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This page contains a theory on relationships to Tarot Cards. All contents within are the interpretation and ideas of a player, not official lore. Almost all information specific to Tarot cards came from Biddytarot.com


Tarot cards and Bloodborne

(Warning: Editing is Taking Place) 


This page is not about the Bloodborne Card Game, it's not about Bloodborne Tarot Cards.

This about Bloodborne themes and art, and how they were inspired by real world Tarot cards.

 

Tarot Card Basics

A Tarot deck consists of a total of 78 cards with the most importants ones being the 22 Major Arcana.

Each card has a certain personality and carries a message if drawn. A Tarot card is connected to one of the four elements, as well as a zodiac sign or heavenly body.

All Tarot cards may be drawn "Reversed", meaning upside down, this tends to draw out their negative qualities. "Reversed" is the opposite of "Upright".
The MagicianThe TowerThe EmperorWorldThe LoversThe HierophantThe High PriestessMoonThe Hanged ManWheel of FortuneThe HermitThe DevilJudgementDeathThe EmpressSunThe FoolTemperanceThe Suit of SwordsThe Suit of PentaclesThe Suit of CupsThe Suit of WandsStar (lore unknown)Strength (lore unknown)Justice (lore unknown)

 

The less important cards

These cards supply ample amounts of background lore but aren't integral to the Bloodborne plot.

 

The Magician

Tarot Magician.jpg

The Magician is connected the Caryll Rune Clawmark.
The line he makes with his arms matches the slanted line of Clawmark. The vertical lines of Clawmark fit the vertical lines on his robe.

The Magician is a card of ability and power. Upright it forecasts a spurt of creativity and success.
Reversed, The Magician portents the misuse of power. He then symbolizes greed, manipulation and other sociopathic traits.
The Magician is the card of new beginnings and receiving help from sources outside yourself.

The card is likely tied to Gilbert, as The Magician is tied to both beginnings and a call for help.
Gilbert is one of the first NPCs you meet, His beastform drops Clawmark, and helps you by giving you the Flamesprayer.

According to The Golden Dawn, The Magician is governed by Mercury. His element is Air.

The Tower

Tarot Tower.jpg 

The Tower is connected to The One Reborn.
The flames around the tower represent the pyromancing Chime Maidens.
The lightning bolt could be a reference to the Bolt arts studied in Yahar'gul.
The sinners jumping out of the tower are sinners punished by The One Reborn.
As they are falling they're screaming in terror, just like the horrified people of Yahar'gul who are trying to claw up the walls in desperation  .
The boss battle itself resembles the Demons' Souls boss battle against Tower Knight.

The Tower is a card of destruction and is in that sense similar to the Death card.
Destruction isn't necessarily bad. It can mean the end of one stage of history and the beginning of another.
The things destroyed can also be negative things and the world may be better off with them gone.

"Then, out of the blue, something ‘shocking’ happens that completely destroys your picture of peace and harmony."

The kind of change The Tower represents is one including shock and awe.
Very fundamental things will come crashing down and people will feel fear, loss and a sense of being lost.
This is what happened to the School of Mensis in Yahar'gul.
They had worshipped the Great Ones in the hope of being rewarded but they were punished instead and their faith came crashing down.

According to The Golden Dawn, The Tower is governed by Mars. Its element is Fire.

The Emperor

Tarot Emperor.jpg 

The Emperor is connected to Martyr Logarius. Logarius could also be represented by The Magician.
Like The Emperor, Logarius is encountered occupying a throne.
Like The Emperor, Logarius is endowed with a staff and a crown.
The Emperor has "Ankh " embedded on his staff and so does Logarius
They both have long beards and both are connected to the color red.

The Emperor is an authority figure. He's stern, strict and a stereotype patriarch.
Beneath his robe, he's clad in armor, symbolizing that he's not afraid of war.
He complements The Empress and is a symbol of protection.
By contrast the reversed Emperor is a symbol of stubbornness and he can be guilty of misuse or overuse of power.

The Emperor is governed by the star sign Aries. His Element is Fire.

The Chariot

Tarot Chariot.jpg 

The Chariot is connected to Master Willem.
The box he sits in represents Willem's wheelchair.
The sphinxes at his feet are demons of riddles and illusions.
The Sphinxes represent the twin serpents of the caduceus .
The serpents are thought to be opposites, Moon and Sun.
The caduceus is a symbol of Mercury, and Formless Oedon.
If not serpents, the sphinxes could also symbolize Rom.

The Chariot's tunic is adorned with alchemic symbols which represent the spiritual transformation of man.
For a crown he wears a laurel adorned with stars representing the highest spiritual attainment of man.
The laurel could also symbolize Laurence, his crowning achievement.

Behind the man is a city, symbolizing that The Chariot has turned his back on the material.
Likewise you can find Willem with his back turned to Yharnam, his attention is turned toward the stars and the lake.

The box he is in represents the earth element. When you kill him he drops the pentacle rune Eye. Pentacles represent earth.

The Chariot is governed by the star sign Cancer. His element is Water.

"Provost Willem sought the Cord in order to elevate his being and thoughts to those of a Great One,
by lining his brain with eyes. The only choice, he knew, if man were to ever match Their greatness."


The World

Tarot World.jpg

The World is the other half of The Hanged Man who represents The Hunter.
The card represents a journey as well as success and accomplishment.
In the corners you can find the star signs Aquarius, Taurus, Leo and Scorpio (in the form of a bird).
The significance of these star signs is still being investigated.

According to The Golden Dawn, World is tied to earth.
It is governed by Saturn (Chronos).

 

Central Tarot Cards


These Tarot cards are tied to Bloodborne's central themes and characters.


The Lovers

Tarot Lovers.jpgImpurity

The Lovers card is embedded into the Caryll Rune Impurity.
Through the link with Impurity it is also connected to The League and Valtr.

The Lovers are watched over by Raphael, angel of air and slayer of demons.
The arms and wings of Raphael form the curve of Impurity. The top circle is formed by either Raphael's head or the Sun above him.
Behind the female dangles The Serpent of Eden. Correspondingly, Viper Pits can be found just past Valtr.

Three circles on each side of Impurity could each represent one of The Lovers.
It is also possible that the circles on the left represent the forbidden fruit of The Tree of Wisdom.
The circles on the the right would then correspond with the "flames of passion" behind the male Lover.

The Lovers card is opposed to The Devil card which represents carnal passions and evil desires.
The love of The Lovers card is love of the higher sort: warmth, trust, generosity and also "brotherhood".
The Lovers confront one with choice. One must establish one's own personal beliefs and choose between right and wrong.
According to Biddytarot, those that are confronted with The Lovers have first been "indoctrinated" by The Hierophant.
The Hierophant is none other than Oedon himself and it's possible that The Hunter has been lied to or has assumed things Oedon's way.

The Lovers card is governed by Gemini. Their element is Air.


Gemini is interesting, because the Forbidden Woods are tied to the Madaras Twins.

"Denizens of the Forbidden Woods, the twins grew up alongside a poisonous snake, and developed a silent, inhuman kinship." - Madaras Whistle

Both the twins became hunters, and brought back and dissected their beast prey, in order to support the villagers in their forbidden research" - Butcher Gloves

Raised on a healthy diet of beast entrails, the poisonous snake grew uncontrollably" - Madaras Whistle

"Eventually they learned human ways, and became hunters.

When they discovered vermin even in their beloved snake, the younger brother is said to have murdered the older." - Butcher Mask

When they discovered Vermin in their beloved snake, the younger brother is said to have murdered the older.
The Butcher Mask that relates this information is found on the NPC hiding atop Valtr's hut.
This NPC must be the younger Madaras Twin
This makes sense, Valtr despises Vermin, no doubt the younger Madaras Twin does too
The Twin may have become Valtr's helper for this very reason.


The constellation Gemini was supposedly formed from a pair of mythicial twins, Castor and Pollux, who were born from an egg.
"Madaras" means "birds" in Hungarian, it is also a place in Transylvania known for its mercury mines.

 

With the relase of Dark Souls 3 there is cause to further expand on The Lovers' significance.
The Abyss Watchers of said game much resemble the hunter of Bloodborne. 
This can be seen in their fighting style, their attire, their strange hats and their connection to The Wolf of Farron.
The strange masks they wear give their heads a birdlike appearance. They were also trained by an arcane sorcerer wearing a bird mask, The Crystal Sage.
The Abyss Watchers are said to have ingested the blood of The Wolf of Farron. Castor and Pollux were born from an egg and suckled by a she-wolf.
The winged Raphael is the angel of air, Gemini belongs to air. Eileen the Crow wears a birdmask and bestows sky-burials.
Hunters are lightning fast and advanced hunters like Gehrman and Maria possess some measure of levitation.
The protagonist is urged to transcend the hunt and Cainhurst (hunter) Helmets are birdlike.
Those helmets are based on the hawklike helmet of Berserk character Griffith.



Tarot Hierophant.jpg 

The Hierophant is connected to Formless Oedon. He is Oedon in his truest and most elusive form.
The Hierophant forms the curve of Formless Oedon with his arms. The three circles are his head and the etchings on the pillars.
The pillars corresponding with the outer circles may mean that Oedon is embedded in the environment, as is his mind (head).
The number 3 reappears on his crown which has 3 layers. His staff has 3 crossing lines. He is wearing 3 layers of clothing.
There are also 3 people in the picture.
The three lines are his white sleeves and the long ribbon falling from his neck.

The Hierophant is the symbol of subtle and unseen power.
He may represent the influence of culture, natural or social laws as well as the influence of secret agents or fate.
He is by his nature very orthodox and conventional. This would make Oedon a "villain" of a very archetypical sort.
He is very old and real. What he represents cannot be denied, but originality and innovation are not his cup of tea.
Oedon will likely always be and always want the same thing. His dark will is very strong and courses through many agents.

The Hierophant is governed by Taurus.
Taurus is a Fixed type sign and connected to earth.

The Hierophant reappears in DS3, or at least his staff does. 
The Man-Grub Staff - as it is called - is the highest reward the Rosaria's Fingers Covenant has to offer. The staff head is also the emblem of this covenant.
Rosaria's Fingers is DS3's red invader covenant. It is therefore the successor of The Brotherhood of Blood and Kaathe's Darkwraiths.
This suggests that Oedon and The Dark are related. It's possible that they are the same thing.
What the the 3 pairs of arms on the cross symbolize - is a holy trinity.
To unlock the Dark Lord ending you must undertake a ritual where you receive 3 Dark Sigils. These match the 3 dots on Formless Oedon.



Tarot Hight Priestess.jpg 

The High Priestess is connected to The Moon Presence and also Mergo's Wet Nurse. Both are connected to the rune Communion.
The High Priestess appears on these two bosses in the form of 4 circles formed by her crown and 3 flowers on the tapestry behind her.
Likewise The Moon Presence has one large opening in her skull (representing the crown) and three smaller ones above the main one.
This same pattern of one large circle with three smaller ones above it is found on the amulet that The Wet Nurse wears.
She is also connected to the Moon as symbolized by the crescent at her feet.

The High Priestess is the guardian of "The Great Mystery" and her blue robes represent wisdom, illumination and divine knowledge.
She sits between the light and the dark and she is the female counterpart of The Hierophant.
Likewise The Moon Presence defends some great secret that will allow The Hunter to ascend or change his fate.
The Moon Presence has aspects of both dark and fire. Her teardrop shaped skull can be seen as a soul which can be dark or fiery.
Her hair can look like flames but they also resemble the horns of the dark Abhorrent Beast.

It makes sense that The Moon Presence is connected to the Hierophant through The High Priestess.
The Hierophant is connected to Formless Oedon. Formless Oedon is the Oedon often referred to as male.
The Moon Presence is also often thought to be Oedon. And she is Oedon, but a female facet of him.
In Dark Souls lore the great dark beast Manus, Father of the Abyss fathered 4 daughters that appeared in Dark Souls 2.
These daughters are known as Nashandra, Alsanna, Nadalia and Elana. They were reincarnations of The Dark Soul of Manus and part of him.

The High Priestess wears the crown of The Triple Goddess.
The Triple Goddess is an archetype and encompasses any female deity that appears in the form Maiden, Mother and Crone.
This could to fit The Moon Presence quite well who is a mother figure, a hideous hag and a maiden of dark.

The High Priestess is associated with the following deities:

-Persephone, the Greek goddess of the underworld

-The Corn Maiden, a symbol of harvest

-Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt.

-Isis, an Egyptian goddess that is a mother figure and protector of children and the dead.
She is by many believed to be mother of Horus.
Horus is a bird-headed god and hunters are in some way connected to birds - see the Lovers Tarot above.



Tarot Moon.jpg 

The Moon is connected to The Moon Presence.
It is a symbol of dreams, nightmares and all kinds of frightening things that emerge from our subconscious.

It is governed by the star sign Pisces, fish.
The Nightmare is also watery by design. It is constantly subject to change, "it swirls and churns unending" as is stated by Micolash.
The creator of The Nightmare of Mensis is Mergo whose name means "to submerge" or "to drown" in Latin.
In Demons' Souls there was a thing called Nightmare Fog. Fog is also watery.
The Fog brought with it demons (or demons brought with them Fog) and it threatened to cover the entire world.
It remained present in following Souls games in the form of transparent gates that lock off boss areas.
The Moon Presence can create clouds that have the same effect as Numbing Mist, mist, fog.
She is also heavily connected to Blood which is watery.

The Moon is also a card of illusion and deceit and represents our shadow selves.
The Moon confronts you with your fears yet implores you to resolve what haunts you.
Our shadow selves can become visible in what we project upon others.
These projections often say more about our own fears than about reality. (wild theory follows)
Perhaps when you are a Great One, what you project upon others can become a nightmarish world that imprisons you and engulfs others.

Pisces is a Mutable star sign and connected to water.

Tarot Hanged Man.jpg

The Hanged Man is connected to the rune Hunter. The above are variations on the Hunter rune, found in the Pthumerian Labyrinth.
He represents all hunters and is a symbol of self-sacrifice, cavalier behavior and surrendering yourself to something bigger than yourself.
According to Biddytarot.com his yellow shoes represent his high ideals, the red pants his passion and the blue shirt represents his knowledge.

Reversed The Hanged Man portents indecision and delay. The Hunter may not be willing to accept his fate or be unsure what to do.
If left in indecision for long enough The Hunter may become a wraithlike beast and wander the world eternally.
The last labyrinth grave is actually a mirrored version of The Hanged Man. This mirroring likely refers to The Nightmare and water.

It's worth nothing that Bloodborne is abound with corpses hanging upside down.
It has been suggested that they were hung like that to drain them of blood.
It's still unsure if this was done for religious purposes or personal bloodlust.

According to The Golden Dawn, The Hanged Man is connected to water.


Tarot Wheel of Fortune.jpg

The Wheel of Fortune is connected to Logarius' Wheel and also Clockwise Metamorphosis and Anti-Clockwise Metamorphosis.
That fate and the wheel are linked is stated on the the Wheel Hunter Badge.
In Dark Souls the player was given two options, to choose to renew the world of Fire or begin a new world of Dark.
The same choice is offered in Dark Souls 2 and in the final version a new NPC called Aldia also offers a mysterious third choice.My theory is that Clockwise Metamorphosis is connected to the symbol of The Heirs of the Sun and that Anti-Clockwise Metamorphosis is connected to the symbol of The Pilgrims of Dark.

These DS2 symbols are opposed circles with opposing colors and the extremities pointing in opposite directions.
The Metamorphosis runes are opposed circular movements with the arms bending in opposite directions.
As it happens the arms of Clockwise Metamorphosis point the same way as the flames of the sun.
CM increases health which matches the theme of the Dark Souls sun, which is connected to Miracles and vitality. 
CM also matches the sun in the sense that "clockwise" is considered to be the "correct" movement.
The armes of ACM match the extremities of the Dark disc. Stamina isn't as such connected to Dark, so that doesn't match perfectly.
Either way, Dark Souls is a story about cycles and opposed directions that the world may take.
The Metamorphosis runes symbolise such opposed cycles, they both physically match two opposed circles from DS2 and CM thematically matches the sun.
It is therefore my theory that the runes are a reinvention of the Fire and Dark paths. I also believe that both paths serve a "Wheel of Fortune".

Aquarius depicted as an angel in the top left corner.
Taurus in the bottom left corner
Leo in the bottom right corner
Scorpio is the form of a bird in the top right corner (source Biddytarot)

The snake on the left is an evil Greek titan named Typhon who was also known in Egypt.
The Anubis on the right actually represents Hermes, messenger of the Greek gods.
The sphinx on top of the wheel represents riddles.

According to The Golden Dawn, The Wheel is governed by Jupiter.

Cookies for the first person to identify all the characters correctly.


Tarot Hermit.jpg

The Hermit is connected to several characters across various factions. Church Doctor, Chime Maiden, Labyrinth Watcher, Micolash and more.
The Hermit sought enlightenment by secluding his thoughts and abandoning the material day-to-day concerns of the real world.
He hopes now to teach others his wisdom but the manner in which he acquired this wisdom also makes him vulnerable to madness.

The reversed Hermit in particular warns of the dangers of developing thoughts beyond the scope of personal and social concerns.
Being overly rational can blind you to the horrors that follow from your logic.
Withdrawing from others can leave one vulnerable to the darkness that hides within.

The Hermit is governed by the star sign Virgo.
Virgo is a Mutable type sign and connected to earth.


Tarot Devil.jpg

The Devil is connected to the rune Corruption. He is opposed to The Lovers Card.
The chains binding the couple, the thighs of The Devil and his wings form the 3 arches found within the rune.
The devil himself weaves through the arches of Corruption like a flame or a pair of snakes. (or eyes ;)
He binds his slaves to the lower tendencies that he himself represents.

The Devil has the wings of a vampiric bat which connects him to the Cainhurst Gargoyle and also Bloodsucking Beast.
He is half goat which symbolizes his unclean nature but also his role as a scapegoat.
By believers and non-believers alike, Satan is often considered to be a mere metaphor for the evil and unclean aspects of individuals.
In Bloodborne there is something called "Vermin".

"Now, there is one thing you must know. By the oath of the League, those who bear its rune will see vermin. Vermin writhe deep within all filth, and are the root of man's impurity. All vermin are to be crushed. The League exist to expunge all vermin, ridding us of any trace of human corruption." - Valtr

This Vermin that Valtr speaks of, sounds like a living substance that taints men like a disease. 
Evil is often referred to as such. From this point of view, evil does not emerge from evil choices or evil nature. Evil is a parasite, something that impedes men's truer, better nature. Evil of this nature serves as a scapegoat, taking the blame for human actions. It is malicious through and through, the antithesis of good. This Vermin sounds exactly like Satan.Vermin - independent evil - can only be seen by those who wish to see it - those that don the Impurity rune - others interpret evil as flawed people and poor choices. It isn't known if Valtr speaks the full truth. Is Vermin evil or merely a scapegoat? Is it possible to rid man of evil by crushing all Vermin? What is known is that Vermin is present in all bosses you may face. Vermin look like centipedes and in DS1 centipedes are connected to the Centipede Demon and in the hellish Demon Ruins you find millipede like Burrowing Rockworms. Quelaag is is half-spider sorceress, the final boss of the area is a bug. There are also parasitic Sunlight Maggots in Lost Izalith.

The pentacle is a symbol of Satan and this pentacle is found in the rune Eye.
Throughout Bloodborne things can be found that I have labeled False Eyes.
These malicious looking things have been found in almost anything that seeks to kill you.
Once my study is complete I recon they'll be in everything hostile and a lot of other things too.
Eyes are also sensory organs and can therefore represent all things sensory, which is Satan's field of expertise.
According to the Lesser Key of Solomon, an infamous demonology book, the ability to find hidden (extra) items is a typical demon power.

Classifying Satan among the Great Ones is at this point a subject for speculation.
He seems to be closely connected to Fire but it is not impossible that he is close to Oedon in some way.
The Suit of Pentacles that he represents is connected to the earth element.
He may be the leader of the demons of Dark Souls which are also connected to the stone archtrees.
It is also possible that he represents the Lovecraftian god Azathoth, lord of chaos.

The Devil is governed by Capricorn.
Capricorn is a Cardinal type sign and connected to earth.


Tarot Judgement.jpg

Judgement is connected to The Messengers.
The archangel in the sky is none other Gabriel, the main herald of God.
Beneath him the naked, pale dead are rising from their graves. They seem happy to meet their judgement.
Likewise The Messengers are pale, naked and of course they are messengers like Gabriel.

This card is governed by Pluto, ruler of the underworld.
According to The Golden Dawn it is connected to fire.

When you first see The Messengers it is clear that you have been judged. Someone slew the Wolf Beast and judged you fit to be a Hunter.
It is also clear that outside the end of days has begun.
The Judgement card forecasts that you'll meet people that have been through something similar and who can guide you.
Perhaps The Messengers are these very people. There are of course many others who can fit the role of such guides.


Tarot Card Death.jpg

Death is a very important card though it is not clear who he is connected to.
There are clues of course and I will put forth my preliminary theory.

The Death card forecasts change, the end of something in favor of something new.
What he offers is the purity of rebirth that will return everything to something new and pure.
Death epitomizes impartiality, no beast or king can avoid Death and he is fundamentally invincible.

The Messengers are pale, undead looking things that are connected to Death, if only thematically.
There aren't many skeletons in Bloodborne except for Paarl and the identical Loran Darkbeast.
Though a skeleton, his beastliness seems opposed to the nature of the Death card.
Paarl also in no way represents change or renewal. Him living past decomposition rather seems to oppose change.
There's The One Reborn but many things point to him being a creation of Eldritch magic. He's also hardly invincible.

Don't Fear The Doll

The Doll is helpful and polite yet always cold and sterile. She appears herself confused about her absentee emotions. Is she even alive?
If anything can be said of The Doll is that she is impartial. No matter how many times you attack her, she is indifferent.
No matter how many times she falls, she always comes back. Her very purpose is to offer change, in exchange for echoes.
The banner Death carries depicts a white rose on a black background. Symbolizing beauty and purity in a state of total darkness.
The Romans - who also linked Mercury to Odin - thought the rose a symbol of death and rebirth and placed them on graves.
The Plain Doll has a dead rose in her hat. The fingers of her hands are skeletal.
Beneath her hairline The Doll is cracked like porcelain, but also like bone. Her eyes are not real eyes at all, they are egglike Beheliths.
A doll's nature is that of a puppet. But an undead, eyeless skeleton is also a puppet, moved by unseen strings.
When The Doll bleeds, she bleeds blood that is purely white. In Japan white is the color of corpses, the color of death.

The Hunter's Dream is structured like a cemetery. Graves are everywhere, as are the fair white flowers that adorn them.
The tombstones let one awaken "above ground". Are you beneath the ground? Have you been entombed?

These are anagrams of Plain Doll
Plain Olld and Dino Palll (terrifying friend)

Death could very well be a friend of hunters, for hunters rid the world of those immoral monsters that escape death.
The DLC reveals The Doll is in fact modelled after a person who's already dead, Lady Maria
When Death appears something big is about to happen. Death does not appear when all is well.
When confronted with Death you will need to transform yourself to cope with the change that is coming. That is what The Doll offers.

Death is governed by Scorpio.
Scorpio is a Fixed type sign and connected to water.

Cosmic Eye Theory (wild speculation)

What if Death is a child of Oedon? Oedon is already associated with the void and darkness and negation.
But Oedon is yet something more, he is also "want". He yearns for more than "the nothing".
He is an Abyss, a giant mouth with an insatiable hunger. He will yearn forever even if he manages to devour all.
Death is kin to his darkness but Death only wants death and yearns for nothing but stillness and eternity.
What if Death (the Pale Moon) is the apple of Oedon's eye?
Oedon is a being of negativity, of inversion. The sclera of his eye is the darkness of the cosmos. His pupil does not absorb light but emits it.
His pupil is the Pale Moon, his favorite child. The whole image is very Lovecraftian.


Tarot Empress.jpg

The Empress is connected to Annalise, Queen of the Vilebloods and also her predecessor Yharnam, Pthumerian Queen.
She is a primal mother figure and embodies fertility, beauty and luxury.
The Empress is connected to nature as well as the senses and all material possessions.
When reversed The Empress symbolizes an obession with material and personal needs.

Annalise is the rightful ruler of Cainhurst Castle and a symbol of luxury and position.
She is a mother figure to the Vilebloods who she "created" by endowing them with her "rotted" blood.
According to Blood Rapture she is also a sex symbol and all Vilebloods hope to drink of her blood a second time.
The reason the Vilebloods seek out blood is to give it to their queen. She in turn hopes to eventually give birth to a "Child of Blood".
The Child of Blood is the Vileblood messiah though his/her exact nature is not yet known.

According to The Golden Dawn, The Empress is governed by Venus.


Tarot Sun.jpg

The Sun is a very important card though it is not yet clear who it's connected to.
The Sun has played a relevant role in Souls lore since Dark Souls 1.
It is a symbol of Fire, the gods of Fire and also of Lightning, Faith and Miracles.
Characters associated with the Sun are Gwyn, Solaire, the son of Gwyn and Gwynevere.
It is also connected to Sunlight Maggots, The Heirs of the Sun covenant and clerics.

In Bloodborne the Sun is mysteriously missing. It can't be found in the sky even in broad daylight.
There are few if any depictions of the Sun in architecture, there is no Sun covenant and clerics no longer use Lightning attacks.
My theory on why Bolt has changed can be found under Darkbeast Lore.

A very interesting detail of The Sun card is that it displays sunflowers.
Sunflowers appear in several key locations in Bloodborne. They are called Lumenflowers and appear to be of some great significance.
Lumenflowers can be found in the Upper Cathedral Ward where they are defended by The Celestial Emissary. These flowers are closed.
They can also be found in the swamp of The Nightmare Frontier. They appear to be wilting and radiate a weak light.
In The Research Hall a towering lumenflower cluster is defended by The Living Failures. These appear to bloom in broad daylight.
Lumenflower petals can also be found in The Astral Clocktower and near a grave in Fishing Hamlet.
The clothes of the Plain Doll have lumenflowers depicted on them.


  

The Fool is may be connected to Ebrietas.
The first piece of evidence for this is that her name is Latin for "drunkard".
This does not imply an insult of Ebrietas' intellect, The Fool is not a card of stupidity.
Instead it is a card of unlimited potential, innocence but also of carelessness.

The Reversed Fool symbolizes the total disregard for the consequences of one's actions.
Ebrietas can be linked to a number of psychopathic monsters, Cthulhu, the Whisperer in Darkness, Azathoth and Seath the Scaleless.
In this sense "the drunkard" could be someone who's psychopathic, someone who's drunk on his sense of self, or blood.
But The Fool's carelessness can also be read as "innocence".
Carelesness-innocence is a core trait of Lovecraft's Azathoth, a creator god who is completely oblivious to his creation's existence.


In Tarot the environment is often important. In The Fool's case he stands in a rocky area, surrounded by water with a sun shining high.
Ebrietas resides in a rocky cave and is indeed surrounded by water at all sides. Above her shines light through a single opening.
Of the Fool is said that his stance represents his willingness to take the plunge, go on an adventure, seize his freedom.
Ebrietas is linked to Cthulhu. Cthulhu is trapped beneath the surface, he yearns to be free and wreak horrors upon the world.

The Fool matches the mirror image of the rune Guidance. The curl of Guidance is formed by the rocks at his feet.
His head and arms form the upper "tendrils" and the upper spec matches the Sun behind The Fool.
When Ludwig discovered The Holy Moonlight Sword, he discovered playful sprites that gave him comfort on the hunt.
Under Ebrietas Lore I discuss the possibility that Ludwig acquired his magic sword from Ebrietas.
I hypothesize that Ebrietas is the essence behind Guidance and The Holy Moonlight Sword.
Ludwig received the item because he was fighting her fight. Ludwig never really learned what this entailed.

The Fool may also represent Robert Blake who foolishly releases the beast in The Haunter of the Dark.
He would have died more or less where Ebrietas resides. Another possibility is that The Fool is Ludwig.
Ludwig is is described as a careless brute by The Harrowed Hunter. The white dog would then be Ebrietas, his guardian.

According to The Golden Dawn, The Fool is connected to air.


Tarot Temperance.jpgRadiance

Temperance may be connected to the rune Radiance and also to the Triangular Blood Gems.
Through Radiance it may be connected to The Executioners. The Gold Ardeo is itself a pyramid of which each side is a triangle.
What follows are theories of mine concerning the importance of triangles in Bloodborne, and the importance of the triangular Hunter hat.
I must concede that the design of the Hunter hat seems to be heavily inspired by the film "Brotherhood of the Wolf"
As such, my additional theories on the subject could be entirely redundant. Yet I hope they will be concidered interesting at the least.

In ancient Greece, the triangle was considered a symbol of cosmic harmony, along with other perfect geometric shapes.
Like with other Tarot cards, Temperance can be Upright or Reversed. The first symbolizing temperance, the latter symbolizing its opposite
Excess, drunkenness, debauchery and madness are the opposites of Temperance.
Assuming that triangles symbolize Temperance (Upright or Reversed) then it's worth nothing that Hunters wear triangular hats.
This could mean that these hats symbolize Temperance and consequently, the duality within Hunters, restraint and madness.
A strong bit of evidence in that direction, is that the astral sign of Temperance is the constellation Sagittarius - "The Hunter".
Upright, the triangle symbolizes the composed, gentlemanlike nature of hunters. If reversed, the triangle symbolizes insanity, beasthood and bloodthirst.

Every hunter will end up infected by the Scourge of Beasts at some point in time.
Each faces an internal struggle between one's human nature and the encroaching madness and beasthood. Heroes have faced such struggles since Dark Souls.
Hunters not only face a struggle of man versus beast, but face a profoundly human struggle as well.
The Hunter may lose sight of his duty, he can become overwhelmed by hate - bloodthirst - and lose all sense of proportion.
Such a man may no longer tell friend from foe or reason from madness. He's at risk of becoming a demon to the world he sought to protect.
Another problem hunters face is that they can be manipulated. Ludwig was a noble man but ended up being used by The Choir, as such he became a monster. Blinded by a false sense of purpose he slaughtered the enemies of those controlling him. In the end he was utterly cursed and bound for hell.

On a lighter note, the Radiance rune may refer to the Freemason cult.
The triangle with the eye in it is an old symbol of Christianity, it symbolizes the all-seeing nature of God.
The Freemasons were once the central subject of a conspiracy theory which suggested that the cult was secretly in control of the world.
Such cults, vying for world domination, take a central role in much of Lovecraft's writing. 
Because the Freemasons are also associated with the "pyramid hat" or "cone hat" it is not unlikely that these symbols are meant as a reference to them.

Temperance is governed by Sagittarius, the hunter.
Sagittarius is a Mutable type sign and connected to fire.

The Suits


The Suits form the Minor Arcana Tarot cards.
They are formed like the suits of regular cards, 10 number cards 1-10 and face cards.
The Tarot Suits have 4 face cards instead of the regular 3. These are The King, The Queen, The Knight and The Page (a kind of jack).
None of them are yet perfectly understood.

Suit of Swords


Tarot Swords Ace.jpg

Swords are connected to the element of air and represents power, rationality and the intellect.
It also a suit of violence and conflict and is considered the most dangerous suit. It corresponds with Spades.

Raphael is the archangel of air. He appears in The Lovers card which is tied to The League of Valtr.
Hunters are also linked to the element of air, flying, sky burial and birds. They also fit the violence and rationality that the suit represents.

Suit of Pentacles


Tarot Pentacles Four.jpg

Pentacles are connected to the element of earth. They represent the material and all physical possessions.
Pentacles are linked to The Devil card and autumn. It can represent greed and pleasure seeking but also prosperity and stability.
Pentacles correspond with Diamonds.

Suit of Cups


Tarot Cups Seven.jpg

The Suit of Cups is linked to water. It represents creativity, fantasy and imagination.
The Suit of Cups corresponds with Hearts and is linked to the whiles of the heart.
Negative aspects of Cups are irrationality, being overwhelmed by emotion and unrealistic expectations.
A person that suffers from the negative side of cups can become bitter, withdrawn and melancholic.

Water can be linked to two things in Bloodborne, blood and The Nightmare.
The Nightmare has a watery nature (see The Moon above). The Moon Presence is connected to both blood and The Nightmare.
The Moon in Tarot is linked to the star sign Pisces and is linked to all manners of scary things emerging from our imagination.

Suit of Wands


Tarot Wands Ten.jpg

The Suit of wands is linked to Fire, spirituality, fresh energy and warmth. It corresponds with Clubs.


Unassigned or unknown cards

The meaning of these cards is not yet known or they have not yet been used by the designteam.


Tarot Star.jpg

Star is governed by Aquarius.
Aquarius is a Fixed type sign and connected to air.

Aquarius is depicted as a woman pouring water but the original Aquarius was a boy named Ganymede.
Ganymede was picked up by the gods to serve as their cupbearer, he was rewarded with godhood in the form of a constellation.


Tarot Strength.jpg

Strength is governed by Leo
Leo is a Fixed type sign and connected to fire.


Tarot Justice.jpg

Justice is governed by Libra
Libra is a Cardinal type sign and is connected to air.




    • 22 Nov 2016 16:17

      What about Gherman being Justice? Given his similar throned appearance and role as the one who passes judgement on the player character in the end.

      Othe thoughts:

      What about "A Call Beyond" for The Star? (The projectile fired is referred to as a star.) Or perhaps even more so, the hunter in Bergynwerth who uses it. Bearing in mind that she is found right outside of a large sea and that the centipede creatures there use it too.

      My best guess for The Strength is Father Gascoigne as he seems to be finishing off a beast in battle when his fight begins, but then loses his own fight with his inner beast during the course of battle and take on a lion like appearance while you as the player character fight him.

      • The strenght14 Aug 2016 10:17

        Tarot VIII the strenght is a references to Laurence. The tarot have two meaning: a positive and a negative. The positive meaning show the power of the mind over the brutal force, determination to reach the goal of the work i'm doing, ambition --> all of this is a references of Laurence after he becoming the fire cleric beast (fire is related to the tarot of the strenght). The negative meaning show the excess, the abuse of power, loosing control and use of brutal force and instinct --> related to the abuse of blood and transformation of Laurence in a beast, loosing control because an "Evolution without courage will be the ruin of our race." (From lore notes)

        • More triangles!27 Jul 2016 06:25

          Interesting read, thank you for putting this together.<br/><br/>I had some additional thoughts while I was reading, pertaining in particular to the importance of triangles. Specifically, the upright triangle such as the one associated with the Radiance rune is an old Pagan symbol signifying male — the upright triangle representing your basic phallic symbol. Conversely, the symbol for female is the inverted triangle, which is like a container — specifically, a womb. This is interesting when you consider the (intended) role of Annalise and of the Executioners.<br/><br/>While we're in the neighbourhood of Annalise and Cainhurst, another thing I might direct you to is the tvtropes page for Bloodborne, namely the Lost in Translation entry. Firstly it mentions that the Vilebloods are not referred to as such in the original Japanese — they are simply referred to as Cainhurst bretheren, but the idea that they have 'impure' blood is still there, which is presumably why the English translation went for such a pejorative term as 'vileblood'. Also there was an important, very central concept that was lost in translation, as it is a single-word concept in Japanese: kegare. This is a shinto concept that refers to spiritual impurity, filth or corruption that arises from natural things, such as bloodshed, menstruation and... wait for it... childbirth. Essentially, it seems that the 'Vilebloods' are a family whose blood is steeped in kegare. I think it says something as well about the nature and ideology of the Executioners (I hope I'm not the only one who looks at their signature ardeo and is reminded of both the Ku Klux Klan and, from the Silent Hill, the butcher Pyramid Head's attire). Also, given Arianna's apparent connection to Cainhurst and the flavour text for Arianna's blood (mentioning something old and forbidden) and that Arianna births a... thing if she survives to the Blood Moon phase, well...<br/><br/>Keep up the speculation. It's very interesting!

          • Dark Souls 2 Ending05 Jul 2016 08:53

            Why does this info not have a massive RAMPANT SPECULATION tag? Regardless, the Dark Souls 2 endings reference is incorrect - the base game offered only one ending, Claiming the Throne. Aldia offer a second ending, there is no third.

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