Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Death — Tarot of the Absurd

This was one of the earlier cards I illustrated.


I was trying to show how death is a part of life: how our death is born the moment we are born and it grows with us. We look at death each day and it grows so familiar, we often forget its power and take needless risks. But risk is exciting! Touching Death is thrilling!


The curve of the large snake’s head forms an infinite loop with the moon, signifying the endless cycling dance of Death and Birth. I liked it well enough, but it was not until I realized that Death is also a part of Death that I added the skull and the card felt complete.

Withdraw this corpse—
this footprint— this echo—
this last dissolving trace
of some self-ceased situation.
Back implies front.
Poles of the magnet
appear at different times.
Each birth necessitates
a new life’s end.
A pendulum swings—
at the apex of each turn
perpetual movement
hesitates to a stop.
This turning point challenges
patterns in time
and patterns in space
and patterns in patterns.
Patterns in patterns.


More words on the subject:

Death is an esoteric concept whose ultimate meaning is unveiled only to the dead. Death is part of a perpetual movement. Death is what one makes of it— disillusion, renunciation, termination, fermentation, decomposition, transformation, initiation, incarnation, new beginning, new illusion. Death will only cease with the cessation of all life. Death is seldom a hooded figure with a scythe going chop-choppity-chop, although a hooded figure with a scythe going chop-choppity-chop will most always be death to those who dare stand in challenge of its power. Be aware of hooded figures bearing scythes, ravenous man-eating pythons, and falling anvils.

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

The Chariot — Typeface Tarot

Artist: Lynda Cowles
click image for link to deck

Out of the desert darkness drove
a rattling compact sedan— four doors and

THE CHARIOT! emblazoned on the side.

The letters spoke of triumph—

and of speed— and so

I stepped inside.


The driver was a man

of any age— I can’t recall his face—

O! but his eyes—

two disks that spun like flaming wheels—

I’d hailed a taxicab and caught

some new-born sun god as my guide.


He drove fast— swerved through traffic—

turned tight corners— ignored signs—

I do not know how long we sped.

I cannot tell you where we went.

I could not look outside the car.

I only saw inside— inside—

the speed— the noise— the flashing lights

flew by— flew by— flew by—
all the while he never moved

his hypnotizing eyes from mine


We stopped— and then the car was gone—

I stood exactly where I’d been.
The night was dark. The air was dry.
My journey faded into dream.

I cannot tell you where I went
and I’m not sure of what I’ve seen—

but one time— when I stood in darkness—

and took a ride.