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Home Forums Tarot II – The Mystic — Fireflies Major Arcana; Procreate; Me Reply To: II – The Mystic — Fireflies Major Arcana; Procreate; Me

  • JuniperFrost

    February 4, 2021 at 2:53 pm

    I’ve been commissioned to create a Major Arcana deck and am using this opportunity to explore the Fool’s Journey through my own creative imagining/interpretation of a group of psychopomps I’ve called Fireflies, while simultaneously reworking the cards through de-gendering and distancing from Abrahamic/Western ideologies.

    I am trying to stay close to the RWS imagery and symbolism, though I am drawing a lot of inspiration from other sources as I tweak and deviate from their dependence on Western and Abrahamic religious symbolism and ideologies.

    I grew bored with the tired old imagery of Death the Reaper, the Harvester. It is a violent figure and obviously intended to instill fear about something that comes as naturally to every living thing as living does: death. I decided to reimagine Death personified through a collective symbolism I named the Fireflies, psychopomps figures who do not reap or slay or cause death but rather guide one from life into death, and beyond. Each Firefly is simply an aspect of a singularity, a persona, and so fits well with the depictions being used in the tarot, each embodying certain aspects of the Fool’s Journey.

    Death doesn’t care what your sex or gender is. We all die the same. The Fireflies have no gender or sex, they are simply symbolic of a transition from life into death, dreamlike entities who coax and guide those going to their final rest. And if I were absolutely forced to gender the deck then I would queer the fuck out of it as a last resort attempt to avoid the super-saturated hetero-binary.

    Being that the High Priestess is steeped with both gender identity and religious symbolism, I’ve had to rework quite a bit of this card.

    Symbolism and imagery used in this card:

    * The Mystic sits on a crescent moon, a symbol of hidden truth being partially revealed.
    * The Star of Inanna at the chest of the Firefly signifies connection to the deity, and her wisdom and mythos. One could easily interpret the Mystic Friefly as one of the sexless being sent by Enki to rescue Inanna from Kur.
    * The staff with the recently snuffed candle symbolizes illumination hidden and kept secret, appropriate for the guardian of wisdom and knowledge.
    * The crown or halo of stars along with the closed tome are further resentation of wisdom and secrets.
    * The Mystic is presented on a divided background of a starry ngith sky and an interwoven knotwork of lines, circles, spots, and spirals, dotted with occasional symbols of crosses, whorls, half moons, and etcetera. Both are meant to be symbolic of simplicity and complexity, the traditional black-white, male-female, divine-mundane motif seen in the traditional card (I am most likely going to be dimming this down a bit in revisions.)

    Most of the other aspects have little context beyond my own aesthetics.