This past month I have decluttered, dismantled and destroyed “Studio Doom” to make way for the new working space replete with a growing project list stretching well into 2016.
The first of these projects is a series of complete Tarot decks which we will offer shortly.
Rather than create only one particular “theme deck,” we’ve drawn up a series of templates from which to work into the basic Tarot structure from a variety of angles. This was inspired by the prolific Tarot output of E.J. Gold in which he readily demonstrated how ANY subject could be easily integrated into the underlying system of the cards. Such approach is along the lines of Eliphas Levi’s bold declaration that, were all libraries and vehicles of learning destroyed, one could still access that knowledge pool through use of the Machine known as Tarot.
Of course, Levi wished to emphasize that one also needed the proper KEY to unlock that Machine. Not unlike a car, really. You’ve got to get the door open, turn the ignition and then drive with skill to the destination of choice.
This approach not only applies to learning and working with any given Tarot deck but CREATING decks, also.
The first offering will be the HOODOO PILOT BARDO TAROT, mapping out a Gnostic Worldview within 78 Chambers of Transformative Confrontation. We’re regarding this particular Tarot as the “HP Bardo Tarot v. 1.0.” This is because-despite having 78 spaces in which to give fom and expression to an idiosyncratic mythos-the total symbolic environment of the Hoodoo Pilot Universe is much more extensive, sprawling and alive than a single set of cards can convey.
This Tarot, and hopefully all others, will be prepared with a limited edtion chapbook giving description and comment on all the images.
The second Tarot to be offered will be the LILITU LUMINA TAROT created by SpaceBuddhaa Ze & Kyle Fite. This gallery of images emerges from very deep and intuitive workings with Lilith. It embodies a very unconventional approach to both Tarot Imagery and Lilithian Studies. Rather than assembling available lore linked to the “Queen of Hell,” this explorative deck sidesteps “the story” as it has been transmitted through prejudice and patriarchal fear of the feminine. What has emerged is a very mystical and devotional work, expressed, as it were, from the “other side.” The title of the deck should indicate that this is not going to be a series of “Goth” images-but an expression of what we regard as THE LIGHT OF LILITH.
We will also be offering the BARDO BEAR TAROT. This has been long time foreshadowed by the development of Bardo Bear as a Presence in artified coin flips and limited edition prints. BARDO BEAR is readily met as a Primary Persona in E.J. Gold’s Spiritual Gaming Environment at http://www.urthgame.com. Our work and experience with this figure has given rise to a very unique post-modern archetypal housing for a particular Angelic Spirit. On one hand, this is to be a very fun set of images, a whimsical “Teddy Bear Tarot” which should deight many, a collection of cards which could be gifted to any youngster. On the other, BARDO BEAR is serious stuff and a True Guide in the In-Between Spaces. We plan to create this as a truly “Talismanic” deck, each one packaged and sent with a fully activated BARDO BEAR coinflip, a connection point between the deck and its Angelic Spirit.
The tentatively titled ATLANTEAN HOODOO TAROT, based in years of study and experience with the work of Michael Bertiaux, is also nearing completion. This set of images springboards from the LUCKY HOODOO Grimoire of the Voudon-Gnostic workbook, expressing the “Fool’s Journey” through visions of the Hoodoo Spirits and Loa as manifest on the Path.
There are several other Tarots in the works, including one set I have been thinking of for YEARS: THE LIBER AL TAROT. I had wished, for a long time, to do a small drawing for each and every verse of the BOOK OF THE LAW and display these in a gallery setting. Recently, en route to Canada via the Friendly Skies, I felt a strong impress that these small images should be fit into the Tarot schema. This will be nothing like previous “Thelemic” decks and will be a much more raw and expressive take on the energies of select verses.
One of my favorite interpretations of the word “Tarot” is “Royal Road.” This fits nicely with Voodoo’s “Grand Chemin” (The Great Path). We’ve alluded to the Fool’s Journey and this approach to Tarot sequencing is of especial relevance to the experience of the Voyager in this Spacetime Bardo Journey. The core idea here is that the Tarot is not a single deck of cards with an orthodox set of interpretations to be used for fortune-telling or even simple meditation. Rather, Tarot is a PATH, a SADHANA-or Spiritual Practice. It’s never “on the shelf” and your feet are always on the ROAD, even as it shifts and morphs with radical unpredictability.
We will be announcing other decks as well as writing more on work with Tarot in future blogs, the chapbooks and other venues. It is a field of activity which is immediately open to ALL and yet inexhaustible in its deepest levels.
If you’re HERE in this seeming 3-D Universe and reading these words, you ARE the Fool of the Tarot, the PIlgrim on the Path. You may have forgotten but you made these travel plans a long time ago. Your hand was stamped at the door to a club where the situational sensorium often obscures remembrance of HOME. The Adventurer bcomes a Customer, allowed to dance both day and night as long as the wallet is full. For lack of that, there are plenty of jobs in the city to raise revenue for another night in the Ballroom of Blindness. Robot by Day, Android by Night.
Unless it’s the other way around.
There is one Tarot deck, the name escapes me, which titles the Fool card “The Idiot.” Depicted is a figure in business suit with loosened collar, bottle in hand, drunk and shaking it down on the dance floor.
Keep it going until you’re dead.
Or remember that ticket in your back pocket, the one with which you board Tarotplane Flight 78…
…and head for the Gate!
A different sort of adventure awaits the Fool on this trip. The bottle is swapped for a bag and the Quest for Levi’s Key begins. That Key opens the sewn satchel, revealing the Tools of the Magician. One is no longer “being done to” by the World, led off cliffs by maps meant to manipulate the masses. Maya is made malleable and one grows further into the Mystery from which the Alchemical Arte is approached.
We hope this series of Tarot being crafted serves this end and inspires the viewer to regard their own life-with its sundry symbols-as a living landscape whose link to the Royal Road is only the turn of a card away.