The Fool travels between worlds, unconstrained by time or space. Without a designated number, or by being Zero, he is not fixed in the progression of the Major Arcana. He is part of an endless cycle, moving from the unconscious intuition of childhood, through knowledge and back to the intuitive perception and wisdom of old age.
The Fool connects the beginning to the end and maybe sometimes pops in randomly throughout. Like Dr. Who, he can travel outside of time and pop in and out wherever the action is. And if there is no action, be certain he will create some!
The threshold as a symbol of the connection between the worlds of the unconscious and the conscious mind has been a recurring theme in our work.
We cross the threshold in dreams both waking, through daydreaming or the hypnogogic state (what we call creative naps), and full on sleep dreams, to access the creative power of our personal unconscious and the collective unconscious, where there are no rules and anything we can dream or imagine is possible. When we come back, we have a wealth of images that can then be anchored in reality in the form of a painting.
“Significant images render insights beyond speech, beyond the kinds of meaning speech defines.” - Joseph Campbell, Myths to Live By
Sometimes the deeper meaning of the painting is not immediately apparent. We paint what intuitively feels right. The unconscious is a world of images, not words, so the images are the language.
How we read that language might be different than how you read it. It is dependent on context and personal experience. It is very subjective. There may be a positive feeling of connection or a negative feeling of discomfort that you can’t put your finger on, as you intuitively make meaning for yourself.
For ourselves, after some time and space away from a painting, we will do what we call a “post-dream analysis” to determine our own personal meaning. It is very similar to looking at a Tarot card or spread, the meaning may not be immediately apparent. The context of the question being asked and the person asking the question affects how the card is read or the painting is interpreted.
Creating a Tarot card is, of course, a bit different than freely painting from intuition. There is a traditional symbolism and structure for the cards that we have to take into account. Each card will be studied in depth to understand the symbolism being used, the underlying energy and essential meaning of the card.
The historical decks that we are modeling ours on are the Rider Waite Smith, created in 1909, and the Tarot de Marseille, which dates back to the 15th century. Our deck, however, will not be a simple re-illustration of either of those two classic decks. We will study the historic decks as well as other artists’ interpretations to determine how we will express the card in our particular style.
And so the journey continues….