Friday, December 19, 2008

Storm as High Priestess

So in my continued Marvel (tm) super-hero tarot deck, I have this new beauty to add:

Here's what I wrote about it in my tarot journal:

I'm pleased with this one, even though it ended up quite differently from my original vision. Though I always pictured Storm sitting much as she is, I'd initially thought to show her inside a ruined/collapsed Egyptian tomb (even though she's claustrophobic) -- I'd been planning to show an opening above, symbolizing salvation, "reaching beyond the veil," etc.

But this image, with the open air and pyramid behind her, just sort of came out instead, as did the finger to her lips -- as if she's saying "no talking. Time to listen to your heart." or "I've got a secret." Both of which I feel suit this card pretty well.

I gave her a crystal ball, but she's not gazing into it. This high priestess has access to divinary power, but doesn't need to use it. Similarly the "Tora" scroll is there, but not in her lap. She already has that information -- hence the slight smile that says she knows it too.

My other nods to tradition are the black and white columns. I made these Egyptian with the lotus blossom motif to reflect the general setting.

I also gave Storm her punk outfit and hair because, IMHO, she really came into her own during those (Chris Claremont?) years. She lost her elemental powers, but gained belief in her own, inner strength. Her fierce independence during this era seems, to me, to fit this card very well.

Here's a close-up:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dash, dot, dot,dash!

"Dash, dot, dot, dash. Ampersand!" is how my son Mason swears. He gets it from comic strips mostly, where the author/artist will replace choice words with dingbats. But, since he likes the sound of dash and dot, it sounds a bit like he's cursing in Morse code. (Although I have no idea what "dash, dot, dot, dash." would work out to be.)

Today, I am swearing because my dash-dot-dot car is on the blink. Actually, it decided to throw a starter wire, which is, at least, blessedly simple (I hope) to fix. It's at the garage right now, though it took some monumental effort to get it there last night. (Many calls to Triple-A, much waiting and pacing in the 4 degree weather, lots and lots of "dash, dot, dot"s from me.)

Also because Minneapolis/St. Paul has a pretty lame public transportation system, I walked about three miles this morning (uphill both ways!) But seriously, after one of Mason's school friend's parents dropped me off at my coffee shop this morning, I decided to start hoofing it down Grand toward our service station. I'm glad I did, because I was able to show the mechanic exactly which wire was the problem. As I jostled the wire, a big chunk of it actually broke off. We looked at each other for a moment. Then the mechanic says (completely deadpan,) "Yeah, that could be a problem."

Sometimes I love Minnesotans.

Monday, December 15, 2008

More Tarot Images

I ended up not very happy with my first attempt, which you can see here. Though the image remains much the same in the second attempt (below). Here's what I wrote in my tarot journal after I finished this:

"I'm not sure how much I like it, because I'd originally imagined the lab/background a lot more science-y and full of tools the Adept had already brought into fruition. I changed Reed's costume somewhat because I wanted the symbolism of white/the uncarved block/limitless potential in the Magician's hands. There is nothing this guy can't build or produce; his understanding of physics, engineering, and mechanics is so powerful. He has so conquered the intellectual world, he doesn't even notice he's casually defying the laws of physics by levitating the gizmo/wand."

"That's not the usual image (levitating), and goes a bit against the idea of the Magician as firmly grasping the wand/his tools, but he is still the conduit of the creative force, the lightening bolt of higher consciousness."

"Reed gazes at the tools of the magical realm with a cool, logical, dispassionate eye. He hasn't quite mastered magic yet, so it needs further study. All the colors (except those of the tools themselves) are "cold" colors, because I wanted to make the connection that the Magician is incomplete -- he is too much intellect and not enough heart."

"The spiral shaped doo-hickey behind Reed's right, downward pointing shoulder is meant to be the closed portal to the Negative Zone. If the card were reversed, the Negative Zone would be in the foreground, replacing the Arcane tools. To me, the Negative Zone represents genius in the service of darkness -- Reed's intellectual folly/moral blindness, intellect misused. Because Reed allowed (encouraged?) Stark Industries to imprison heroes in the Negative Zone during the Civil War (which he did because of a social political formula which predicted the future), it symbolizes genius without heart -- with dark, perhaps even evil, intent -- even though it might appear to have the best intentions."

"If I re-drew this, I might try putting Reed in a lab coat and obscuring his role as a hero, because in his lab -- Reed focuses solely on creation rather than being part of a team. Also, I am considering choosing the title ADEPT instead of MAGICIAN because Mr. Fantastic more fully embodies that term, IMHO."

And here's my second attempt:

I like this one a little better, but I'm still not fully satisfied. I do like that the infinity symbol is now part of the machinery that Mr. Fantastic has built and is almost unnoticeable, as is the fact that he's defied gravity with the gizmo. I added more cool colors to the Arcane symbols on the table as well, and this time the Negative Zone is shown open.

What do you think?

What's on Your List?

My family celebrates both the pagan/Wiccan Yule/Solstice and Christmas. On Yule, we traditionally give each other gifts that are sentimental in value, rather than commercial. It's the time for handmade gifts or coupons that say, "Good for one day to sleep in until 10 am!"

This year, the present I'm MOST hoping for for Yule is a new journal. I'm one of those writers who LOVES all the accouterments that go along with being a writer... I love pens with smooth action, notebooks without lines (so I can sketch and doodle), and anything like that. I would probably be happiest if all I got for Yule/Christmas was six or seven different kinds of pens and notebooks and journals and colored pencils. (I'm also pretty fond of crayons, too, but I currently have a lot in the house thanks to having a five year old at home.)

So what about you? What present are you most hoping for this season (and, yes, feel free to say more books by your favorite author!!)