And so it begins (Ten of Wands)

I finally have a functioning version of Microsoft Word … nine long months after hitting a subscription renewal roadblock that utterly defeated me. Fortunately, a new project provided the incentive to get it fixed once and for all. Thank goodness that’s done!

Now I’m on to the (latest) new project. Ever since encountering Lee Thomson’s Tarot of the North Atlantic late last summer, I’ve been contemplating (and hinting broadly) about creating a “Hill Country Tarot.”

Thanks to Dee Mallon, who recently sent me my first-ever tarot deck … and Deb Lacativa, who has provided guidance on sources for interpreting Tarot (including this link to Joan Bunning’s Learning the Tarot) … and Acey, who hosted a wonderful month-long immersion into daily collage-making … as well as the circle of bloggers aka Kindred Spirits who consistently cheer me on … thanks to all that, I’m planning to create a Texas Tarot (with a somewhat wider scope than the “Hill Country” alone would afford).

I’m not sure how much I’ll include here on the blog, but I do like to document process and product, so I suspect (even hope) this project will show up here with some regularity.

What will that look like? Contrary to the original plan, I’ve given up on the idea of creating Tarot cards, per se. Rather, I’ll create one collage at a time in a journal organized first by Major Arcana and then by suits within the Minor Arcana (for more on that, see the Joan Bunning link above).

However, “organized by” does not necessarily mean they will be created in said order. Instead, I will draw a random card each day and then create a collage in response to the card. The journaling that accompanies each card/collage will remain private, but I will (briefly) note any symbolism that seems apropos here on the blog.

Why? Well, because I love symbolism and writing and, better yet, making something that combines the two with a creative activity. Plus I simply miss living in the Hill Country. Which is why I’ve been thoroughly immersed in the mental exercise of formulating a structure that I hope will ultimately become a love letter to The Land.

I’ll share more about the structure in another post, as I’ve gone on quite long enough without showing a single image. So here’s the first collage for the Ten of Wands (with the Wands being a suit that will be represented primarily by wildflowers and butterflies), backed by The Land as the Crow Flies

As for the symbolism …

Rachel Pollack’s 78 Degrees of Wisdom characterizes the Ten of Wands as being “weighed down with commitments and problems.”

Melissa Cynova’s Kitchen Table Tarot states, “you can tell in a few more steps they’ll drop everything or fall.”

Jessa Crispin in The Creative Tarot notes, “too much excitement can lead to exhaustion.”

All of which led me to choose the Texas Skeleton Plant (Lygodesmia texana), with its 8-12 ray-like flowers per flowerhead (an average of ten), as proxy for the haplessly overloaded individual pictured here …

because the Texas Skeleton Plant blooms for but a few brief hours before dropping all its petals to the ground. Oh, I do love metaphor!

And because the background of the Tarot card depicts a fire-y sky, I chose to print a Hill Country image of the sky after one of the hurricanes, which threatened (but thankfully did not deliver) doom and destruction to our land. Then I overlaid the print on a foreboding background image from my bookcover collection. Because I do have a bit of a tendency to worry, often needlessly. More metaphor.

There’s also a bit of symbolism for the number ten in the bottom right corner, but again, I’ll go into that another time.

One last thought: I anticipate returning to some of the card/collages in the future in order to add new images and insights. Perhaps even to “mend my ways” if needed. Your thoughts and comments are therefore most welcome as they may well inform that process.

10 thoughts on “And so it begins (Ten of Wands)

  1. How exciting. I really look forward to following your creative / spiritual journey here. The flower with its ten quickly falling petals is an amazing way to go here. Not immediately knowable to the viewer but certainly known to you.

    I have one suggestion. You might want to format your image in a 2:3 or 5:8 ratio in case you eventually decide to convert the images to cards?

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    1. I seriously considered formatting to a ratio, but ultimately decided on the collage journal as a strand-alone end product … I may regret that at some point, but for now it’s one less detail to worry about.

      And yes, I do hope it will be a spiritual journey … but if nothing else, I will learn more about Tarot through doing

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh man Liz! Such an amazing project, journey this will be! The card is beautiful to look at and filled with meaning. I noticed the “ten” right away and want to know more. Will you carry this or an similar number symbol through the deck? I really know nothing about Tarot, but know I will enjoy learning more as I follow you here. You are surrounded by knowledgeable and supportive sisters for sure.

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    1. I’ve never been one to follow recipes, considering them to be suggestions of how one might go rather than something to be done exactly. So yes, I’ve devised a series of number symbols that have meaning for me, but which may or may not hew to conventional Tarot interpretations. It’s how I roll these days … hopefully without putting off too many people along the way.

      Always I am learning …

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  3. Liz…a Excellent 10 of Wands! You will love this. Tarot is such a Deep Well. And one other book…Angeles Arrien Tarot Handbook….from a Jungian ViewPoint. I spent many years
    with Tarot, all adding to the place of going i find myself today. i very much look forward to going along with you. Again, your Image is BeautyFULL

    Like

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