Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Tarot Design

I began my designs with the minor arcana suit of Wands because I am most familiar with the element of this suit; fire. My understanding of the world begins and ends with the elements. Although the elements are definitely the basis of everything in this world, the symbolism within the major arcana of the tarot is the sole property of the human psyche. It evades the broader mundane qualities inherent with issues of the minor arcana. I wanted to explore, creatively, issues beyond the human psyche, at first.

These first three cards are prototypes, generally speaking. I put them together in the general way they will look but I plan on improving the fine detail at a later date. I'm working out the template and the overall 'look' of the deck at the moment.

I have several ideas for titles but nothing carved in stone. Incidentally, one of my working titles is 'Stone and Bone' as these two elements will be the theme of the design. The other is 'Corpse Cafe', but I am not sure about that because perhaps my subject matter will wander out of that realm at some point. Regardless, I'm in no hurry to decide, I've got 75 more cards to design and that should keep me busy for a good while. I'm confident a title will present itself when the time is right.

© 2010 S. Camille Crawford

The Ace Of Wands here is represented by an open gate with a beckoning horizon. The spark of existence is created at the Ace of Wands, and although it is not possible to undo something once it has been done and we often have no control of what gets created in the world around us, there is a choice here. One does not have to enter the gate and pursue the glimmer projected in the spark. I have stood at this gate often and pondered my fate. This card has great meaning for me.

© 2010 S. Camille Crawford

The gargoyle in this image came from the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. Originally his duty was to protect the cathedral from rain damage and evil spirits but I felt he was longing to wander the city he had been surveying for over 600 years. I decided to let him loose in the Two Of Wands. Hopefully he will have the opportunity to travel the world. He looks longingly from his dark enclave and ponders his new found freedom.

© 2010 S. Camille Crawford

My corpse in the Three Of Wands is actually doing a little surveying of his own. With either a telescope, or camera, he focuses his attention into a single frame of reference. Effort has just begun as he sits up in his coffin after a long sleep.

12 comments:

Vincent said...

I'll just say it, these first three are stunning. I can't imagine the final versions turning out bad with such a strong foundation of design and loving craftsmanship.

The Ace, in particular, is very well done. The imagery is so clear and effective that the words that follow it almost seem unnecessary, like they were exactly what I expected to read. The fact that this card has great meaning to you was expertly conveyed.

Ms Corpse Cafe said...

Thank you. I am happy to hear it!

FreeFox said...
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FreeFox said...
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FreeFox said...

Say, am I mistaken, or are the last two both different versions of the 2 of Wands? Perhaps I just like to see 2 wands together. Credit it to a naughty queer boy's fantasy. But then, I like wank... er... wands in any number, really. :P

Vincent is right, they are all quite stunning. Couldn't say which is my fav. The first one speaks to me of hope, of possibilities, of that untravelled land whose margin fades forever and forever when I move, and of the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain.
The second one cut deepest, I think. The way the gargoyle looks longingly out of that crumbling window frame, his two wands discarded but within reach should against all hope someone turn up after all. Makes me think of HPL's Outsider, of self-doubt and loathing, and how hope keeps the misery in place.
And the last one, well, maybe one day I'll tell you about my earliest erotic fantasy. I was eight, and it included cannibal zombie pirates. Frightened and excited me to no end. So, I cannot decide whether I fear or hope that the skeleton will notice me, only that having met it makes my heart beat faster...

FreeFox said...

Oh, okay, now I found the numeral 3 at the top of the last and on closer inspection could make out the 3 wands. Also the Jesus on the cross in the background. The first time I was apparently to much frozen in the headlight of that spyglass and my memories.

Ms Corpse Cafe said...

Freefox... thank you so much for taking a look. I'm glad you sorted out the 2 & 3. I think I shall make the final version of the 3 a little higher in contrast so those wands are easier to see.
The Ace of Wands is as you say... so glad the image speaks directly to you... and if you know about the 2 of wands then you'll know there is plenty of longing inherent in it. Although the loathing part might belong to you alone. We'll have to talk more about that...
Now you are free to fantasize in any way you choose.... please remember, it is NOT necessary to share those with me, although I have to say Zombie cannibals and sexuality had NOT crossed my mind before, but since you have now planted it there I'll have to take some responsibility for that. But let's put a full stop on your boy fantasies please... unless, like I told Lou, you'd like to start fantasizing about Vikings instead of milkboys, then I might care to join in. :)

I did take a quick listen to your poetry reading. That is you? How old were you? 8? You sound extremely young and quite English. I'll listen more when I get through some of my work. It's piled up to my brow at the moment.

Dark regards,
Camille

FreeFox said...

Grrr. I was bloody 15! But if you now imagine that voice in a body that at least to me alwaays seemed 2 years to young, top it all with red hair and sprinkle it with about a zillion freckles, you get an idea why I had this unfortunate tendency to answer first and foremost with physical violence. ^_^'

Vikings, huh? Well, Pirates are at least in the same ballpark, aren't they? Especially if the ones I was thinking of where more of the pock-marked and bad teethed Geoffrey Rush variety than their clean-shaven, panty-wearing Douglas Fairbanks kin. Still, probably not your cup of tea. But I'm not after milkboys. In my fantasies I'm the only ship's boy, alone with a bunch of rude, and sex-starved seamen. :P (My only 2 weeks on board of a real boat, a fish trawler, with a bunch of Norwegian fishermen [Viking enough for ya?] was pretty eventless, though.)
I'll keep in mind to be more discrete about my more pervy sides in future... :D

Ms Corpse Cafe said...

I hardly equate that voice with physical violence, but I can imagine how frustrated you are to not be taken seriously.

True, pirates often come close to the fantasy of Vikings. No I don't have a problem with it. But the differences are not obvious. Pirates are scalawags thieves and liars. Vikings, although similar in their apparent barbarianism, are noble honest and dignified creatures, unlike pirates. Therein lies the key to my Viking fantasy. Think Sean Bean or Viggo Mortenson in Lord of the Rings... clean cut and honorable, yet gruff and tumble :)
I feel for you on your Norwegian sea adventure. Modern day Norwegians are mainly clean cut Christian men with little flare to their character due to their squeaky northern cleanness. Hardly worthy of reality let alone fantasy.
No worries my red haired friend. Fantasize away... just keep it noble and barbaric if you want me to join in! :)

FreeFox said...

Of course, *I* am a scalawag, thief, and liar. (And I look nothing like Thor. I'm more the Loki type.) Good thing then, that you got the wrong chromosomes for me anyway, huh? :P

But Sean Bean and Viggo Mortenson we can wholeheartedly agree on. Though I wouldn't exactly associate Sean Bean's roles with "noble" or "honourable". But both are totally gruffylicious. That image of Viggo, sweaty, hairs stuck to his face, as he says good-bye to Frodo at the end of the Fellowship and turns to face the oncoming orcs, hmmm, ye gods... same with Sean "Boromir" Bean. His death scene, I mean, not so much erotic (though there was something about the "thunk" of those arrows), but totally spine-chilling! (Bean was also extremely hawt both in "Ronin" and in "Red Riding".)

When you mentioned Vikings I was afraid that you were looking for big, brawny, blond, squeaky-clean muscle-boys, the sort that populates American queer porn and that one always is afraid will topple over because the size of their chest and upper arms has moved their centre of gravity too high. *shudder*

Ms Corpse Cafe said...

Yes... shudder is right. Well we agree! That's something from opposites across the world from each other.

Oh, and by the way, I'm researching an 'image' of Loki at the moment because he's going to be the first in a series of Norse Gods I'm doing.
You say you look nothing like Thor and more like Loki... well you are way ahead of me on knowing what either one of them actually looks like. I would think Loki is smaller than Thor, but that's about it. If you have some good depictions of either or both I'd love to take a look at them. Send me an email at corpsecafe@yahoo.com and we can continue our conversations there.
Cheers,
Camille

Ms Corpse Cafe said...

shit wrong email... it should be corpsecafe@yahoo.ca not com