Janet Boyer - Hermit, Strength, Ace of Swords and 6 of Cups
Hermit: I love stained glass, and I've wanted to make a circular, symbolic Tarot deck done in that style for some time now. I started making this Hermit card a few months ago for that project, but I put it to the side. When The Hermit card opened up at the last minute, I jumped on the chance to finish coloring the image to use for this deck. (If I ever DO make a stained glass deck, I'll crate a new Hermit card). I can't draw worth crap, so I asked my son, Noah, to draw a lantern for me--showing him some examples of what I had in mind. Then, I asked my husband, Ron, to draw lines to look like stained glass. (I used watercolor paper). Then, I colored the image using gel pens (some, metallic and glitter).
For the lantern, I chose browns to represent copper and brass--and gray, white and black to represent silver, brushed nickel and iron. These metals symbolize how we endure when our "mettle" gets tested. Forged and polished amid the challenges of life, those "metals" can be beautiful, tough, utilitarian or malleable. What constitutes our mettle/metal? Our values—which not only guide our choices and responses, but also gets us through even the most demanding circumstances.
I chose red, orange and yellow inside the lamp to represent our inner flame: fueled by personal meaning, passion and love, these fires light our way when times get dark. These colors connect to the 1st Chakra (material world and tribal identity), 2nd Chakra (power, control and independence) and 3rd Chakra (self-esteem, self-confidence and personal responsibility).
I was planning on coloring outside the lamp in blue, green and purple--but the green didn't feel right. I wanted blue because it's connected to the 5th Chakra (throat), which governs communication, personal expression and creativity. Those of us with strong Hermit energy find it tempting to withdraw from humanity on a regular basis--but if we happen to ALSO be called to bring Light to mankind, then we must go outward...being "in the world, but not of it". Blue is also the color divinity, as well as calm.
Purples and pinks insisted on emanating from the center: Violet connects to the 6th Chakra, also known as the 3rd Eye, which relates to the mind, intuition, insight, self-evaluation, openness to ideas and wisdom.
Pink, along with green, connects to the bride between the lower and upper chakras: the 4th Chakra of the heart. Perhaps green bowed out this time because he knew pink had the vital Heart Chakra already covered.
Strength: Barbed wire, originally invented to contain cattle, can cause severe discomfort or serious injury when trying to pass through or over. It was the most inexpensive way to keep fence them in. Barbed wire was eventually used in combat, especially in front of trenches; you can read about its fascinating history here. In contrast, another type of strength is shown in this image: a fully intact spiderweb. While spiderwebs aren't really as strong as steel as often believed, the tensile strength (the greatest stress a material can withstand before breaking) is comparable to steel. Not only are spiderwebs strong, they are beautiful--making their way into art, sculpture, fashion and design of all types. When this card comes up in a reading, ask yourself: How am I like barbed wire? What’s “fencing me in"? What needs "fenced out"? Or how am I like a spiderweb? What am I "catching"? How am I delicate--yet strong?
Ace of Swords: A balloon resembling a light bulb rises into the air, while a sharp needle points upward. Sometimes, the Ace of Swords comes in the form of a bright idea—a “light bulb moment” of recognition and clarity. It can be lofty and fleeting unless it’s acted upon. Sometimes, our ideas (and ideals) don’t hold up well to logic or reason—so the needle portrays the other side of this card: having our “bubble” (or balloon) burst with the truth.
Six of Cups: Old photographs are strewn about a table, as someone drops an old-fashioned raw sugar cube in cup of brown liquid--splashing droplets everywhere. For the Six of Cups card--often correlated with nostalgia--the past creeps upon the present, touching everything. Memories swirl about--some good, and some bad--often infringing upon present-moment awareness.
Bio: Hi there! I'm the Creative Director for the 2017 International Tarot Day Deck. It just so happens that the Coffee Tarot: Grande Edition (made with my artist husband, Ron) is now LIVE on Kickstarter! Click here to watch a video, see cards and consider backing our project. I’m also the author of Back in Time Tarot (Hampton Roads), Tarot in Reverse (Schiffer Publishing), Naked Tarot: Sassy, Stripped-Down Advice (Dodona Books) and 365 Tarot: Daily Meditations (Dodona Books). With my artist husband, Ron, I'm the co-creator of the Snowland Deck and Coffee Tarot—and with our teen son, whom I homeschooled his whole life, the Boyer Charming Oracle and the Animal Totem Charms Oracle. I'm widely published in print and online magazines, and am also an Amazon.com Hall of Fame Reviewer. Come visit me at JanetBoyer.com.