I came to the realization the other day that not everyone I want to be in the deck will be. There's 78 cards. I have more than 78 friends. I meet someone and suddenly a card will come into my head and unless I mark it down in my little brown journal, that image will not leave.
People keep saying "Aren't you the one creating the deck?" and I have to answer yes and no, and here's why. When I started to paint the deck I had no direction. I had started decks years earlier and finished about five cards before I got sidetracked with other projects. I tried again a few years back and got but one card and a few paintings that resembled cards but didn't fit together as a whole. I felt stuck. The Five of Coins was the first card I painted and had the right feel to it. It wasn't until a year later when I painted the Magician that I finally got direction. The cards themselves tell me the direction they want to go. I will try to paint one a certain way and have to paint it over and over until I finally follow the messages coming to me. I don't know where this deck is coming from. It just kind of takes over. I can have one idea and it will veto it. This has never happened before with a body of work. Here is the story of the Five of Coins and how the tarot came to be.
The Five of Coins
This card brings sorrow and loss. It is usually an emotional or financial loss depending on the layout. Sometimes it is a spiritual loss or a loss of hope. This is a time of difficult emotions, insecurity, anxiety and stress, vulnerability, depression, and uncertainty. It is also the wounded healer card. It denotes wanting to take care of another's wounds when yours have not yet healed. The message in this card is to hold onto the important things in life, there is hope. You will find your way.
I had gotten a message from an ex. He had bone cancer and wanted to clear the air between us. We had parted ways badly, the wounds were still fresh. I cried.
You see, when someone you once and still care about tells you they're in pain you want to run to them. You want to hold them and tell them it will be ok. That everything will work out fine and everyone will get a happy ending. It doesn't always work like that. I was still angry at him. I wanted him to be okay but I wasn't ready to fully commit to friendship. Instead I painted.
The five of coins was really about compassion. The night I painted it I wanted nothing more than for him to be healed and yet I didn't paint him into the card. I didn't want him to know I still cared, so in his place I painted a man I used to know. I imagined us meeting up on a dirt path, both wounded but compassionate. I imagined we would heal. I imagined he would come back to me. He didn't. He had moved on.
I said things I shouldn't have. I was still angry but in the end I made sure he knew he would fight the cancer and win. As much as this card is about loss and suffering, it's also about compassion. The night I painted it I was filled with love, not a happy love but a sad forlorn type of love. This card was the beginning of me tending to my own wounds and with it beauty emerged.
The night I finished it I knew this was the feel I wanted for the deck. A small town with abandoned buildings, bits of hope among ruin, and always magic.
Just recently we had a number of eclipses. That same ex lover came back into my life but in a new way. This time I'm going to paint him into the deck. This time I want him to know we're ok and we never have to repeat that history again. This time we won't be together as lovers. This time we can be friends.
If it's one thing I have learned, it's to let go of the past. You can talk about it, you can refer to it it, but you can never hold onto it, not even yesterdays past. I've only recently became of aware of this. Time doesn't wait for us, it keeps moving. It would be disastrous if it stopped. When put into perspective with your own life it's huge.
This deck had two beginnings, one here and one with the Magician. Sometimes it's all about tapping in and listening.