+O+ [Early] The difficulty of finding a stock photo of a woman expressing Rage online was immense – nowhere to be found was there any genuine anger except perhaps for a small photo of Xena, Warrior Princess whose only short-coming as a Sinister Archetype is her ridiculous armour. All I could find were bubblegum women showing mock anger. No killing rage, no intensity, no honest outpouring of Anger either in the eyes or the face. I’d no idea the situation was so serious…
[Later] Without mastering certain skills it would be impossible for me to attempt to draw some of the cards of Tendril. My understanding of human form and figure continues to grow… the human body is difficult to depict, particularly in the case of UNSUNG which is an attempt at a genuine Sinister Feminine Archetype. The women of THEM are above all practical, hard, ruthless survivors. Their faces are not passive, their chests are covered. If they wore armour it would be functional – protecting their vitals and padded/plated for warfare. They would not risk breaking their sternum with the fantasy boob-plate and would opt to deflect blades away from the heart not give them free passage. They are not skinny and they do not snap in half when the world tests them, they are not weak or helpless or afraid to speak, they are both beautiful and savagely ugly – and when they Rage, they Rage for their own ends like you wouldn’t believe. They do not stop at a single head.
+O+ A few things. This is OTO ANORHA the Dark One. In the background a woman is imprisoned in a glass cage surrounded by icons of torture and degradation throughout the aeons, inc ballet shoes, high heels, corset, ruler, measuring tape, home appliances, a police truncheon and badge, geisha mask, scales, and burkha. She has simply had enough of being measured, poked, prodded, forced into wearing this or that, weighed, analysed, assessed and quite simply launches herself at the viewer her hands dripping with blood [not shaded in yet] her face blackened with absolute rage. Black lightening crackles off her skull as a Blackness descends that has frightened Man since the Beginning calling upon the “crazy psycho bitch’ inside her. Her primal self underneath the adornments blazes with primordial power [a pre-celtic triskadeliac triple ring tattoo is a nod to her triple [traditional] whilst the tattoo itself represents Her omni-nature [the sun, the womb, the moon, the ovaries, uterus, reproductive organs, cyclical procession et al]. She has a shaved head to indicate the raw power of a woman does not come from her hair [a spit upon classical beauty] and is armoured heavily in tactical plating including her neck. Yet their are nods to her other aspects of femininity through the haze of blood. Outside of her SAS tactical plating with special emphasis on covering the heart she wears a necklace with three orbs [another nod to the traditional triple goddess archetype] in which are contained the eyes of three animals, a wolf for her savagery and her pride, an owl for her shrewdness, resilience and silent knowing, and a lioness for the nuance of her maternal instincts to care for her young, be dependable, loyal, and strong for others and herself and the other side of her as the sinister, deadly, focused huntress.
+O+ Traditional Tarot such as are usually created frustrate me incredibly. What incentive is there to bring out that latent nature in the way of strong feminine archetypes for young women to adopt when they are depicted as weak, passive, saccharine, sexual objects -fairies, angels, impractically clad warrior-esses with exposed breasts and glaring omissions of armour, as succubi, vampires, monsters? And therefore encourage women to see themselves as the same? The FEAR to change what stands is obviously immense or we might have seen some departure from this.
Women are depicted again and again in the same stale vein and from a male point of view – There are No modern examples I can think of that archetypally represent a strong female. Those that do depict the sinister feminine are hundreds and even thousands of years old [such as Kali], Morrigan, Cybele, Hecate. Where is there divination into the soul without any deeper thought into the symbolism being used – where is the impetus for Change, Gnosis, Empowerment that Tarot should have if they are so representative and all-encompassing? Are we really that shallow, superficial, broken down that we let forms thousands of years old lead us? How to inspire a different model for women to emulate, to reflect them, that is not either ancient, or flawed? Criticism levelled by myself and others at the traditional Sephiroth and depictions of the Tarot is that it is patriarchal, commercial and yet archaic in essence, especially when depicting women – and shallow, especially when depicting Forces underlying Forms.
We give more detail here in the essay where we compare artist Moreau and visionary Dali.
+O+ We also hope – there are artists out there who are brave enough to accept, can perhaps see the sense in what we have written and begin using the Tarot as a platform to empower people of both genders with modern, evolved, energies and forms not remain stuck in the dark ages into which consciousness has been plunged – to restore to the Tarot what it has lost – autonomy. +O+