Monday, March 29, 2010

THE LOVERS, Major Arcana Card #6

This is an excerpt from my website where I'm publishing my own pop-culture tarot deck. You can read more about it in the previous post here.

Author's Note: This card and everything written here is dedicated to my old high school friend, Tracey Coffin Mattson aka Mama Mattson, whose heart was broken the day John Lennon was killed. She's since healed it with a large and beautiful family (more testimony to the healing power of true love), but I'll never forget the day she stood in the doorway of Junior Advanced Biology with a black sash on her upper arm and tears streaming down her face. All we need is love, right Tracey? D♥



KEYWORDS: Relationship, Sexuality, Personal Values

The tarot’s major arcana cards represent universal experiences that we go through in our lives, no matter what our background or how we were raised.

Love, in it’s truest form (as opposed to ownership or possessiveness), is a magic elixir, the universe’s greatest cure all. When our chalice is filled to the brim with this selfless and unconditional nectar and we drink of it without expectation, we are transformed by true love, healed by true love, and urged to our potential. Our lives become graced with divine alchemy; we dance vital karmic dances, and discover our most genuine selves through interaction with others. The door opens and all we need do is walk through it.

This photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono done by Annie Liebovitz for the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine in 1980 epitomizes The Lovers Card. Their relationship was complicated, true, but they loved one another deeply. So deeply in fact that Yoko has iconized Lennon’s name and image as a brand for world peace. The image portrays romantic love so well, but what Yoko did thereafter reminds us of our responsibility to love one another, the entire world ... that all we need is love.

Excerpted from “Behind the Photo: John & Yoko” posted on on September 30, 2004 …

The session took place in a bright, sunny room overlooking the park," says Yoko Ono of her and John Lennon's photo shoot at the Dakota, their New York apartment building, on December 8th, 1980. "We were feeling comfortable because it was Annie [Leibovitz], whom we respected and trusted, so John seemed not to have any problem taking off his clothes. John and I were hugging each other, feeling a bit giggly and up."

"I was thinking that they had never been embarrassed to take their clothes off, that they could do a nude embrace," says Leibovitz, who was photographing them for a Rolling Stone cover to mark the release of Double Fantasy, their first album in five years. "John took his clothes off in a few seconds, but Yoko was very reluctant. She said, 'I'll take my shirt off but not my pants.' I was kinda disappointed, and I said, 'Just leave everything on.' We took one Polaroid, and the three of us knew it was profound right away." source

The Lovers card is all about how we relate to others, but it’s also about being true to ourselves. Each of the four tarot suits are present in this card symbolizing the phases we may go through when dealing with love’s many aspects. Our emotions act like a magnet carrying us toward friends or lovers. This is the blessing of the chalice, which is filled to the brim with opportunities for love of many kinds including divine, platonic, and romantic. Through the sharp edge of observation and consideration, the swords help us determine what relationships are good for us. As we contemplate sexuality, physical attraction, desire and intimacy we are reminded to remain true to ourselves. The way we respond to these thoughts and feelings is inherent in the suit of wands. Finally, pentacles are indicative of how those decisions and their subsequent actions manifest in our lives.

The pomegranate in the card’s border is symbolic of the sex act itself, inclusive of la petite mort, or the little death. Through the little death we are repeatedly resurrected, which is highly symbolic of the transformative powers of love.

In a reading …

When pulled in a reading, the Lovers card can be indicative of a relationship that is based on deep love but is not sexual in nature. Perhaps there are sexual undercurrents, but it is how we act on those currents, the choices we make and the actions we take, that matter. In this way, the card can indicate the presence of a moral or ethical choice or crossroads.

When this card is opposed by the Hierophant, we may face a situation in love that challenges our belief system. When it opposes the Hermit, it encourages interacting more with others and finding the courage to step outside of ourselves. When this card is pulled in a reading with the Empress, it may point more toward non-sexual love, but when pulled with the 2 of cups, it leans more toward romance.

Visit my art site and the Major Arcana Gallery here.
See more of this deck at

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I’d like to share my latest art project with you. It’s a tarot deck in-progress, and I’ve called it the Creating is Breathing Tarot.

What is the Creating is Breathing Tarot?

Creating is Breathing Tarot uses pop-culture imagery from any and all sources regardless of origin or copyright. I have no plans to sell this deck, and will probably end up giving the original individual cards away. Each completed card has been copy written under an Attribution Creative Commons license on Flickr, however, which I hope is the right thing to do (I’m open to input).

When all is said and done, I’ll have three separate tarot galleries on my art site One will be exclusively for Major Arcana cards, one for Minor Arcana Royalty, and the last will be for Minor Arcana Suit cards. As I do with the rest of my art, I will blog significant meanings and symbolism for each tarot card and link everything together so it’s relatively easy to find.

This began as an art journal that I posted on Flickr and Facebook. I started journaling in response to a period of artistic attention deficit that I’m probably still going through, and a bunch of inspiration I got from bloggers I know who art journal regularly. It seemed like a good way to relieve my need to create without entering into too much of a commitment, so I began making little collages. Those pieces gradually transformed into tarot cards, although I’m not sure why or how. They just … well, they just sort of happened.

Sharing the Process

Each card is a 3”x5” collage. The small size is a challenge I enjoy working with. To satisfy my creative urge and bring each small vision into reality, I need the freedom to pull whatever images I desire, without any restriction.

The Empress

First, I get closer to the symbolism and meaning of the card using a number of my favorite book and internet resources. Then, I focus on graphics, look for images, and loosely plan composition. I think the longest and toughest part is actually cutting all the little bits and pieces out using scissors and without mangling them. But that’s also part of the meditation or spiritual infusion of each card. It’s important I let spirit move through me (something an artist friend of mine in NYC would say) to allow the card to be whatever it needs to be. If I interfere intellectually with that process for some silly reason, it stalls or gets frustrating. When I assemble the collage, at last it transforms based on the needs of that assembly. I do highlights with a metallic pen, if it needs it. Not all cards do.

At the time of this writing, I’ve got a large, unfinished and beautiful piece on Francine sitting in my dining room. She stares out at me with lovely green eyes and enticingly red lips. This poor incomplete muse is a reluctant refugee of my artistic attention deficit syndrome. I hope she returns soon, demanding attention, making a ruckus and breaking rules in love.

Until then, I hope these tiny morsels of intuited tarot wisdom satisfy your artistic cravings as they do mine.


Visit to read more.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ART JOURNAL: Heavy Thoughts

One of the coolest parts of my art journal is that I can explore heavier thoughts and blend them with pop culture. This project started as a way to pop the release valve on my need to create, but it's turned into something really enriching, like a private treasure map to the hot buttons of my psyche.
Thoughts #1

Say you won't leave me ...

...and there is always Dolly.
One of a Kind

Interval #2

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I'm still working on my art journal. The quick and easy format suits me well at this point. I'm still feeling attention deficit and seem unable to focus on much else artistically. But, hey, give me some stickers, a punch, and some glue and I'm golden.

This is good. I'm enjoying it. It's satisfying.

25 Yrs
3.7.10 -- on June 30 it'll be 25 years. I moved from CT to be with Leslie after knowing her for three weeks. I remember thinking, about 8 weeks into our relationships, "I wonder what it'll be like after 25 years?" Well, here it is ... time goes by so fast.

Happiness is ...
March 5, 2010

Because of you ... 3.7.10

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I've Loved You Before

I think of how you know me,
no doubts no thinking twice.
When your smile can be so soothing,
a familiar paradise.
When there's no one else that makes me whole.
I'm never needing more
I get this feeling that I've loved you before

We were lovers in an army,
marching off for Rome.
side by side in battle,
did we bravely leave our home?
Did I hold you in my arms,
as you were taking your last breath?
Did I shout to all the gods,
that I would love you beyond death or more.
I swear I've loved you before.

Did we hide in the dark ages,
from a vengeful god above?
Were our names too unfamiliar,
to ever speak of love?
Did I cling to every moment with you,
every parting glance?
An accidental touch,
did we ever take the chance for more?
I know I've loved you before.

Have I wandered through the desert?
Have I looked to the North Star?
Have I rode the days and nights on rails,
to get back where you are?
And every time I found you,
it's your eyes I know for sure.

When I think of how you know me,
no doubts no thinking twice.
When your smile can be so soothing,
a familiar paradise.
When there's no one else that makes me whole.
I'm never wanting more.
I get this feeling.
I know I've loved you before.

I know I've loved you before
I've loved you before.

By Melissa Etheridge
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