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Rêverend Tanya A. N.
Know Thyself: Queen of Wands (Tarot Series)
Escondido Arts Partnership Municipal Gallery, Escondido, CA
July 8 - August 1, 2011
When a Good-Luck kitty shows up at your back door, looking for a new home, do not overlook the blessing, the Divine Intervention that arrives in the form of a white plush domestic cat who talks to you and loves you unconditionally for the next eight years. "Spike" was not in the best of shape when he "rescued me"--he'd been hit by a car, had a tear in his ear and a gash on his nose, and the vet would say it looked like he'd been out on the streets for a while. He lasted longer than I ever would have expected, but in the end, of course he didn't last long enough for those who knew him.
The proper name for the Japanese Good Luck Cat is "Maneki-neko" and the story that goes along with its creation is nearly identical to the story that goes along with the "money trees"--both creators were broke and had a dream to create their "good fortune" piece of art, one as the Maneki-neko, and the other as the Money Tree (aka Dream Tree), which when they began to sell them, changed their fortunes, of course.
As for the meaning of the Tarot card for the Queen of Wands, she is essentially the "knower of herself" as she has gone through her transformations, and her accompanying feline doesn't let her forget where she has been. Granted, this a very abbreviated synopsis. "Gnothi Seaton" is Greek for "Know Thyself" which was written over the entrance to the Oracle at Delphi (which according to legend, was built by bees).
This was my third art piece, and I was so pleased to see that all my years of copying Alphonse Mucha's art had made itself apparent in my own painting. There was a lot of experimentation with paints, stenciling, and the process in general was incredible, as I felt very connected to what I was doing. The staff/wand came out even better than I could have hoped, as I used recycled foil wrappers from apple cider bottles, glued and pressed onto the branch and pinecone topper. I actually started to feel like I was forging a wand.