View Full Version : Team Chow III: Team T&A
December 27th, 2009, 04:27 AM
Hello hello all... This is where Arish and I (Tava) will put our brainstormings and drawings and such.
When we finally get goin... PLEASE FEEL FREE TO POST COMMENTS/CRITS/ETC!!
PS: Liked Arish's version of our avatar better. So here it is! :} Thx Miss Arish!!
December 27th, 2009, 05:00 AM
Hello boys and girls! Once again, we saved something special for team chow. This is a liiittle different then what we usually have going on, so please pay close attention!
This month, Team Chow will be attempting to create it's very own Tarot Deck! For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a deck of cards very similar to the usual 4 suited deck, but with 22 extra cards called the 'major arcana'. The four suits are also different : Swords, Cups, Wands, and Pentacles/Coins. In the following post there will be a list of all the cards.
For those of you who don't know much about it, please allow me to send you to a couple of sites to read up on it.
Though often used as a form of divination, we'll be approaching it from a strictly design perspective. Each card is meant to tell a very particular tale (though this tale often depends on the reader) and has many symbols and meanings attached to it. The goal will be to do each card as a character-based (this is still chow) illustration to illuminate the meaning of the card. However, the specific meaning and the symbols will be up to you. We will, however, be following mostly to the Rider-Waite deck, with the exception that we will be using Princess instead of Page.
1. Your team will choose TWO CARDS per person to illustrate. So, a 2 person team needs 4, a 4 person team 8, etc. This is the minimum requirement, you may choose more.
2. You may only take major arcana for half your cards, please choose Lesser Arcana (The Suits) for at least half. Bonus points for those who do mostly Lesser Arcana!
3. You will post your choices in this thread. I will allow 4 teams per card. First come, first serve. If we get all the cards covered by at least four teams each, I will then be open to letting you pick cards that are already full. We want to make sure to get a full deck!
4. Please make sure that your files can be sized down to 9 cm by 15.5 cm (or 3.543 x 6.1 inches) at 300 dpi. I'm exploring the option of seeing if we can get it printed, so please make sure your work is print-quality, or please write "OPT OUT OF PRINT" when you submit your work so I know you're not interested in having your cards printed as part of your deck.
5. PLEASE DO NOT START DRAWING UNTIL JANUARY FIRST! Right now is the time to get everyone's cards assigned and start brainstorming, but please don't start drawing as it's unfair for the other teams.
6. That's it, Have Fun!
Thanks, and Good Luck!
Quoted from Daestwen's post in the Topics Thread!
Good luck all!
December 27th, 2009, 05:06 AM
Ok... research. First, the analytical. From Tarot.com.....
Every numbered card in a Tarot deck partakes of the innate geometry of the number that rules it. One is a whole, so every ace represents pure potential in one of the four elements. Two divides and polarizes, so each two expresses a dichotomy. Three gives polarity a fulcrum to balance upon, mediating extremism and harmonizing each of the elements. Four crystallizes and solidifies, so potentials acquire a framework on which to actualize. Five forces individuation and challenges creativity, eliciting vision and imagination. Six is yin and yang, two threes intertwined, fertile and furthering. Seven strives for the mastery depicted by the spiritual triangle surmounting the material square. Eight is the test of interlaced squares, implying the wheel of the year and the challenge of survival from season to season. Nine is three threes, the "triple ternary," balance of balances, the so-called perfect number. Ten folds the circle of the numbers into a cycle, recapitulating the one at the next higher level. (In Tarot terms, the tens are each transforming into the ace of the next element in the chain of ascent/descent.) In the different elemental worlds, the numbers will appear with different emphases (like the difference between the Five of Swords and the Five of Wands), but the principles of the single digits rule the numbered suit cards of Tarot. Linked from.... http://www.tarot.com/about-tarot/library/essays/minorarcana
Not going to go into the Major Arcana here, yet, because we've not chosen any. If anyone else is browsing this... http://www.tarot.com/about-tarot/library/essays/majorcards ... is an excellent historically-based resource!
In the majority of European esoteric Tarots, the suit of Cups refers to the element water. The suit symbol is usually a large drinking cup or communion cup, like the mysterious Grail chalice, occasionally shown pouring forth with holy water or other sacred fluids.
Associations with this cup include the Holy Grail; a fountain of love; the Cornucopia, containing all good things that make us happy; the Krater, stone cup of the Mysteries, containing Soma, psychedelic elixir of mushrooms and cannabis pollen; communion cup of the Catholic Mass; the Pomegranate cup of the Egyptian cult of Isis and the old Hebrew mysteries. It sometimes refers to the Blood Mysteries, symbol of the ultimate sacrifice, whether it's menstrual blood, the blood of a sacrificed animal, or the blood of Christ. There are times when the cup is also used to symbolize sacred sexuality, with its connotations of merging and bliss. In each case the symbolism reflects the heart of life, bonding and nurturing support, deep soul satisfaction, and becoming one with a greater whole.
Commonly, the Suit of Cups rules the psyche or emotional life, dreamtime, the lunar, tidal, monthly cycles of subjective experience. It refers to all aspects of the inner life, from fantasy and imagination to great heights of ecstasy, deep wells of grief, and the immense calm of spiritual security. This the world of feelings, the heart, our close emotional and spiritual ties. It represents all the ways in which people can be touched and moved in our non-verbal, empathetic, sensitive and intuitive natures.
As the imagery implies, the suit of Cups is pregnant with meaning for Western esotericism. This suit has been used to carry the traces of an underground belief held in certain Gnostic Catholic circles in southern Europe about the lineage of a Holy Family founded by Jesus of Nazareth and his wife, Mary Magdalen. According to this belief, Mary of Magdala was taken to Europe along with her child/children after the crucifixion, for their protection during the troubles in Jerusalem. The family settled in southern France, founding a dynasty which eventually rivaled the Roman Church, provoking both the Crusades and the Inquisition as a result of Rome's attempt to eliminate their influence in Europe.
The queen of Cups is therefore regularly portrayed as the Grail Queen (see El Gran Tarot Esoterico), unambiguous icon of the Arthurian legends. If she is being indicated indirectly, she'll become an idealized and dreamy Venus-like figure (see the Medieval Scapini Tarot), occasionally, the Black Madonna, patron saint of many villages on the Iberian Peninsula (the Alexandrian Tarot decks). Sometimes attributes of all three are present, as in a Black Queen with naked breasts who carries the Pomegranite Cup (Ibis Tarot).
These various guises reveal her role as All-Woman, Sacred Virgin, Lover, and Mother, simultaneously a living woman and a reinvention of the ancient Great Mother, still beloved despite any overlay of patriarchal Christian dogma and symbolism. These Tarot decks are the most likely to imply that the cup is full of blood rather than water.
If the cup in the hands of your King of Cups burns, bubbles, smokes, or flames, you are probably looking at a Tarot informed with an alchemical theme. This references a person who is actively cultivating spiritual powers (practices which the Roman church strictly anathematized). In those Tarots, the Page is often shown with his cloak draped over his cup or a lid covering its fullness, and with a downcast demeanor. He's the royal heir, forced to live incognito, banned from his inheritance and his proper role in history. The Knapp-Hall Tarot goes to the length of showing his "lineage tree" broken in half behind him.
There exists a small group of esoteric Tarot decks that use the suit of Cups to symbolize the element air (the realm of the mind) rather than the element water. These are the Spanish-influenced or Iberian Tarots from Spain, Portugal, and the southern coast of France. These Tarots relocate the Holy Grail away from the sentimental and emotional life, focusing it in the philosophical sphere, the realm of the mind. Here the Cup is a symbol of the Soul's consciousness, receptive and open to Divine Inspiration, experiencing communion with higher planes and higher intelligence. It refers to subtle states of medi-tation and contemplation, an active, aware receptivity to the Divine Word.
Such Tarots show symbols of the astrological air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) built into the designs of the royalty of Cups, and will also show a preponderance of butterflies, birds, insects and flowers adorning the suit of Cups, even sometimes extending over the whole deck. They also have a higher percent-age of female images in the Major Arcana, with especially suggestive and sympathetic imagery associated with the Devil card. These clues imply contact with the most ancient Hebrew mysteries, carrying Gnostic, Alexandrian, and Moorish influence barely hidden beneath the ubiquitous Catholicism imposed from Rome. from... http://www.tarot.com/about-tarot/library/essays/cups
Specifically... the Queen of Cups!
The Queen of Cups is usually portrayed as a feminine, sensitive, vulnerable woman who is supremely understanding and offers unconditional love. She is the classic "feeler," sometimes to a fault. Her natural empathy and caring expose her to everyone else's emotions and needs. But she occasionally has difficulty identifying her true self-interest in the midst of her responsiveness to others. So sometimes she appears slightly unfocused or perhaps overwhelmed, filled as she is with emotions or "spirits." She represents the Grail Queen and the Goddess of the Family. from... the same page as above.
Ok, that's all for now. More to come!
December 27th, 2009, 07:51 PM
Decided to grab a few Queen of Cups cards from various decks as inspiration. Note: I did not draw these. They are from a variety of popular (and a few esoteric) Tarot decks. I personally own a copy of the Hansson-Roberts tarot (included here as well). I tried to grab cards from decks that used full-body (or at least 3/4) representation on their figures. All of them are vastly different in style but the symbols and interp for each card makes them recognizable regardless of deck.
December 27th, 2009, 08:28 PM
The suit of Coins, usually symbolized by a solid gold coin, represents first and foremost, your body, health, vigor, and genetic heredity. It can be seen as the capacity to "ground" and relax, attuning to the rhythms of Nature within and without.
Emotionally, the coin symbolizes a feeling of abundance, security, safety and general freedom from threats to survival. When you feel safe, you are free to be creative, not hampered by fear and reactivity. The theme of prosperity is not limited to a financial experience. Even the poorest person can be enriched and increased by the experience of a golden moment, contact with goodness, or beauty.
Coins can also symbolize strengths or gifts, sources of support which provide for you, based on your own efforts or those who came before you. Such gifts can include family money, marketable skills, insider connections, a special cultural heritage, etc. The biblical use of the word "talent" for a monetary unit offers us an interesting play on words. Whether as a coin or as a capability, a talent is a potential, an ability, ready to be spent in actualization of a goal. Those who are willing to invest themselves, their time, money, and labor, deserve the rewards of effort. The coins provide those rewards, as well as supply the means to earn and deserve them. Think of the Coin as the symbol of the "currency" you possess for protecting your sovereignty in this world.
Whether it's intellectual, entrepreneurial, artistic, or any other "property" you command, including the sheer brute energy and strength to outwork those around you, Coins symbolizes the value of your assets. If you can translate that into a way to pay your bills and take care of your family, you have mastered Coins. As the saying goes, "wherever a person's gold is, there is their heart too." The Coin is your values, the things you love, are attracted to and collect around yourself.
In alchemy, the metal gold not only represents a standard of external value in collective culture, but stands as a symbol of purity among the other metals because it is naturally brilliant, warm to look at and feel. At the same time, it remains malleable and easily blended with other metals. Because of these qualities, gold came to be seen as Solar energy cast into substance, showing forth the highest evolution of the element earth and pointing to the inner light which inspires all forms. At its highest manifestation, gold symbolizes the Body of God, the world of matter itself.
Likewise, the Coins are the seeds of all the "things" in this world, all drawn out of the infinite creativity of Nature. The earliest European Tarots show the personalities of the Planetary Gods on the coins of the Tarot, often arranged by their orbital placements around the sun, from the innermost Mercury to the Ring-Pass-Not, Saturn (the other planets were not yet known). From ... http://www.tarot.com/about-tarot/library/essays/coins
Specifically the Nine of Pentacles...
The Nine of Coins points to a person who is financially secure enough to live in a truly comfortable way, the "lifestyle of the rich and famous." This is about someone supported by her own business, inheritance, or ownership of property. This is one person in ten thousand. This extraordinarily lucky and well endowed individual has turned a historical accident into a personal opportunity and has the vision and strength of character to hold onto his or her gains against all odds. Do not be fooled at the apparent ease displayed on this card‹ the person pictured is at the tail end of a long and stressful process of winning the right to be taken seriously, and all of those graces have been paid for several times over. From the same website as above...
December 28th, 2009, 02:08 AM
Woot! Looks like we've got all four cards.... and here they are:
Queen of Cups
Nine of Pentacles
Five of Swords
And.... here's the info for the last two:
The Pierpont-Morgan Bergamo tarocchi "Love" card (mid-1400s) shows a handsome young man advancing from the left and a beautiful woman standing to the right, both in medieval clothing reflecting royal status, as if they were reiterations of the Empress and Emperor. They are meeting and shaking hands below an upright, blindfolded Cupid who appears to be ready to drop an arrow onto the man's head. The contemporary Cary-Yale Visconti portrays the same couple but on opposite sides, in a manicured garden under a sumptuous canopy furnished with a bright red couch. A blindfolded cherub flying above is now about to drop the arrow on the woman. This image too was called Love. Kaplan, in Volume 2 of his Encyclopedia, likens these images to "betrothal portraits" popular in Germany and later in Italy. Such portraits typically show the couple linked by Cupid, who carries two arrows but no bow. The arrows are meant "that they might love each other equally" (p. 164). The Charles VI Tarot from 1470-80 calls this Arcanum the Lovers, and shows several couples dancing and romancing; two cherubs are at the ready, bows drawn, to pierce some members of the crowd with their barbs of love. Kaplan, in Volume 1 of his Encyclope-dia, says the Lovers card is represented in the Mantegna Tarocchi (1470) by cards No. 20, Apollo, and No. 43, Venus, suggesting the identities of the royal couple who come together under the auspices of this Arcanum. The Rosenwald Tarot cards from the sixteenth century reveal a man on bended knee before a woman, while above them a blindfolded angel with female breasts and male genitals prepares to shoot the woman in the heart with an arrow of love. Note that this ambivalent gender association shows up a century later as one characteristic of the "new" Devil Arcanum influenced by the reforms of the 1660s. We know this angel is not meant to be a devil figure, however, because the wings are dis-tinctly feathered rather than black and leathery as would be those of a demon. In the mid-1600s we enter a time of mixed influences. This card tends to have a large numbers of variants through the years, giving us numerous subtle changes in interpretation from one pack to another. Several that might be especially interest-ing are mentioned below. But the image that eventually became standard, first on the Marseilles family of Tarots and later on Etteilla and all the French Esoteric cards, was the Two Paths, showing a young man at a fork in the road, standing between two women who represent different possible destinies for him. This image first shows up on the Jacques Vieville and Jean Noblet Tarots, both from the early 1660s in France.
By the early seventeenth century, the anonymous Parisian Tarot shows a very quizzical version of the Lovers. The woman appears on the right, human but with what seems to be gray angel wings that match those of the cherub overhead. Her gaze and hands are focused on his lap. We see him diagonally from behind as he straddles a hassock, looking at her face and embracing her chest. The cherub has an arrow ready to release, pointing at the man. Is he receiving sexual attention from an angel? Is this love or lust? Gioseppe Maria Mitelli's Tarot (1664) does not help us with this question, as he shows only the chubby cupid standing on earth though possessing wings, arrows holstered, wearing a blindfold.
He holds a flaming heart in his left hand. One Tarot from 1750 shows an interesting variation (Tarocco Siciliano cards). This pack presents the Arcana in a different numerical order than usual, so the Lovers image is numbered 8 instead of 6. A woman and a man are in the open landscape, the requisite cherub on a cloud above them. The cherub's bow is drawn, ready to shoot the man. This man is caught in a moment of shock, recoiling at what the woman is presenting. She is holding up another arrow, which has apparently already been released into her. It seems the man is not as receptive and peaceful with the prospect of love as the woman!
Aside from these amusing but inconclusive variations, the primary image for the Lovers goes forward as some variation on the "new" (in the 1660s) Two Paths image. In that formulation, the young man (the Magus?) who is standing at a fork in the road must choose between a modest angel and a primitively dressed nature girl (meant to imply sexual availability). Between them, the two women represent virtue and vice. The cherub is aiming the arrow at the man in the center of the image as if to imply that the responsibility for all consequences of this Choice will be borne by the chooser (meaning the person who draws this card).
The main variant of the Choice card is shown by the Jean Payen, Marseilles, Court de Gebelin, N. Conver and Vandenborre Tarots. All show a marriage ceremony being performed by an older priestess who stands in the same position the "vice" woman would have, to the left of the young man. This produces the same silhouette as The Choice, but the temptress image is replaced by the priestess (or Holy Mother) image.
. This priestess is ceremonially uniting the couple at a crossroads in the manner of a pagan handfasting. The priestess sometimes has her back turned to the viewer of the card, which can make it unclear whether she is older and making a marriage or younger and competing with the bride for the attentions of the young man. Usually the artist will have taken the time to detail a headdress for the extra woman if she is meant to be more than a flirtatious competitor of the bride. In each case, the cherub hovers overhead either targeting the groom or aiming between the bride and groom. Almost never are either of the women made the explicit target of the cherub's arrow. A modern version appears in the F. Gumppenberg Tarot, 1807-1815 (Kaplan's Encyclopedia Volume 2, p. 344). This card shows a beautiful young girl having to choose between a young king and a handsome warrior. The cherub is aiming at the warrior, while the young king is trying to pull her away with him. Even in this case, it is not the girl who is in the sights of the cherub! There must be an implicit lesson showing through in this Arcanum, implying as they all do that in this kind of situation the man (symbolically the ego and the will) is the deciding factor rather than the woman (referencing the heart).
Etteilla returns the Lovers to the church, now presided over by a priest in the nave of his chapel. We have no particular evidence to link Etteilla to the Church, although we can now be sure that he was a Mason and esteemed among his peers. He may be echoing the Adam C. de Hautot Tarot (1740s) or the Sebastian Ioia Tarot (mid- to late 1700s), both of which show the sacred marriage being performed by a man. But it is just as likely that Etteilla picked this version of the Lovers card because it allows him to transplant the Heirophant onto the Lovers Arcanum. In this way he frees up one card to name after himself: No. 1, Etteila (also called "le Consultant" and "Ideal") implying, it seems, that he is the Heirophant of the Tarot. In other Etteilla-style Tarots, this card gets the label Chaos, which in light of the Poimandres theme that Etteilla was following, was referring to the primordial state before creation began.
The Lando Tarot is less specific about which version of the Lovers we are seeing, but in any case it includes the classic "Two Paths" silhouette. Even the Milanese Tarot by F. Gumppenberg (late eighteenth or early nineteenth century), which is the deck the individual members of the Golden Dawn school were instructed to work with before they each created their own personal decks, shows the Two Paths/Marriage formula.
The Waite-Smith Tarot offers a surprising formulation of this Arcanum, depicting a naked Adam and Eve apparently before the events of the "fall." He stands on the right before a tree with ten flaming leaves (representing the Kabbalah Tree) and she on the left before a tree laden with red fruit and where a serpent is climbing into its branches. One can say that Waite is projecting the Bembo-style Royal Couple backward into the primordial myth, and reminding us of our august origins, our original divine natures, before we misused our powers of will. A similar Adamo & Eva card exists from a card game called Labyrinth by Andrea Ghisi (1616), and perhaps that is what Waite is referencing.
In choosing to add these Gnostic and Hebrew implications to the meeting of the Queen and the King, he has superimposed a biblical mythos onto an otherwise pagan Sacred Marriage image. This has not been a bad thing in itself‹Waite's Lovers card is one of my favorites in his Tarot. But in so doing he left aside the important lesson of The Choice at the crossroads, the challenge to mature and commit, which has been the dilemma of the young man on the Lovers Arcanum since the 1660s. He also eliminated the Priestess, representing feminine Wisdom, the link to the Sophia bonding force that draws the partners together and binds them over time. The Lovers card in all its glory and variety has referred to the sex/love/commitment/consequences continuum and how to stay balanced within it. This card has been more variable than some because there are so many nuances of opinion about sex and relationship across cultures and centuries. But doubtless this Arcanum is about the issues raised by real human relationships, since the protagonist is shown in the act of making a life-changing choice. One cannot have it all. To partake of a higher ideal requires self discipline. The path of pleasure eventually leads to distraction from spiritual growth. The gratification of the personality eventually gives way to the call from spirit as the soul matures. From the library at... http://www.tarot.com/about-tarot/library/essays/majorcards
The symbol of the sword, dagger, scimitar, or knife represents the world of mind, the realm of thought and ideation where we frame beliefs and values, personally and socially. It points to the rational mind, that faculty which compares, contrasts, balances, and names the processes governing relationships and ex-changes, from economic to romantic.
Parallel associations refer to the element air, indicating awareness, consciousness, clarity and insight. We look for a dispassionate objectivity in this suit to clarify mixed motives and mixed up emotions. This scalpel blade also exhibits the qualities of sharp analysis, verbal precision, the inquiring, critical mind in action.
Sometimes we experience the action of the blade as alienating because it can be surgical, distancing, or emotionally disconnected. At worst case, the Sword energy can exhibit a streak of insensitivity.
Because "Sword" is a cipher for "Truth," this suit-symbol cleaves through denial and obstructionism, revealing the underlying motives and actions that stand behind appearances. This is the reason for an undertone of contention and struggle that runs through this suit: people are not always truthful with themselves, much less with each other!
Translated into the common events of everyday life, the sword represents contracts and legal forms, the laws of the land, the judicial system, verbal agreements, and all of the shared assumptions it takes to make up our collective reality.
This suit is invariably the one used to register the potential for conflict built into every communication, whether it's one-on-one or debate in the Senate. Every conversation brings with it the risk of misunderstanding.
Yet there are still facts to be conveyed and information that needs to be exchanged. We must therefore strive for objectivity, subordinating our personal version of events to the greater truth. You must know there is a price to be paid in this world for attempting to tell the truth, and the two-edged Sword of Truth represents the trade-off. The sword is two-sided because its user shall be liable to the same judgment that he dispenses upon any other.
In the esoteric sense, the Sword represents the Holy Word, the act and art of naming things for what they really are. Spiritual sources from multiple traditions agree that when you find the real name of a force, a thing, a spirit, you have the power to command that thing. The inverse of this concept is that when you assert your fears as if they were realities, they are "empowered" through your breath, speech and/or imagining to come to pass.
Psychologists tell us that our subconscious believes every word that we say and take in! Perhaps this suit is calling us to accountability, reminding us to watch what we say, listen to, repeat, fantasize, or ruminate on in our unguarded moments. Beliefs can too easily limit what we are able to envision and what choices we perceive we have.
In those Tarots where the Swords are given to the water signs, the emphasis is subtly changed to reflect the ways we use our minds, our words, imaginings and beliefs in negative and disturbing ways. The Swords will be shown influencing the currents of the underground river (psychic and soul life), creating turbulence and upsetting emotional harmony. When the card shows the water in a relatively calm aspect, it is because the individual has gotten enough control over distracting and distrustful forces to have neutralized them, or at least put them in perspective. This version of the Swords demon-strates how easily our serenity can be upset when feelings are ruffled, how sharply and defensively we can react when our sensitive egos take offense.
So although the outer appearances in the situations reflected by the Swords cards may appear the same whether the Swords are air or water, the causes, motives and inner processes will be subtly different as you study the card in the spread. The water variation implies that the cause of conflict is rooted in interior psychic and spiritual phenomena; subjective currents are being stirred up as the inner life confronts new revelations from the deep dark unconscious.
This deviation from the standard pattern is one hallmark of the Spanish school of Tarots--El Gran Tarot Esoterico, the Dali Tarot, Balbi, the Euskalherria, and Pumariega are currently available examples of this type of Tarot. From http://www.tarot.com/about-tarot/library/essays/swords
Specifically... the Five of Swords!
The Five of Swords traditionally references the grim and sobering process of cleaning up the battlefield after a rout. The war as a whole has not yet been won or lost, but in this skirmish there were grievous losses. The advice connected with this image admonishes the loser to study carefully what went wrong so that a new strategy can be devised and further setbacks forestalled. There is a need to regroup and rethink the game plan, discover your blind spots, the weak links, and take corrective measures before getting back into the field for another round. In these modern times, when the "battle" is more often being "fought" with words, laws, and contracts instead of weapons, we have even more reason to examine our approach, style, strengths and weaknesses. If we have underdeveloped communication skills or lose our objectivity in tense moments, our ability to reach our goals and dreams will suffer. From the same website as the above.
Sorry for the long-winded posts! Unfortunately, the "Lovers" post from the archive is huge and a lot of it is terribly unhelpful for what we need so I may go through and edit for content.
December 28th, 2009, 02:14 AM
Edit: gah, x-posted with Tav! But we got our info from different sources so it's all good.
Heeeey, coming late to the party... thanks for getting the ball rolling Tav! I'm new to Tarot cards so giving myself a crash course as we go along, heh.
Anyway I decided to snag the Lovers and the Five of Swords for the team...
Here's what aeclectic.net (http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/learn/meanings/lovers.shtml) has to say about the Lovers:
Basic Tarot Story
The Fool comes to a cross-road, filled with energy, confidence and purpose, knowing exactly where he wants to go and what he wants to do. But he comes to a dead stop. A flowering tree marks the path he wants to take, the one he's been planning on taking. But standing before a fruit tree marking the other path is a woman. He's met and had relationships with women before, some far more beautiful and alluring. But she is different. Seeing her, he feels as though he's just been shot in the heart with cupid's arrow, so shocking, so painful is his "recognition" of her. As he speaks with her, the feeling intensifies; like finding a missing part of himself, a part he's been searching for his life long. It is clear that she feels the same about him. They finish each others sentences, think the same thoughts. It is as if an Angel above had introduced their souls to each other. Though it was his plan to follow the path of the flowering tree, and though it will cause some trouble for him to bring this woman with him, to go somewhere else entirely, the Fool knows he dare not leave her behind. Like the fruit tree, she will fulfill him. No matter how divergent from his original intent, she is his future. He chooses her, and together they head down a whole new road.
Basic Tarot Meaning
Originally, this card was called just LOVE. And that's actually more apt than "Lovers." Love follows in this sequence of growth and maturity. And, coming after the Emperor, who is about control, it is a radical change in perspective. LOVE is a force that makes you choose and decide for reasons you often can't understand; it makes you surrender control to a higher power. And that is what this card is all about. Finding something or someone who is so much a part of yourself, so perfectly attuned to you and you to them, that you cannot, dare not resist. In interpretation, the card indicates that the querent has come across, or will come across a person, career, challenge or thing that they will fall in love with. They will know instinctively that they must have this, even if it means diverging from their chosen path. No matter the difficulties, without it they will never be complete.
The Lovers is a confusing card as it is ruled not by an emotional water sign but by airy Gemini. The original trump featured a man and a woman with a cupid above them about to shoot his dart. Later this became three figures, the interpretation being a man choosing between two women, or a man meeting his true love with the help of a matchmaker. Still later, with Waite, we have an Angel above Adam and Eve. The Angel stands for Raphael, who is emblematic of Mercury and Air, planet and element of Gemini. Gemini is the communications sign. It's all about messages and making contact; also, as it is the card of the twins, it's about finding your other self. In this regard, you can see that the Lovers card begins to make sense. Especially if you change it back to "LOVE." Here is a card about perfect communication, about finding something your soul requires. In this regard, its most common interpretation about being "A Choice" makes sense. When this card appears, you are being told to trust you instincts, to choose this career, challenge, person or thing you're so strongly drawn to, no matter how scary, how difficult, irrational or troublesome - without it, you will never be wholly you. It's sudden and unexpected, and it means a compete change in plans; but this is LOVE. True love. Go for it!
And here's the Five of Swords...
A smirking young man gathers up swords won in battle from two losers. In arguments and battles of ideas there are going to be times when one just loses or has to surrender. The worst of these is when the winner is an awful person, a bully, braggart, a cheat, someone who used an unfair advantage to win. But it happens. The problem: "How can I win in an argument with this person?" The answer/prediction: "You can't. All you can do is not argue." This is the closest to a win one can come to in this situation. But if the Querent feels they must argue, then they need to be prepared to learn from it, not allow feelings of failure, anger or blame to overcome them.
And the meaning of the Swords deck as a whole:
AIR. AIR though some decks have it as Fire. If AIR then:
Represents pure mind, thinking, speaking. Best known for representing problems and troubles especially those relating to communications or bad press, but really about anything to do with either words and/or thoughts. Brilliant thoughts as well as nightmares; sharp ideas or a sharp tongue. This is the card of scientists and analysts, of thinking things through or thinking/saying too much. Ideas breeze into your mind, words are given breath, written letters and messages fly on the wind.
Images to come soon!
BTW we need a team logo - got any suggestions or should I just whip something up? :)
December 28th, 2009, 02:47 AM
-grins- The more references and info the better, say I. :}
Team logo... I'm guessing it has to be as PG-13 as we can get it... so ..... hrmm........ Um... yea. I'm not drawing a total blank but "avatars" aren't my strong suit. :] Feel free to come up with something and we can edit/change/etc it if we need?
December 28th, 2009, 07:44 PM
I was drifting off to sleep last night and thought.... I wonder what a Carnivale set of tarot cards would look like..... -grins- So I grabbed a few images that were Carnivale (top left and top right corners) and some other images that are more gothic-alternative. Corsets, general victorian attire, rich fabrics, masks, boots.... etc. :}
December 29th, 2009, 05:42 AM
Heyhey... so I was bored-ish tonight and, since we can't start drawing yet... I took a stab at makin' an avatar. Whatcha think?
December 30th, 2009, 12:33 AM
So... as per our conversation:
The Queen of Cups.... The Mystic... the mistress of the veil... come see Madame Sorsha tell your future!
The Lovers... Witness the romance between the Bird of the Sky and the Beast-tamer of the Earth... come see the Lady of the Trapeze tempt the Lord of the Lions!
The 9 of Pentacles... Lady Ann's final performance! See the Bearded Lady shave her lustrous locks as she retires into Anonymity!
The 5 of Swords... Sword-Swallower Shane will no longer be performing due to ... mysterious circumstances?
Yay for Cirque de Tarot! :D I'll try to pull a few targeted images for direct reference on the above.
December 30th, 2009, 01:45 AM
Sweet avatar! I fiddled with the artwork a bit... hope you don't mind... if you want to go back to the original or tweak it some more, let me know :)
EDIT: Grah xposted again... thanks for summing up the convo. Cirque du Tarot, here we come!
Time to hunt down images...
December 30th, 2009, 09:36 PM
Woot... almost to the Drawing Hour. ;}
So here's another board... I tried to pull images based on our exact ideas for the cards. Apologies for the sizes of the images. If you want, I can section off each area into its own image and re-post them so they can be seen. Some of them are, unfortunately, pretty small as it is. All of these, I believe, were pulled from IStockPhoto.com and are just the basic ctrl-click and download. Notice, yay, they're all watermarked. :}
January 2nd, 2010, 09:07 PM
Woot... drawing time!
Ok, so... here are a few concept ideas for the Queen of Cups. No details fleshed out yet as I'm trying to decide which pose gives me the most freedom?
January 4th, 2010, 04:21 AM
I like where you're going with the thumbs, but I think the composition could be stronger in the first and second pieces... the first one especially is too far to the left. The third one is the strongest image overall, tho it feels like it could use an extra something to really show the Queen's personality / the meaning of the card. But of course, it's hard to tell all that from a thumbnail :)
Going to put up my thumbs tomorrow *checks watch* ok, later today... for now, here's a few ref images ganked from the Rider-Waite deck, the Alchemical Renewed deck (which I took a liking to) and the Cirque du Soleil website. Plus a drawing by JessiBean (for the Yin/Yang CHOW) which was the first thing that popped into my head when I thought of the Lovers. Both Tava and I are going for a stylized cartoonish look than a photorealistic rendering, and JessiBean's artwork is an excellent example of that.
January 5th, 2010, 01:17 AM
Finally, some artwork...
Silhouettes of the different characters - first, the 5 of Swords, then the Lovers (male & female)... still trying to pick out a good costume design. I'm basing them heavily off of Cirque du Soleil costumes (mostly from Kooza and Zumanity)
Also, a quick thumb of the 5 of Swords concept... sorry for the sloppy anatomy, etc... I didn't want to draw him actually swallowing the sword because then you wouldn't see his face, which defeats the purpose of a character design... so I had the guy in the back swallow 4 swords simultaneously while Mr. 5 handles the fifth. I'll try and draw the Lovers thumbnails tomorrow and another swords idea if I can come up with one.
Thoughts? Any favourites / least favs / recommendations?
January 5th, 2010, 04:10 AM
FIVE OF SWORDS!!! Yes! Now that's what I like to see. Great team name too. :) MORE MORE MORE!
January 5th, 2010, 01:08 PM
-grins- I love that concept, Arish.... good call on the dude in the back with his 4 swords. Heheh... hope he doesn't have a coughing problem ;}
I'll post more later; I'm at work right now. Huzzah for progress!
Hey Science... welcome to our SB! Thanks for the comments. We'll get MORE in, promise. :]
January 8th, 2010, 02:27 PM
OMG work/life hates me. So sorry I haven't been able to get back and give a serious response and/or post the rest of my thumbs. -sighs- Life.... oh how you loathe me! :D
In terms of your thumbs, I like #2, #3 and #5 from the 5ofSwords (and, of course, the sketch at the end!). From the Lovers, I like the 4th male and the 2nd female. Something about their... aesthetic?...seems right. They've got the same energy.
I have a few sketches of my own but haven't had time with my scanner to clean them up and post. I'm hoping, with the weekend here, I can get them uploaded soon. I brought my SB with me to work today so while I'm busy substituting later today I can sketch. Yay for forward thinking? ;]
If you have any questions, let me know....
Also! What is your schedule for next week? I've been on MSN a few times but I've yet to really run into you. I know you're 3 hours ahead of me but I think we could get a few moments scheduled in, even if they were on iScribble. :}
My coming week will actually be more smooth than this one. To the best of my knowledge, work will die down a bit and I don't think I have any night-time work commitments. My only issue is that we do have a taekwondo class four nights a week (2 for husband and I and 2 for our daughter) that fit, roughly, into the 6:30-8pm Pacific time period. Our daughter's bedtime is 9:30 and I usually have time from 10pm until whenever exhaustion catches up with me. I can, however, be on during the day at work or in the late afternoon and early evening. I can even forgo my schedule if there's a need. I'm pretty flexible. :]
Hopefully something in the above will work for you too!
January 12th, 2010, 12:47 AM
Whew... so I finally got around to scanning a bunch of work.
The beginning bits (four in total) were done before my previous color-wips (posted above). I did them, literally (LOL) as the fireworks were crashin' outside the party on New Year's day... Something like 12:01am. Everyone was all "Wtf are you doin?" and I was all "It's Jan 1, I get to draw!" Needless to say I got a few weird looks. ;}
Hehe... The second one (two chars) was an attempt at putting a Queen of Cups (circus mystic) on the same page with my Nine of Pentacles idea (bearded lady). Haven't really started on the 9P card yet but the -last- image... she's the direction I'd like to head with the QC. Thoughts?
January 13th, 2010, 02:27 AM
So we already talked about this on MSN (our schedules match up pretty nicely after all), but I like your last Q of Cups sketch the best and so do you, so it's a go :) And starting drawing at a New Years party after midnight on the first? Now that's dedication!
Anyway... thanks for the feedback on the sketches, I decided to take the costumes you mentioned for the Lovers (fringed pants, etc) and whipped up a few compositions. They're rather crude but more for ideas than anything else... any preferences?
Also - closeups of faces ... the girl is still pretty bland but overall, that's the general direction I'd like to go for each character.... Thoughts?
If it's good, let me know, if it's horrible, please let me know so I can fix it!
Looking forward to seeing the 9P and the costume on the Queen... ^^
January 14th, 2010, 02:39 AM
Arish you're doing some real good work here. I especially like the silhouettes above but really all your stuff is very impressive. That team logo is sweet too.
Tav it's cool that you're trying different ideas, keep pushing them and make something awesome by the end of the month.
January 17th, 2010, 06:04 PM
Finally managed to sit down and get the Queen into my computer. Thoughts on color, sizing, bg, detail, etc? I do have more depth/shadow/etc as well as detail that I plan on adding onto the fabrics... particularly the curtains in the back, the rug on the floor, and her chair. I'm toying with the idea of doing something more with her bodysuit, but for now I'm unsure.
January 19th, 2010, 02:17 AM
Hey, sorry for falling off the face of the earth this weekend, thanks for keeping this SB alive :)
About the queen - I like her face, hair and costume, but she's getting lost in the picture right now because the background and foreground colours have very similar values. If you convert your picture to grayscale, you'll see what I mean ... I suggest keeping the foreground as is and lightening / reducing the saturation of the bg, to draw the viewers eye to the front.
Anyway here's my contribution for tonight - WIP of 5 of swords (lineart and composition pretty much set, colouring still needs a lot of work) ... comments, crits, suggestions? The guy in the back is sepia colour for now till I figure out what to do with him, and both of them don't have the atmospheric lighting yet. I'll probably make the swords a bit fancier too - does it need to look a certain way in the Tarot deck or anything goes?
BTW that isn't the final border - it's just a placeholder so I know what size to make it more or less. I'm thinking of making it striped but that might be a bit distracting - what do you think?
January 19th, 2010, 02:43 AM
Totally agree about the lighting. In fact, that was more or less the plan. I just wanted to get the color-blocking done so it felt more... finished. We've only got two weeks and, before this Saturday, I really only had pencil & paper work for 1 card. Heh... so rather than slackin'... I did a ton of work on Saturday. :} Also, tonight, I drew what I think I may use for my 9 of Pentacles. See below.
In terms of your lines and comp, I love it! My only concern is that some of the rest of the symbolism of the card may get lost if the BG is totally void? Or perhaps you were planning on adding a few more little details. -yawn- I'm tired so I might've misread. I do like the idea of making the swords more ornate... I don't think it would have to be any particular styling to fit with our tarot. Just something circus-y to fit with our theme. :}
As far as borders.... mmm.... really unsure there. A lil more research might be required to get it "just right" for what we're attempting. We may not even -need- a border... or we might want something uber-simple at the bottom that tells what the card is. I can post a ton of refs for borders if there's a need.
Whew... long-winded. Yay for being halfway!!
January 23rd, 2010, 07:06 PM
Ok, after our brainstorming session... and, of course, way later in the competition than I should be... I've decided to revamp both cards from the ground up. Ahem.
So here's my redesigned 9P, focusing more on the following aspects of the card: being disciplined, exercising self-control, reining in impulses
sacrificing to reach a goal, wanting to be alone, pursuing refinement, avoiding the coarse and unsavory, enjoying the finer things of life and enjoying leisure
I'll be going with a darker background, subtle wall-lighting... Hints of color on the costumed ladies in the BG. The FG will be well-lit from the front/bottom and the stage will have that "looks like stone" quality that Cirque's stage often has.
Whew... ok, here it is, your Mistress of Ceremonies... the Nine of Pentacles...
January 26th, 2010, 12:37 AM
Ok, so... here is what I might call a finished version of the 9P card. Totally unsatisfied with it but limited schedule and time on the comp is keeping me from being able to sit with it and do something... well... not amazing, but at least better.
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