The Artist's Concept
In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Princess of Swords brings to my mind the idea of developing understanding. She is about trying rightly to separate and classify the components that make up the World and the Universe. She is about analyzing, looking beneath appearances using all the tools at the intellectís disposal. It is also about tabulating and communicating the data we have gained from our probing and analysis.
My design for the card is based on suggestions from the works of Tarot commentators Mary Greer, Jane Lyle, Joan Bunning, Maxwell Miller, and Godfrey Dawson. The young child wielding a sword represents the as-yet-undeveloped intellect, or understanding. Still, she has within her grasp the means of penetrating all the secrets of heaven and earth. The sky and rows of clouds represent the airy nature of the Swords suit, and connote as well the airy medium through which we communicate. The columns of numbers symbolize communication as well, especially of scientific data through number, the pure language of reason.
A starry tableau in the upper left represents the mysteries of the macrocosm; the radio telescope is a tool that extends manís ability to probe the vast reaches of the greater Universe. Likewise, the living cells pictured in the lower left represent the microcosm, and the microscope portrays the intellectual tools, or swords, with which we explore this realm.
Developing understanding. Curiosity. Analysis. Using the Scientific method. Penetrating through to the truth or essence of a thing or situation. Mental skill, ability to communicate ideas. Can also signify receiving news.
Computer-generated collage, using Adobe Illustrator and PhotoShop.
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