Your Spiritual Guide To The Cult Classic Twin Peaks

ILLUSTRATED BY MALLORY HEYER
Twin Peaks is a show unlike any other. That was true in 1990 when it premiered on ABC, intriguing and baffling a Cheers-minded crowd, and it is still true in 2017, on the brink of the second-coming of the wicked and mystical series from the polarizing visionary, David Lynch. Over 26 years ago, in April of 1990, Lynch shared his version of a world where homecoming queens are murdered, detectives are plucky, and nothing is what it seems. The two seasons of the show (the first comprised of eight episodes, and the second included an overwhelming 22 episodes) are most remembered for their fantastical plot lines which are near impossible to comprehend in one sitting.
You either know of Twin Peaks because you are a fan of cult classics and whodunit shows (with a twist), or, you just know it pop-culturally because of the iconic soundtrack and unique premise of the artistically-minded series. Or you just couldn't find anything else on Netflix. But, whether you watched all 30 episodes of season 1 and 2 in the early '90s, or if you've just recognized the title from hearing about the upcoming reboot (premiering May 21 on Showtime), it's time we break down what really happens in this show, in a palatable way. The show revolutionized television, leading the way for the likes of Lost, American Horror Story and, yes, Riverdale. So, what better way to understand the nuances and spiritual significance of all the spooky and surreal things that happen to these characters than by creating Twin Peaks-themed tarot cards? This illustrated deck will provide you with the essential themes, characteristics, and plot lines from the original series. (And hey, print 'em out and do a little Twin Peaks séance of your own in the meantime.)
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Inevitably, there are a few spoilers mixed in, but trust me — you're going to want to see what the cards reveal.
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THE VICTIM

Oh, Laura Palmer — how you shook an entire town with your tragic and sudden death. The murder of Laura, a popular high school student who was the Homecoming Queen of her class that year, reveals a much more sinister side of the strange community. Laura is found in the woods, bloodied and bruised with lesions on her wrist and legs from being tied up during a sexual encounter with bad men about town.

Her character's complexity is the catalyst behind the plot of the show, which is to find out who murdered Laura, and who Laura really was. On the outside, she was the type of girl who dated the most popular boy in high school, and volunteered with Meals on Wheels. She had a caring mother and father, and was well-known about town for her upbeat attitude. But then, things started to shift after she secretly began hanging out with local drug dealers, womanizers, and other town misfits. In her diary, which provides many clues about the events leading up to her death, she wrote: "I felt like the school and the town were mocking me by making me Homecoming Queen. How could they not see how I was being swallowed up by pain, and then asking me to smile again and again?”

MEANING:

This card symbolizes a two-facedness. There is the living Laura, one who is bubbly, smiling, and holding it all together. And then there is the half-dead Laura, who is coasting by without anyone really seeing that something is terribly wrong. Choosing this card means you are hiding something and must come out with the truth in order to find happiness and serenity in life.
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THE DETECTIVE

FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper is the most central character in the series. Played by Kyle MacLachlan, a veteran of Lynchian projects, Agent Cooper is both a key guide throughout the town of Twin Peaks (as he too, like us, is a visitor to this strange place), and he also has insight and premonitions as to what happened to Laura through his detailed (and disturbing) dream sequences. He also provides welcome comic relief when situations seems dire. He's never without his trusted voice-activated recorder, his suit, or a damn good cup of coffee. But most of all: he's warm, he's charming, and he's good-hearted — all character qualities Twin Peaks residents lacked until his sudden arrival.

MEANING:

Choosing this card indicates that you are intuitive, curious, determined, and a stickler for the rules. You are extremely detail-oriented, but haunted by something from the past.
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THE PIE

Baked goods and a piping hot cup of joe have never been so crucial to a show's plot line as it is in Twin Peaks. (Well, actually, there's The Waitress, I guess.) There's a ceremony-like aspect to Agent Cooper showing up at The Double R Diner, run by Norma and her recently incarcerated husband, Hank, and ordering a cup of coffee while he meets with eclectic town member after town member trying to uncover evidence on what sort of trouble Laura was in before she was killed. And he goes a lot. Cherry pie is also the most prominent of flavors, which provides a sexual undertone to the setting. There's cherries on milkshakes, in pies, and everything in the diner is that bold cherry-red.

MEANING:

You are hungry. Feed your appetite for pie and coffee (and the truth) by visiting a local diner. Cherry pie will really hit the spot.
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THE FEMME FATALE

While there is bit of a trope around the femme fatale, no character is more alluring, more devious, and ultimately, more dynamic than Audrey Horne. If Laura Palmer was vanilla with sprinkles, Audrey Horne was dark chocolate with espresso beans. She's complex, and has her sights set on Agent Cooper. As the daughter of Ben Horne, a businessman who owns the Great Northern hotel, she is used to doing whatever she wants, and has a reputation to match. But, after Laura's death, she has new purpose: help Cooper find Laura's murderer. While she does lead Agent Cooper and the other officers into dangerous situations (she becomes an escort at a brothel/casino called One Eyed Jacks where Laura secretly worked and Agent Cooper goes to save her, finding her bound and drugged into submission using heroin), she makes up for it by assisting them in their investigation and turning in her own dad after realizing he slept with Laura (he owned the brothel — yikes) and was in love with her. Later in the series, Audrey mends her relationship with her father (and joins him in business) and finds another love interest (as her and Cooper never happen). But, she never loses her love of being spoiled and appreciated.

MEANING:

You know what you want and how to get it. You're not afraid to put yourself in dangerous situations, but often lack the foresight to prepare for back-up plans. Choosing this card indicates a sense of self-worth and self-purpose, but a lack of self-control.
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THE INFERNO

Welcome to the "Red Room." Be warned: this get pretty weird here. The Red Room is located within the Black Lodge, which one of the local police officers, Hawk, explains to Agent Cooper, is part of the town's mythology, along with the White Lodge. Although, to Cooper, these places are very real. And very demonic. Throughout the first and second seasons, he visits the Red Room through dream sequences. While there, in his subconscious, he learns vague clues and riddles which assist him in solving the murders and other suspicious crimes around the town. However, much of the information he learns comes too late, and when he visits the room, you know something bad will happen next. It's like a quick visit to hell and back. It represents, as Cooper says towards the end of the second season, "the evil in these woods."

MEANING:

Buckle up if you get this card. Shit is about to get fucking wild.
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THE KILLER

BOB is one of the greatest villains in television history, and he can best be remembered by his piercing blue eyes, soul-sucking tendencies, and burnt rubber smell. Oh, and for turning unsuspecting Twin Peaks residents into serial killers. So, who or what is BOB. That is unclear, but he seems to be a demonic figure that possesses bodies after they enter the Red Room and, essentially, sell their soul. We saw this happen to Mike/The One Armed Man, Leland Palmer (Laura's dad), and even Agent Cooper in the last scene of the final episode. While possessed by BOB, Leland sexually abused and murdered his own daughter, Laura. Then, he killed his niece, Maddy, who bore a striking resemblance to his later daughter. Being in possession of BOB gives one the insatiable desire to kill, as Mike tells Cooper once he is arrested. He tells him that he cut off his own arm in order to stop himself from murdering anyone else. BOB's appearance on his own is a long-haired man with grey hair and wild eyes. After Leland kills himself, BOB must find another host, and during a nightmarish meeting in the Red Room, he ends up in Agent Cooper's body. BOB's existence is also tied to Leland's youth, giving a whole new meaning to imaginary friends.

MEANING:

Don't freak out, but this is the most dangerous card to pull. Rid yourself of all toxic influences in your life and delete anyone in your phone with the name Bob, Robert, or Robertson.
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THE UNKNOWN

So, Twin Peaks may or may not be a hot bed for extra terrestrials , and the owls could be confirmation as such, according to many dedicated viewers of the series. The owls represent an element of the unknown, and the natural phenomenons that happen against reason. As much as they represent the mystery laced throughout the town, they're a reminder that there are no such things as secrets in this place. As the Giant tells Cooper, "the owls are not what they seem." Cooper asks for more information, because WTF, but his tall friend only offers: "This is all I am permitted to say." There's also a subplot line that really harps on the idea that the owls are aliens, or devices for which aliens can interact or watch earth. (Major Briggs, father of Laura's ex-boyfriend, reveals late in season 2 that he is stationed in Twin Peaks to investigate and translate code from "deep space monitors." So, yes — the owls could be aliens, along with a few other characters (the Giant, the Log, and even Major Briggs himself). In many scenes, owls are watching the characters through windows, and flying around in the night as if monitoring the drama unfolding. At one point, an owl is even superimposed over the face of Laura's killer.

MEANING:

Avoid the woods if you pull this card.
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THE JOKER

Dr. Jacoby is the town's psychiatrist, most remembered for his love of the tropics (specifically Hawaii), his signature red-and-blue glasses, and his obsession with Laura Palmer. He's wrapped into the investigation after tapes are discovered in his possession of Laura speaking sexually to him. He apparently used his closeness with her as a medical professional to engage in a romantic relationship with the damaged young woman. Later, he is attacked by the same man who killed Laura and must come clean about his practice (eventually losing his license and moving to Hawaii). As The New York Times writes "Jacoby is yet another wild card in a drama that has a whole deck’s worth."

MEANING:

Don't shy away from being yourself: wacky, weird, sensitive. But don't mix business with pleasure as the outcome is never good.
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THE LOG

Leave it to Lynch to give spiritual and mythical powers to a piece of tree trunk. The Log, like the The Omen, and The Unknown cards, is a guiding force for Cooper in figuring out what is going on in the town. The Log's information is transferred to Cooper via his owner, and caretaker, the Log Lady who often remarks, “One day, my log will have something to say about this.” It's also thought that the woods have certain powers in the show (there are theories that Josie, a character who disappears at the end of season 2, is trapped inside the wooden walls of the Great Northern hotel, where she haunts the likes of Ben Horne and Pete Martell (two men she had connections — and disconnections — with while she was alive).

MEANING:

When you receive this card, say what's on your mind. You're not a log and have the ability to share your thoughts and concerns — so do it.
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THE OMEN

Agent Cooper's dreams evolve from intriguing to haunting to downright hellish. In each of them is one familiar and distinguishable face: that of the Giant. The Giant speaks in ciphers, and only shares ominous phrases with the detective, leaving him determined to find the real-life connection to the vague riddles. Among the mysterious omens, the Giant says "one and the same" and tells Cooper to look for "a man in a smiling bag." He also comes to Cooper while he is still awake in a later scene in season 2 to tell him that another murder is taking place. He's an ally of Cooper's even if he is an alien, or a figment of his imagination, or a traveler of both time and space.

MEANING:

Follow whatever gut feelings you have about a new place, a new person, or a new experience. Listen to the figures that appear to you in dreams — they are there to help.
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Now that you get the gist of what Twin Peaks is about (trust me, there is SO much more to delve into — it's a black hole) I urge you to listen to the songs and soundtrack of the series. The songs and instrumental breaks are as much a narrator of the show's and characters' actions as it is an audio device. In a town where nothing is what it seems, it only makes sense that the music chosen by Lynch is so much more than just a collection of '90s hits.
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