Today's Draw: The Sun from Dylan's Tarot by Dylan Guthrie. What has brought you joy today? What is your best, guaranteed, sure-fire way to raise your spirits when you're down? And what can you do to bring a little joy into someone else's heart today?
I received two tarot decks in the mail today. One is called Tierney's Delight, the latest major's only deck by Beth Seilonen. It's Number 1 of 50, which is an absolute honor. And it came with a note from the artist thanking me for my inspiration. As you can imagine, all of that gave me quite a smile. I mean, how many tarot enthusiasts have a deck named after them AND have the honor of getting the first copy?
But you know what gave me a bigger smile? The note that came with the second deck, Dylan's Tarot. Mine is Number 8 of 25, which was, interestingly enough, Dylan's age at the time of the deck's creation in 2008-2009. At 8, Dylan Guthrie was possibly the youngest tarot artist in the world, making his limited-edition deck a must for any collector. He is the son of Beth Seilonen, creator of Tarot Leaves, my favorite Fishy Tarot and, of course, my new favorite Tierney's Delight.
The note came on a card with a lighthouse on it, illustrated by his mom. It was written in the artist's own hand and it said, "Thank you for buying Dylan's Tarot. It has been a long time since I have had a sale! Sincerely, Dylan." He signed the card in cursive and accompanied the signature by a neatly printed version of his name so I would know it was him.
Clearly there has been an egregious oversight in the tarot community if I was able to snag copy #8 of 25 of this delightful major's only deck. Few decks reflect the whimsy and innocence—not to mention the fresh eye—of this heavily researched, year-long labor of love. Had I chosen Justice, I might delve further into the INjustice of this deck having not already gone out of print!
But I won't go there, because today I chose the Sun card, which is about happiness. And Dylan's deck and his note brought me a sweet dose of that today.
While still adhering to the traditional, many cards are visually reinterpreted in surprising and symbolic ways. For example, the shadow cast from the Devil while being lit by the flames of hell makes me think of how much bigger our personal challenges and shadow selves can appear to us, making them that much harder for us to overcome.
The Death card evokes the Ten of Swords to me in the sense that it shows someone utterly defeated, but with the sun rising in the background, suggesting the dawn of a new day. Also the three bees or dragonflies intrigue me...perhaps a new resourcefulness rising up from the defeat? A trinity of transformation in body, mind and soul?
And the Hanged Man also stands out because the man is displaying a different posture from the traditional card and he hangs over water, which is suggestive of emotion. Since the traditional meaning of this card is finding a new point of view or taking a pause in the action, it seems to call on us to take a more measured look at the emotions of whatever situation we're in...or that perhaps the solution we speak is in suspending ourselves in or near our emotions before we can acquire the grounding we seek.
But perhaps the masterwork of this deck is the card I chose today, The Sun. It has a lot of traditional symbolism in it with the sunflowers and the horse and the bright, happy sun shining down. Everyone in this card—the bird, the horse, the child—is stopping to smell the flowers. Even the sun seems to be wanting to catch a whiff. And that's where happiness lies, isn't it? In immersing yourself in the beauty of this very moment. And even at the age of 8, Dylan knows that beauty is all around us. We just have to open our awareness long enough to look.
Dylan's Tarot comes in a black velvet-y bag, snuggled within a one-of-a-kind illustrated box that bears the numbered copy of the deck. It is a small deck, perhaps a bit smaller than a deck of playing cards. It is a BARGAIN at any price, but at the time of this publication was available at a reduced price of $25...for a limited edition deck! That took a year to research and create! Outrageous! I'm guessing Dylan is 11 or 12 now and could buy some wicked video games or boy gear with the proceeds he could earn from his remaining decks. Just sayin'.
Today's entry was more like a deck review than my usual thing. But it also illustrates how the simplest things, like a note from a child, an exploration of a new deck or one of the countless flowers that's blooming at this time of year can bring joy. We just have to clear our daily haze long enough to experience it. What has brought you joy today? And if you haven't yet found it, what can you do to make it happen?