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.