Friday, September 14, 2012

The Devil Is in the Details - A Ramble by Helen

Many thanks to Guest Blogger Helen Howell for offering insight into The Devil from The Wonderland Tarot!

The Devil is in the details
A ramble in the Wonderland’s Devil Card - by Helen

Wonderland Tarot

"The Devil is in the details they say, and if we don’t pay attention to them, that’s when we might miss something that can change our lives. So I say let’s take a look at the detail of the Wonderland’s Devil card.

Unlike most Devil cards the image here gives us a different sense of the traditional meanings. We see the young hero, sword drawn about to face the Jabberwocky:

“He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.”

(from Lewis Caroll’s Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There)

What did the hero think? The monster looms over him like a dark shadow. Can he beat it? The background to this card is ink black, indicating to us a lack of light, or in a more psychological way, a lack of enlightenment. Well, what does he expect when he let a monster like that trample through his life who terrorises him into thinking there is nothing he can do? Hey hero, this is no time to rest by the Tumtum tree!

What’s that you say? It wasn’t his fault, it just took over? Yes, I can appreciate that, just look at its colour - a reddish-brown. This creature has elements of passion, will power and the courage to go after what it wants,(red element). Along with the ability to cause stagnation and lack of growth to all those it visits (brown). This is indeed a devil.

Come on hero you have your vorpal sword in hand, (what is that by the way?), use it! (Carroll said he could not explain this word, though it has been noted that it can be formed by taking letters alternately from "verbal" and "gospel -wikipedia on line)

Working on that explanation, it seems to say to me that the hero has his own mind and needs to draw on his higher self. But look at the image, the hero has yellow hair, a colour of positive mental activity, awareness and will power. See he’s a match for that old Jabberwocky! His tunic is blue, a colour often associated with reflection. Our hero is able to think about his situation and discover what he can do about it.

His leggings are grey and he stands upon grey stones in the ground. This is a colour made up of two opposites, white and black. Our hero has been able to balance out those opposing forces that lie within him, you know thoughts and emotions that pull you this way and that. He’s learnt to integrate them so that they don’t work against him any more. - Maybe that’s
what he was thinking about, while resting by the Tumtum tree.

"One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
Hooray! The hero has saved the day!"

This lovely illustration on the Wonderland Tarot, differs from the more traditional one of passive bondage, by showing us clearly that we can face up to those things that scare us, or trap us into thinking we have no other choice. It shows us that we can take control and free ourselves from being a victim of our circumstances. This image illustrates to us that we can tame those untamed aspects of our psyche by integrating our shadow side with our whole.

The wonderland says take charge and you can be the hero.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"




Jabberwock verse from: Lewis Caroll’s Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice
Found There,1872)
 

Wonderland Tarot by Christopher & Morgana Abbey
Artwork by Morgana Abbey - Published by U.S. Games Systems Inc.

2 comments:

  1. that is one funky devil card!
    I really should re-read me some lewis carol one of these days...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Bonkers - it's an amazing little deck! And yes you should at least revisit Alice in Wonderland! It's worth it.

    ReplyDelete

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~ Zanna