Tuesday, June 12, 2007

While wandering about the mountains yesterday, I felt the muses awaken, inspired by all the open space and natural beauty. (My muses have a much harder time at home, where they're competing with phones, laptops, teenagers...) They like it when I'm out in nature, or even when I'm on a long car trip, my hands and feet busy driving but my mind free to wander. Among the ideas generated in the fresh air and mosquitoes yesterday was this one - I want to create my own personal Tarot. And I want to invite all of you to do so as well. Therefore I'm announcing the start of:

The Personal Tarot Project

Hmmm, maybe someone can come up with a more clever name. In the meantime though, here's the idea. Once a week (I'm going to try to do one a week, although you can certainly play at your own pace, faster or slower) post a photo to represent each of the 78 Tarot cards. Do all 78 or, if you prefer, just the 22 major arcana. Go in order, follow my lead, or jump around the deck at random as you find or create a photo that fits the symbolism of each card.

Use old family photos or set the scene and take a new photo. Use simple untouched images, use Photo Shop to add or subtract or establish a mood, or make a collage or vignette the old fashioned way with scissors and glue. You can even paint, draw, or in some other non-photographic way create your own card. Just keep in mind that the objective is to use an image that has a personal meaning to you and embraces the symbolism and meaning of each card. Therefore, it doesn't have to be an image that follows the traditional Rider-Waite imagery and it doesn't have to be understandable to anyone else. Just you. This way each and every card - not some, or a few, or even most - will resonate true for you. Here are some examples of what I mean by personal interpretation:

  • Your brother is a lawyer and you've always thought of him as being able to "cut to the core of a argument" and be able to win justice with his eloquence and skill with words. A photo of him sitting at his desk (throne), might be your perfect King of Swords card.
  • Do you have a photo of a younger you, freshly graduated and about to embark into the world, perhaps with a car filled with all your worldly possessions? Methinks you've found your Fool card.
  • How about the next time you are making a big pot of chicken soup for your sniffing, coughing, aching flu ridden family, have one of them hobble out of bed and take a photo of you surrounded by your messy kitchen counter and your cauldron of medicinal magic and voila, you have a Magician card.
  • Things aren't going well in the studio. So instead of working on your project, you set up a scene with five troublesome quilt blocks tacked up to your project board, put your camera on timer, and pose beneath them looking forlorn and without hope. There's a Five of Pentacles card.
  • Photoshop all your loved ones together around a photo of your front door to create the Ten of Cups card.
You can make your cards as simple or as complex as you desire. Just upload the photos raw or trim and add a title to the bottom of each card. You choose the amount of effort and spontaneity this project requires in your life. Find symbolism in photos of real life situations or if you prefer, create scenes like I did here of me, for another photo challenge last year, as The Fool. (not sure if I'll use this card for my personal Tarot or if I'll create a new one - hmmm)

When you're all done, with the magic of printers and heavy card stock, you can create your own personalized Tarot deck.

So. Wanna play? Let me know! And spread the word. The more players, the more creativity we'll generate and the more inspired wel'll all be by each other's unique interpretations. I'll create a button (unless someone wants to submit one?) and you can add it to your blog and link back to a post listing the guidelines and links to all the participants.

(Note: I'm going to be out of town for this coming week, so you might have to be patient for the button, but I wanted to get the idea up and running.)

1 comment:

Blame It on Paris said...

What a wonderful idea! Except I do not know the tarot deck AT ALL. But I have a great idea if I can find the time. Working hard on finishing this book...