The Cosmos and the Artist

We all would love to know how to tell the future.  We would like to know what the next set of lottery numbers would be?, who will win the super bowl? or even what will my life bring me?  Well thankfully life doesn’t make it possible to answer most of those questions, but what life will bring me is a bit easier to answer.  There are many forms of divination or fortune telling out there but the one that draws me close is Tarot Readings.

Now don’t get the wrong idea, I do not visit psychics, nor do I use divination to make life choices.  I really do not want to know what my future holds.  No I tend to use my Tarot cards from time to time to give me an insight to where I am at in my life and give me some clarity.

Now, using a set of Tarot cards to get a little insight into your life is no different than reading a bible or praying, or whatever you choose to do.  Tarot just plays on the energy of you and the cosmos to give you a better understanding in life.

There are four “Suits” in Tarot that have different meaning and 14 cards per suit with 27 that are considered the Major Arcana, these are individual cards that are not part of any suit.

The Four suits are as follows:

  • Cups represent our emotions.
  • Swords represent ideas and communication, the cerebral plane.
  • Pentacles appear in a reading to indicate our possessions, finances and everything we experience on the material plane.
  • Wands are the creative application of what we experience in the world to make our lives more enjoyable.

I am only going to focus mostly on three specific cards since in my life they are the ones that have had a larger impact on my life and where I want to be as an artist.  They are cards that I have also drawn from a deck in a single card drawing or reading to tell me where I am at.

The first of these cards is commonly called the FOOL, or Beginnings in the deck that I am using now.  The Fool card is one that seems to be up to interpretation, to me it always meant a fresh start with a whole new outlook, that things were fresh and new and anything was possible.  You could be carefree and your possibilities where you ended up for endless.  

The fool ended up coming out a lot in my life when I did a reading.  It gave me hope that something new that I was doing was completely possible and that nothing was holding me back.  It gave me excitement and told me that even the sky was not the limit for me.  My life could go anywhere with what I was doing and there was nothing holding me back.  But no one wants to be the fool forever in life so something had to change, I had to push forward and not always get the fool card.  

That brought me to the next card, DEATH.  Now contrary to popular believe DEATH does not mean the end but instead focuses on change or transformation in life.  It means something is going to change and head down a different path for you.  Maybe something that you are working on, in the case of the artist a piece of your art, is not really going in a direction that works for you.  This means that things will be changing.  Pulling a DEATH card can be a positive outlook for you.  Things are not always ending but change is good and can take you to amazing places that you never experienced.

While in college I drew the DEATH card and smiled.  It was when I moved my art from Photography into Sculpture, it was a new path and the possibilies to create were boundless. I worked with metal, clay, wood, and even plaster.  When I began to learn how to work with plaster I learned how to use a hammer, chisels and all the other great tools that we used to shape large blocks of plaster into.  I though of myself being like Michelangelo carving the statue of David. The cosmos knew that I needed to have the DEATH card at the time.  It didn’t mean that I was dying or going to die, it meant that I was changing and this change was for the better.

The last card is the Ace of Wands or Staves.  Since the suit of Wands is the suit of creativity it is the suit that I most steer towards.   The Ace of Wands is the most exalted of the Wands and also the boldest of this suit.  It is not speaking of creativity that one gets from reading books but creativity that comes from within.  It is the energy or voice inside you demanding the universe take notice and make a place for you and your voice.  It demands to heard and respected.

The Ace of Wands is the card that I one day hope to draw, to me it would represent that I had finally shed the worries of how society would see my work, that nothing would hold me back in doing what I do.  I would not care if the people that I live around liked what I did, I would have no fear and would move boldly forward with no regard of appearance, thought, or judgment.  I would make art that made my voice and belief ring loud.  

As an artist in a small community that is not always easy to do.  Most topics are not off limits for me but how I portray these topics to the rural populace is always under scrutiny.  I would be working my Art Idols did.  I would work more in the directions of Tunick, Mapplethorpe and even Tuttle.  No matter how bad these men were criticized that did what made them happy.  Mapplethorpe was quoted once as saying, “I just try to live my life and do my thing” and that is all any Artist wants to do, and the Ace of Wands would mean I had finally done just that.

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