Swordmaiden Test of the Goddess

Recently I was rereading some of my favorite issues of Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose, specifically #18 Diary of a Witch and #62 Part one of bla bla bla both issues recount the trials Tarot underwent to earn the mantle of Swordmaiden to the Goddess, the witch entrusted with the Black Rose Sword and charged by the Goddess the mother of all witches to keep the balance between the world of magic and the world of man.

During the test Tarot is naked and blindfolded facing a huge fiery winged demon brandishing a trident, the beast represents the judgement and condemnation of the world casting its doubts on followers of the craft. Tarot says:

“I felt like every witch who stands in the craft… naked. Exposed to the prying eyes of the world. Our curves and crevices being probed by their judging stares, trying to find a weakness within us… a flaw. All so they can use it to discredit and desecrate our chosen path.”

It occurred to me how this can apply to anyone with any set of beliefs. Christians (or members of any religion) can feel the same kind of judgement from the world, seeking to expose them for whatever their failings are and hold them up as hypocrites. Conservatives (and members of other political parties) are always being judged by the other side, seeking to find chinks in their armor and label them as racists or immoral. Its sad that we all have a instinct to look across to our fellow man and try to find flaws in his beliefs and make him out to be a hypocrite, its unfortunate that the only way we can feel better about ourselves it to point out weakness of others.

The concept of Tarot confronting this feeling is a central theme in the Tarot series, it's possibly the defining characteristic of Tarot herself. Although the book deals with many issues relative to the readers on a personal level, from body image to religious freedom, its this concept of dealing with the worlds disapproval that really central to the entire series.

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