, Aisha, unknown boy.
The id or instinctive nature causing greed, aggression, lust for power. The Shadow.
Reversed: bondage, obsession, temptation, bigotry, cruelty, anger.
Artist's note: A mix of movie-verse and comics-verse. In some decks The Devil's more about lust, but I don't see any devilry in that (apart from the good kind) so I've focused on the other side of the id.
|The Tower - New Jerusalem.
Chaos, crisis, an act of fate, disruption, forced change, natural disaster.
Reversed: self-induced downfall and ruin, unnecessary suffering.
|The Star - Jensen's sister and niece, and the Petunias.
Tranquility, trust, hope, harmony, serenity, new life and vigor.
Reversed: rigidity of mind, mediocrity, narrowness, inability to trust.
|The Moon - Aisha.
The unconscious and irrational, a need to grapple with hidden forces, doubts and anxieties.
Reversed: deception, paralysis due to fears and fantasies. Fear of change or the new. Paranoia.
Artist's note: The traditional card has a dangerous-looking pincer-clawed animal in the water. So I figured I'd put something dangerous in the water, too.
|The Sun - Jensen and Pooch.
Happiness, optimism, success against all odds, refuge after peril, a well-earned reward.
Reversed: overconfidence, complacency, fantasies replacing real achievement.
Artist's note: On the beach at Antigua.
|Judgement - Cougar, Clay and Max.
Judgment, acceptance, redemption, a new beginning, the resolution of past actions and experiences, karma.
Reversed: grief and guilt about things and opportunities lost, retribution.
|The World - ensemble.
Final and successful completion, culmination, accomplishment, the ending of a cycle of destiny.
Reversed: stagnation, fixity, lack of necessary change.
Artist's note: All is forgiven, so we have all the Losers in this final Major Arcana card. The symbolism: I've kept the traditional four corner symbols but more as the four fixed signs of the zodiac than the evangelists - Aquarius with its links to the unusual, eccentric and electric is Jensen; Scorpio whose old symbol was an eagle, now a scorpion, whose implications of secrets, danger and moodiness fitted Cougar; Leo the lion, represents Pooch's duality as a soldier and family man; and Taurus the bull, for Clay's stubborn persistence, dragging them all along on the quest for Max and accidentally saving the world.
for the suit cards, see the next chapter