the one who knows all secrets
she reveals only
what has to be revealed
This is the third card in the traditional Tarot Deck, the Mystic, following the Child, and the Magician. Some authors refer to this card as the High Priestess. Typically this card signifies a spirituality, a contact with a higher realm, the non-material world.
In Western civilization, mysticism has never been the main theme. There have been mystics of course, but particularly since the Enlightenment, rationality, and reason, have been the guiding lights. We don’t look to mystics. This role has been taken over though, by artists and poets, and musicians. This is where we look for the high priest and priestess, to tell us things they have seen and experienced outside of our typical hum-drum world. I think in today’s world we could call this card The Artist, The Poet, The Musician.
With that said, for my design, I have stayed traditional. There is a bit of abracadabra in my card, as if this high priestess is about to make something appear. There is a touch of humor, for sure. But there also is a concentration, a purity of intent, and the bold colors which bring a latent energy to her implied motions. Her hands are magnificent and all encompassing, who knows what she will come up with!
When I draw this card I am always happy. I am thinking of my creative side, the side of me that is not worrying about anything, the side of me that regards life as the great unknown experience it can be. This card relates most strongly for me to The Child/The Innocent, The Moon, and possibly The Star.
The Magician, the second card on our journey through the Major Arcana.
My design splits the digital canvas into four quadrants, the hemispheres, the compass, the world. I have drawn in the Northern point, it stands for a sense of direction and destination. Often times my life has been in a state of utter chaos but somehow that special point of light, my ultimate goal, stays in view and inspires. There are springs and circles, lines and colors going every which way! The colors are bright, there is a sense of optimism here, however reckless. Perhaps I should be more concerned. Maybe someday my bag of tricks will run out. Maybe someday I won’t land on my feet. Maybe. But as long as I can see the North Star of my dreams and hopes, shining, beckoning, I have to stay positive and rely on my resourcefulness.
The beginning of life! Is anything more exciting? Is anything more filled with promise and dreams? Or the beginning of any journey, or any quest. That is what this card signifies to me.
Many decks call this card the Fool. But this is not an opinion I share. Inexperience does not necessarily make one a fool. Naive perhaps, but not a fool.
Some decks leave this card unnumbered rather than starting with zero. Either way it represents the beginning, the beginnings of life, the beginnings of journeys, the beginnings of civilizations, the beginnings of our universe.
My card is innocence. In order to live fruitfully, we must keep our innocence alive somewhere inside of ourselves, somewhere inside our polis. When innocence dies, so does any hope of creativity, vitality, progress.
For my design, I chose a young woman, someone just starting out her independent life as an adult. She is dreamy, romantic, longing. She is surrounded by darkness (which may signify the present), but there is a bright sunlight behind her (which may represent the future). The contrast is dramatic and clearly drawn.
My image is straightforward and direct. I am not using any overt symbolism in my deck. More typical decks tend to use symbolism, and fill the card with different items which might refer to different events. I want to concentrate on the essence of how I perceive each card. For me the Tarot is not so much a prophecy as a revelation. The cards reflect different stages in our lives and invite us to reflect on what is relevant at this moment.
A new beginning !!!
I first started my career in digital art about three years ago, both from a sense of adventure and a sense of necessity. At that time I wanted to put a Tarot application on a web site as a fun thing to do. I have always had an interest in the Tarot, dating back quite a few years, and I thought it would be a great programming assignment. You see I had worked as a programmer for many years, and then left somewhere around 2006 to take a break and try my hand at other things. By 2013 I decided I wanted to try to go back into programming and setting up a small Tarot application online seemed like an interesting project.
I realized of course that I would have to do something for the cards, and not wanting to infringe any copyrights, I decided to try and create my own deck! I did create a deck but as I look at it now, it is somewhat clumsy. So this year I have gone back and am creating a new deck. I am only releasing the Major Arcana for now, I am not sure if I will do the Minor Arcana. And I will re-release my application, a new improved version!
So this is my new beginning and much like the first card in the deck, I start out with a fresh sense of confidence and hope that I may be able to contribute something new to this ancient craft. You see, my cards will be partly based on the historical deck and partly on the experiences of my own life. So it will be Tarot, biography, history, philosophy, and hopefully, art and poetry.
I hope you enjoy!
And as always, I so appreciate your comments!
For this proposed card, VIII Strength, I have used barbells and a beautiful vase.
The barbells symbolize our goal of physical health and renewal. I am something of a classicist and believe we must try to take care of body, mind, and soul. I try to walk at least a few miles every day and try small exercises with barbells as often as possible.
However there is our other side, the spiritual side, that also is part of our strength. Here I have used a vase, hand made in Brazil over ten years ago, a bit fragile perhaps, but beautiful, and sturdy in its own way. Art is for our soul, our spiritual journey, and that too, is part of our strength, as we try to make sense of an often chaotic world.
This is my proposed Tarot card for the Hierophant, typically card V in the traditional Tarot deck.
The Hierophant classically is based on the Pope, or the High Priest, but I chose to select Dag Hammarskjold, the UN peacemaker and second Secretary-General, and Mary Baker Eddy, the Christian mystic who founded Christian Science.
When I was growing up, Dag Hammarskjold was one of our heroes, along with Dwight Eisenhower; and in fact, John Kennedy, called him (Dag Hammarskjold) the greatest statesman of the century.
Mary Baker Eddy, remarkably, as a woman, founded a major branch of Christianity, Christian Science, a religion with millions of members in the US and worldwide.
I think both of these figures represent the spiritual, and inspirational aspects of the Hierophant, to 21st century men and women.
Isn’t it time that women, who are more than half of the human population, also take their place beside men, as spiritual leaders, in all religions?
This is one of my proposed Tarot cards, The Wheel Of Fortune, generally numbered X, from the Major Arcana, or one of the Trump cards.
The Wheel of Fortune was very prevalent in the Medieval Ages, where life, and health, were often unpredictable, and so the spinning wheel certainly is one famous symbol for this card, similar to a roulette wheel. You never knew what calamity might happen next.
Of course, through science, we have been able to take away some of the unknown, but still, inevitably, for most of us at least, life will have many bends and turns, many ups and downs, that we never expected. So this card still has major significance though perhaps not as much as in days gone by.
I started my design with the typical wheel, but then I just started to unravel the spirals, thinking of one strand of DNA. And then I thought, well isn’t DNA the biggest wheel of fortune? It determines our height, our looks, our talents, you name it. And we have absolutely no control of the outcome, how the DNA from Mom and Dad will combine to make us. We can only react and build a life around what DNA fortune has thrown our way.
So I decided to make my wheel of fortune a bit differently. It has some of the circular qualities of traditional cards, it also has one of the strands of DNA, or even RNA. It also is spiraling and perhaps unraveling, it depends on your situation and how you read the card.
Let me know what you think!