26. Artemis and her brother Apollo, who have not spoken in millenia, will come
to you for counseling. You will discover that they were lovers as children
but broke up when Apollo killed their grandmother's pet snake. "Can't you
make it good again?" Apollo will ask you. "I'm tired of the sun. I want
the moon again."
These images are wonderful, especially the picture of Artemis and her kid brother Apollo in counseling with the mysterious golden goddess. It's been a thrilling process for me to see my strange fortunes come to life in these scenes. I probably should say something about how the fortunes came to be. Actually, it's rather timely, due to the release of the Lemony Snicket movie. I was roaming a local bookstore a few years ago and came across a packet of fortune-telling cards with ridiculous fortunes on them. They reminded me of something that happened many years ago, when I was in high school. At that time Bazooka Bubble Gum used to give a comic strip with each piece of gum, and the strip had a fortune at the bottom. One day I got one that read "Be on your guard. There are evil forces in league against you." I found it so fascinating to think of some little kid reading this.
When I tried to buy the cards in the store I found out they actually went with a Lemony Snicket book. That got me thinking about fortunes, and the idea of doing a series that would be very precise and at the same time absurd, surreal, based on what I call "the dream aesthetic." I've worked in this aesthetic for years, creating stories I call collectively "Fake Dreams." The strange thing is, now that they are written out (there are 32 of them, a Kabbalist number)and hand printed on cards (just for my personal use at the moment, while Karen and Alex develop the pictures) I've found they actually work as an oracle. But just how that is will wait for another post.
The interesting thing for us is that we find that the images don't work so well if we are very literal about them. They seem to aquire the right strength when they are more impressionistically linked to the "prophecy". This was the first thing we learned on doing the first eight/ten sketches (not all of which I will put here as again, they may change a lot, and are in any case very rough).
What's hard is finding both the image that fits the prophecy and one that will also fit into the whole set. We don't want a very "one style" solution - the prophecies draw from so many traditions and the images should too - but there does need to be the kind of coherence that we managed in Tarot of Prague. Right now, we aren't quite there...
I have less and less trouble believing that these do work as an Oracle - but I think that's because as we develop the images we come to understand the nature of the prophecies better. Prophecy is necessarily evocative rather than precise - and these cards will, I think, be very evocative indeed. I'd like to think that they might also be transformational, but we'll see (or we'll See?)
Thanks - yes, we are keeping a bit quiet about this one as yet, as it's very early days. We've been stuck recently - although we've done several cards, in our usual way we've now decided we're not happy with them. Hopefully there will be a burst of posting at some point soon though. We're gradually developing a style that's a kind of combination of drawing and collage - we redraw more and more - but sometimes it's hard to get that consistent (or consistent enough - we don't actually want huge consistency in this deck) across all the cards.
"Comingling of the very ancient and the very modern" - yes, that's a great way to put it.
Anyway, nice to see you over here!