Monday, May 05, 2008

READING WITH & IMAGES FROM THE ART NOUVEAU TAROT

I was going to say "Forgive me if I'm a little rushed" with respect to this reading, but its not really that at all. I'm just in a cranky mood and having a hard time focusing today. That said, I asked this deck "What's with my mood today?" I got The World ("XXI"):



I immediately thought "Ah, all the beginnings and endings I've been going through for months now are taking their toll; my world is quite literally utterly changed, and still changing." This is true but it is also true this is really going on all the time if we can acknowledge it. However, there are times in one's life when it happens at an accelerated pace and in deeper more impactful ways, as now in mine.

XXI in this deck is rather sweet, not particularly notable I would say. But as I note this I see the birds on her wrists and I think, yes, I need to hold still for a while and see what small things come to me that might not otherwise find a perch in the midst of all my busyness. I'm reminded of the birds on a fence that I so enjoyed watching as they watched me, while I simply sat in the park at the beach overlook. I need to make time for and pay attention to the little things, too, not just the huge or spectacular or the painful. The World is endlessly varied and rich at any given moment. We have much more choice -- even at the most difficult times -- than I tend to realize.

For comparison, here's The World card in the Rider/Waite/Smith deck:



I'm using The Art Nouveau Tarot today, BTW, at the request of "Puddle Duck" (who visits this blog occasionally). Below are the two cards she specifically asked to see, The Hierophant and The Lovers:




Overall, I like the Majors more than the Minors in this deck. They have the most original interpretations and interesting art on them. I was most struck by The Tower:



The Tower is usually pictured from up close. This long distance view across a vast wasteland is intense and very moving (you may not be able to see the lightning striking The Tower, due to my poor scanner).

As to the Minors, here is The Five of Cups:



The Minors are, IMHO, overall less effective than the Majors. Though each does tell a clear little story and are beautifully colorful. (I'm a sucker for bright colors in a deck, which is what drew me to buy this deck many years ago.) But it's also another deck in which I have a problem with faces. (See my comments in the previous post here about the Bohemian Gothic Tarot.) Almost all of the faces in the Majors appear to be portraits of actual people (see The Chariot just below) or at least are more realistically rendered.



Whereas in the Minors they are rendered in a rather "commercial art," even comic book style (see The Five of Cups just above, and even The Lovers at the top of this post). Some folk may have no problem with this, but it feels inconsistent to me. IMHO, the art in this deck is best when it is detailed and leans more to the realistic than the "commercial." Such as in The Chariot above, and The Ace of Pentacles below, which I think is fabulous and is an example of this deck's art at its best:



[My scanner is not the best, so you may not be able to see the distinctions I'm addressing. When I win the lottery -- I'll have to play it first, of course LOL! -- maybe I'll be able to afford a better scanner.]

My overall feeling about this deck is that it is really a perfectly lovely one, and my responses are just that, my particular leanings when it comes to Tarot (or any other) art. I've read that some folk don't like it's dated look (it was created in the latter 1980's) but, hey, isn't the Rider/Waite/Smith done in a Renaissance style? (Ooops, there's that crankiness again. :-D) I don't think an identifiable time frame for a deck's art is problematic. And last, given the clear stories these cards tell, it would probably make a good deck for a beginning reader.

* * * *

'til next time, keep being open to all moments in life, and enjoying The Tarot,

Roswila

[aka: Patricia Kelly]

****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)**** SEE ALSO: Roswila’s Dream & Poetry Realm for Tarot poetry; Roswila’s Taiga Tarot for taiga (illustrated tanka); and Yahoo DREAMJIN: Group for Dreamku – Haiku-Like Dream Poems.****

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4 Comments:

Blogger Puddle Duck said...

Ahh Thanks for that Roswila!

The deck looks absolutely stunning!
The Heirophant looks wonderful in that deck for such an austere character, I really like the look of him there. Having worked myself out as a 'Number 5' in numerolgy - by birth date that is - I checked and saw that this was the Heirophant and I felt a slight disapointment, not sure why, maybe its the idea of conformity and so forth that got to me
And the tower looks so dramatic, as it should. The Lovers a beautiful card (and one of my favourites, so far, in the Tarot).
Yes, I think this deck looks like it shall be starting my collection.
Blessings
Melanie
xx

3:51 AM  
Blogger Roswila said...

I am delighted, Melanie, that you enjoyed this Art Nouveau post. It was fun to refamiliarize myself with it, as I bought it in the late '80's and have not looked at it much over the years.

Be encouraged! The Hierophant is much more than that often austere character. I, too, felt that way when I first found out it was my card both by name numerology and birth date. But he is about our faculty of intuition (along with The High Priestess) and also a spiritual teacher (who learns from teaching). Here's the link to a fairly recent post of mine about The Hierophant in The Secret Dakini Tarot:
http://tinyurl.com/49zmbg

I've come to respect his rather formal aspect, too. I come across it in myself whenver I'm at the early stages of learning something very new to me. It can be very reassuring, as long as I don't get stuck at his feet and refuse to move on creatively with what he's taught me.

BTW, the card that V evolves into is XIV (which is one + four = 5, in numerology). How's that for an interesting card to have in your family of cards?

12:18 PM  
Blogger Puddle Duck said...

That's a good way to look upon the card Roswila and I can see how that outlook would be useful for me too! I shall also visit that link shortly.

I can see how the formal aspect could be extremely useful and reassuring when learning something new..maybe that's someting I can work with in my learning about the Tarot.

I bought the Druid Craft Tarot yesterday. I haven't done a reading yet, just familiarising myself with the cards. But already I can feel how important it is to find a deck that 'speaks' to you. This deck, I feel, is just 'me' I love the art work but also the symbolism that is involved in the cards. I seem to be able to relate to them a bit better than the Rider-Waite, I just find them easier to read for my own purposes and they fit in with my beliefs and such like..plus lots of lovely greenery.
And the 2 of wands is even a painting involving the 'Long Man of Wilmington' the chalk carving in the South Downs.
Quite beautiful.

I also looked at the Heirophant (I think I need to make friends with the card and the qualities it brings!) Other wise know as the 'High Priest' in this set - quite a dramatic card and speaks more to me of the spiritual aspects which you mentioned :))

I quite like the nature aspect of the card in this deck - he still commands, but as his feet is a wren (i think!) rather than 2 people kneeling (which I think may have jarred with me a little in the Rider Deck)...

Thanks and blessings
Melanie
x

11:52 AM  
Blogger Roswila said...

Oh, yes, Melanie, me too. Those two figures kneeling before the Hierophant used to bother me in my early studies. So I used to identify with one of them, instead of the Hierophant/High Priest himself. And ask what the card had to teach me. Funny isn't, though, how I did eventually start teaching (though I had to be urged into doing so by friends and a dream). And I hasten to add that I am still learning.

You say: "And the 2 of wands is even a painting involving the 'Long Man of Wilmington' the chalk carving in the South Downs." How wonderful. Seems this deck is very much "yours." :-)

You probably have a way of familiarizing yourself with a new deck, but thought I'd share how I do it. When I want to really get to know a deck thoroughly I meditate on one card a day, before reading any accompanying literature. I sit looking at the one card (sometimes chosen at random, sometimes because it draws my interest) for several minutes in silence. Then start writing about it, the images, what they say to me, what they make me think of, and so on. I allow a good amount of time as the writing can sometimes go on at length! :-)

blessings,
Patricia (a/k/a Roswila)

7:51 PM  

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