Earth Wisdom Tarot Sacred Art

My Emperor is a Builder

in Gaian Tarot

I’ve finished my newest Tarot card, the Builder (aka the Emperor). Yes, the model is my sweet man, Craig, and the scene is set on the front porch of our own home, a straw bale house we built a few years ago. I took artistic license with the carving of the Green Man, oak leaves and acorns — and Craig said, “Hey, great idea! Let’s do that!” We’ll add it to our list of never-ending projects . . . 😉

I worked about 10-12 hours a day on this one for the last four days, and for most of that time I had the Democratic Convention on C-Span in the background. Again, most appropriate for the Emperor. I hope that a bit of the spirit of Barack Obama made it into this card . . .

I hope you like it and, as always, please let me know what you think!

If you haven’t visited the main Majors page lately, please do — it’s fun to see all the cards laid out in a “Fool’s Journey” way, and to see which cards I have yet to finish.

I’ll be working pretty much nonstop on the last 5 cards of the 22 Majors for the next month, so please send me lots of positive energy for the work to flow and the distractions to be seriously limited. Thank you!

And a most blessed Lammas Eve / Full Moon / Blue Moon to you all!

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • melanie Sat - Jul 31st 2004 6:41 pm

    oh, Joanna, this one is beautiful! (too) 🙂
    This deck really is lovely.

  • Sage Sun - Aug 01st 2004 1:19 am

    Great Gaian re-“framing” of this archetype, Joanna.
    Lammas Blessings to You and Yours….

  • SpiritWalker Mon - Aug 02nd 2004 6:40 am

    Sorry but The Emporer/The Builder does not have the feel of you other works in this collection. This one just does not seem to fit. I believe you have the talent to have done better. Perhaps you are rushing to meet the deadline too hard and giving up the quality in the rush. It is better to miss a deadline then produce a work that sacrafices the quality of other works in the series

  • Missy Tue - Aug 03rd 2004 5:21 am

    I disagree with the last comment… your Emperor is terrific. I will be one of the first to order your cards when they become available.
    I was wondering what the “Fools Journey” was about? Can you tell me something about the order of cards? Thanks.
    You go, Girl!!!

  • Melanie, PookaBaby Tue - Aug 03rd 2004 10:34 am

    I just took a look at The Builder – wow! I’m sure you must be thrilled with how it turned out. Interesting comment about the spirit of Barack Obama. Wasn’t his speech moving? (We’re very interested in US politics here, so we watched most of the Democratic convention this week.)
    Thanks again for sharing your talent with the rest of us.

  • Elizabeth Barrette Tue - Aug 03rd 2004 10:35 am

    Ah … lovely. I like the timbre of this card: power applied with great care. It’s very much a “husbandry” card. You did a wonderful job with all the different representations of wood, and the warm gold and brown tones. The Green Man and the spiral of stones are especially nice Pagan touches. But I also like the loose folds of the white shirt — a nice counterpoint to the discipline inherent in the other symbols of this card, suggesting that the Builder knows how to relax too.

  • Waverly Fitzgerald Tue - Aug 03rd 2004 10:37 am

    I love the Builder card. From a design point of view, I don’t think it’s as exciting as some of the more recent cards, although the very verticality of the design (which seems almost too straightforward) does go with the Builder. But I love the expression on the face of the figure. A whole new look at Craig. And a whole new look at the Builder. I’d cherish the card for that alone — a sort of seasoned maturity, focus and concentration, but also tenderness towards his work. great work, again!

  • Jan Tue - Aug 03rd 2004 10:43 am

    What a beautiful face! (and card, concept, and writeup).

  • Linda L Tue - Aug 03rd 2004 10:45 am

    Joanna, this is WONDERFUL! What a great, healing perspective on the Emperor.
    I couldn’t agree more about the energy of Barack Obama– now *that’s* the kind of “emperor” we need to get this screwed-up country on the right track. I thought the DNC as a whole was inspiring, but he was just exceptional. Gives me hope…

  • Debbie Y-H Tue - Aug 03rd 2004 10:47 am

    Your Emperor is regally unadorned! Bravo! Blessings, Debbie

  • Lunaea Weatherstone Sat - Aug 07th 2004 4:07 pm

    I think this piece is beautifully drawn, and I agree with the comment below about the wonderful expression on Craig’s face. My feeling about this card is that it’s the first of your Majors that doesn’t feel really Major-y to me. It feels very earthly and real, less archetypal and more human, certainly when paired with the Empress. The Empress feels like Mother Nature herself. I understand your symbolism, with the Emperor building the structures of civilization, but this feels more personal, that he’s not building a city, he’s simply building his own house. To me, this card feels more like the 3 of Pentacles, the skilled craftsperson working on a lasting structure with perfect concentration and integrity. On the other hand, you know how I feel about second-guessing artists! This is YOUR deck coming from your vision and mythos. (Aren’t you glad you started this comments section? 😉