These small paintings are based loosely on the original Medieval Catholic, Christian imagery of Tarot playing cards. This was before their expropriation by the pseudo-mystic and parlor occult interpreters of the 18th and 19th centuries whose misguided ideas form the popular understanding of the cards today. The Tornillo cards include only the Major Arcana.
All paintings are acrylic and ink on wood, 5 1/2 X 10 1/2 inches. copyright Tornillo Fine Art. For information on individual designs or availability contact Tornillo Fine Art.
The Fool His cares were birds that never landed His tales were words that never ended His mind an orchard never tended Poor fool, his trail through trials wended.
I. The Charlatan All is not as it would seem Your future like a fortune gleams The cards and stars and secrets stream In mumbled medicine making dreams
III. The Empress Mother’s mandate’s majesty enthroned Her soft law surreptitiously ingrown Catechumen’s conscience helped and honed Till we her oughts and obligations own And not but only her code is condoned
IV. The Emperor Our Father figure’s maxim: ‘Might makes right’ Who art on earth and out of heaven’s sight Thy kingdoms come and go like day to night Thy Will is done on us always, poor’s plight Days bread we ask but pay with Empire’s bite
VIII. Justice Moral Mistress magisters the scales Reveals the truth, and falsehood she unveils Her judgment’s just and justice never fails Her righteousness and right rightly prevails (Though hers before the Final Judgment pales)
IX. The Hermit A bent and aged soul looks for the child Within the bent and aged form reviled. Alone his journey inward into wilds Where Wisdom plays and his past present smiled. How is it that we wander so beguiled And search not like the hermit for our child?
VII. The Chariot In the procession the chariot wheels Clatter of hooves and two stallions reel Triumphal carriage! The multitude kneels Parade of Triumphs the plain truth reveals Which centuries later occultists conceal
XI. Fortitude Maiden of mettle through suffering stands Taming the beast with her will and her hands. “They shrink not away from life’s dread demands Intrigues of evil or treacherous plans Who steadfast in courage learn self-command.”
X. The Wheel Of Fortune Come gather round people, Stop! What’s that sound? The least in the kingdom now wears the crown The little- remembered will then be renowned The last shall be first, the lost shall be found Who is it that turns Fortune’s wheel around?
VI. The Lovers Two lovers, true lovers, two become one Two bodies, new bodies orbit the sun Together to weather come what may come Too ra loo, too ra loo, dum dee dee dum Two lovers, true lovers, two wedded are one.
XIII. Death Your night will come and also comes your porter To cut you down and carry you ‘cross the border Bishop and beast alike there is no order All bow before his banner of No Quarter All tremble at the harvest and the horror.
II. The Lady Pope Popess posed in Pope’s position Proffers sublime superstition In her inner intuition And her errored erudition First religion’s first fruition Comfort comes with no condition
XIX. The Sun Glorious golden disc, bring the day Warm gilded kiss carried down on your ray Eye of God, God himself, so ancients say Eternal diurnal dancer at play Permanent pilgrim on patient pathway
XVI. The Tower Tower’s powered push into the sky Flashing fire falling from on high Shards in showers, flailing figures fly Edifice of artifice and lies Cracked and crumbling tired doctrine dies.
XVII. The Star Stella Bethlehem o’er wonders did reside Stella Mare ancient sailor’s way did guide Stella Blue on rusted strings three fingers slide Above us still does the fair star abide: A wonder, guide and muse for starry-eyed
XIV Temperance Modest mistress’ middle way divine Miracle makes water into wine Then remakes water, recalls Cana’s sign Much and moderation intertwine. Humility has heaven’s whole design.
XII. The Hanged Man (Traitor) Upside turned down outside the city gate Inside the hanged man hides his heart of hate Upon his lips the tell-tale traitor’s trait The twisted kiss that comes to twist your fate No man as easy murders as one’s mate.
V. The Pope Preposterous premise, ‘the Vicar of Christ’ Palace and pomp, “Perignon? Please, how nice!” The baptized in barrios eat beans and rice How, vicar, like Christ? to be more precise: How can the cat wash the feet of the mice?
XV. The Devil “Eat the fruit, you will not die.” The endless, evil, braying cry. “Eat the fruit, you will not die!”
XVIII. The Moon Receiver and reflector ringed in white Principle of feminine and night, Illumine us in gentleness and light, Circled in your certain cycled flight, Serenaded by your naked beauty bright.
XX. The Judgment The trumpet blasts and blasting bursts the grave From cairn and casket catacomb and cave Come Nob and Nan, the nun, the knight, the knave Pray while you may that all may then be saved When judgment comes to CEO and slave.
XXI. The World “Wake up to find that you are the eyes Of the world!” Wake now with childlike surprise Wonder is written on wide blue-eyed skies Life lives forever and only death dies Like the Star, Moon and Sun, arise child, arise!