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****About City Mystic Tarot: NYC *****
The City Mystic Tarot project was an idea that came to me, Virginia, after my first visit to Paris, France in 2009. As soon as I returned home I began to long for an opportunity to craft my own black and white photographic Tarot deck based on the monumental and natural beauty of Paris. Later I traveled to London and decided that I wanted to complete three separate photographic decks; New York for its deep ties to American Masonry and Occultism, London for its role in Masonry, Occultism and Hermeticism, and Paris for its role in the unfolding story of Alchemy during the Renaissance period, ushering Tarot into its role as a divine tool.
Because we are American, we began naturally, with our cultural mother, New York, New York.
Through harrowingly freezing weather (temperatures fluctuating between 36 degrees f and 5 degrees f) we piled on our numerous layers of heat-trapping clothing we keep on hand for Tahoe trips. Then we trekked, camera-in-hand, from 1pm- midnight (sometimes 4 am ) for seven days, asking the City to tell us its story, to give us a read, to allow us to sense her pulse.
New York was freezing. New York was expensive. New York was harsh. New York was beautiful. The bustle and buzz of life creates an energetic field that is almost palpable, or breathable at least. It can be detected. It can be discerned. New York speaks a vibrant humming language that asks of one nothing short of full presence.
And so that was the energetic read that we aimed to infuse into this deck and its Major Arcana. We wanted to show you New York from a fresh perspective, with honest eyes and a mystical dialogue between camera and city. We left the stereotypes behind and asked the city to show us its Mystic side.
********** What’s It Made Of?
The deck will come in a nice, standard heavy paper box and will include a very descriptive companion book (see excerpt below) based on New York City’s architectural history and contemporary occult tarot as they are found in the images of the deck.
The deck is 2.75″ x 4.75″. Each card is printed on 111 #gloss cover paper with UV coating
******What’s included in the deck?******
Photography, concept, structural layout, book and graphic design by Virginia Jester.
Graphic Design, packaging, print preparation and marketing by Chris Hopkins.
This deck was designed based on the conceptual foundations of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the Rider-Waite deck. It contains all 22 Major Arcana cards, beginning with 0, The Fool and ending with 22, The World. All names and number sequences follow the Rider-Waite model strictly. Additionally, it contains all 56 cards of the Minor Arcana in the four traditional suits: Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles.
Wands are represented by light fixtures found around NYC. Cups are represented by glasses found in NYC restaurants, bars and clubs. Swords are expressed by iron gates found in yards, parks, transportation hubs and the like. Pentacles appear as disks found as architectural elements, decor and design punctuations, as well as naturally occurring light orbs and signage.
Shot in February 2014, this deck is the launch of a multi-city project.
********** Excerpted from the companion book, below is a sample card description. **********
1- The Magician
Union Square calls the Fools attention. At the south end of the square she finds one of the largest public art installations commissioned privately, the Metronome. A massive brick wall designed in concentric circles appears to ripple and wave like a stone cast into a pool of water. Gold leaf draws the eye to a dark opening in the center of the ripples. A long bronze cone, looking much like a magician’s wand, punctuates the center opening. Below, a slab of bedrock represents millennia, in the form of geological time. The piece pays homage to our perception of time-space reality, and its deep significance to NYC culture and daily life rhythms. Truly the City Magician, at noon and midnight the center opening emits a plume of steam, serving as a constant public reminder of the rhythms of the city each and every day, casting a spell on all who wish to notice. A large hand sits atop, representing man’s ability to embody, shape and cast spells with the “reality” of time. In a moment of grand synchronicity, as if on cue, a pigeon swoops into the shot, landing atop the park lamp post.
In the process of human life, the Magician describes the Fool’s birth into human form. Metaphorically, it expresses our individual will, and access to various necessary elements to craft a life wherein we can birth our soul’s potential. In this way, it is considered to express masterful communication of our pure soul potential on varying wavelengths of our understanding- passion, mentality, emotion and resourcefulness. The Magician marks our birth into human form. Our Fool’s journey has officially begun. There is no turning back. We now have a vehicle, a body, in which to experience time-space reality, through which to grow and develop the essence and potential of the Fool.
In readings the Magician is asking us to look at our ability to manifest. What is the time-space reality we are experiencing, and how do we feel about that? Especially in situations where we feel unsure of what to do, the Magician urges us to take stock of our imaginative efforts and perceptions of reality. Are you happy with the reality you are experiencing? If not, what “spell” are you under? What perceived limitations or hindrances are you living through? How can you craft a new perception, or spell, through which to experience and manifest your pure potential? Use your senses wisely, and be sure to draw on your many resources- physical, mental, emotional and energetic- to create a reality that is aligned with your innate essence, or inner Fool. This is why Pagan spell casting and monastic ritual work is helpful- it channels the energy of your senses into a relationship to that which you wish to create, stimulating your body mind and spirit into contemplation in the direction you wish to move.
Nine of Pentacles-
Nines are all about personification, or wholeness in self. Before things change in the tens, they reach the pinnacle of self-potential, in nines. In this way, nines represent all that we’ve learned- both about ourselves and others. We merge the interior and exterior. Our knowing extends beyond our initial inspiration, and is grounded in experiential wisdom. We are able to gauge the significance of our dreams within the spectrum of our actual capacities. The nines bring us to a place of inner completion.
Pentacles are a suit of Earthliness, or groundedness. We make and manifest in the Pentacles. We create something in the real world. We deal with resources and finances. We actualize in the most human way possible.
The Nine of Pentacles represents a manifestation of our work that affords us accolades and the highest acclaim. We are recognized for our hard work, determination and dedication- not to mention skill! From our soul pours forward a path or goal that takes us far. We come from inspiration to manifestation. We come, finally, into a sense of validation in our work, our path, our ambition. What’s it like to feel honored for what you do? What’s it like to be seen and valued for your unique contribution to society? In what way are you receiving positive feedback for your gifts and talents? If you have not been honored in such a way- what are you craving attention and payback for? What do you feel you deserve accolades over?”
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