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  • Writer's picturePHamric


Some time ago I started working on some artwork for a Tarot deck of my own. If you are not familiar with Tarot, it is a medium like paint that may be used to speak directly to our senses to help us reach out spiritually. A typical deck of tarot cards houses a full set of playing cards (less the jokers) which are also broken down into suites. Instead of diamonds, they are typically referred to as the element of Earth, Air as spades, Fire as clubs and Water as hearts. These are referred to as the lower arcana. However, there are an additional zero through 21 set of cards which are referred to as the high arcana. While the lower arcana are more targeted to specific events or issues, the high arcana are life lessons, steps in a journey, or as I like to think of them, spiritual forces that influence us in our life on this planet.

The artwork attached to this story is a member of the high arcana. In my writings, I have often referred to living without regret and freedom of choice and this card, for me, is where the rubber meets the road. The shadow on the ground before us on our path is a hint of what the future may bring. Of course, no one knows what that will look like, but we do have a concept of where we will be in the short term. Our path is crossed by opposing coasters illustrating choices we have to make. This will undoubtedly change everything.

I remember as a child being fascinated at the caduceus symbol. I didn’t now what it meant at the time, but I felt is was so interesting that the two snakes were twisted around the center pole in a type of symmetry and they seemed to be almost reflective. For our purposes, the caduceus represents change or alchemy. In Alchemy, the somewhat mystic practices that preceded chemistry at a higher level of understanding, it was believed one might change regular metals into gold. In this instance, it represents change within us.

In the piece, we see two symmetrical rollercoasters, one red and one blue which represent our choices based on our life experience as demonstrated by the previous section of track. The choice itself is neither good nor bad, but simply a catalyst for the change process that will occur once the decision is made. The caduceus is made of silver which is the color of the divine feminine energy. When our decision is made with mindful self-love and nurturing, it will surely bring us closer to the true path of our higher self.

We must own our decisions and not live in regret. Although being gay was never a choice for me, we all have opposing choices to make. Some of them are clear cut while others seem to be a no-win scenario. Although, we are not our choices, our path is carved in stone by the ones we make. We cannot pull up the road behind us, however, we can improve our future legacy we blaze before us. I love the saying, “Life is a journey, not the destination.” Like iron into gold, we are forever changed by each and every choice.

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Dustan Shupe
Dustan Shupe
Oct 17, 2020

Very nice! (I thought that some of the artwork was from your deck. Awesome!)

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