Look what just came in the mail! Didn't the box turn out gorgeous?
Sasha Wieczorek - 8 of Disks and Justice
Eight of Disks: The 8 of Disks has a special place in my heart because it is a card of success through hard work, a mastery of skill through repeated attempts, and a story everyone can relate to. It's the example of success many of us were shown as children, inspiring us to not give up on our dreams. Drawing this card is a reminder of that success as well as encouragement to keep going and don't give up. It can also mean skills have been honed, and soon there will be a transition from student to master. This card incorporates my own skills as a craftsman and leatherworker. I created the pentacles out of leather, incorporated gears to symbolize industry and then included tools of my trade. I used past projects to create a rich background while filling in the negative space. Six pentacles are in the shape of a large pentagram to magnify the suit, each pentacle uniquely different yet similar to the other. The remaining pentacles on the top left acts as the beginning idea of a project. The right represents a finished product. The final image reminds me of Children's Hidden Picture Books. It invites you to look closely and discover what the 8 of Disks means to you.
Justice: The traditional imagery of Justice is of Lady Justice, also known as the Roman goddess Justitia, as a blindfolded woman holding a sword and scales. Her eyes are covered in order to remain impartial and not show favoritism. Her scales enable her to weigh both sides of a situation. The sword represents the swiftness and finality in which her judgment will be carried out.
The image I created focuses on the symbols of Justice. First, the sword represents the impartialness needed to fairly judge a situation. A weapon is both unfeeling and impartial. The sword has also become a part of the scales, providing a solid base in which the strap attached to both sides can slide freely to one way or another based upon which side is heavier. The scales in this card represent an older reference, the Egyptian version of the judgment one faces at the end of life. The Egyptians believed the heart held their intellect and intuition. At the end of life, each person would have their deeds weighed by the goddess of truth, Ma'at. A feather representing truth (sometimes a statue of the goddess herself) would be weighed against the all the accomplishments and misdeeds during that person's life. The more transgressions or crimes the person committed, the heavier the heart would be. In place of a heart on the scale, I used a small point of light to represent the soul. How large and how bright that soul will be is up to the reader. Does it reflect the light of the sun? Or is it dim like a moonlit night? Does the scale seem balanced? Or is it slightly swaying in one direction or another? Do you see Ma'at in the reflection of the sword or something/someone else?
Finally, Justice means if you have been treated unfairly, had an outcome of a situation come out against you despite your innocence, or on the flip side, if you are the one who escaped consequences, Justice will be there, in the end, waiting for us all.
May the odds be ever in your favor. ;)
Bio: Sasha Wieczorek is a leatherworker who lives in Minnesota with her husband, son, and goofy little pug cross, Bullet. She creates custom leather horse tack, leather cuffs, cell phone holsters, guitar straps, backpacks, and tarot bag charms under the company name Wild Riders Tack & Leather. The pentacles in this photo and other tarot bag charms are currently for sale on her Etsy site. You can also follow her on Facebook.
Stacey Riesterer - 4 of Wands and 10 of Cups
Four of Wands: The distant call of the gull, the whisper of the waves caressing the shore and the roar of the fire in the sky all beckon to you—demanding your soul to take pause and to simply live in the moment. Do not cast your eyes towards the future, nor let your memory slip into the past, allow yourself to revel in the “NOW”. Celebrate! Raises your glasses! Make love! Take a well-earned rest, for it is greatly deserved.
Inspiration for this card derives from a personal milestone: ten years of marriage. My husband Jeff and I commemorate this moment in our lives by embracing all the good and bad that we have lived and shared together. The tide may batter us one day, but like the sun that will return and warm our skins again, our love and faith in each other continues to burn like the warming sun. Providing each other with the strength and love needed to be our best selves. The importance of taking the time to recognize that life is a marvelous gift is practically impossible to put into words. Salute! (Picture taken in Cozumel Mexico)
Ten of Cups: Lovers holding hands with permanent symbols of their union etched onto their ring fingers. Their tattooed promise to one another, a promise that can't simply be slipped off when times get rough. Though you can’t see the couple’s faces, a calmness radiates outward from their resting hands, while a spilled mess lays before them. If one stops to think for a moment…how did the paint get there? Appears as if the mess had been made by their children and the couple is happily and contently taking in the sight of the creativity that came forth from their little one’s imaginations. Usually one would be upset over a cup the has spilled its contents, however in this scenario, the cups have overflowed with love and joy.
Bio: Hello, I’m Stacey Riesterer, but you can call me Scooch! I consider myself to be a jack of all trades, master of none. Some days it feels like I’m a walking oxymoron. J I hold a degree in Business and Accounting, while currently working in the field of logistics. I grew up heavy into athletics, yet I still love curling up next to a fire with a book (or a tarot deck). I can grow a bountiful vegetable garden, yet will end up killing any flower that comes into my care. I know how to start a fire and prepare the food I’ve caught, but I still get skived out by ticks and leeches. I also love to bake my great grandmother cookie recipes, but just don't ask me to make cupcakes. I wear my heart on my sleeve and will fight fiercely for what I believe in, like the Aries that I am.
My first encounter with Tarot wasn’t long after I finally discarded any remaining beliefs in organized religion. My first reading felt like a gut punch right to a hidden part of my soul. Very emotional and raw. It took several more years, and another reading, for me to begin to understand what that initial “gut punch” feeling actually was. It was a makeup call for me, so I’ve been reading, researching and studying anything and everything about tarot ever since. Tarot has helped to center, focus and calm my mind. It has become a priceless tool in my life’s journey to be the best version of myself that is possible.
Ramona Van Cleave - Surrender and Moon
Surrender: At this stage of The Fool's Journey, we face a crisis of faith. We can't go back, we can't move forward, and we certainly can't stay the same. The only solution is to surrender our control issues, and trust the spiritual process of becoming.
In this state of liminality, we're hanging out in a cosmic waiting room, a place in-between, on the threshold. There is no struggle, as we willingly sacrifice the small self upon the tree of enlightenment in order to contemplate our higher Self. The planet Neptune and the element of Water give clues to unlocking the mysteries of this card. Here, we are asked to let go and just flow.
For my version of the Hanged Man—Surrender—I've chosen to paint the chrysalis of a Monarch butterfly. Having shed and let go of her previous form, the caterpillar crawls up the tree, and hangs upside down to await her transformation. She will shapeshift from a creature of Earth into a creature of Air, but for a moment she is neither caterpillar nor butterfly, as she rests in the contentment of her surrender.
For this painting, I've used watercolor, water-soluble pencils, and gold nail polish.
Moon: Is this a lovely dream or a scary night terror?
Magic 8 Ball says: Reply Hazy. Try Again.
Roger Waters wrote:
And all that is now
And all that is gone
And all that's to come
And everything under the sun is in tune
But the sun is eclipsed by the moon
Ancient peoples feared a great dragon was devouring the Sun during a total solar eclipse, darkening the sky, turning Day into Night, and that dragon is the Moon.
Our Moon reflects the light of our Sun, but during a total solar eclipse, She temporarily blocks His shine. For a few still moments, the bright light of Day is overthrown by mysterious, shadowy Night.
The Moon represents all that is hidden from view during the light of day, and rules the realm of dreams and poetry, secrets and fears; it is the pathway to our unconscious mind as well as that of the Collective Unconscious, and the Jungian shadow we repress and deny. If the Sun is the Ego, the Moon is the Id.
Like a hungry daimon, The Moon feeds on and magnifies our fears. If we don't do the work to integrate our shadow side, we will ebb and flow, repeatedly cycling back into the dark abyss of haunting dreams and memories.
When we find our path lit only by the light of The Moon, it is time to go within and use our intuition to separate what is real from what is an illusion.
Meditate and wait for fresh inspiration and clarity; and remember, for good or ill, shadows aren't always what they appear to be in the dark.
Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden. – Phaedrus
For my Moon card, I chose to use watercolors to paint a total solar eclipse in honor of the August 21, 2017 eclipse that will be visible over North America, where I live.
Bio: I've been studying and reading Tarot and other oracles for myself, friends, and family, for over 31 years. I'm fascinated by all forms of divination since childhood, and I love learning new things. I'm currently learning to read Lenormand! I approach Tarot from a philosophical and a psychological viewpoint and I like to dive deeply into the heart of the matter. I give readings by phone and e-mail, and I find reading at parties and other events particularly rewarding and fun. I love helping people, and I'm very easy to talk to. Write me at email@example.com, and let's talk Tarot! May the cards be ever in your favor.
Noah Boyer - 10 of Wands and Magician
10 of Wands: My version of the Ten of Wands shows the Greek myth of Sisyphus. A slave to Hades in the Underworld, Sisyphus is chained to a massive boulder--doomed to push it up the stairs for eternity. He etches his endless days on the stairs. We can't even imagine the exact number. Sometimes, we feel like our burdens will never end--much like Sisyphus.
The Magician: I chose Nicola Tesla to represent The Magician because this extraordinary scientist and inventor helped usher in the electrical revolution, including A/C (alternating current), VTOL military aircraft and radio waves. His theories were revolutionary, and unfortunately, Thomas Edison received much more credit, renown and money than Tesla. Tesla formulated his theories, produced sketches and, in some cases, built actual working prototypes (unlike Edison, who was more physical in his approach, favoring a trial-and-error method).
A voracious reader his whole life, Tesla was a brilliant man who spoke eight languages and used botanical discoveries as inspiration for some of his inventions. He was a bon vivant who enjoyed spending money on stylish clothes and rich foods. Tesla also loved pigeons, feeding them from his hotel room and at parks.
In this image, Tesla stands like many Tarot Magician images, except he's harnessing natural resources and pointing them towards the world: he knew wind and solar power could perpetually fuel the globe. In fact, because the earth is surrounding by electromagnetic fields, Tesla wanted to harness it using his World Wireless System via the Wardenclyffe tower. After construction started, investor J.P. Morgan realized that free energy wouldn't bring any profit to himself, so he stopped funding the project.
To represent the four elements/suits often found on the Magician's table, I chose:
Swords/Air = Tesla Coils. These are narrow, vertical cylinders that conduct electrical impulses, and are found in radios from the 1920s and 1930s. Nowadays, they're only used for demonstrations and exhibitions.
Disks/Earth = Metal Sphere. Tesla held one of these spheres in the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago where he allowed millions of volts to course through his body (he wore a rubber suit). The sphere prevented burning on his hands.
Wands/Fire = Glowing Fluorescent Bulb. Tesla invented this omnipresent light source.
Cups/Water = Beaker of Water on the Bunsen Burner. When Tesla viewed tap water under a microscope, he was horrified and disgusted at the sight of all the microbes. After that, he became a germophobe--boiling all water before drinking. He was also a compulsive hand-washer, especially after mingling with crowds and shaking hands.
Bio: After being homeschooled his entire life, Noah graduated from High School in June 2017. His interests include drawing, science, history, reading and listening to music. Noah has taken formal voice lessons, and has appeared in two musical theater productions (Mary Poppins and Shrek). He also plays piano, and has written seven original pieces. His inspirations include Nicola Tesla, George Gershwin, his Dad (Ron) and his Mom (Janet). Noah has two fur-brothers: his cats Stewart (a thirteen-year-old gentle orange tabby) and Qubie (a two-year old black rascal).
Macarena Hurtado - Tower, King of Swords, Death and King of Cups
Tower: I live in a country of earthquakes. When you face a natural catastrophe you immediately get back to the barest simplicity: the joy of being alive, of being together. You remember what is important in life. That's the way I see the big crisis that universe gives us to get through: you may lose a lot of things even human loss, but if you look inside yourself you'll find the energy to go on and rebuild a new life. You'll get stronger, wiser, deeper.
King of Swords: I have my own King of Swords at home, my beloved husband. He has been for me the last 16 years of my life. He’s a smart guy, a sweet nerd, he looks for the truth, objective information, justice. He's a great communicator and excellent in politics, but not so good with emotional stuff. That is no problem for him to commit. He may be judgmental, but if you talk with him and explain yourself, he understands. He’s the master of plans and ideas, a good leader, but may need someone to get the ideas to practice and make the hard work.
Death: The only thing that’s definite in this world is change. My version of the Death card is an invitation to see this new world coming. You will need to cut away the old in order to allow new things blossom. Death is an angel, because change is God's will. He speaks to us through change. You must allow death to welcome life.
King of Cups: The King of Cups is the man who fearlessly looks inside himself. He knows his deep feelings and is able to understand them. Even if he has to face troubled waters, he finds his inner wisdom and calm. He loves deeply.
Bio: My name is Macarena. I've been giving advice along with the Tarot for almost twenty years. I believe that universe is like a big puzzle where everybody is an essential piece and have a unique inner truth. That's how I understand my work: I want to help you find your own wisdom to be happy. I love human being and spirituality. I look for learning from any experience, as a reader or as a querent, as a business woman, as a wife or as a mother and make that experiences become new forms of self knowledge. I live in Santiago, Chile, with my husband and teenager son, seven dogs, a turtle and two cats. You can find me (in Spanish) on Facebook and read my ramblings and insights here and here. Or follow me on Twitter at @angeltarotista.