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Tarot: High Priestess

And she turns to me with her hand extended, her palm is split with a flower, with a flame...
(Suzanne Vega)

She is a rsakk high Grehti and therefore a master of both the delicate and that which consumes.

High Priestess tarot card

The strands of shells are a superstition older than most people can remember; it's believed that sleeping under them will protect a priest from evil spirits.

It is actually true. A toren could not shift back out of their insubstantial form within striking range without ending up with strings and shells embedded in their body.

Link to a traditional interpretation of the high priestess card.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 16th, 2010 06:38 pm (UTC)
Oh wow... This is really cool. Nothing stands out at me that I want to critique. I really like the concept and I love that song, hadn't seen the video for it before. Hahaha, I think e. was surprised at seeing the song in a different way, since it's something that's been very familiar to us since we were very young, our parents were always playing that CD when we were tiny... took me a while to be able to find words for a comment here because e. was too busy staring and being sort of bewildered at the song being in a new context both in the picture and the video, but they finally said "I like it." :)
Oct. 16th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC)
:) Maybe it can be good to see a familiar thing completely re-imagined? Like saying "I know your understanding is totally different but look, here is this thread that connects us?"

Thanks, e, for liking it. :)

I really like how Suzanne Vega has no expression when she sings, she lets all the expression come through in the song. Also how at the beginning, the way her shoulders are swaying makes it look like she's walking towards you.

I'd never heard the song before a few days ago, when it just came up on internet radio and I saw the picture in my head and suddenly realized it was perfect.

- j-t
Oct. 16th, 2010 08:43 pm (UTC)
Is there any symbolism behind the double moon?
Oct. 17th, 2010 01:11 am (UTC)
Well, there are two moons on Karn. Fyri's the big red one and Sar's the little white one. But you could also look at it as the same symbolism as the flame and flower. That's part of rsakk magic, they're masters of kind of "riding the wave" of their shapeshifting and all the intense sensations that go along with it.
Oct. 17th, 2010 12:56 am (UTC)
Your priestess has that same expressionlessness that causes people to read their projections into her expression.
Oct. 17th, 2010 12:57 am (UTC)
That was kind of the idea! :D
Oct. 18th, 2010 03:04 am (UTC)
Ok *steals herself* you asked for critique, well the absolute first thing I did when I saw the picture was puzzle about the hand extended out, and why it looked out of proportion big.
Which is soooo not what I want to do when looking at a card to read. I need to not be puzzling over the artist's technique.
Verdigris (who got me to write this as we gotta go counselling soon and I/Imoh am staying in the centre for that, not Verdigris) reckons it is that the hand is out of proportion for the extend the arms are extending it forward, which isn't much, as her upper arm is glued to her side.

The lines on the face seem like paint more than expression-lines, is that the intent?
The flower in her hand - it isn't clear what it is and how it is sitting, again making me puzzle instead of sliding into that reading state.
I am not sure if I like her other hand or not as in am I puzzling over the technical stuff or not? but it does ... almost give me that open ground for interpretation, but I think you could skate a bit more clearly as to what it is supposed to be holding without losing that interpretive quality.

Ok what we LOVE:
The general translucent feel to the colours of the priestess.
The symbology of the shell strands.
Her cobwebby collar. (Mind if we crochet one and put it on a blouse? so kewl!)
The ... kinda normality of her hair, which makes her seem so very human but at the same time the other things give that Otherworld air.
The general composition.
The general colour tones.

I gotta read up on the Priestess interpretation as I would like to see the card in that context next, but gotta run :-)

- Imoh
Oct. 18th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
Yes! This is exactly what I wanted! Ok so you're not the first person to tell me the arm is wrong, but I didn't know how to fix it. That makes sense though that it's held too close to the body for the degree of foreshortening.

I see what you mean about skating more closely to the concrete instead of open ground for interpretation. There's vagueness that invites interpretation and then there's just bad technique. And that's something I did different than the 8 of Swords card - in making the whole painting more refined and detailed here it actually lost that concreteness.

So yeah, the flower, the fruit, and the woman's left hand all need fixing.

I definitely don't mind if you use the collar design. The design's actually more simple than most Karnese embroidery, but the colours and their order are traditional: red ochre (rsakk), orange-brown (tiroth), yellow ochre (griff), and turquoise (nethik). Thanks for not dinging me on the authenticity of the fabric dyes, I know on Earth, the indigo of her robe is super rare and rich, but that was how I saw the picture, and there's a whole different set of flora on Karn and I don't know what range of hues they have available. I do know the turquoise is a nethik color though and the rest of them are all ochre variants, but I still think I have to be careful of color because I don't want it to just blend in with all the other generic fantasy art out there.

I'm going to put a link to a Priestess interpretation in the original post because I forgot it.
Oct. 19th, 2010 11:11 am (UTC)
Oh what a relief that is what you wanted! Kewl :-) :-) :-)

Verdigris said to say it was actually something you said about the flower fairy drawing that helped her work out the arm thang! And yes re the difference between intpretativeness and bad technique :-D

Understood re the fabric colours. But in Europe they used to use mostly woad for that gorgeous indigo-blue colour, I think it might be a related species but one is tropical (Indigo) and the other temperate (woad) but don't quote me on that. I can ask Kite if you want to know for sure. Or google it!
Anyway, I know woad is not at all so rare and expensive as Indigo. But both have brilliantly long-lasting colours. In the old European tapestries you can see all the other colours have faded so much over time but the blues are still incredibly vivid, as it doesn't fade.

And indigo is actually a cloth-preserver, so in old fabrics the blues will be fine while the rest is moth-eaten or disintegrating from age.

In my world too the colours are from different plants than here. And even the "silk" there is from a kind of moss, not from moths, but it is certainly very silky, and similar sort of expense and exclusiveness to here.

I hadn't realised the collar was embroidery, I had presumed it was a kind of lace!

Uh, yeah... don't mind me spouting on my fave subject *sheepish*

- Imoh

Edited at 2010-10-19 11:12 am (UTC)
Oct. 19th, 2010 11:27 am (UTC)
Nope, not the same family at all!


But it is the same chemical substance in both plants that produce the blue.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isatis_tinctoria (the bit called Woad and Indigo

And more...
Jan. 26th, 2012 03:36 pm (UTC)
Not in a headspace to make coherent comments but can we steal that tradition? Devan sent me a can of seashells with holes in a few years ago and I'd never quite figured out what to do with them.
Jan. 26th, 2012 05:43 pm (UTC)
Hahahaha! Go ahead. If it makes you sleep better at night to feel I will never appear above your bed and stab you to death.

- Daria

Srsly tho, I wish you all the best in your wild dance. And thankye for asking. I'm about the closest to an Earth ambassador that Karn's got.
Jan. 26th, 2012 05:58 pm (UTC)
It's not you we're necessarily afraid of doing that, honest! (And. Well. Doubt Aubrey would either, but. Lee lives near a very ill river. Part of it followed him home from a concert once and he was sick for a few days. Anything to avoid that again, really.)

Thank you for being a good ambassador and willing to answer random sudden questions! And thank you for the good wishes. Those help. ♥
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )