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Queen of Swords
by Cerulean

Card Meaning
Artistic Media
Artist's Bio


Air of Water Morning air after Spring rain
fresh, soft, light and liquid
Never more as clear, this morning impulse
just after awakening, head full of vivid dream.
I awaken, something falls away.
I lost my inner view.

I remember dimly
a feeling so clear and flowing
luminous connection--
drained and dull now.

I grab a robe, water, click
the radio, turn
the window shades.
If I sometimes
catch a breath,
a whisper of sweetness
can sharpen my tongue
when someone snaps me back
to the 'real world.'

At the end of the day,
I wonder. Regret, a heavy scalp
hangs from my shoulders.
Dull ache inside me, tense.
Just to breathe again
to lapse back into
my normal flow...

I turn to the outside--
the air is clear, even dark.
Moments of lucid sky
as early morning.

Symbolism & Card Meaning

I really like the "Air of Water" phase describing the Queen of Swords. Her airy, communicative nature, clear-sighted manner seem to me a modern meaning. I also wanted to pay tribute traditional European allusions to her strength, from the Judith allegory of saving her people by beheading the enemy. The reversal of the card deals on her separation and someone divorced or dealing with the sorrow of loss.

The Queen of Swords image is a combination of my mother's portrait with a more traditional tourist photograph. My mother's features reflect her heritage from the island of Okinawa. I combined my color experiments with my black and white line drawing and the Japanese dedication in front of "An Artist's Letters from Japan," the 1897 memoir from John La Farge. The calligraphy copied are supposed to represent in translation: We are separated by any things besides distance, but you know that the blossoms scattered by the waters of the torrent shall meet at its end."

I wanted to convey my personal symbolism of a clear, reflective nature with strength, and clear understanding of how to deal with separateness. In this case, the pen that drew these details have been my meditative sword in times of stress and separateness.

About five years ago I combined digitized, stamp and drawing tributes to John LaFarge (1835-1910). The fish to the left under a flowering tree is a tribute to his stained glass work. To the right, the mask of a young girl, my interpreted "Wave off of Kanagawa" and seaside village Kanagawa from the Tokkeido Road relate to my father's origins.

A little more on John LaFarge: his influence, among other 19th century Americans, started an interest in preserving folk arts and broadened international interest in Japanese art. Contemporary teachers and writers in this genre also include Ernest Fenollosa and William Butler Yeats. Teacher Arthur Wesley Dow and WB. Yeats were said to influence Pamela Colman Smith--Dow was her instructor in the Pratt Institute of Brooklyn, New York and Yeats was one of her patrons when he was interested in writing works for theater performances in New York city.

Artistic Media

Mixed media collage, pen and ink drawings.

Artist's Bio

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 tarot reading with this deck.

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