12 June 2019

Eight of Water


The Eight of Water brings the scattered desires of the Seven into a focused desire to seek deeper connections and meaning. Even if we don’t know exactly where we’re headed, the motivation to move toward something more emotionally fulfilling in life is deeply felt. We’re not leaving behind the things we’ve known and loved because they’re bad, we’re leaving because of an inner intuition that there’s something more. Just be sure that it’s intuition from your heart and not escapism that is your guide.

This is the woodblock print of the canteen, loosely based on a Hopi canteen. As you can see, I forgot to flip this one before I made it into a print. That's one reason I'm happy that I'm assembling these cards on the computer.


06 June 2019

Seven of Water


The Seven of Water presents us with the discrepancies between our dreams and reality. Under this influence we feel the emotional pull of imagined possibilities, fantasies, temptations, wishful thinking and an influx of confusing feelings and desires. The Seven can be visionary, but focus and a rational assessment of unclear motivations is necessary to move from dream to reality.

Here's the vessel I created as a reduction watercolor woodblock print, based on a 1940s vase.


Six of Water


After the upheaval of the Five, the Six of Water brings solace and time to reconnect emotionally with oneself or others. It often signifies a reaching back in time to re-collect memories or the purity of earlier feelings, and to gather emotional courage to reach out again. Perhaps with help from a safe other, the Five invites us to be kind to ourselves and to reconnect with the pure feelings and wisdom of our innermost heart.

Below is the one-block woodblock print of the pots that I invented for this card. When I started to design this "fountain" I had difficulties because I was trying to invent a fountain that would actually work. It took me a while to realize that… duh … it didn't have to function as a fountain, it simply needed to suggest the idea of a fountain. I'm in a constant struggle against literalism.


As with all of these tarot cards, I combined the woodblock-printed elements digitally in Photoshop.

27 May 2019

Five of Water


Fives bring challenges, and the challenges of the Five of Water are feelings of sadness, disappointment, or grief. When this card appears in a reading it doesn’t represent loss per se, but the feelings that accompany loss, whether those feelings are fresh or are relics from old wounds. This card invites deep emotional processing, as grief must be experienced before it can be released. If not processed, grief can grow into feelings of victimhood or self-pity.

Below is the one-block woodblock print of the pot that I created for this card, based on a pot I found on the internet that purports to be a Portuguese pot for roasting chestnuts.


23 May 2019

Four of Water


With the Four of Water, feelings solidify and come into stasis. For a time this may be appropriate—your cup may be full and you may need some time to reevaluate or re-establish a connection to your own emotional truth. But feelings are meant to flow, and shutting down emotionally for too long can lead to isolation, detachment, apathy and stagnation. The Four tells us yes, by all means take some emotional time out, but don’t get stuck there.

Below is the woodblock print that I made for this card. It was created using a single block, with reduction cutting for the cork and multiple applications of color on the body of the jar. I really love printing this way. I made three of these prints, although the red color looks very different on each one. This was my favorite of the three.


17 May 2019

Three of Water


In the Three of Water, the energy continues to expand and community forms. A love relationship that began in the Two card is celebrated by a larger group; creative connections and collaborations begin; people offer support to one another; groups of individuals join together to move forward with feelings of love and trust. I chose an ancient African pot with three spouts to illustrate this movement into wider community.

Here's the woodblock print of the pot, which I scanned and collaged for the card.


I have "keywords" for each card and I've decided to add them. Some tarot readers don't like keywords, but since I'm spinning these cards a little differently than the traditional Rider deck I'm going to try using keywords and see if I like them. Feel free to let me know what you think.

13 May 2019

Two of Water


In the Two of Water, the new emotions or intuitions of the Ace are shared with another person. This is a card of of shared feelings, whether new romantic feelings, a budding friendship, or another kind of tentative collaboration. Feelings are honestly shared, there is affection, and kindred spirits find one another.

These two pitchers are based on shapes found in the pottery of Eva Zeisel, a Hungarian-American industrial designer whose dishes and vases often had a sensual human look to them, and often worked together in a nesting sort of way.

I made the pitchers on a single block of wood using the reduction method and very shallow carving.

This is how the block looked after I had finished making the prints.

Here's the woodblock print on Echizen Kozo. I made two.