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The Losers Tarot

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Losers tarot Box Cover - Jensen with Magician tarot card on forehead Title card for the deck (box cover).
Card back Card back.
The Fool card - Clay jumping for the remote 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.

Jensen with USB hub as wand, laptop, Petunias T 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...

Aisha as the High Priestess - knife, fire, skulls, sex, top hat, moon 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.

Jolene heavily pregnant, holding her stomach The Empress - Jolene.
Fertility, nature, sexuality, beauty, growth, motherhood, nurturing.
Reversed: domestic upheaval, maternal over-control, problems with fertility, alienation.
Max enthroned on the world 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.

Stegler in CIA HQ, logo behind him, minions cowering under desk 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.

Clay and Aisha kissing and fighting against the wall, flames behind them The Lovers - Clay and Aisha.
Desire, sexuality, connection, temptation, moral decisions, choices.
Reversed: a moral lapse, severe temptation causing indecision or bad choices.
Roque on a white jeep busting through a brick wall, gun in hand 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.

Aisha with spiky hair, in fatigues, blindfolded with big knife one hand, scales holding two eyeballs in the other 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.

Cougar silhouetted against the dawn, on a high cliff path - sniper rifle as staff The Hermit - Cougar.
Introspection, silence, solitude, inner search, isolation, distance, journey.
Reversed: obstinate self-isolation, turning away from help and advice.
orange world globe ridden by Max, losers in corners and around it, bomb underneath 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.

Jolene, pregnant, clutching Pooch's dogtags and a stuffed lion he once gave her, frowning. 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.

Cougar hanging upside down from rifle across 2 trees, right leg bent 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's head in Max's pinstripe suit, dead city Pripyat and mushroom cloud behind him, Losers escaping in tilt-rotor helo in the sky above. Death has a nuke-symbol tiepin. 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.

Pooch pouring lite beer into a glass, one foot in a pool, one on land, metallic wings, sunset behind. 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.

Demonic figure of Fahdil as in movie-verse with burning black wings, horned helmet, holding knife to slave-boy's throat. Aisha and Fahd chained below, screaming in rage. 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.

New Jerusalem oil rig tower with nuclear mushroom cloud, figures falling. The Tower - New Jerusalem.
Chaos, crisis, an act of fate, disruption, forced change, natural disaster.
Reversed: self-induced downfall and ruin, unnecessary suffering.
Jensen's sister in their backyard, pouring water into pond and on lawn through hoses, daughter playing with her friends. Star on niece's head, and on banner 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.
vvv. 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.

Jensen and Pooch in deckchairs on the beach, under the sun on Antigua. 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.

Max II being blown up in the New Jerusalem explosion; Cougar and Clay as spirits looking on. 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.
Green-blue globe, Aisha on top, Roque below. Jensen, Cougar, Pooch and Clay in the corners. 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