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Tarot: Temperance

Young black woman pours water and fire between two jugs, with a butterfly nearby

Descrip: A young, pretty black woman kneels facing the left in front of a twilight or underground pool. Rising from the pool and silhouetted behind her is a pale yellow and golden orange iris, glowing as if it's on fire and haloed in flame. One petal is dripping water. Reflected under the water is a hellebore flower, tinted pale violet and with an aqua halo, and with its leaves burned around the edges. The woman is looking pensively at a jug in each hand and pouring between them water that turns into fire as it reaches the other jug. A white butterfly is nearby.

Temperance is Qi's card. Qi of The Water Song, that is. This one has only the most tenuous link to Karn, but it's still a part of the story. The card is about the reconciliation of impossible opposites. A paradox at first glance, but with enough complexity of understanding it's possible to tease out the subtle distinctions and nuances that allow it to exist. It's about working with the forces that hold polar opposites apart, about balancing them and through that balance, like positive and negative numbers that can keep increasing as long as they are equal, tapping into quantities that would otherwise be too great to manage.

Aeclectic Tarot on the Temperance card



( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 12th, 2012 02:41 am (UTC)
That's a pretty tarot illustration ^_^
Feb. 12th, 2012 04:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks. Usually I can't get things to look this feminine, so I'm happy.
Feb. 12th, 2012 04:55 am (UTC)
I like the flower in the water.
Feb. 12th, 2012 04:39 pm (UTC)
Me too. I had fun doing the ripples. I think I need to develop that technique more, as a stylized way of doing water. It's really just two binary layers, one with the flower and one with the ripple pattern, and the ripples pull colour from the rest of the image. But the colours of the ripple layer are probably a bit too dulled out.
Feb. 14th, 2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
I like the ripples in the water too, that is a neat effect.

But the colours of the ripple layer are probably a bit too dulled out.

I agree... I think the one thing I'd critique about this one is that stronger/brighter highlights might be good, although the way it is right now does have a cool soft/foggy feel to it, so it possibly depends on what sort of atmosphere you are going for.
Feb. 21st, 2012 07:10 am (UTC)
Green. The stem of the fire flower could have more green so it looks more like a flower, j-t. And the green would pick up the water flower and create more interplay between the two flowers. The undertone of the green would be important too. Maybe a warm green so it doesn't cool out the fire effect?

I like the ripples though. And I do wonder if they were brighter if they would overly dominate. It would be fun to play!

I agree with Yonjuunana, that stronger/brighter highlights would be good. If you like the cool/soft atmosphere, it is like, but the fire needs the brightness. Like can you somehow get BOTH within the card?

Hey are you intending to tweak it? or are you leaving it as is? *curious as to what we might be getting in the mail soon* :-)
Feb. 21st, 2012 05:20 pm (UTC)
Hey yeah, I could make it more green. They were supposed to be connected by the stems anyway. I think it would have to be a warm grey-green at the top because it needs to not distract from the figure too, fading to cooler at the water surface.

I think I'm going to have to tweak it a bit to get it to look better at higher res. Especially the water surface which is kind of scribbly if you zoom in. I can make brighter hilights too, like on the girl's shift.

The supplies are due to arrive this week or next. I hope!
Feb. 22nd, 2012 04:24 am (UTC)
Oooh next week! *wriggles excitedly*

I see what you mean about the stems being connected, or meant to. And yes to making the top one look more flower-like.

Lol about the butterfly! That is its "medicine" or part of it.

I had just presumed the description was there as a matter of course, but I get it now - we are friend of the Rhymers too :-)

Have fun tweaking!
Feb. 12th, 2012 07:02 am (UTC)
I'm loving this card.
Feb. 12th, 2012 04:37 pm (UTC)
I'm glad :)
Feb. 12th, 2012 08:14 am (UTC)
It's beautiful. And it looks like a young Qi.
Feb. 12th, 2012 04:36 pm (UTC)
It should, that's who I had in mind. The one thing I'm hoping now is that it's not too much like the Star, because it feels like it could have developed into both. Not sure what I'll do for the Star card now.
Feb. 13th, 2012 10:42 pm (UTC)
I love your artwork. This is beautiful.

Even without knowing the whole story, the cards you've created so far are wonderful. I would definitely buy a set whenever you finish and market them.
Feb. 13th, 2012 11:26 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks! :)

I really want to get back to the story. Like the writing part. I know people were enjoying it.
Feb. 21st, 2012 07:05 am (UTC)
Before I read all the comments and get other people's ideas...

This speaks more of transitions, to me, than polar opposites. To me the medicine wheel is about ... like a figure of eight, or a weaving. You walk to one extreme of it, then back through the centre to the other. Life is that ebb and flow. So going from crone through to mother to infant, then back to mother, then warrioriess, then back to mother, then goddess etc.

The transition from the fire to the flower is what this card represents. I think the ripples in the water are... I don't know I could envision them being more of a path from one to another rather than a barrier. The interpretation of polar opposites does kinda suggest a barrier. That you can't really have both in harmony within the one space or being. That you need to cut them off from each other.

And yet, the teaching of shamanism reveals it doesn't have to be this way. It can be a path, not a barrier.

I am intrigued by the inclusion of the butterfly? Because that too speaks about cycles and moving from one state to another to another. Rather than polar opposites. Though I can see how you could interpret the story of butterfly as being a polar opposite - each wing opposite the other. The flying is the polar opposite of crawling along leaves as a caterpillar. Or of being wrapped up in a cocooon.

I just love the water dripping from the flame!

Reading your description... gees, I didn't even register she was black. Is that significant in some way?

And I hadn't realised the bit above her was a flower fringed by flame. I thought it was just all flame and had been feeling it was a bit unbalanced as more flame than water. But if I see it as a flower then it makes more sense. But it would be... clearer if the flower was clearer, to read, I mean. For pointing out to the readee (!?) the two flowers, one the essence of water, the other the essence of fire.

It seems to me your description of balancing the polar opposites is ... in a way the same as I mean with stepping stones.

Also, it seems to me that it is the understanding, the structure, and the skill, that allows you to not fear the greater and greater quantities. And from there to utilise them while not getting burned or drowned by them yourself.
Feb. 21st, 2012 05:32 pm (UTC)
The description is because rhymer_713 is on our journal and they're blind. I'm still figuring out the best way to use alt tags. From what I've read, alt tags aren't supposed to be really long and I couldn't describe the picture in just one sentence, so I put it underneath instead.

I need to think about how to make the iris more obviously a flower. I'll try making the stem green like Verdigris said and see if that's enough.

The butterfly was kind of a random thing that seemed like it fit. Like flying delicately between the two sides, though I didn't think about each wing being opposite. The caterpillar association is good though if you're looking at it like a transition. (Oh! Now I just thought of something else I might add when I tweak it!)

There isn't really any significance to the girl being black except that everyone from Ua is black. Well most people anyway.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )