First Earth Tarot: March 2015

Andrew Kyle McGregor, owner of the Hermit’s Lamp shop in Toronto, Canada, has spearheaded a project called “Triumph of Life Tarot.” The aim of the project is to bring together 78 artists to create and donate art for the cards, and eventually to sell the deck and donate the proceeds to cancer research foundations.

Most, if not all, of the participants have been touched by cancer in some way, directly or indirectly. I decided to participate, as cancer has certainly touched my family (my step-father is recovering from prostate cancer, one of my aunts suffered from breast cancer, my grandmother had uterine cancer, and my husband’s brother and father both died of aggressive lung cancer). It’s a destructive disease that impacts far too many people in our world. Below is the explanation of my process of creating my card for the deck. If you want to keep up with the development of this project there is a Facebook group, and as things come to fruition and are available for purchase I’ll also post updates here!

6 of Disks – Triumph of Life Tarot
O. Destrades

  This is what I’ve created for the 6 of Disks, acrylic on canvas. First I will discuss color scheme, and to some extent the symbols, and then I’ll discuss my thoughts/process: The 6 of Disks is associated with the Moon exalted in Taurus. Both the Moon and Taurus are also associated with color scales (Moon – blues and silvers; Taurus – red/orange, brown, indigo) so I’ve represented these scales throughout the image. Taurus colors are noted in the candle and the color of the woman’s skin (the earthy, material elements), and the Moon in the blue and silvery qualities in the sky and moon itself. In Thoth the keyword for this card is “Success” – manifesting things on the material plane. In RWS this is a card of reciprocity, give and take, receiving assistance, guidance, generosity. In this image a woman sits next to an ancestral altar – a table covered with a white cloth, bearing a lit candle. She looks up at the moon in a deep blue sky. 6 comet-like rays descend toward her. In my spiritual/religious practice, ancestor-veneration is integral. Our ancestors and loved ones that pass on don’t remain in the past; they are often here with us in the present. We welcome them into our lives, request their help and guidance, and honor them with physical offerings of candles, glasses of water, and even foods and drinks that they enjoyed in life. Even though we lose physical touch with our loved ones when they pass, they are always available to help support us and aid us in our physical lives, whether via the feeling of companionship, the sense of being grounded in family or spiritual heritage, or even through mundane-yet-important experiences such as looking for work opportunities. We request their help and open ourselves up to receive it. In this image the woman is alone, but surrounded in a golden glow representative of an ethereal embrace. She is aware of her ancestors, and they are aware of her. She’s looking for a connection, her altar candle is burning, and all she has to do is ask. These comet-like rays fall upon her, representing those sparks of insight, gentle nudges, whispers from our departed loved ones as they support us and point us in the right direction on our earthly path. I asked my brother-in-law Manuel, who died of lung cancer, to give me my card for this project. Mañe (short for Manuel) was diagnosed with aggressive cancer and died before he was able to leave Cuba and reunite with us in the USA. It was one of the biggest blows to my husband (and to Mañe) because they were like soul mates. Mañe is still a part of our lives. We talk to him, honor his memory, ask him for guidance and assistance and clarity, request help with centering ourselves on our paths in order to achieve success in our lives. One story I can tell: After a year of asking for help conceiving our first child together (my husband was hoping for a girl), Mañe came in a dream and handed my husband a baby girl. The next day I took a pregnancy test and found I was indeed pregnant, and when all was said and done, it was a girl. The relationship that we have with Mañe felt like the perfect example of the energy of the 6 of Disks united with the questions posed by this project.

Our give-and-take crosses paths at the ancestral altar, and positively impacts the physical manifestation of success in our lives.