Zero - The Fool; acrylic on raw canvas, 18"x24" c.1996 by Turtle Woman
Card of Infinite Possibilities
My Fool card is surrounded by a dark border - the inky darkness of the Void or Womb. An androgynous young person is about to take a first carefree dancing step upon the Sacred Spiral, the "Yellow Brick Road", of life. A Benevolent Spirit of Nature (represented by the cactus) accompanies hir. The hour is just before sunrise - a new day; a new life, is dawning. In a nod to traditional Tarot imagery, this youngster carries the Fool's Bag, with its' all-seeing eye. From within it, S/he pulls the seeds of infinite possibilities: scattering them as S/he dances along.
I have done quite a bit of chakra work, and in my exploration of Tarot I discovered the work of Carol Bridges (Medicine Woman Tarot), who sees the upward progression of the Major Arcana as rising thru the chakras: from 1 The Magician at the Root Chakra to 21 The World at the Crown Chakra. This felt so intuitively "right" for me at the time, and has remained a very important aspect of the majors as I see them - and so I of course am incorporating this idea into my own cards. I am using the spectral color progression associated with the chakras in my cards: for example, The Magician card has a scene which is predominantly red and has a red border (red is associated with the Root Chakra).
Another kind of progression that is reflected within the Major Arcana is a progression thru levels of experience. I first found this idea discussed in Vicki Noble's "MotherPeace", and it, too, just "clicked" for me...it made so much sense! This progression causes the Majors to naturally break down into 3 groups, with the experiences becomming more complex as one advances numerically higher through each group. The 3 groups are, First: Life on the Physical Plane, symbolized by 1 The Magician thru 7 The Chariot (which I call Triumph); with The Chariot representing mastery of this level. Second: Advancement on the Emotional/Psychic Plane, symbolized by 8 Strength (I call her Mother of Animals) thru 14 Temperance (which I call Fusion), with Temperance representing mastery. The Third group is Advancement on the Spiritual Plane, symbolized by 15 The Devil (I call hir Trixter) thru 21 The World (whom I call Earth), with World representing mastery. In my card design each group has a different symbol that appears on each card within that group. The symbol is rendered in a more complex manner with each advancing card in the group. For the first group the symbol is hands (for physicality); for the second group a zig-zag (brain waves for thought!); for the third group a spiral (symbolic of the Sacred Dance). As I mentioned before, each card has a border corresponding to its' chakra color - the symbol for each group is used within the border also. Another thing you've probably noticed is that I am renaming many of the cards, to more accurately reflect what the card has come to mean to me.
Despite all this planning, Serendipity definitely plays a role in my creation of these cards - after all - isn't getting in touch with our Inner Guide/Intuition what this is all about?
Turtle Woman's Tarot: Back to the introductory tarot page.