First off, please forgive me for not writing a blog last week. It was a very busy time that was combined with a high fever and a runny nose. However, I'm back on track and enjoying a little blog writing in my pjs today!
I've been giving a lot more readings lately and still really enjoying it. People are fascinating andwhen I feel like I'm really able to provide some perspective it's very rewarding for me.
Yesterday was the Mourning Market and I had a blast! Met some new people and had some cool conversations. Including one with a game historian! Who expanded on the history of tarot BEFORE the Italians had it in the 1500's. Very fascinating!
I decided this week we're going to discuss the very powerful High Priestess! One, because she comes up in readings so rarely but has with a lot of the people I've read for lately. She is also a great one to discuss the inspiration behind the artwork since a lot of it came from a shop that I am now working at part time! Ye Old Curiosity Shop, on the waterfront here in Seattle! Come in sometime and say hello!
The High Priestess
History and Inspiration
The fortune teller machine goes back to arcades, amusement parks and boardwalks in the early part of the 20th century.
When I was thinking about an Americana underbelly representation of the powerfully intuitive High Priestess, I thought about psychics with neon signs and various other possibilities that I hoped would convey the idea of never judging a book by it's cover, power can come from unlikely places and nothing is ever as it seems. I finally decided that a manikin inside of a fortune teller machine with plastic skin and seams at her wrist, winking with a human eye would definitely convey that idea. I started by visiting 2 of the fortune teller machines I knew of in downtown Seattle and photographing other manikins in store windows. I finally ended up at the location of the last fortune teller machine I knew of which was at The Old Curiosity Shop on the waterfront. They have an incredible collection as well as plenty of aged textures for me to sample from. For example, in my Emperor mob boss card I wanted the Emperor to have a hint in his hand which suggests his hands were once dirty, the brown and black texture on his finger nail is the finger nail of Sylvester, the real life mummy at the Old Curiosity Shop. As I mentioned before, I am working here part time now that the deck is finished and I'm hoping to get some artistic inspiration from the environment, well, again! I'm already learning a lot and having fun!
After I drew my fortune teller and photographed the fortune teller machine and manikin parts I photographed my friend Angela's winking eye and skin to sneak into the image, and viola! human hint in plastic and my fantasy of inanimate objects coming to life, achieved!
The High Priestess is a woman of considerable intuitive power. When you get this card in a reading, it is important to listen to your instincts and continue with a strength of purpose in your life. Pay attention to your body, behavior and everything/everyone around you, and you'll be able to learn something valuable about yourself or make wise decisions based on a gut feeling. Reversed, this card is about your being insensitive and superficial with a wealth of surface knowledge. Take care not to spin out of control with your own self importance and pay attention to how others react to your intensity.
One final thought I would love to get your opinion on! I feel like my Etsy Shop looks a little bare with only my tarot decks in there and 1 reading. What do you think of over sized, mounted tarot cards for people's wall?
Hope everyone has a great week!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last week, the decision to write about trains came from being on a train. Easy enough! This week the decision to write about The Moon comes from a question I was asked by someone who was using their deck at home. Which by the way, I encourage people to do as often as you feel like it.
The jist of the question was, am I going to go crazy because I got this card in a reading for my future card?
I feel I owe an apology to anyone who gets this card and wonders that to themselves. I can see where you get the idea. We here in the Northwest in particular, have an association with Frances Farmer that is just flat out crazy and I may have been writing the meaning to cater to the theme more than the other way around. (see card meaning below)
The point I was making, is that I don't necessarily believe the character depicted in this card is flat out crazy. I feel that she is creative, intelligent and takes time to howl at the moon! I believe she can be per sieved to be crazy sometimes to outside parties but for the most part I consider this card to mean a natural blowing off of steam with just a twinge of crazy.
I feel this card, warns against bottling up your feelings enough for the top to blow off more than it warns against being committed to a mental institution haha!
When I see a theme there are aspects of it that I feel fit the card and my personal opinion on the theme can sometimes represent the meaning to me, but I can see how things get tangled. Aside from approaching me with questions, if you feel there is more you want to learn about that card or something doesn't quite fit I suggest looking up the meaning in other books and online and meshing it into something that feels right for you. Every deck's accompanied book has it's own personality and opinions. There are a fair amount of resources to learn about those cards :) There with that said! Let's discuss the theme of the card The Moon
Frances Farmer is a Northwest legend and icon. A beautiful, intelligent actress from Seattle, she broke onto the Hollywood scene in the 1930's after the pursuit of a stage career. She didn't much like the structure of Hollywood and their insistence on her keeping up an image of perfection. After a few drunken run ins with the cops and some media scandals, she was committed by her mother to the Western State Mental Institution in Steilacoom, Washington.
In the crowded mental institution, she was given electroshock therapy under military guard, since the institution sat on a military base. Released and re committed several times, she regarded it as the worst time in her life and described it as "an unbearable terror."
The Mental institution, in the background of this card, no longer stands. After a fire that killed many patients, new laws after the 1970's and partial demolition, they finally tore the building down a few years ago, but most people that grew up in the northwest have a story about being a kid and sneaking out of the house with their friends at night, running up to the haunted loony bin with flashlights and the goal of scaring each other and themselves out of their wits.
I could be wrong, but I think there's a part of every person living in the drippy northwest, that wonders if they're losing it from time to time or if they are prone to mental disorders because of where they live, the weather, the history of mental problems here, who knows. All I know is sometimes I do! but that could just be the cocktail of weather, cabin fever and a creative temperament ;) all stirred together! All I know is I am super ready for the cherry blossom trees to bloom and spring to be on it's way and clear some of the cobwebs and clouds!
On a lighter note! here's a picture of my adventure buddy, Danny trying to climb to the 2nd floor of the partially demolished Western State Mental Institution about 7 years ago :)
The moon represents psychological conflict and delusional behavior. You might be experiencing feelings of dread, anxiety and all around paranoia. However imagination and creativity come from the other side of this coin. How we view and evaluate mental health as a society has gone through many stages over the years and it is hard to know what to trust. What professional guidance can you respect what is up to you personally? I have to wonder if Frances Farmer would have been treated differently today for her behavior than she was in the 1940's. The decision is up to you as to whether you need to seek professional help for your mental conflicts but either way you might want to give your imagination a little room to breath and how at the moon every once in a while.
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