Through my tarot studies and activities, I have drawn several of my own Tarot cards.  Some of these have been contributions to collaborative Tarot decks.  As these cards are somewhat out of the ordinary, for now I am collectively calling them the Strange Tarot.

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Knight of Disks

from the Patchwork Tarot deck, a collaborative deck of the Comparative Tarot forum.

Knight of Disks

The Knight of Pentacles is the architect, the engineer, the surveyor, the inventor, the scientist, the student and the teacher.  One who analyzes matter(s), and through ingenuity constructs and instructs.

The Knight of Pentacles represents the element of Air (Knight) in Earth (Pentacles).  Air = mind, intellectual and intuitive processes, and communication.  Earth = material creations, resources, tangible results.  The Knight therefore represents the power of the mind to perceive / receive, integrate, and transmit / create.

Imagery:

The items on the table: the blueprint, square, compass, Vitruvian man, and geometric solids (tetrahedron, cube, dodecahedron) represent the measurement and analysis (air) of creation (earth).  The green table indicates the “playing” field of creation.  The white Frisbee on the table is a sign of creative potential, the matter that is ready to demonstrate its spirit and soar.  The Knight’s brown tunic reflects the connection to the colors of the earth.  The symbol on his chest is the green downward pointing triangle of earth, with a hint of the yellow upward pointing triangle of air.

His spiral helmet represents the slow rhythmic unfolding of creation, as found in shells, seeds, and galaxies.  The energies pulsing from and around his head indicate the power of artistic creation and analysis, which is also reflected in the spiraling patterns emanating around him.

The object of his attention or creation is the Philosopher’s Stone, the expansion of the One (circle) into the many (square), which through the union of body, mind and spirit (triangle) becomes One again, and again, and again…

Divinatory meaning:

Upright: Analysis and insight, creative new ideas, turning ideas into reality, learning and teaching

Reversed:  Pessimistic, overwhelmed, lacking motivation

Artistic Influences:

“Fra Luca Paciolo and Pupil”, painting by Jacopo de Barbari (1495).  Paciolo was the great Renaissance teacher of sacred geometry.

“The Vitruvian Man”, by Leonardo da Vinci (c. 1492) – depicting the divine proportions in man.

Illustrations of “The Creator” and “God the Geometer” from the Bible Moralisée (c. 1250).  These illustrations depict God or Christ the creator, holding a compass in the work of a Divine Architect who uses sacred geometry to unfold the dimensions of a beautiful cosmos.

Alchemical illustrations of the Philosopher’s Stone, by M. Maier, “Atalanta Fugiens” (1618), and the Pythagorean tetractys, by D. Stolcius von Stolcenberg, “Viridarium Chymicum” (1624).

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2 of Disks

from the Second Aeclectic Community Tarot deck:

2 of Disks, Third Aeclectic Community TarotThe 2 of Disks (or Pentacles) is here represented as a cell in the dynamic process of division or duplication, called binary fission or mitosis. Specifically, this card depicts the telophase, in which the original cell separates into two cells, each with the same genetic information. What was one cell are now two. These cells may then develop into different forms via the process of development.

Above the two disks is the source of infinite light. Surrounding the two disks is the lemniscate, or infinity symbol. The process of division generates waves of potent energy around the 2 disks.

Symbolism

The vision for this card came when contemplating that most simple creature, the Amoebae. The amoebae reproduces by dividing itself into 2 amoebas, which each then repeat that dividing process ad infinitum over the millennia. Thus, all amoebas today contain within them the essence of the original “prime” amoebae. Likewise, we all contain within us part of the original creation.

The dividing cells/disks represent the kabalistic spheres of Kether (1) and Chokmah (2) on the Tree of Life. The One (the infinite point, the Source) divides and becomes Two (the line, the Father). The Two, pulsing with creative energy, generates waves of becoming, indicated by the yellow pulses arching on the path towards the third sphere, Binah (the Mother). Clouds of white energy bubble and spurt to the right of the disks, symbolic of the creative seed of the father.

In the bottom center of card title is the alchemical symbol for Earth, representing the material world traditionally associated with the suit of disks or pentacles.

Card Meaning

The 2 of Disks depicted here has some similarity to the standard Rider-Waite card, with the lemniscate looping around the two pentacles, and the general aura of energy. However, this 2 of Disks emphasizes the dynamic, joyful, almost explosive power of creation.

The 2 of Disks represent the Infinite dividing Infinitely. The One becomes the Other. Within the Other is the One. The One divides in order to experience Life. Every part of creation, no matter how simple or how evolved, contains at its core the One.

When meditating on this card, know that you are never separate from and always a part of the source of Infinite Light and Life. You exist to continue the creative expression and evolution!

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Wheel

from the First Aeclectic Community Tarot deck:

Wheel, from First Aeclectic Community Tarot

The primal shape and energy of the Wheel drew me into its vortex. The Wheel has a cosmic scope that transcends time and place, yet it is found in infinite varieties in both the macrocosm and the microcosm. It is a universal vehicle of change, and I’m here to enjoy the ride!

The Wheel of Fortune reminds me of the only constant in the Universe: Change. What goes around comes around. Existence is a series of changes, which provide the energy and impetus to turn the Wheel so that the next phase can be experienced. We must travel on the Wheel to experience the journey, and to evolve. The only way off this ride is either to let momentum fling you onto yet another wheel and another track, or to go through the center of the Wheel, the hub which does not turn, the eye of the revolving storm. To return to the center is to return to the Eternal Source, to join with the One and the Zero. (The Wheel = X = 10 = 1 + 0).

The design for the Wheel card started out with a vision of an infinite number of wheels interconnected throughout the universe, like cogs in a cosmic clock. The turning of each wheel interacts with the cogs of adjacent wheels, each subtly influencing the movement of the others, like spiral galaxies exchanging star matter as they graze each other in a cosmic dance. The central wheel in this card represents the wheel of our Earth sphere, with twelve spokes indicating the twelve signs of the Zodiac, the twelve months of the year, and the twelve hours on the clock. This wheel is blue to symbolize the Blue planet, the birthing waters of life. At the center of this wheel is the hexagram, the conjunction of the macrocosm and the microcosm. The downward-pointing triangle signifies the Divine descent into matter, and the upward-pointing triangle signifies the yearning to return to the Divine. At the center of the hexagram is the Eye of Shiva, the InnerEye which when opened destroys the universe and makes all One.

At the top left is the enigmatic Sphinx, intersecting the Earth wheel like a strange quark in a particle accelerator collision. The Sphinx represents the mystical goal: “To know, to will, to dare, and to keep silent”. As in the Rider-Waite deck, the Sphinx is ascendant at the top of the Wheel. The Sphinx is older than recorded time, yet even its potent mysteries eventually erode and evolve into other forms.

At the bottom left is a spiraling DNA strand, indicating the force of creative evolution as it weaves its way through the universe. This spiraling strand is reminiscent of the snake on the Wheel in the Rider-Waite card, although instead of the destructive power of Set/Typhon (Egyptian god of chaos, storms, and the desert) here it represents the creative possibilities of Life.

At the bottom right is the Tao, in the form of two entwined galaxies, each providing essence to the other. The Tao symbolizes both the unity and the individuality of manifestation. “Everything comes from the Tao and returns to the Tao. She is no thing, no where, yet everywhere and everything. She does not know you, yet she touches you everyday.” The fiery Tao is somewhat akin to the red jackal-headed Anubis (Egyptian god of the dead) on the Rider-Waite card, which represents rising, life-renewing force.

At the top right is the planet Jupiter, which has been attributed to the Wheel of Fortune. “The Great Red Spot” on Jupiter is one of our solar system’s most famous “wheels”, always turning, always changing, awesome in its rotating force and splendor.

The borders on the card flow from green Earth (bottom left) to red Fire (bottom right) to blue Water (top right) to yellow Air (top left), representing the four primal elements. The title on the card echoes the circular shape and function of the Wheel, with the “X” reminiscent of an atom and its spiraling electrons.

Card Meaning

The Wheel indicates necessary change, and the interconnectedness of forces that lead to and from change. To evolve, one must accept and embrace change. You may be on the brink of a new endeavor or development: Go for it!

Reversed, the Wheel symbolizes a stubbornness and reluctance for change. You are stuck in a rut, but you may be satisfied with where you are. This may also indicate an intolerance of the beliefs and views of others.

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Knight of Swords

from the First Aeclectic Community Tarot deck:

Knight of Swords, from First Aeclectic Community Tarot

A determined Knight stands in the clouds, his sword held firmly and resolutely in front of him, crackling with creative energy. In his left hand a scythe sweeps a deadly path, cutting through all opposition. With the sword the Knight introduces new ideas, and with the scythe he clears the path so that these ideas can take form. To the right and left appear strange formations, growing and evolving through the Knight’s creative force.

On the hilt of the Knight’s sword and on his boots appears the alchemical symbol for Air (upward-pointing triangle with a horizontal line running through it). The Winged helmet of the Knight and the base of clouds also show the Knight’s affinity with Air. The Knights are traditionally assigned to the element of Air, and so is the suit of Swords. The element of Air is attributed to Thought/ Mind/ Ideas. The Knight of Swords, an ‘Airy being’ in the realm of Air/Thought is thus driven by the pure strength of thought.

Card Meaning

Generator of Ideas. Putting ideas into action. Having conviction in your beliefs and ideas, regardless of the opposition. Be prepared to defend what you stand for. Full speed ahead.

Reversed: “Air Head” – acting without thinking. Building a structure or taking a stance without a strong foundation.

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Work in progress:

Chariot

Strange Tarot - Chariot - Draft - 1/4/2009

Strange Tarot - Chariot - Draft - 1/4/2009

Hanged Man

Strange Tarot - Hanged Man

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2 Responses to “Strange Tarot”


  1. 1 AJ
    March 9, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    The Knight of Swords has always been my favorite court card but let’s be truthful here…All 78 are my favorite card.


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