Making this deck is a dream come true for me. I have been a practitioner of the Tarot since my 20’s. A lover introduced me to the Tarot and other esoteric practices in the early 60’s appealing to my artistic sensibilities and my love of cosmic mystery. Through many changes in my life I carried on with the practice, using it mainly for self reflection. I never became a reader for others.
I am a painter, a mystic and an adherent of the wonders of sacred geometry. I am also a fan of early modernist uses of geometry (Russian Constructivism) as well as the Spiritualist works of Hilma af Klint and Annie Bessant.
In late 2019 I made a piece (later to become The Chariot) and a friend suggested that I pursue a series based on the Tarot. Up to that point I had not worked in series, allowing myself to explore developing imagery as it occurred to me. Of course when Covid hit, I was faced with isolation and focused studio time, so the project took shape then.
I have to say much of what I produced came to me intuitively, not necessarily in strict adherence to the traditional illustrations or definitions. I was on a spiritual journey that grew in power as I worked through the regimen of the Major Arcana and it’s rigorous demands for honesty, reflection and deep surrender.
This brings me to the current project. Two years ago a little shop opened here in Williamstown, the most westerly town in Massachusetts, offering Tarot readings, crystal and herbal treatments, alternative lifestyle books, teas and a host of other wonderful mystical offerings. This is Wild Soul River. The proprietors, Rebecca and Justin, are remarkable, kind, generous, enfolding folk. They are revolutionaries of culture and gender and invite collaboration and community with open arms. They have given me, and a host of others, a spiritual home, and the chance to grow into our larger selves without judgement.
They were kind enough to offer me a place to show my Tarot paintings, a first opportunity to share this piece of myself with the community. Our relationship has grown into deep friendship, shared spiritual aspirations, and , now, this project of my cards. Therefore, I will be selling the cards through them, sharing in the profits and the joy of our collaboration.
THE FOOL 0
This ‘nobody’, heretofore a being of nature alone, becomes aware of a possibility for personhood. Approaching the unknown and the risk of failure, they leap from a cliff to enter the world of humanity. This is the beginning of a long and arduous journey of Spirit where trials and tribulations, epiphanies and disappointments abound, where moral mistakes and failures of will as well as exciting successes test their resolve.
THE MAGICIAN. I
Having felt the first power of their humanity and remembering their sacred connection to the Universe from which they came, they explore their ability to effect the physical world, bringing their will to bear on the elements of the Earth plane to manifest utility, beauty, passion in their creations. If the connection to Spirit is lost in worldly recognition, this heady power is prone to hubris and the shine of ego.
THE HIGH PRIESTESS. II
The seeker is now confronted by the Oracle of the Great Mysteries, secrets long held by humanity but hidden from most by virtue of their ignorance and the protections of cultural boundaries. This oracle holds opposing energies, keeps the truths of the Tarot itself well hidden behind a veil of unknowing, but invites the seeker to remember the source from which they came. This is esoteric knowledge. The unconscious.
THE EMPRESS III
This is the Great Goddess, Mother Earth, the archetypal Feminine, the force of Nature to act out its calling. She is compassion, regeneration, liberation. She offers the seeker consciousness of being alive, of a connection to all beings, all manifestations within the Cosmos.
THE EMPEROR IV
This is the Law Giver, the creator of cultural form, the master of the material realm, the Masculine principle of order, discipline and adherence to an ethical code. They may be a Father figure, one who passes judgement on their subjects, having the power of life and death, success and failure as their ideas dominate the world. They also may provide a containing energy against chaos, a safe zone for a healthy society.
THE HIEROPHANT V
This is the High Priest, the ultimate authority of organized religion, the master of the dogma that is disseminated through institutional and inherited spiritual practices. They are the keepers of sacred texts and knowledge and bequeath it only to the initiated. The suggestion here is to examine what has been expected, unconscious practice within community and what alternative paths to take to access spiritual truths.
THE LOVERS VI
Here two humans, masculine and feminine (suggesting a joining of opposing entities) are linked in harmony with the blessing of an angelic spirit. This introduces the notion of integration first introduced in the High Priestess. The work of any relationship is to rise above the binaries, to accommodate differences. The ‘alchemical marriage’ performs the process to create the ‘philosopher’s stone’ of the fulfilled person.
THE CHARIOT VII
The fundamental qualities of this card are focused will, inspired goal, harnessing of resources and persistent forward motion. The challenge is to avoid drift, losing focus and resisting the hard work it takes to achieve one’s ends. It is possible to get lost in the weeds of distraction. There is a no-nonsense push to keep at it!
This is a quality of spirit, an internal resource, a reservoir of endurance and fortitude. Whether responding to forces from the outer world or aspects of self that need compassionate attention, the seeker reaches deep within to access a discipline, to find restraint and a mindful ethical response.
THE HERMIT IX
At times one needs to seek in solitude. Here we learn of our connection to the light of the Cosmos, leading with our own internal light of spirit toward a revelation of eternal truths. This is an elevated journey on the mountain tops, much like the holy yogis, away from the structures of the world toward the mystery of Being.
WHEEL OF FORTUNE X
There is no straight line of predictable outcome, only the rhythm of life’s possibilities! The Great Round is a compelling interaction of positives and negatives, of light and darkness, weaving intricate trajectories that form our lives. Acknowledging the unknowable flow allows the seeker to become present. There is no past and no future, only the moment of now. How we respond to that moment is key to the outcome.
This is the law of cause and effect. Even the slightest action can have great ramifications (the flutter of a butterfly’s wings can be the cause of turbulence at a distance). The seeker must take responsibility for their actions, and where the consequences must be taken into consideration, act according to a high ethical standard. There is an ideal present here whereas the actuality of ‘Justice’ as it is performed by any culture falls under the influence of power structures. The seeker must look to their own biases as they pass judgement on others.
THE HANGED MAN XII
The seeker, through accident, mistake or personal choice, finds themselves suspended from everyday life. They are hung upside down from a flowering tree (an environment of potential growth) where they contemplate the nature of their condition. Like the Hermit, a light is revealed to them, a change of perspective, a sublime acknowledgement of their connection to Spirit and an opportunity to address the meaning of their lives with fresh insight.
Every living thing on the Planet must die. This is the Natural Order, the way of the Great Round. There are no exceptions. However, this card is not a specific forecast of doom! It is, rather, a way to contemplate that which must die in us in order for new possibilities to arise (the rising sun is an indicator). We are often burdened by our station in life, the responsibilities from the past, our inherited identities. We have an opportunity to shed these oppressive constraints, no matter how painful the process. This is not a task for the faint of heart, but the rewards of freedom are great.
Balance is a recurring theme in the Tarot, the resolution of opposites, the complementarity within relationships, the wholeness of personhood. The idea of Temperance may seem stodgy, withholding, rigorously disciplined. But here there is a flow of the ‘waters’ of feeling, a middle road, almost a river, of mingled energies. By accepting our internal oppositions, enfolding our contradictions and allowing for our complexities, we will not need the extremes of behavior and emotions.
THE DEVIL XV
Here we are faced with our bad habits, our addictions, and the lies we tell ourselves and others to avoid responsibility for our behavior. There are the temptations so hard to resist and the passion of our unconscious drives that keep us chained in a cycle of pain. There is a path to be taken from the world of the body, the physical, the ego based isolation toward a recognition of our interconnection and shared existence with all life.
THE TOWER XVI
This is a crushing blow to all the structures we hold dear. There is a breakdown, a shocking loss of stability and damage done to powerful institutions both public and personal. We are dumbfounded when what seemed so true and right is suddenly dismantled. It can be a symbolic breakdown or the literal destruction of the solid world we have depended on. However, when the dust has settled and the pain and loss grieved, there is an opportunity to rebuild with new principles and designs upon the cleared ground. There is courage needed here, but the rewards are great.
THE STAR XVII
The light of the Cosmos penetrates the darkness with hope for renewal. One can feel the flow of as above so below, the great exchange now welling in us. We begin to see how we are contained and nourished by the sacred waters, the light become water of all things. We understand our place, our destiny as citizens of Spirit and of the community of Earth. We are washed of our contradictions, finding flow and integration.
THE MOON XVIII
We have been through so much on this journey and yet there is more. Under the fragile light of the moon, we are met with creatures of our deepest psyche. No matter how much we work at it, we can never quite grasp the full meaning of our deepest fears and longings. We must be vigilant, prepared to face ourselves when these aspects emerge. These are our wild parts, unevolved and ancient. They are the residue of our ancestor’s trials and aspirations to be met with compassion and acceptance.
THE SUN XIX
We can celebrate for we have met ourselves in our complexity and shown courage and fortitude. We can experience pure joy, a kind of return to innocent appreciation for the beauty of life we experience in gratitude.We have much to be thankful for, our capacity to persevere in the face of adversity, insight into our deepest longings and a hopeful perspective on our possibilities. This is a cup overflowing!
In these final moments of our journey we are called by Spirit to be reborn from the blindness of our lives to a new threshold of transcendence. We must be forthright as we face ourselves fully, acknowledge our faults and breeches of faith as well as our triumphs. We must be accountable for our whole life experience and find a new self respect for all our life contains.
THE WORLD XXI
This is the culmination of all that has passed before. A wholeness has been achieved, the body and spirit are united, and the authentic whole self is risen! This is cause for deep appreciation for the abundance of life, all the gifts and trials we have been given. We have gained wisdom and the capacity to share it generously with others. We have come home.
Let it be known, however, that this is but one completion of the never ending process of learning from the tests of life. This the Great Round.
DOUBLE VORTEX IV, acrylic on canvas, 36"x24" 2023
DOUBLE VORTEX I, acrylic on canvas, 24"x18" 2023
Double Vortex II, acrylic on canvas. 36"x24"
DOUBLE VORTEX III, acrylic on canvas, 24"x18" 2023
WIND DOWN, acrylic on canvas, 20"x20" 2023
SPILLWAY FRICTION, acrylic on canvas, 20"x20" 2023
Statement about the work.
I seem to go through epiphanies periodically where my point of view changes or the needs of my imagination draw me to new challenges. I'm caught by the paint, but I am also envisioning a space that can contain memory, connection, loss of orientation and surprises to disrupt the habitual.
Through the Spring I was engulfed by the Natural World, its trees, its denizens, and the remarkable radiance they exuded. This experience has brought me to this new work expressing Cosmic Consciousness as an iconic ORB.
In the latest TORUS series, I am exploring the curve of space, the dynamic of the magnetic aura and bodies within it.
I have experienced a new sensation where the forces of opposition have resolved into a dynamic of constant flow up and down, back and forth. The Vortex paintings.
If interested in purchasing a work, please email me at email@example.com
SHIFT, acrylic and flash on canvas, 24"x30" 2022
Rift, acrylic and flash on canvas,
CLEAVED, acrylic and flash on canvas, 16"x34" (2in space between)
TIME SLIDE, acrylic and flash on canvas, 30"x30" 2022
RED STAR, acrylic and flash on canvas, 16"x20" 2022
RANGE, acrylic and flash on canvas,