I am working on a new project at this end of year. I was very inspired to create a deck of cards called The Cards of Mystery that foretold the afterlife or explained it to me. I was interested also in divination of a more spiritual nature. I found that the best way to do this was to draw my own deck of cards.
By chance I found a book called Introduction to Tarot by Susan Levitt, which is a fantastic full coloured book. I was at a market and thought it might be good to read up, and just found the book. She explains things simply and clearly, which is a style that suits me very well. I like to keep things simple. Through Susan Levitt’s indepth explanations of every element of the picture in the tarot card, I was able to understand more fully the meaning of each card.
I am also inspired very deeply by Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, the novel by Susanna Clarke. There is a scene in the book which features two magicians Vinculus and Childermass, trying to give each other tarot readings using a deck of The Cards of Marseilles. Which is the ancient or first form of tarot. I think one of the differences in this deck is that the High Priestess, is known as the Female Pope.
The totem for my deck of cards is the raven, which to me represents wisdom, and hidden knowledge, and secrets. the dark figures that traverse the cards are reminiscent of the spiritual side of me. The back of the card is also visible in this picture. It is an artwork showing two bold brush strokes, and a black angel’s wing. the reason for this is that it represents two swords, or conflict, and to strike at the heart of the wing, is to strike at a mystery which flies away, and nails it. That is my explanation for the back of the card, visible in the picture on the left. The magician is featured sitting on a throne, generally meaning to represent magical power which creates success in your endeavours. A raven speaks to him and magical writing lines his clothes. The windows to the afterlife are open, and there is plenty of light.
This picture was painted in watercolour. One of my favourites
I was inspired to do this drawing by watching the television series Carnivale. I have always felt an affinity with the travelling life of a performer. In my earlier days I did travel quite a bit, and you never lose the sense of how comforting it is to live out of a suitcase. It always remains with you.
The characters from Carnivale take place in this drawing, a boy shown resurrecting a cat, a midget shown talking to a glowing ball of green light, a tarot card reader who sees the mirrors under the tent, and the prophecies that come with it. (From right to left)The wheels of life turning, the hidden paths and the magic cane, the branches that spread out across the mirror, life’s many possibilities.
On the top left hand corner shows the magician king, and on the right, the balanced towers of power illuminated by the sun.
The magician in us, and power in us has to be balanced by the sun. The world of the three suns illuminating each window. There is always light.
In this drawing the tarot card reader is blind, and linked to the earth is the magician king. the magician inside of us leads the way, it is not simply about having physical vision. We are led from the inside, not the other way around.
I love this drawing, it is not for sale. I love it that much. It shows a magician wearing a magenta cloak, which is a self portrait in a way. I own a burgundy cloak and I am a woman but the colour of the cloak in the picture represents some part of my soul.
The magician who could be male or female sits at the table, with a candle giving off bright white light and writes a story, or a scroll in a secret language. Light from the ceiling peeks in through a hole and shines down on the magician, almost illuminating him.
This is an image of self illumination to me, i treasure it.
This magician is based on one of my favourite novels of all time. The drawing shows the magician covered in tattoos, symbols, and glyphs. It felt interesting to just let my mind flow and draw what was hidden in my mind.
I love ravens. They seem sharp and intelligent, and i love the way they caw at you. Almost as if they are scolding you, or telling you something you need to know.
In this picture, the magician seeks out the wisdom of the raven, bending on his knee in a gesture of respect, listening to the raven and consulting it.
Its interesting to note how the magician is almost tribal looking, i think i am influenced by the fact some tribal people really feel like they know magic to me.
This is the magician with three clocks, doves flutter up his cloak, and the clocks represent the past, present, and no time. No time is my way of describing that endless sense of time inside someone’s mind. One of my favourite drawings.
I don’t know if heaven is the past, maybe it is. Maybe we all came from heaven. The present clock is symbolised by the phases of the moon and four hands. Three hands pointing to the full moon and one to the waning moon. I suppose this symbolises balance.
This is one of my favourite drawings because it symbolises the calling of the powers within oneself.