III The Empress
Whatever the Priestess reveals to us, gets us wondering, and wandering. With focus and intuition, we get feeling around and we run into what Jan Wouhuysen called “a tasty bit of alright” (Tarot Therapy 1979) our first exposure to the creative spark. We were itching to get going, and now we are nourished, but the Empress works like a good cup of coffee - you are gonna get going now, and the fool in you may not let you focus.
This lady rules you in ways you have no say. She is the wild universe. Mama Earth. The twelve stars in her antlered crown reference the pre-nasa zodiac that got the ancients going. This was her dominion over the seasons. Ever fight winter? Winter wins so you better do things in step with her dance, not yours. The flowers at every chakra point (with a gem (flower) at the third eye) is her attention her whole body. WOMEN LISTEN TO A LOT OF STUFF, DUDES, TRY IT SOME TIME. All that gut feeling the High Priestess just taught us gets a language after we meet this gal. She may teach us our yoga or tell us how to eat better because she is not sitting around the palace waiting on servants to feed her, she met us in the woods looking for fresh food and water. TRIGGER WARNING - MORE ASTROLOGY: Her shield bears the symbol of Taurus as well as Venus, love and prosperity are this woman’s calling card. Her blue hair and the waterfall both represent the water that nourishes all life.
III is the number of the Empress. This fertile number is the product of the previous numbers and will give you enough legs for an easel or a tripod for your creative endeavors.
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II The High Priestess
LISTEN FOR IT
After the Magician’s show, you are a little smarter, minus a penny or two. You haven’t graduated, but you are at least ready to learn. Sooner or later, you find a noble teacher. They probably know a LOT you don’t know. Including exactly how much of it you need to know and how much you don’t. She has the wisdom of what you will do with the information she gives you.
In the first reading I received, I remember this card very clearly. It was from the Aquarian Deck, and the art for the High Priestess was dee-licious! I involuntarily blurted out “I want one!” I didn’t know if that meant I wanted the deck, or the priestess, or both. She stuns us that way when we meet her. She arrests our attention with sheer curiosity. This is our beginning of the awareness of the relationship of the opposites. Sitting between pillars of black and white on a grey slab - she studies the experience of these dualities. She represents transformation from many angles. The Snake sheds skin to grow. The Butterfly comes from the dissolution of the caterpillar. She keeps the Moon half drawn behind her curtain, because it transforms us as well, and she is trying to teach us how to handle it. Visions, dreams, intuition, and plain old gut feelings are her classroom. “You better listen to her,” was Ashley’s advice on how to find her.
II is the number of the High Priestess. Seeing light we see Shadow, and the priestess is your first teacher in how the two play.
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1 The Magician
When you first show up in Tarot Land, you are knocked off your socks pretty quickly by anyone with more experience than you. This person is the real deal. They have mastered a lot of stuff that you are just looking into. I am pretty sure that they are going to impress the heck out of you. So we have skill, and charm, and creative willpower. A good Magician keeps the awe going.
The Yellow sky is the bright solar creative energy. Using this energy as his backdrop - we experience the show of the magician. His floating islands with living plants are part of his show - we see above him is still more to do, so this is a temporary guru at best. His cape radiates warm orange and hot red inward and outward, with a silhouette of a black cloud (or ufo, depending on what software you are running) mirrored on each side, focusing attention to the hands clasped at the magician’s heart. Two extra sets of arms hold the suits of the Tarot - the sword, rod, cup, and pentacle - showing his practice of study and understanding that give him the skill level we look at as magic. The hat and beard may be facade, their presence suggests a wisdom in secrets we have yet to partake, but could something so advertised be much of a secret?
1 is the number of the magician. You start with a 1. The magician decides it must be a wand.
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0 The Fool
COSMIC POTENTIALLLLL - When you are stuck in a traffic jam on the way to work, this is the guy skipping down the road with nowhere to go. You need that money and then you will be happy. This guy is happy by default. I started this card on a trip (that was meant to be a move) up to Denver back in 2011. I thought with my freelance clients and a laptop, I was free to move about the world an do everything in happy-go-lucky style. A month later, my bread and butter clients were out of business and I was without a car in a town covered in snow. Fool incarnate.
The Starry Sky was the open galaxy of potential and the “leave-at-night” attitude of the sly fool. The dog is everyone that can’t tell the fool a damn thing. Ask the fool how they plan to get down the cliff, through the woods, up the mountains, and off to the stars. They have no answer. All the know is they don’t wanna go backwards into the dead trees of the past.
0 is the best number for this wanderer because that is probably the bank balance they will achieve their dreams with.
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Preorder the Ellis decK Large Edition (it's plastic and borderless!) before January 31st and save $25 off the in-stock price!
If you aren't on my mailing list or following me on Instagram (which you definitely should) you may have missed the prompts that I am now doing a preorder for a large format, borderless version of the Ellis decK on 13pt plastic (like the Luxury Edition). If you preorder before the end of this month (January) You'll be saving $25USD. GO ORDER THAT PUPPY
Click on this great image to find a Hi Res PDF of the Manual for the Ellis decK OR download the PRINTER SPREAD to print your own booklet.
Here are the rest of the new images I had shared via Insta & my personal FB page. These are all pages from Zanbul. I have over 80 of them drawn and it is time to kick everything into the next gear. I hope to be offering preorders on the next Luxury Edition of the Ellis decK soon (although it may have a different name than "luxury edition" it will be on plastic cardstock. Regardless, I hope you enjoy these!
Showing these on the social media means they should probably go here on the website as well. This is the first of 7 days of showing pieces challenge I was called out to do by a friend. I try to avoid just showing the finished Tarot work bc I look at it nearly every day for one reason or another and thought anyone thoughtful enough to check my web presence deserves at least a little freshness.
This is a photo of the screen (not even a screenshot) of the page I'm currently working on in the 2nd chapter of the story. No textures or anything at this point.
Available now in both paper and 13pt plastic card stock! Click here to order!