More Tarot Humor: "Crazy Dan's Chariot Emporium"

More Tarot Humor: "Crazy Dan's Chariot Emporium"

Posted by Jeannette Roth on Jul 2nd 2018

In 2014, Dan and Jeannette were invited to give a presentation on the Chariot Card at the North Star Tarot Conference. Always wanting to start things off on a fun note, Jeannette put together this short video that answers the un-asked question: what if tarot Chariots were sold like used car[d]s?

See the text below the video for a blow-by-blow listing of all the "in" jokes included in the narration.

[CAUTION: This video includes some mild profanity, so possibly NSFW.]

0:07 - We chose the Twin Cities as the location of this fictional business because the North Star Tarot Symposium is held in Eagan, MN -- a suburb in the Twin Cities metro area.

0:23 - The chariot described here as an "authentic Italian Visconti MCL convertible" is represented by the Chariot card from the famous Cary-Yale Visconti tarot -- an Italian deck dating back to the 15th century (thus the designation "MCL", which is the Roman-numeral equivalent of "1400" -- i.e., the 15th century).

0:39 - The price for the "2010 Fantasia" is given as $22.78. In modern tarot decks, the most common number of cards included is either 22 (if the deck is majors-only) or 78 (for a full majors + minors deck).

0:47 - The model name given for the Chariot card shown here (which is from a 1969 tarot entitled "Astral Tarot") is the "Chrysler Picasso LTD". The name is inspired by the abstract style of the image, which has elements in common with Picasso's work.

0:50 - The model name given for the Chariot card shown here (from a contemporary deck known as "The Tarot of the Magical Forest") is "Ford Taurus". There actually is a car model known as a Ford Taurus; here, the name was applied because the Chariot is being pulled by two bull-like creatures, and Taurus is the zodiac sign of the bull.

0:56 - The narrator states "from classic styling to the most modern design". The card on the left is from a reproduction of a Marseille tarot -- one of the most famous standard tarot designs from the 16th - 19th centuries. The card on the right is from a contemporary deck, incorporating mechanical/robotic elements that make the card appear modern, even futuristic.

0:59 - After asking if the viewer needs a "first chariot" for their teen driver, the chariot card that appears is from an anime-themed tarot. In the U.S., the fan base of anime is traditionally (though far from exclusively) made up of teens and younger adults.

1:24 - This is an actual picture of Dan (as embellished by Jeannette). And no, that is NOT a real skeleton -- it's a Halloween prop.

1:27 - The narrator urges the viewer not to "look the gift horses in the mouths". The use of plural is deliberate; in tarot's Chariot card, the chariot is usually (though not always) pulled by multiple horses or other creatures.

1:33 - The "fine print" that rolls quickly over the screen reads as follows: "Terms and Conditions: No credit check required. Once transaction is complete and vehicle is taken from lot, no exchanges, refunds, or 'take backsies' permitted. Karmic interest of 6.66% APR will be charged on all credit transactions. At the end of the 36-month period, customer agrees to turn over, in full, his immortal soul to Satan or other designated infernal agent. Customer is responsible for any federal, state, and/or local taxes and license fees incurred. Offer not valid to residents of the state of Texas, as they are already living in Hell. And these are just extra words used to fill out the space, as this text will flash by so quickly that no one will be able to read it all anyway."

1:45 - The "free salad bowl" offer is poking fun at the Chariot card from the famous Crowley-Harris "Thoth" tarot, which is pictured at this point in the video. In the Thoth deck, the charioteer holds what is supposed to be the Holy Grail (see "The Qabbalistic Tarot" by Robert Wang for one mention of this association) -- but which Dan has dubbed "the salad bowl" because upon cursory inspection, it looks much more like a large bowl than a cup.

2:00 - The narrator states that Crazy Dan's is located at "the corner of Lover's Lane and Strength Street". In the most common contemporary ordering of the tarot major arcana cards, The Chariot falls between The Lovers and the Strength cards.

2:03 - The narrator says that Crazy Dan's is open "7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week." This is a subtle reference to Aleister Crowley's book "777" -- a collection of writings on the sort of Qabalism and Hermeticism which has influenced much of tarot's contemporary symbolism.


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