For centuries, artists, musicians, designers and other equally creative folk have tapped into the mystical and magical inspiration of the tarot cards. The classic, traditional and modern interpretation of these highly decorative divination cards has inspired original works of art and popular masterpieces. Most famously, English rock band Led Zeppelin wrote songs that were influenced by the Tarot, and have appeared on twenty-six illustrations that were created as a collectible tarot card deck.The Hanged ManThere are as many interpretations of tarot cards as there are tarot decks. The Hanged Man generally represents something between both worlds. He is a spiritual seeker who is attempting to view the other world from this plane of existence. Led Zeppelin’s classic song Gallows Pole may have Scandinavian origins – it was originally a 15th century children’s folk song - but also hints at the mysticism of the hanged Man’s attempts to get free of the noose.
The Ten Of WandsMost of Led Zeppelin’s tarot card association is connected to the band’s 1971 Led Zeppelin IV album. According to guitarist Jimmy Page, the cover art is an interpretation of the Ten Of Wards tarot card.
“Robert (Plant) found the picture of the old man with the sticks and suggested that we use it on the cover somehow. We decided to contrast the modern skyscraper on the back, with the old man and the sticks, so that you see the destruction of the old and the new coming forward.�?
Traditionally the Ten of Wands represents either a large burden, or being unable to clearly see the road in front of you.
The HermitThe most striking tarot related image in the Led Zeppelin artwork collection appears on the gatefold sleeve of Zeppelin’s untitled fourth album. This features the Hermit. The image was painted by the artist Barrington Colby-Mom and is an illustration of “a seeker aspiring to the light of truth.�?
The concert movie The Song Remains the Same also features Jimmy Page dressed up in traditional Hermit style clothing.
The TowerIn 2003, Led Zeppelin released a two disc DVD set of live concert footage, which had not been officially released to the public before. The cover art features old crumbling mountains that are surrounded by desert. The image implies eternalness and is associated with the imagery of the Tower tarot card. The original symbolism of the Tower card is believed to relate to the Tower of Babel.The Tarot DeckMany spiritual music fans believe that the famous Stairway To Heaven song relates to the Major Arcana cards. The soul-searching lyrics are written in 7 verses, each verse representing one of the 7 chakras, that are the stepping stones to higher consciousness. The main theme of the song has 22 notes. The number 22 represents the 22 paths to heaven, in the Kabbalah’s Tree of Life, and also in the Tarot’s Major Arcana cards. The song is a yearning to go higher on the stairway of self-awareness.
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