Thursday, March 31, 2011

"There is nothing like the enigma of the Arcade—invented by the Romans, with all that could be Roman. A street, an arch: the sun looks different when it bathes a Roman wall in light. . . . In Rome the sense of prophecy is somehow larger: a feeling of infinite and distant grandeur inhabits it, the same feeling with which the Roman builder imbues his arcades, a reflection of the spasm of the infinite which the heavenly arch sometimes produces in man.
—Giorgio de Chirico, Hebdomeros (and other writings)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"One of the strangest and deepest sensations that prehistory has left with us is the sensation of foretelling. It will always exist. It is like an eternal proof of the senselessness of the universe. The first man must have seen auguries everywhere, he must have trembled at each step he took."
—Giorgio de Chirico, Hebdomeros and other writings.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Leslie Marmon Silko's novel Gardens in the Dunes "repeats Tarot-like symbols—the monkey, the parrot, the stone, the snake, and the garden, for example. The Tarot scenes also recall the syncretic logic of the Ghost Dances that bookend the novel" (Caren Irr, Pink Pirates, 2010).

Sunday, March 27, 2011

This is a classical style portrait of the Empress Elizabeth, consort of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I. One immediately thinks of the Roman empresses, such as the formidable and wily Livia, consort of Augustus (and described by one of her grandsons as 'Ulysses in a frock.') Such an obvious historical reference attempts to associate Elizabeth with the grandeur and timelessness of the Roman Empire.

A second reference is to the ancient, powerful Mediterranean earth goddesses, such as Cybele and Demeter (who is associated with the Empress tarot card). These deities were sometimes depicted as empresses or rulers, a reminder of their absolute authority over the natural cycles of birth, growth, death, and rebirth. The Empress provides a natural counterpoint to the Emperor; he ruling over the affairs of men, she over those of nature. Thus we see both historical and mythological themes merging in Elizabeth's portrait, as several millennia's worth of ideas about female power are distilled in one seemingly simple image.

Friday, March 25, 2011

"When you have found a sign, turn it round and round, look at it from the front and from the side, take a three-quarter view and a foreshortened view; remove it and note what form the memory of its appearance takes in its place; observe from which angle it looks like a horse, and from which like the molding on your ceiling; see when it suggests the aspect of a ladder, or a plumed helmet; in which position it resembles Africa, which itself resembles a huge heart . . ."
—Giorgio de Chirico, Hebdomeros

Thursday, March 24, 2011

This image of Neptune is from an Arents cigarette card of the early 20th century. The lovely, soft pastel colors in the border lend it an almost feminine quality that I associate with the suit of Cups. The connection of Cups with water makes this a fine King of Cups.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Enrique Enriquez explores the poetics of the Marseilles Tarot. See a clip here:

or here:

Monday, March 21, 2011

"There's nothing so enchanting as a glimpse of the innumerable mysteries that surround us."
—Vítězslav Nezval, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders

Saturday, March 19, 2011

No Rainbow Without the Sun

Elizabeth I's "rainbow portrait," discussed over at Phantasmaphile.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"Objects contain the past, present and future,
if we know how to trap their secrets."
—Leonora Carrington, The Stone Door (1977)

(Rock divination photo by Earthworm.)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A beautiful image of Pope Gregory I. Though he lived several hundred years before the creation of the Tarot in northern Italy, this portrait would make a wonderful Pope card. It succinctly, yet elegantly, expresses religious authority and knowledge.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

This is a 19th century French print of a bas-relief by Renaissance sculptor Michel Colombe. With some slight modifications, it would make a wonderful Knight of Wands.
Enrique Enriquez on the tarologist’s fees:

In the unforeseen event that a question is exceptionally wondrous, to the extent of inspiring in the tarologist a renewed faith in humankind, the tarologist will be the one paying the client the standard fee, upon the delivery of his answer.

See the entire piece here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The tower is air.
Wisdom falls first.
William Keckler

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"The time has come for the star to appear once more. Perhaps I will dress in wolfskin, sitting in a tree watching the circle, waiting for the next step to be traced in the mud. All these shadows from the unknown. I am ignorant, but soon I shall begin to know." —Leonora Carrington, "The Stone Door" (emphasis ours)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I love this moody, atmospheric allegory of Death, by N. I. Narbut. The black gauzy scarf is a great touch.

"The star follows her strange course in the mountains, in the round temples, through green, lukewarm woods and penetrating hedges and walls. She lies hard, bright, and cold under the beds of lovers and under bodies of sleeping cattle." —the surrealist author, "mythic feminist" and painter Leonora Carrington, from her story "The Stone Door," collected in The Seventh Horse