Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Characters in Literature Tarot Deck

Yesterday I received my copy of the Characters In Literature Tarot Deck. May I just say, "Wow"! The CIL Tarot is a collaborative deck organized by Red Dog Scott. I did the 2 of Wands for the deck. This was my third time working on a collaborative Tarot deck project, but my first time with this particular group (although there were a few members in this group that were in one or both of the other projects I did). I'd heard good things about Red's deck projects and now I see why. I feel so inspired looking at the artwork that I wanted to share some of it here. I wish I could post even more photos, but since I really needed to narrow it down to just a few, I chose to show cards that not only had artwork I liked, but which featured characters from some of my favorite stories. There are many, many more cards in this deck that have equally amazing art, but were about stories I hadn't read. Also, if a story was featured on more than one card, I chose only one to show about that story. The wonderful thing about this deck concept for a book-lover is that when the creator of a card has chosen a story and character or scene that you know well, you look at the card and have a total "AHA!!" moment, where it makes perfect sense and you can think of all sorts of layers of meaning because of knowing the story so well. It also made me want to read some of the stories I wasn't familiar with. So here are a scans of just a few of the cards I loved. "Justice" by Connie Woodhead and "The Hanged Man" by Elizabeth Cherry Owen Atticus Finch from "To Kill a Mockingbird" is the featured character in the Justice card. Perfect. I can't think of another book character who personifies Justice any better. Elizabeth shows Brendan Doyle from "The Anubis Gates" as the Hanged Man. I was thrilled to see this card, as "The Anubis Gates" is one of my personal "I'd want it on a desert island" books. I don't want to say too much about why I think this is so perfect, because I don't want to spoil the book for anyone who hasn't read it, but it is...it's perfect. And if you haven't read "The Anubis Gates", what the heck are you waiting for?? "Sun" by Amy Stoner and "3 of Cups" by Moonshine The Sun card features Hazel and Frith from "Watership Downs", illustrating attainment and contentment, along with the need to keep striving and not just rest on past accomplishments. The 3 of Cups shows Harry, Ron, and Hermione, from the "Harry Potter" novels, sharing mugs of butterbeer, a great scene of friendship and celebration. "Ace of Pentacles" by Karen Veni Samwise Gamgee from "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy is featured on the Ace of Pentacles. Who better than the most down-to-(middle)earth of the Hobbits to show the best aspects of this earth symbol? "3 of Swords" by Steph King/NoMonet and "7 of Wands" by April Soncrant I must confess that the 3 of Swords is the one card I'm showing based on a story I'd never heard of before receiving the deck. It depicts a scene from "The Longest Kiss, A Vampire Love Story". But after reading the description, I've decided I need to read that book, and I love the imagery on the card, so I included it here. The 7 of Wands features a scene about "The Old Man and the Sea". I can't say that's a story I really liked (pretty depressing) but how perfect for this card, showing both the adventure and optimism of the 7W, but also the idea of a hollow victory. "8 of Swords" by Sally Anne Stephen and 10 of Swords by Lunaea Weatherstone Swords are often my least-favorite suit in many Tarot decks, but I think they may be my favorite suit in this deck! There are some wonderful Sword cards in here, including some I didn't show. But these are two more of my favorites. The 8 of Swords depicts a scene from "Rebecca" by Daphne du Maurier, one of the first Gothics I ever remember reading. I don't know if I would have thought of this book in relation to the 8 of Swords, but now that I see it...total "aha"...perfect story to show the trap that isn't nearly as hopeless as we first think it is. And the 10 of Swords shows a moment from "A Wrinkle In Time", the book I have probably read more times than any other book I own. I usually hate the 10 of Swords card. I have, in fact, called it my least-favorite card in the Tarot deck. But this one is perfect. It doesn't sugar-coat the dark aspects of the card, but it shows it in a way that I get better than I get the typical "swords in the back" image so many decks show. In looking over this, I realize I've used the word "perfect" about 30-dozen times in just a few paragraphs, but I'm not going to change it. The deck really is that good.

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