Friday, 11 February 2011
When working on this study, one of the things I have found really useful is to meditate on the illustrations and listen to what the characters have to say. Because these cards were not designed for the specific system I am using, it gives them more freedom to talk. Take the couple dressed in honey-yellow from the 8 of Hearts for example. The woman sits in thought and stares into space. Wondering what is wrong, her partner comes to find her, holding out his hand -
'Is everything alright, my dear?', he asks.
'Yes', she replies. 'I was just sitting here thinking about all of this open space'
The man in gold and white turns to look about him, before gently rubbing his chin. 'Yes, there is rather a lot of it. What is it that you propose we do?'
'Well I thought we might find some way of filling it up. It does feel awfully dead like this, don't you think?
Still looking around, the gentleman agrees. 'Hmm .. what would you suggest, my love? A piano over here, maybe some plants over there?'
'Well actually, I was thinking of filling it with people'
'People?', he asks, looking confused. 'How do you expect to do that?'
The woman suddenly jumps up and smiles. As she does, the bells on her hat jingle and jangle. Walking towards her lover, she delicately and flirtily flaps her fan about her painted face. Let's have a party!' she exclaims. 'This place could do with some laughter, music and dance, don't you think?'.
The 8 of Hearts is about celebration and therefore suggests the coming together of people. It lets us know that an event is looming on the horizon and that good times are ahead. It's simply a reason to celebrate. My cousin invited me to his 30th yesterday. Even though I sometimes find big family parties difficult, I told him that I would make it as I didn't want to let him down. This is the kind of card that highlights such an occasion. It represents his plans and the good time that he wants everyone to have with him.
The 8 of Diamonds is a card of relationship. Like the 6 of Diamonds, it literally tells us that the focus of a small spread is on our involvement with someone else and suggests that the emotions provoked in the cards might not necessarily be just our own. Should a card of upset or sorrow turn up with either of these cards, the unhappiness has something to do with a specific relationship in our life. In this illustration, one figure calls on another. There is something between them and she responds.
Not all of the cards in this deck fit perfectly with the Personal Prophesy system, so they need to be kind of bent into shape. The 8 of Spades represents tears. It is not a bad thing that the people in this card are not falling on the floor in despair, since tears do not always have to be about pain - they could easily be tears of laughter or relief. In this image, with the moon resting over a sea of water, emotion is abundant. If the couple are upset, they are doing a good job of concealing it. Maybe this card is a prompt to let our emotions flow like the sea behind them, for holding it back will do us no good.
In the darker 8 of Clubs, there seems to be some sort of stand-off. The man in black holds his stick firmly and chooses not to let the woman pass. In disbelief, she holds up her fan. When something is not working or a situation is frustrated, there is no point in pushing harder. If this man is adamant that she can not enter his private members club, for example, then she'd do best to not agitate the situation any further and leave. Sometimes, we think that pushing that bit further will wear someone down, but often, it only helps to aggravate them all the more. I never learnt that with my parents when I was a teen. I never let go of an argument and never knew when to shut up, meaning that I lost out on many things I might not have if I had only given them some time and space to cool off. This card highlights the woman's frustration but suggests that it might be a time to stop pushing, since that will not help her situation.
Illustrations from The Carnival Cards by Sevarino Baraldi