This card illustrates a modern allegory of Judgment.
Traditional images of Judgment include a man, woman
and child awakening from tombs when the music of a
trumpet sound from an angelic host. In this card, the
man, woman and child are in different stages of
sleeping, waking and dreaming. Their expressions and
reflections of life passages and death are quieter
than the traditional European images.
Small streamers of hiragana calligraphy on the card
were traced from an Issei (first generation) pioneer.
On a festival day in celebration of ancestors, she
wrote a script from a famous poet, Lady Shikibu. The
poet echoes the Lotus Sutra passage of the "long night
adds its curse to our lot. Out of darkness, we enter
into darkness". The old meanings and symbolism of
traditional Japanese and European scenes showing the
weighing of souls for good and evil deeds on Judgment
Day can be dark and dire. Lady Shikibu added an
element of hope in her last poem, a prayer:"Now I set
forth out of darkness on yet a darker path. O blessed
moon hovering over mountain rim. Shine clearly on the
way I take ahead."
The Eastern scripts and insects from the Land of the
Dragonfly blend with the vision of the woman in
profile, the child's waking dream and the young man's
reviving thoughts. They all are being revived and
dreams of their past souls and passing are falling
away. A Salvador Dalisque image to the right is under
the calligraphy for "hovering over the mountain rim."
Certainly the humming of wings of the spirited insects
call a more tender note to the gentle sleepers than a
blast of trumpets to waken the people from mortal
Revival, rebirth, passage from death into life,
reflection of past actions. Illumination and
Each of the images and calligraphic script was
hand-drawn or altered at least three to five times.
The original elements were then scanned into a lighter
black and white design and handcolored with pastel and
Cerulean Mari is experimenting with concepts related
to Eastern and Western studies.
Go back to the project index, read the traditional card meaning, or get a free automated reading.