Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Arts and Crafts Festival Report

Dan wrote up a pretty concise report on the Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival, which you can see if you check out his website. It was a lot of fun, tho I wish I’d had time to actually check out the festival. I hear there was some good art there. Tons. So much that nobody noticed ours. They did, however, notice the little sign that said “Tarot Readings Here.” I’m still hung over from doing so many tarot readings. Dan drew a picture about the scene. It’s better than accurate.

 

Arts-Crafts-Fair-2014-1000px-wide

 

 

In reality, we were in the same tent.

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival

Dan decided he was going to have a booth at the AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival, and one of his friends suggested he bring me along. I’m good company and good looking and I have a unique product, so, I mean, really, the suggestion was a no-brainer.

 

Dan has a lot of new paintings and a load of prints for sale. I have my excellent tarot deck and will be doing 5-minute (or 10-minute) readings. I’m offering a free reading with every deck purchased. In addition, I’ll be selling magnets of the cards for three bucks each or four-for-ten. Dan has some good deals, but you’ll have to stop by the tent to find those out. And to see his art. I mean, really, it’s awesome. So is mine. Come see us!!!

 

TarotReadingsHere

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

Re: Bags and Boxes for the Absurd

Crewel Twists

Dear Judy—

 

The most amazing thing about books is how many ideas they contain and how they open the mind for dreaming. I think it must be important to have a backlog of dreams. I blame this on my mom, who had (and still has) books on how to make and do just about anything. I used to think that this was in case we kids wanted to do it, but the truth is, the books are the result of an endless curiosity about and admiration of how things are done. I fall into the same trap and have some wonderful books by delightful artists about paper maché, book-binding, botanical illustration, macrame, pencil drawing, sewing useful things, and sewing beautiful things, leatherwork, jewelry making, and so on.

 

I used to do a bit of embroidery in my early 20s, possibly because embroidery canvas is everywhere you look and the supplies take up very little space and stitches are fun to master. However, because I didn’t live anywhere in particular, I never read books on embroidery. Instead, I carried around a pamphlet filled with descriptions of different embroidery stitches and their various uses. I would make a simple design and embroider it. Then I would invariably give it away. I remember seeing a magazine article about a woman and her embroidered curtains and just thinking of doing one tiny part of the work she had done overwhelmed me so much I could not read the article in fear that it, too, would be endlessly laborious.

 

My mother brings home piles of pillowcases with tatted edges and key-hole lace, cross-stitched finger napkins, crocheted antimacassars— exquisite thread-work. “Just look at this!” she says for each one and names a price— fifty cents, a dollar a pile, a dime and then— “How could I pass that up?” The lives of hundreds of women are stitched in hope chests reclaimed by my mother, hope eternal. And now I have a very slight fear of looking too closely at handiwork in case I fall into it like some nightmare and am forced to dream each stitch, one at a time. But just today I saw a woman with a lovely embroidered yoke on her shirt. Of course I wanted to run my fingers across the stitches and flip it over to see the back. Instead I merely forgot the woman’s name. But not the stitches.

 

In sum: I’m certain the Absurd would be honored to be housed in a bag of Jacobean embroidery. Who would not?

 

On another note, tho, I bought back the deck that the complainer returned to Amazon. I loose a bit of money on a return sale, but that’s the way it is. I’d been wondering at her card and chanced a guess at it. It was the 9 of Blades. I was correct. Most of the decks end up with Major Arcana, I think, due to one printing mistake or another. I’ve always wondered whether I should include unfavorable or dull cards or cards I dislike when putting in a numbered deck-marking card. But then I think, you know, I can’t control these things. Open-minded people can take a negative card and search as hard as they can to find positivity in it. People who are closed to new ideas generally see flat-out negativity. I had a hard time with the Nine of Blades until I decided to call it “the card of the prodigal dreamer.” I don’t think that’s right, but I like the way it sounds. We have much to learn from our nightmares. When they are plentiful, they have much to teach us. If we study them long enough, they enable us to better reach our dreams. Eyes closed, the dreamer catches the falling sword by the blade. Does he awake unharmed?

 

Peace & Love,

Jessica Rose

 

 

9 of blades
Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Show your love! Purchase a deck by February 14!

Due to a recent upsurge in sales of the Tarot of the Absurd, I have decided to celebrate by increasing the price of the deck by $2.00 on February 14th.

 

Two bucks! That’s right! Not even the price of a Starbucks coffee. Nonetheless, you may ask yourself, why so much?  The answer is simple: I need a raise. I make approximately $2.90 per hour on this deck, which was the federal minimum wage in 1979.  I live in Vermont where the minimum wage is currently $8.73. How much more money will I make with a price increase of two bucks? Unfortunately, very, very little.

 

Lucky for you all, new price is still a totally awesome deal for a signed & numbered limited edition hand-finished 100% made in USA tarot deck. Buy one now!

 

sales photo

 

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Three of Coins — Tarot of the Absurd

craftsmanship • artisanship • skill • talent maximization

 3 of coins tarot meaning

This card is often called the “teamwork” card. However, as an introvert, I prefer to call it the “talent maximization” card.

 

“Introvert” and “extrovert” are words that describe how one responds to stimulation, especially external stimulation. While extroverts crave large amounts of social stimulation, introverts generally feel most capable in quiet, low key environments. This is because the brains of introverts and extroverts are wired differently. The ratio of introverts to extroverts is possibly 50-50, with most people falling along a continuum somewhere close on either side of middle-ground: a bell-curve.

 

The key to maximizing individual talent is to put ourselves in situations where the mode of stimulation is right for us.  Unfortunately for introverts, the current trend in schoolrooms and workplaces is to maximize productivity for extrovert teamwork: classrooms have little pods of desks and kids are expected to act as committee members in all subjects; most offices are open-plan, without walls. It is difficult to maximize one’s talent when one’s social setting works against it.

 

It is important to realize that different people have different productivity requirements. It is also important to remember that their are many people on our “team” who remain unseen, behind the scenes. Whether we work best alone or with a group of people, when we work toward the fulfillment of our dreams and improve manners that may be hindering our success, we move closer toward achieving success in our goals. Whether the skills that make our craft come out best in an isolation chamber or at a rave, we are still interdependent within society. The Three of Coins tells us to maximize our own skill and to be appreciative of the teams of people who make our work viable.

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

King of Cups — Tarot of the Absurd

KIng of Cups Meaning

*

The King of Cups was the final card illustrated for the Tarot of the Absurd. My baby was coming soon. Working all day in front of the computer made my ankles disappear into puffiness. I needed a King, and I needed him fast. I cheated— I, too, stole the image of an ancient god.

 

At first, humans were rather wretched and lived like all other wild beasts. But within one year, a reasonable beast named Oannes emerged from the Erythian Sea, at the point where it borders Babylonia (i.e.: the Persian Gulf). He had a fish’s body. Above his fish’s head he had a man’s head. Human feet emerged from beneath his fish’s tail. His voice was human. He was never seen to eat.

 

He passed his days among civilization. He taught the use of letters, sciences and arts of all kinds. He taught men to construct cities, to found temples, and to compile laws. He explained the principles of geometry. He made them learn their plants and showed them how to harvest. In short, he humanized them. No one has ever improved on his instructions. And when the sun set, Oannes retired into the sea, for he was amphibious. After this, there appeared other animals like Oannes.**

 

Over the years, the confusion of gods multiplies. Who came from whom? Where are the origins? One can trace the threads of mythology’s history like a spider’s web, each strand weaving back upon the others to create a structural whole that makes sense for the present time. Deconstructing mythology— deconstructing the spider’s web— is fascinating from a historical point of view, from a story-teller’s point of view, and from the point of view of those interested in following multitudes back to unity. Mythology is the bizarre sort of lineage where a parent begets a child and the child becomes not just a parent, but the parent of his own self.

 

Deluge and recovery. Subjugation, assumption, resurrection. In order to better subjugate the conquered people, the gods of the victors assume characteristics of the gods of the vanquished, and the gods of the vanquished rise again. Thus the names and places of gods change through the ages, one god after another taking on similar forms and forces, gods amassed and gods split

 

Adapa. Oannes. Dagon. Poseidon. Neptune. Triton. Delphin. Noah. Names of gods come and go, but the robes of priesthood have changed very little. Three or five or seven thousand years later, Catholic popes and bishops still wear the headdress dedicated to an ancient Babylonian water god.

 

 

… and after this, there appeared other animals like Oannes…

Oannes

***

 

* My illustration is very, very closely modeled after a bas-relief carving of a fish-garbed priest on temple of the god Ninurta (Saturn) at Kalhu (biblical Calah), ca. 883-859 BCE Assurnasirpal II. Source: Anthony Green, Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia, An Illustrated Dictionary, p. 83. fig. 65. Published in London by the British Museum, in association with the University of Texas Press, Austin. 1992.

fish garbed priest

 

** Story, in italics, adapted from Berossus, a 3rd century BCE Babylonian priest. Oannes is born of the Mesopotamian god Enki, whose origins go back to the 5th century BCE in Sumer; i.e.: as far back as we have writing.

 

*** Pen&Ink ilustration by Syrena Seale. Image used without permission, but I would like to use it, with permission, in my book. To see the original image and to see more of Syrena Seale’s work, click here or click on her illustration.

 

pope mitre

 

 

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Knight of Sticks — Tarot of the Absurd

Knight of Sticks TarotCharge! Knight of Sticks pursues the spark of his idea. Ready to take on the world, he charges at his goal. Go! Go! Strong with courage, he fears nothing. Aiming his bow to the sky, he shoots the moon. Let fly! He tucks those with less valor under his strong arm that they might ride. Come ride! Thus, he sets off his journey in haste. Though he has no clear plan of attack, he has glory in his eyes. And O!— he is a thrilling lover with his love for action.

 

But O! too— he is impatient and impulsive, and consequences be damned! When there is no clear goal, the Knight of Sticks is liable to get restless and act recklessly. He needs to learn about the consequences of his actions. Not every problem can be “fixed” right away; not everything can be controlled. Many things are made worse when one does not take the time to think. In order to keep out of trouble, it is necessary to give this Knight one’s full attention.

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Imageless Update

I am plodding away at my book.

It is perhaps 1/4 done.

I am doing the easy parts first.

Does anyone here have any editing experience?

And:

I made my first Amazon sale!

Anyone who has purchased a deck thru here

is encouraged to head on over to Amazon to write a glowing review.

Please?

Pretty please?

With sugar on top?

And a cherry?

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Empress — Tarot of the Absurd

A few people have asked me what’s up with the crazy hat on the Empress. The Empress is an early card, one of the first ones I illustrated. This was, like, 14 years ago, back when I was still experimenting with which medium I’d draw the deck in, and I didn’t even know there were more than 22 important cards. Anyhow, the truth is, I just like drawing fancy hats on silhouettes.

 

My love of fancy hats stems from early childhood. Did you ever read the “I Can Read” book “Go Dog, Go!” ? There’s this one lady dog who keeps asking a guy dog, “Do you like my hat?” and he keeps saying, “I do not.” Until the end, when her hat is so fancy, and he says, “I do I do! I like that hat!” Or something to that extent. I haven’t read the book in 30 years or so, but it’s a classic. And then there’s the book “Mother, Mother I Feel Sick, Send for the Doctor, Quick Quick, Quick” which was highly influential in my illustration style and not without a fancy hat (Have you seen my hat?), and of course there were Arthur Rackham’s elegant silhouetted hats, and “The 500 Hats of Bartholemew Cubbins,” all of which I found delightful. My artistic influences did not stretch much beyond what I saw in children’s book illustration. In the end, this keeps the deck light-hearted and fun.

 

But about the Empress’ hat, really, I was just putting fancy hats and crazy hair on people. Most of the fancy hats disappeared and the crazy hair became quite tame. The Kings, the last cards to be illustrated, do not have a hair out of place. The Empress kept her crazy hat and her children kept their crazy hair. It’s a very important hat.

Empress

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Two of Blades — Tarot of the Absurd

2blade

The Two of Blades is a simple image depicting two balanced forces. Balanced forces may be opposites, or they may be partners. They may work together, or they may oppose each other. Balanced forces working in conjunction with one another may accomplish great things. Balanced forces at odds with one another go no where. It is important to notice the aim of your force in relation to surrounding energies.

 

I equally want to sleep and want to get things accomplished while my baby naps. (Hooray!) In the middle of these balanced forces, I get tiny crumbs of action accomplished that never seem to amount to anything and I am chronically low on sleep. Horrid compromise! How can I change it so that all my energy works toward the same goal?

 

Clarify my goals

Have fewer goals

Outline the steps needed to attain my goals

Organize my time better

Don’t have any fun (wot???)