Saturday, November 25, 2006
A drawn copy of The Empress from the Shining Tribe Tarot by Rachel Pollack
The Shining Tribe Tarot (amazon.co.uk)
The Shining Tribe Tarot (amazon.com)
Whilst I drew this copy (I did it on its side so as not to be copying it as a symbol but seeing its shapes) I recalled one of the things that had upset my early identity as an artist.
I used to draw pictures to send to my Gran. My sister, who is 6 years younger, would "copy" my pictures and my mother sent both off to Gran.
My mother mentioned to me that my sister's pictures were much better than mine, though according to my sister she never mentioned that to her; this ate away at me for years.
My mother was a frustrated artist - she'd been to art school and worked as an artist for a few years but found it hard to make enough money and moved into other work before she'd even met my father.
Today as I copied someone else's art (Rachel Pollack's, the artist and tarot interpreter who invented the Shining Tribe Tarot) I realised that my sister had an advantage in copying my work that I'd not thought of before in this context - I'd been drawing from my imagination but she was doing a still life.
I've often preferred the marks I make when working from life (still or not) but am drawn over and over to work with the stuff of my imagination. And as I drew I was annoyed with my mother for not having seen this aspect of the situation and mentioned it as a reason for my sister's pictures being better than mine. (Now I doubt she'd thought of it at all - she just thought it was my sister's young naive style that was so endearing and of course that was true too.)
In the past I have experimented with redrawing my own work once sketched in a search for these marks. But it didn't work - though I will try again.
However it has worked for me in this copy of someone else's work. I much prefer my version (shown here) to the image on the card! This deck is my favourite ever set of cards so this is not meant as disrespect to them. Its to do with making my own marks and expressing myself in this image drawn from our ancestor's art.
Having drawn the card at "random" from the pack to draw it on paper I thought, after copying it and thinking of all this about my sister and my mother, that I should also check what the book says about The Empress.
As with all the cards in this pack the images are drawn from old artifacts and images. This one is based on a Romanian vase painting from over 4,500 years ago. The Mountains on either side of her are meant to be seen as wings and then she becomes a "Winged Artemis", which sounds like another angel reference to me, this time well outside Christianity.
The Empress represents the concept of Mother, and the star above her is that of Daughter. The mythical Demeter and her daughter Persephone are mentioned, and in reference to Persephone's separation from her mother and the outcome of the myth, this card also symbolises the need for separation from our parents before we can "return" to them in some sense.
Since my mother died a few years ago its her memory that I'm making peace with. My mother and the rest of my female line.
I rather like this way of working with the tarot.
This is tonight's moon that was positioned well for me to take with a tripod without leaving the warmth of the house.
According to MoonDock the moon is nearly 5 days through its cycle; daughter stage.
And I've just noticed I was warbling along on a similar theme this time last year about my mother's influence on me as an artist. And what's more the picture that inspired that posting shows a little mouse playing drums to which a stalk of wheat is dancing.
Wheat is one of Demeter's symbols.
Posted by Caroline at 11/25/2006 07:42:00 pm