By the Numbers (Nine of Pentacles)

Grace asked about the Tarot deck I’ve been using and Dee suggested doing a reverse image search on Google to track it down. Which led to …

http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/cosmic/ (note: this link does contain advertising)

Who knew?!

Turns out the deck is the Cosmic Tarot by German artist Norbert Losche, published in the late 1980s. The imagery is based on the Golden Dawn and Thoth traditions (which, as yet, doesn’t mean much to me … I’m still learning).

Anyway, now I know why I thought today’s card looked like Veronica Lake …

What also caught my eye were tall slender objects, a bird (which reminded me of the cedar waxwings that descended on Cascade Trail one year), a plate of fruit, luxe cloth in the curtains, clear blue sky and an overall sense of all being better than well in the world.

My reference books concurred …

78 Degrees of Wisdom: “the good things in life”

Kitchen Table Tarot: “a woman at peace in her garden … gratitude … confidence … perseverance”

The Creative Tarot: “the payoff for a lot of hard work”

So this then …

blue skies over the floodplain, a photo of a tall slender Yaupon tree rendered in an online artistic format titled “cement,” a close-up of Yaupon berries from that same tree, along with a cedar waxwing image, both superimposed on a swatch of fabric from a book about the Arts and Crafts movement, and last, a graphic symbol for “nine.” Phew!

Of course, things didn’t go entirely well … a smudge appeared on the “Nine of Pentacles” label as I pasted it down.

“Was that when you said ‘oh shit’?” Don asked later.

Yeah, well I’m still learning.

And things aren’t quite aligned, but I’m trying (really trying) not to be too precious about this whole collage thing … trying to be loose without slipping into sloppy. Hmmm.

Okay, last for tonight is the personal symbology that I’ve devised for the Ace through Ten cards, here in draft form (still in flux) …

and the cleaned-up versions that are making their way into the card/collages …

Ace – a spiral for beginnings and potential

2 – an infinity symbol for choices and balance

3 – a triangle that might be either the foundation of a mountain or a journey to the top

4 – a stable square for structure and home

5 – a 5-pointed star for the four elements plus spirit, a pictograph of the body and a sense of needing protection or needing to take care

6 – a 6-pointed star with an upward Fire triangle and a downward Water triangle, depicting the ups and downs of life

7 – a rainbow arc for hope and yearning

8 – a double-star full of cycles and hope and sticking points

9 – a tip of the hat to Jude’s nine-patch with its sense of accomplishment and/or becoming

10 – a variation of the Kabbalah Tree of Life with implications of either abundance (good) or excess (not so much)

So yeah, doin’ it by the numbers today feels like a nine: becoming.

Addendum:

I hesitate to write too much in the blog posts lest I get bogged down in verbiage, but here is an example of what I am doing on the journal pages facing each card/collage …

How my mind works

Perhaps it’s my deficient hearing, a lifelong reality, genetic in origin. Anyway, the fact of the matter is, I am easily distracted in a class or workshop setting, even a virtual one it seems.

Oh, I start out well enough … sitting where I can best hear, listening carefully, taking notes. Inevitably something gets said that sends my mind galloping off. When I come to, I find things have moved in another direction. Sometimes I miss some really good stuff.

But then again, sometimes I’ve thought of something worth pursuing. Is one way better than the other. I dunno. Never will.

So all that by way of saying I have lost track of Acey’s collage challenges more than once. Today, I was determined to get back on track.

I started with a rock, a fossil actually, one Don found at the old house …

I wanted to explore different ways of capturing its image by photocopying …

in the light box …

under natural lighting …

and finally, angled in filtered sunlight …

It was to be the bedrock for an assemblage of materials …

for today’s collage challenge

Thinking how the past month has led me through using book covers and art reproductions, but also realizing how I might use my own imagery, in paint and photos and handmade paper.

How the well is deep with inspiration from so many sources within the community I call the Kindred Spirits.

How I let myself believe that getting it perfectly right isn’t the end-all and be-all …

And I’ve happily discovered that just going, without overthinking it, can yield some unexpected results …

Just like that, another challenge met …

To be continued …