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Excerpts from the book and deck:

The Major Arcana and the Quest for the Grail
The path of the soul’s evolution is evocatively depicted in the Major Arcana, and is often termed The Fool’s Journey by writers on the Tarot. The psychologist Jung termed this process of the individual soul’s maturation and development Individuation, the mythographer Joseph Campbell called it the Hero’s Journey, alchemists call it the search for the Philosopher’s Stone, and mystics the Quest for the Holy Grail.

0 - THE FOOL 

The Fool enters the great story of his or her life as innocent, yet with everything that she or he will become in potential - symbolised by the bag he carries on his staff, which is reminiscent of the bag in which Gwion floated on the sea. He carries his bag on a stick like a tramp, but this stick is really his wand, as the bag is his chalice – his grail or sacred container…

The Message of the card is
‘Trust in your inner knowing. Life is an adventure – a journey of discovery to be enjoyed.’

 

VI. THE LOVERS

It is Beltane and the may-flowers are in bloom. Lord and Lady, or High Priest and High Priestess, have joined together as Divine Lovers – conveying the idea both of the Great Rite of the union between God and Goddess, and of its reflection in the everyday world of romantic love between two people. In addition the card depicts the union of the two aspects of the Self, conscious and unconscious, inner Feminine and inner Masculine, while the Divine Self, embodying this union, is depicted as the white hind in the distance…

The Message of this card is:
‘At every moment you have a choice. Love is at the heart of life. All Creation is born out of Love.’

XIII DEATH

Original draft by Will Worthington and finished picture

Here we see the Goddess in her Cailleach, or crone aspect. It is the perfect image of Ceridwen as Cailleach, for 13 is the number of the moon and she is a lunar goddess. It is Samhain - the beginning of Winter. In the background we see a cairn and a river. The river has always been associated with both life and death, and the Goddess. After death we cross the river to the Otherworld before beingand reborn. The cairn is a place of burial, but also of initiation and rebirth, as hinted at by the approach of dawn in the sky. In the foreground is a cauldron of rebirth, and we can see the glow of flames beneath it, signifying the transforming power of fire. Ceridwen as a Crone, a ‘Dark Woman of Knowledge’ is beside the cauldron carrying a skull. A sickle that also symbolises the harvest moon, hangs from her belt. Though it is night, dawn approaches and an eagle flies high in the sky, providing an association to the card’s numerological counterpart 4, the Lord. The adder signifies this card’s inner meaning as ‘death as transformation’ not ‘death as the end’. Although this is a strong card showing the awesome power of death, it does not convey a sense of hopelessness - instead it hints at the potential it offers for transformation and rebirth.

The Message of this card is:
‘The old and unnecessary wants to die. What passion! The new prepares to open like a rosebud at the dawn of a new day.’

X. THE WHEEL
Initial drawing
Finished picture