That’s last nights work. Not quite done, I was wrong. There is that big space below the sleeper and I hate to leave such a big space empty. I had really wanted to put some snakes into this one but they just didn’t seem to fit – it seemed to , cartoon it somehow. It also looks more benevolent than I had imagined.
I was seriously thinking about making the lion black, not the mane, just the short furred areas. Then when I got down to working on it last night and drew in the sleeper back in his arms like I had originally envisioned it, all of a sudden the lion came clearly into focus! This is how he looked.
Maybe the black was my own bias in some way? That, or it is the feminine aspect which I have switched back and forth with on this one.
Ha, I just found the Hindu god I had seen an image of before that reminded me of the idea for this. His name is Narasimha. If you are interested here is an article in Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narasimha.
I am struck by the similarity to some of the other deities I thought of in working on this, in particular Kali and Sekhmet who both, once enraged in the act of protection, would go on a murderous spree until calmed or sedated by some sort of alcohol. Here Narasimha does the same and must be calmed by prayers. This article calls him ‘divine anger’.
I totally resonate with this idea (ok thats, like, totally valley girl meets new age ditz, but couldn’t think of anything better). The idea that at times when you are really in need your conscious self sleeps and a divine part of you awakens to take care of you. It reminds me of something Joseph Campbell talks about, that sometimes when a person witnesses someone else in trouble they act heroically and selflessly to save them. He thought that at those times the separation between us as individuals was lessened and we acted as something larger. Yes. Yes. Yes.
I really think the higher purpose of the suit of Wands, fire, is to be a force for good in the world, to move the world forward for the greater good, to do the work of gods will. And therein I see where my own bias might leak out. I sometimes have a hard time seeing anything called ‘god’ as being benevolent. I have witnessed so much in my life as many people do, I am aware of so much suffering, it’s hard for me. But, just perhaps there is some consciousness that really is interested in lending a hand to those in need be they human or otherwise. Something that sways the pendulum away from suffering. I find this a good end for the 8 of Wands.
And I do see the 8s as an end now. When I started I saw it as the 10s, then the 9s and now the 8s. I see the 8s as the complete manifestation, the culmination of the genius, the full realization of potential. The 9s are becoming a mentor, a magician to others doing the same and the 10s are like an overview of the whole process from ace through 10, just like an ace is the unmanifested potential, this is the manifested and completed cycle.
I noticed yesterday that my 7s are all about dogs/wolves and the 8s are all about cats/lions! Like Netzach and Hod, equal and balanced and both powerful though completely different. I wish I had thought of something like that before painting my Chariot. If you imagine the Charioteer being in Tipareth, can you imagine a Lion and a Wolf being his chariot’s beasts? It also makes me wonder about the male and female couple portrayed on many Devil cards. The Devil is 15, the sum of 8 and 7. (maybe the Devil is Reason, oooh).