Saturday, February 18th, 2012

The Faeries’ Oracle — 44. Lys of the Shadows

Brian FroudArtist: Brian Froud

Author: Jessica MacBeth


Interpretation: Healing the shadows. Addictions. Bondage. Self-esteem.


I have now been keeping this blog for a (mere) two and a half months. Done with illustrating cards, the next step is to write about card interpretation and illustrative thought-process. I need to reveal those things which remain occulted in my mind. Today I am using Brian Froud’s Faeries’ Oracle. I had some issues with the deck last time. With that in mind, I ask this pack of fey, “If the goals of this blog are to create a daily entry about a one-card tarot reading in order to facilitate the writing of a book, what is the purpose of reading from non-tarot decks, decks that do not inspire creative writing, and decks that I simply do not enjoy looking at?”


“Good question,” says Lys of the Shadows. I like her.


Lys deals with addicts. She tries to help people develop true self-respect and self-esteem by inspiring practical help for those who need it most. “Take a shower. Brush your teeth. Go out side into the sunlight,” she says. Taking care of one’s self is the most basic sign of self respect. This may be obvious to most of us, but for those living in the shadows of society, they are not easy actions. The best time to deal with addiction is before it happens, when action is merely habit. Lys is brisk with me. “Look at your habits,” she says.


I have this habit that I generally do what I say I am going to do— in general a very good trait. I also have a habit of trying to distribute my attentions fairly— again, not a bad thing. Lest you think I am a conceited self-righteous snot, I acquiesce to having a slew of bad habits not relevant to this discussion.


From the start I have wanted to write a book to go with this deck. Each of my major arcana cards began as a terse aphorism of my own divination. The book will not be the kind that retells the same-same tale of what each card means. I want the book to be one of poetry and short story— an amusement in and of itself. I want to show how my world-view is portrayed each image. I never wanted to change the tarot deck. Its mythological history is too amusing for that. I merely wanted to give old cards new, vibrant personality.


Thus, I have illustrated the Tarot of the Mythology of Me. Mythology becomes absurd when one takes it too literally, too seriously, or too fundamentally. I have spent my life admiring and amused by the mythologies of others, slave to none, faithless to anything outside my own imagination. Endless and beginningless a thing as mythology is, it is liable to take on each aspect of everything around it. Wading through ancient mythology requires hip boots, mental stamina, and a sharp machete.


In asking my question of Lys, I ask for permission to streamline the writing of the Book of the Mythology of Me. She says: “Eliminate what you don’t need. When something has ceased to serve its function— when action no longer brings you closer to your goal— move on.” Thus, with her blessing, I drop this deck from my lineup. I will do likewise with others that cease to serve me in the future. My goal is to write a cohesive, amusing book. These entries are my notes.

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