As we are approaching the Winter Solstice in the UK we had our first taste of snow and ice last week. Picturesque postcard scenes of white landscapes with crisp azure blue skies. The paintings for the Discs that are part of the new Initiates Way Tarot series have unearthed themselves in a slow and steady fashion and there is only the 10 of Discs left to create now for that particular set. The Princess, king and Queen I expect to arrive over the next week or so during the holidays.
The choice of Discs to name the suit this time around during the creation process has been an intuitive choice. In the Soulscapes Deck I used the traditional Pentacles to represent the realm of Earth. This time I have used golden spinning wheels or Discs. Some of them have the appearance of coins but there is always a subtle movement in them which was the deciding factor on choosing Discs.
In some decks like Chesca Potter’s Wildwood Tarot this suit is attributed to stones thereby representing the actual Earth but I wanted to present the more fluid idea of currency and the idea of spiritual wealth being that of the movement of energy in and out of ones sphere of existence. Energetic output and return for ones creativity or the work that we do is only one of the aspects of the suit of discs or pentacles. The flow of wealth in and out of our lives, the idea of gifting and giving without thought of what you are going to get in return, and what something is really worth and why. These are the sort of things that I have been considering while creating the images for the Discs.
I was watching a lecture by John Anthony West about the temples and the function that they serve as places to get in touch with the divine presences and something he said in it about Architecture being frozen Music really got me thinking about the effect that our surroundings have upon us. Especially our homes. I remember very well the feelings and sensations that I had the first time I walked into Chartres Cathedral and the emotions that it evoked, overwhelming me with love and a sense of awe and humility. And in contrast the feelings and sensations that were present when I walked into the man made Cathedral Cavern at Langdale in Cumbria with its window that illuminates the darkness below. Both very different structures but that produce a distinct feeling or emotion, that of standing in a ‘great hall’.
So the general ambience of this last month has been a retreat into solitude within the walls of my home, my sanctuary and lots of quiet contemplation and introspection, journeying within to seek out the known and unknown places within the darkness as well as in the light.
There have been so many changes since I wrote last month’s blog I hardly know where to begin. I started off this month by beginning to paint the Pentacles / Discs pip cards for the new Initiates Way Tarot and gained more understanding about my own relationship between work, finances, energy and grounding of ideas into the physical world.
I don’t know if it’s an Artist thing or a projected state of mind that we have drummed into us about Art being a hobby, or something else that you do away from your real job, but I have had a fraught relationship with being an Artist for most of my adult life.
A friend posted on Social Media about the need for having an identity as an Artist and what that means in terms of what people expect from you and one of the issues I have battled with for a long time is putting a fee on the work that I create. It is a job like any other and sometimes it can take a lot more effort to make money doing it than it does to go and work for someone else as an employee and take home a regular wage. Self confidence and self esteem almost certainly come into play when it comes to selling Art.
Can you talk to others about about it?
What makes one piece of art worth more than another, other than whether the Artist is dead or alive?
During this process I plunged headlong into the shadows of the underworld and by submitting to introspection and dealing with whatever that threw up in terms of learning and life lessons, I journeyed through the creation of the remaining images and find that i’m standing once again on the high vista of the plateau of the Fool / Jester.
Ready to jump into the abyss and begin anew.
The images for Justice, the Hanged / Drowned Man and Death literally fell out of the ether and on to the canvas in a week after having an unbelievably stressful lead up to the release of these images.
As of today there is only one of the Major Arcana left for me to paint. It is the 22nd tomorrow so I intend to focus on painting that and then the entire Major sequence for this deck will be finished. The three remaining court images for the Pentacles and Discs are on the menu after that while plotting and scheming for the festive period.
There will be a Calendar available which will include all of the new Initiates Way Tarot images for anyone who would like to order one. Please Email and register your interest and I will contact you directly about the order process.
The images are coming thick and fast for the new Deck. Coincidentally finished the image for the Chariot just before travelling to France for the Summer.
As usual there have been lots of things happening during the stay. I have been editing the Tarot workbook and have finally finished writing all of the guided Meditations for each of the Major Arcana and have begun recording them for publication as an Audio series that will be suitable for solo development work or for groups.
The biggest thing that has happened since arriving in France was my Ordination as a Priestess in the Fellowship of Isis. Just before I embark upon creating the image for Strength / Fortitude I had a vision of the Lioness who radiated the most amazing healing power that I was in complete awe.
Even though it is still August I have been inspired to paint the Ace of Cups Also. It was my intention to paint the Cups Court Cards on my return but they have also begun to emerge. In between writing and painting the new images for the deck I created my gift of dedication to the Goddess Athena. I have not painted with watercolours before so it was a completely new medium to work in and has given me inspiration to try lots of different styles!
There have been intense healing moments, connections with the Fae in the Forest and precious moments of baby deer skipping across my path. Magical moments that will be treasured forever and imbued into the journey of the creation of the Initiates Way Tarot.
Humbled and honoured to be alive at this time and filled with inspiration for the future.