There’s my first study for the 8 of Cups. It feels weird to show anything this early in the process, since most of it ends up trashed, but it’s been kinda fun finishing the evening with a scan and review of what I’ve just done.
I noticed as I was doing this that it looks a lot like a Yod……understand too that I already have a completed image in my head so I know the big shapes that are going to stand out. So I immediately went to look at the other 8s and do you think the hair on my neck pricked up when I put together the upside down Vav in the 8 of Disks and the Heh in the 8 of Swords? Yes it did:) I don’t read too much into it as I know I’ve gotten really good at drawing (on, out) things which are subconscious. I still think those kinds of thing are really cool though! And the last Heh, the shape will be an upside down one, the arms of the lion god holding the person! 2 upside down letters, do you think that is the twist in the lemniscate?
I had one specific meaning when I started with this, that the lion had given his life to keep someone else warm; but as I was drawing it all kinds of meanings were coming to me – I think this is going to be a card with many rich and ancient implications. These things are just so ingrained in us!
I’ve been thinking lately not just about genetic memories but something more along the line of the jobs all of our cells and individual little parts need to know and do and how that fits into our mythologies. For example, cell mutation, it is so similar to our stories…..I saw Wall-E the other day, a kids movie about a robot and it followed the hero’s journey, which is starting to get old in movies, really, they need to get a little innovative….but anyway, the way this one was done just so resembled a cell mutation to me and in his case it was to the benefit of all. I am very intrigued in the idea that men and women may have different internal symbolism. I think we do. I think it shows up in tarot decks, in the way we illustrate them and maybe its one of the things that confounded e with the Thoth and RW when I first started, they seemed off to me – and then if you swing to the other side of the spectrum you have the very feminine decks and I just felt there was room for something in the middle. I don’t know if I was right or even if I was successful in my aim in that regard, but its still a very interesting idea to me. So, I was thinking that perhaps life does not begin at conception even, but before then, as an egg and sperm are created. My understanding is that sperm don’t live long and new ones are constantly being made while a woman’s eggs are there from birth, one of the reasons they become less viable as we age, because those eggs have been around a long, long time.
Ok, this is a big drift, but just to throw this in the mix, I had this crazy idea that perhaps they are 2 individuals, the cell and the egg, and they never ‘merge’ as we imagine, rather, they become a chimera. And the dominant sex becomes the consciousness and the less dominant one becomes the subconscious and each has their job but they communicate between each other through dreams and emotions. Imagine, your subconscious, a true anima or animus, a sentient being that isn’t you but is in the co-pilot chair of your body.
Anyway, I do picture their directives being very similar to a lot of our myths. These are just thoughts and not much more.
I don’t think its a far stretch, though, to think that men are genetically predispositioned to have different instinctual behaviors and drives than women do. why not? And would not those things manifest as a different set of internal symbolism? I think in many ways Tarot is the story of a persons life and men and women have a different way to go about life. I think it really shows up in cards like the Chariot or Hierophant.
Anyway, this card has really brought up a lot of thoughts about gender and I am going to try as hard as I can to keep it somewhat genderless because I think that opens it up to a lot more meanings. Unless I think of a good reason not too, but I haven’t yet.
I think people will probably project a gender onto it depending on their need – and I know either gender I paint – I tend to draw androgynous people anyway, I don’t know why, I guess it’s attractive to me.