Hello Everyone, welcome to the start of another week. I'm snuggled up with my favorite blanket and the television on in the background. It's been a busy weekend for me and I'm taking some time to reflect. I did a lot more readings that I have yet this weekend. I love it! So fascinating to learn about other people but it really takes it out of me. Anyone else get emotionally and physically exhausted after reading for others?  It's a lot of talking! So it's time to be silent for a little. 

I figured this week's card was long overdue. One of my first 5 pieces I created in this multi media style and one of the first I decided ought to be a tarot card well after it was made and still, one of my personal favorites. 

Strength

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Stage 1 of this piece.
When I'm asked about the process of my work and what materials it entails I often use this one as an example since it's easy to distinguish the drawing portion from the photographed portion. 

I really enjoyed creating this piece because it was so spur of the moment and encouraged by the company, inspiration and help of my friend, Kim. It seemed to just come together on it's own and combining my 2 passions into one art form that allowed me to really express the style and idea, photography and drawing, was all brand new and fresh to me. 

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my often model, muse, ginny pig and very dear friend, Kim
Another enjoyable phase of this piece to me was doing makeup! I had, very briefly and after only a few low budget movies, wanted to work in FX makeup. I had a friend that taught me a few tricks and now I just look forward to inflicting fake wounds on myself at Halloween :) Here I had decided to make her lips black to match the drawing completely and I created a pair of snake fang marks on her cheek to sample as well as some latex 3rd degree burns to layer in for additional texture.

History

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During the turn of the century up to the Great Depression in the 1930's, Barnum Circus continually wowed audiences with daring new performances and displays in their New York City museum. One of these acts was the snake charmer, an erotic dance with a snake usually performed by a woman. The woman braves a dangerous serpent and takes the beast through a gentle and sensual dance. Control and discipline is emphasized. Neither the snake nor the woman use brute force to achieve the spectacle. Being strong and being pushy are completely different things. 

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As I mentioned before, I created the piece almost 4 years ago before I started even thinking about the tarot deck but I thought it was interesting how similar it resembled the Strength card with the, taming the beast, aspect and it's Americana importance. This piece and card really set the tone for the rest of the deck to come after.


Card Meaning

This card is all about the strength of our primal instincts being harnessed with patience and self control. The Beast within and higher self are working together to maintain inner strength. If this card is upright, you may feel more solid and disciplined than usual at the moment. This would be a good time to take care of some long neglected tasks, or go up against something that you have found too challenging in the past. If it is reversed, you might have some trouble exercising impulse control. Watch yourself with the drinking, smoking or whatever your particular weakness may be, because you might just go overboard! Don't force things to go your way. Balance your inner courage with wit, control and logical thinking.