The concept of setting into the creative adventure of this tarot deck began several years back when I made a connection between the meaning of architecture and The Magician and The High Priestess. And when I say the meaning of architecture I am literally looking to the word architecture itself. There is a four-point mode of being that I enjoy for the general purpose of architectural analysis which I will use to preface this connection for conversation’s sake, and to provide just a moment of suspense. This four-point mode is somewhat existential, and I have to honestly say I don’t think about these four points much anymore unless a building really perplexes me. Things incorporate over time, are amended into the soil so to speak:
1 How does a building stand on the ground? How do you present yourself?
2 How does a building extend to the sides? How do you extend beyond yourself and interact?
3 How does a building open and close? How do you receive and set boundaries?
4 How does a building meet the sky? How powerfully and clearly do you feel your dreams?
Now, for just a bit more suspense. I won’t go in to whether something has to be a building to be considered architecture. That’s another story, and tarot is the order of the day here.
OK. Architecture. The meaning of architecture. If I disassemble the word into its Greek roots, I get arche and techne, and I STILL can’t remember how to make the accent over a letter work on my keyboard. I ask that you please imagine the accent and play along. Further for your imagination, that the accent starts low on the left and ends high on the right. Accent ague? Accent grave? Imagination. Arche, techne. Say ar-kay. Tek-nay. And, here’s where I made a connection.
Arche is the first inkling, the creation, the first spark of an idea. Arche is the place of inception, your place of creation, the internal house of your making, the vessel for all the things you bring into your world. Techne is the making, the putting together of the idea that has been created. Techne is the place of conception, where you give form to the formless. . .where the fledgling identities you create thrive! And, I saw The Magician and The High Priestess with their respective 1st spark of The Magician in the Place of Creation, and then the giving form to creations in the making of The High Priestess. And though I remained fascinated with the deck and stayed my course with architecture and art, the connection didn’t stick. Or, so I thought. . .
Scroll forward several years to the summer of 2006 while I’m gardening, and I look up at my turn-of-the-century Victorian house (1906) and realize that I’ve been working on the cards here and there, reading text and history when I can, or simply come across it with a welcome freshness, and …RUSH inside and rinse the dirt off my grubby hands and open up the folder on my computer. . . and there I saw. . . just down the page!…The Empress carrying to full term! The Emperor overseeing! And, it came to mind that I was thick in the middle of the largest scale project I have ever undertaken, had been discovering its sacred burial ground as I amended the soil in my own garden. Imagine my bright, wide eyes when I eventually came to looking at the Judgment card having a Hanged Man moment! Afloat in clarity with consequences as my only thought!
Though architecture provided a form-giving metaphor for the creation of the Mystereum Tarot. . . from which I lifted arche, techne, identity, place, and context. . . the architecture may or may not stop right there. . . as the warm-up is oftentimes not a member of the performance, but an informing feeling. Either way or neither, though, my path was re-experienced and re-built, built back in upon refreshingly. . . expanding and contracting. . .pulsing with new life re-invigorating a continually pulsing path through the scales of life, driven by life itself.
The tarot cards are wonderful trail-markers as well as storytellers along the path. Sometimes there is the soliloquy of a single card as the context. Sometimes a card or cards speak with the chorus of the other cards to flesh out context. Most all tarot decks present a visual vitality that speaks to the mind – you can call it consciousness or anything else for that matter. . .but in this regard, never-mind the research in this area(s) in this regard though fitting and inspiring even…in this regard there is no proof or re-proof but life itself. In this regard we each have our own say. With vitality at a variety of scales, and incorporating the concept of all similar, each unique to the cards, to ourselves, a whole world is present and complete at each and every scale. . .
And there, at that point was a shell in my garden cracking open of its own accord underground, felt and yet unseen, the story of the creation and making of this deck sprouting, remembering origin and destiny as one and the same maybe. Or not. The roots of tarot and architecture will flower perennially in my garden, naturalizing over time. A wonderfully complete deck becoming dog-eared from use, naturalizing in the garden of life! I will move from there now to the fruits that began to come from my garden in the summer of 2006.
Enjoy the Mystereum Tarot as it has made its way to become Tarot in the Land of Mystereum in 2010. Thanks for visiting! Proud to now have Tarot in the Land of Mystereum at The Tarot Garden, on Amazon, and at bookstores everywhere!
April 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm
I love this story! And I really loved it when you explained the window concept of the back of your cards. Incredible!
April 9, 2011 at 5:49 am
Thank You Mucho, Bonnie! You make me smile.