Earth Wisdom Tarot Sacred Art

Seeing Yourself in the Cards

in Art, Gaian Tarot

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a woman who wrote, “The figure in your Justice card looks exactly like my brother Alan, who is a doctor and whose badge number is 11. Who was your model?”  (Note:  the Justice card is number 11 in the Gaian Tarot — let’s not get into the 8/11 controversy.)  I told her that the Justice card was one of the few cards that did not have one particular person as a model.  When I drew this one, I looked at stock photos of an African-American man, a white man and a Middle Eastern man. She wrote back and said, well we are of Asian descent, but the number 11 is quite uncanny!” And I had to agree.

I can’t tell you though, how many times people have told me that a particular image I’ve done looks exactly like them or someone they know.  I was fortunate enough to sell the original of my Sea Priestess (not a Tarot image) to a woman whose husband swore it looked just like her.

It’s even funnier when people who have met me, ask me if I was the model for my Lovers card, or even the Sun card (which really makes me laugh — I don’t think I’ve ever been that thin in my life! Besides, the model is my Welsh-Canadian friend Carol).  The model for the woman in the Lovers card is my sweet mermaid sister Julianne, posing with her mate Joe (now the proud parents of baby Kaya Avalon Copia).  We both have Rubenesque curves, and we’re both redheads, but that’s about the extent of the resemblance.  But we’re happy to be taken for each other!

But beyond any physical resemblance, is the sense of recognition we often get when we see a Tarot card or other piece of “spiritual” art.  We say, “that’s me!”  Last month, Megg of “More to Me” wrote and asked if she could post the Seeker on her blog, and then she wrote a really lovely piece about it (March 18th entry):

“I love the image on this card because it speaks to me of who I am right now. I love the image of the butterfly on her shirt, the way she packed light, the way that she has guides going with her. I love that the path ahead of her isn’t easy, but it is stunning and rich and lush. But I also think that I love what else I know is there. Beside her and behind her and ahead of her there are other people walking paths of their own; packing their own loads, taking their own steps, wearing different clothes. I may not always see them, but now I know that they are there, and that is making all the difference.”

I’d love to hear any other stories you might have of recognizing yourself or someone else in one of my Tarot images or in any other deck as well.

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • Lunaea Sat - Apr 29th 2006 12:10 pm

    I’ve always thought the Sun card was you, too! (And I actually do know what you look like!) I haven’t seen myself in your cards yet, but every now and then I hear from someone who really likes that drawing of me on the cover of the SageWoman Cauldron! And of course, it’s not a drawing of me at all. The drawing of yours that IS me is still one of my favorites. Remember when you were thinking of doing my former partner and me as Tamlin and Janet? I’m always ready to be a super(size)model for you! 🙂

  • Joanna Sun - Apr 30th 2006 4:02 pm

    I just don’t get it. I don’t look anything like the woman in the Sun card! Yes I haven’t looked at the drawing of you as the Sybil in a long time; I should find it again. It was one of my best. Now of course I can’t imagine all those dots . . . pointillism is for younger eyes. I had forgotten about Tamlin and Janet . .. so many drawings in my head that never made it to paper. I will keep you in mind for a model; if you could see yourself in a card, which one would it be? (BTW I have an ongoing problem with knowing way too many white people who would make lovely models, and not nearly enough people of color; and it’s really important to me to make the Gaian deck full of people of many colors and cultures.)

  • Lunaea Tue - May 02nd 2006 8:52 am

    Now there is an interesting question: If you could see yourself in a tarot card, which one would it be? The reason so many people see you in the Sun card, perhaps, is not so much the face or the body or whatever, but the attitude. And that’s a Good Thing. If I saw myself in a tarot card it would probably be the Nine of Earth — the woman content with her solitude and her animal/bird companions — or, alas, the Nine of Air, being nibbled on by ice weasels in the middle of the night! 🙂

  • Travis Jay Morgan Thu - May 18th 2006 10:49 am

    My card would be blank.

  • Jocelyn Caven Sun - Jan 07th 2007 3:53 pm

    I think I’m a bit late in commenting on this entry, but to me the seeker looks exactly like my boyfriends mother. I sent her a link to it and she laughed and said they even had the same bottom. It’s neat to be able to connect with artwork in such a way that you can see yourself within it.