Earth Wisdom Tarot Sacred Art

Arnell's Italian LiteraTarot

in Art, Tarot

JpcarnellstarAfter finishing the Fives, I decided it was time to do something completely different  . . . so I finished up my assignment for my friend Arnell Ando‘s new collaborative Majors-only deck, the LiteraTarot.  Each card is based on a work of literature, each by a different artist. The original pieces of artwork will hang in the Museo dei Tarocchi in Bologna, Italy (can you say Road Trip, anyone??)  The deck will be published in early 2008.  I’m in good company with many artist friends, including Julie Cuccia-Watts, Lunaea Weatherstone and Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, among others.  (I especially love the starkness of Ellen’s Inanna as the Hanged One.)

Anyway . . . my assignment was the Star, and I chose to depict Galadriel from the Lord of the Rings.  Here’s what I wrote about it: 

The Star card traditionally brings us a message of hope and inspiration, and often refers to spiritual gifts and a higher purpose or destiny.  In J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Galadriel is the great Elven queen who offers sanctuary to the members of the Fellowship of the Ring in the fairy woods of Lothlorien.  She tests each member of the Fellowship in turn by searching his mind and spirit for trueness of heart and certainty of purpose.  She in turn is tested when Frodo offers to leave the Ring of Power in her keeping.  She overcomes this temptation, and when the Fellowship leaves her lands to face the growing shadow of Mordor, she offers them gifts of sustenance and of spirit. She gives Frodo a starry vial filled with the Light of Elendil and tells him, "Let it be a light to you when all other lights go out . . ."

I used a photo of my mermaid sister Nora Cedarwind as the model for Galadriel.   The photo was taken at her ordination as a priestess of Isis-Stella Maris about ten years ago, and she had that tranced-out, faraway look in her eyes that I wanted . . . of course, she doesn’t really have blue hair, white-on-white skin or pointy ears.  But she does make a lovely Star, doesn’t she?

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • Deb Thu - Jun 14th 2007 6:30 pm

    Really got that tranced out, in the otherworld look down. I’m really stoked about your work hanging in a gallery in Italy. Excellent job. (now I want blue hair!)

  • mama kelly Fri - Jun 15th 2007 6:50 pm

    in a word …. WOW
    I love the card and enjoyed perusing some of the other contributions to the deck. Congratulations on such an honor!!!
    Mama Kelly

  • Sharon Tue - Jun 19th 2007 10:51 am

    Hi Joanna! I’ve been following your blog and enjoying your artwork. I am finally getting to visit your “neck of the woods” tomorrow. I will be in LaConner for a yoga retreat. I just clicked your oracle and wasn’t surpised when I got the hermit card a the 3rd outcome card. I will be visiting Orcas Island Friday afternoon. I can’t wait!

  • joanna Wed - Jun 20th 2007 7:48 am

    Hi Sharon,
    Welcome to the Northwest! I hope you have a wonderful time. LaConner is beautiful and Orcas is of course one of my all-time favorite places. Be sure to visit Madrona Point if you can. One of my favorite sacred places. If you go to the top of Mt Constitution, wave to me — I’m one island to the east.

  • Jean Fri - May 21st 2010 10:20 am

    Gorgeous! Now *that* is what the LotR’s Star should look like.
    I love The Lord of the Rings! I have the Peter Pracownik & Terry Donaldson deck and use it even though the depictions don’t match my images or Peter Jackson’s images of Middle Earth. And sometimes I wonder if the artists actually read the trilogy.
    (Hm, that gives me an idea. Maybe in retirement I could make collages from screencaps of the movie to create a LotR tarot deck…)
    Anyway, thanks for sharing your wonderful Galadriel!