Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Nine of Coins β€” Tarots Oreste Zevola

Artist: Oreste Zevola


The little white book that comes with the deck is all written in French and says nothing of the minor arcana.


I had Martin draw this card, so it is for him, not me. He speaks French, so he and the deck should get along, one would think. Except, his initial reaction upon looking at the card was, “Ooh, scary.” It’s not supposed to be scary. It’s just how the card looks, with what seems to be some horned zombie on the bottom with a lizard across its face and two dismembered arms and an upside-down, somewhat anatomically-correct heart. Or at least, this is what I see. No wonder this is not a terribly popular deck.


The artist’s interests lie in design and primitive art with a slightly surrealist bent. This is the angle from which he approached his deck. He has little interest in the deck as an occult tool of divination. This should not stop us from using his cards as divination tools: the first decks were meant only for gaming, and yet it is from these decks that the whole system of esoteric divination was devised. And although he seems slightly interested in the cards as a game, his deck design precludes using it as such: the cards are so awkwardly long they are impossible to shuffle.


So I return to divination and the occult and whatnot. The nine of coins is about enjoying the good life and harvesting the fruit of one’s labor. This is generally a pleasant card, I think, but that the small image on the bottom seems to show the harvest as one’s own arms and heart. Maybe this is the harvest, as everything we are successful at producing is product of our arms and heart. And sometimes, maybe, the harvest seems painful and heartbreaking, because afterward we have to let it go. But when the fruits of our labor are properly harvested, we should retain our arms and heart that we might go on to use them another season.


As Martin said, “Ooh, scary.”
As I said, no wonder this is not a terribly popular deck.

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