Today's Lua Tarot “In the Card” description: The Chariot.
The charioteer is a Martinique woman wearing Madras headdress and a beautifully embroidered dress. As I’ve written before, many of these 19th century images are often unidentified and include captions like, “Martinique Madras.” This portrait came from a book about the French Antilles.
The horses are from a British children’s weekly called Chatterbox. The original image depicted one horse actualIy, so I digitally added the other horse to reflect the RWS Chariot. Though here, they are black and white horses to represent the opposing forces, which the charioteer harnesses to propel herself forward with her purpose.
Those opposing forces are Receptivity & Will—forward movement with the empathetic and sensitive energies of Cancer, which is ruled by the Moon. (Symbols are engraved on the Chariot like a license plate.)
I added the curtains to build out the rest of The Chariot. This acts as a shell of protection, or home, and reflects the meaning that one’s body is a vehicle for spirit. I added the stars to symbolize the cosmic forces at work in this card.
The Three of Coins shows two men singing the Gregorian Chant, an abbot who is stroking his chin in contemplation, a six-pointed star from an architectural feature that I multiplied into the three that you see, and an arched hallway.
Sometimes these images are from an accompanying story, so there isn't a representation of someone specific. Quite a few of the people in the Lua Tarot are anonymous or unidentified, like this abbot. All that is identified about the other two people in the collage is that they are doing a Gregorian Chant.
I put this all together, similar to the RWS Three of Pentacles, under an arch, but with three six-pointed stars it reflects the Hermetic “as above, so below” adage. The idea is that the collaboration of the Three of Pentacles can be spiritual AND material.
The meaning of participating in a project with one's community is highlighted. We can almost hear the chanter’s chant being amplified and carried down the hall. The abbot listens carefully to their voices. He’s the director, a master of his craft, refining skills. He reflects the Master Worker, which is connected to the Three of Pentacles card.
FYI: I should mention (if you don’t have the deck) that some of the ideas above are written about in the booklet. It’s just that the “In the Card” section couldn’t fit into the 160 pages I had for Lua Tarot (which is still an in depth Little Booklet!) My other projects had full sized companion books, which allowed me to explore my process and write more in depth.
I do set up what’s in the image in the Lua Tarot booklet briefly! There’s just not the specific, “who is that?” But in a lot of cases, I don’t know who, as they are not identified. However, there’s still my creative process and some backstory that I can explore further, as I did above.
Discovering the people in the Lua Tarot. This is not Jesus. I know he looks like him, but this is from a photograph of a Persian man from the late 1870s. (That’s a laurel wreath on his head.)
As a deck creator, particularly one who excavates 19th century photographs & engravings, I seek out images that fit intuitively & functionally with the collages I create.
It’s hard to explain, but there’s a whole process. I get into a “space” for the card I’m designing and open to a particular flow of creativity. This is often a magical merging of serendipity, intention, and intuition.
It can be challenging to find the “right” images for the cards. But when I do, there’s a feeling, a deep knowing.
When I found this one, I “knew” this would be the The Emperor for the Lua Tarot. One big reason is because he looks a lot like my partner, David, who is an Aries. And, The Emperor card is associated with Aries.
I considered that some people might see Jesus in the card, since any man with long hair and a beard like this seems to be identified as Jesus. But our global ancestors are full of men who wore their hair and beards like this. I wanted to turn this idea on its head.
So, the Lua Tarot Emperor is not Jesus, but if you see Jesus, and you resonate with him being your Emperor, that’s great! (Interestingly, there are some who believe Jesus was born in early April, making him an Aries!)
The tarot cards are open to your intuitive messages to come through. Reading the cards is YOUR mirror, your life experience. Your feels. There’s no judgment, just observing what comes through.
There are many choices that we deck creators have to make for our cards. These choices are not always going to resonate with everyone.
I ADORE this Emperor because he reminds me of my beloved Aries partner. I’m the Empress (my soul card). He’s my Emperor.
I thought I’d take this moment to share about this card. I didn’t have space in the Lua Tarot companion booklet to include this extra information, as I have in my past projects.
If you’re interested in seeing more posts like this, I’d be happy to share more. Let me know if there’s a card you are curious about!