Amazing Movies: Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Since I’ve been thinking about movies and Tarot as of late, I thought I’d share a beautiful movie that uses some familiar Tarot archetypes. Unlike the other movies I’ve shared, this isn’t a documentary. You may have heard the name in relation to the death of Heath Ledger, as this was the movie he was filming at the time and is his final role.

As you may have guessed from the trailer, the Devil archetype is a major part of the plot. He spends his time weaving webs of bets and debts around Doctor Parnassus. He knows that the man can’t resist a bet, knows that he can’t say no. He finds a way to make that bet, no matter how dangerous, seem tempting and worthwhile.

The Devil in the Tarot is much the same. The Devil is all about temptation, desire, wanting, longing. The physical things that distract us from our lives is what the Devil offers us; the bad habits and relationships that hold us back. He makes them look so good to us, like they are the only things that we could want. He tempts us and addicts us; makes us think we need what ever it is he’s pushing. Be it power, escape, wealth, or anything else, it distracts us from our true selves and keeps us bound, constrained. The Devil also reminds us that we choose to “give in” to temptation and that we therefore have the power to turn away from temptation. If we have the will, and we make the choice, we can break the chains that bind us.

Perhaps less obvious from the trailer is the role of the Hanged Man (mentioned before here), symbolized by the character Tony. As I’ve mentioned before, the Hanged Man speaks to one’s sacrifice for knowledge and wisdom. I don’t want to spoil the film, but it’s sure to say that “sacrifice” is indeed an important aspect to Tony’s progression through the story.

Even if you’re not a Tarot lover – I highly recommend this stunning movie.

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