Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Hermit IX

(Drawn on June 25, 2009)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Temperence XIV

The figure in this card is often portrayed as an angel. I started drawing some wings, didn't like how they looked (in terms of the over-all design/layout of the card), so away they went. We can still think of her as an angel if we want to, or not.

Typically we will see that the figure is standing with one foot on the ground, and the other in water. Drawing the figures more up close as I have been doing usually means that we don't see the feet. For example, in the Hanged Man, the foot he is hanging from is cropped out of the picture; we can't see what he is hanging from, or is he simply hanging in space? You could say that something is missing, or you could also say that this adds a bit of a twist to the card. In my version of Temperance, the figure initially just ran off the bottom of the page. As I was drawing the water, it occurred to me to draw it so that the figure is actually standing in the water. I would also point out that if you think about it, her feet are standing on the ground underneath the water. In fact, if the bottom is muddy or at all squishy, her feet may actually be sunk right into the earth. Rather than standing on the ground and dipping her toes in the water, she is now even more connected with the water, and, if we can assume that her feet are at least somewhat sunken into the earth, more connected there as well.

As previously mentioned, I have eliminated the wings in this drawing, but have kept the radiant glow around her head. The angel in the RWS card looks downward; here, her head is tilted back, her eyes are closed; her expression is not quite ecstatic, but more what I would refer to as beatific. The cups are almost directly opposite one another. The water is not being poured from one cup to the other; rather, defying gravity, it flows back and forth between the two cups in an arc-like shape (which may also cause some to think of a rainbow).

(Drawn on June 14, 2009)

Seven of Wands

This is pretty much a traditional interpretation of this card, but a bit more active and agressive than what we see in the RWS version, for example.

(Drawn on May 31, 2009)

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Star

Typically The Star typically signifies hope, tranquility, inner peace, etc. However, a while back, while doing a reading using The Pictorial Key Tarot, The Star came up and rather than getting a sense of hope, the card gave me a strong sense of sexuality and eroticism. In both the Tarot de Marseille and the Rider-Waite Tarot, the female figure depicted on this card is shown nude, but not in an erotic manner. The Pictorial Key's depiction of the nude female figure is, admittedly, more graphic, but in the past I have never gotten a sense of eroticism from it, and certainly not from the way she is shown in the other two decks.

The Star from The Pictorial Key Tarot
© Lo Scarabeo

Tarot de Marseille © Camoin and Jodorowsky
Rider Waite Tarot © U. S. Games Systems Inc.

In my admittedly still-developing knowledge of tarot, it is my understanding that although there are, more or less, typical "standard meanings" for the individual cards, in many cases, a given card can take on an additional or altered meaning, depending on the context. The range of interpretation, from what I can tell so far, seems to range from adhering to very specific traditional meanings for each card, to largely or even fully "intuitive" understandings based on a particular instance. At this point, I am falling somewhere in the middle, depending on the situation. How does one know exactly where to land in any given case? Well, I suppose that one could use one's intuition for this! Is this not, ultimately, what the tarot demands of us?

My interpretation of this card is influenced by both the traditional meanings and by the more erotic sense I got from this card as described above. Also, I have drawn the stars with seven points, not the usual eight. This could be interpreted through an alchemical, Druidic, or even Christian lens. Do I have a specific meaning for this? Well, let's just say that it seemed like the thing to do at the time. Basically, that's pretty much how I'm rolling with these drawings for now; anything is ultimately subject to change.

(drawing completed on May 18, 2009)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Lovers • The Devil

I decided to draw these cards together, as they are related both visually and thematically. Also, note that the number of the Devil, 15, reduces to the number of the Lovers, 6.

Again, I am keeping the content of the drawings somewhat similar to those in the RWS deck, with a few modifications. With The Lovers, other than the closer view of the figures (and their embrace), the elements are pretty much the same. The figures in the RWS version of The Devil are chained around their neck, but the chains are loose--the figures could free themselves if they wanted to. In my version, we do not see the chains, but we do see a key around the man's neck. (There is probably one around the woman's neck as well, but we can't see if because of her hair.) Although we do not see the chains, the key implies that they are there; perhaps they are leg irons. The man and woman could free themselves, but they are bound by their own choice.

(drawings completed on April 17, 2009)