This piece was done as part of a collage workshop with artist Linda Dalal Sawaya, a long-time friend who advised me as I began the process of putting together the tarot deck and at various points during the process.
It is the Divine Masculine in Lane's Greenwitch Tarot:
Usually called the Emperor, this card honors the Divine Male aspects of the human species. The active, masculine creator within us all who undertakes the epic Hero’s Journey towards enlightenment. The gentle side of the male spirit – sublimated since the violent takeover of the Patriarchy from the previous matrifocal cultures - is here represented by Saint Francis, Apollo (who drives the Sun), Demuzi (who lovingly waited for the Mesopotamian Goddess Inanna to make her epic Hero’s Journey to the Underworld), Osiris of Ancient Egypt and the Green Man of European lore, Odysseus (I’m not sure he was so gentle but he was certainly on an epic journey) and Theseus (he who dared go inside the Labia-rinth temple of Mediterranean legend). A Muslim Sufi dancer, the Buddha, brotherhoods nurturing each other. A young boy setting out, the naked vulnerable man diving into the unknown, a cannabis leaf that can be a vision medicine for the journey, and the shaman reaching inward and outward towardSpirit.
How do you honor the creative, seminal masculine aspect of yourself without taking on the macho, power-over archetype of the traditional Emperor and patriarchal male who is surely in its last fearsome violent gasps these days? I don’t think the imitative shoulder pads in women’s pantsuits are the way to go. How can you - male, female, gender-neutral - be creatively active and powerful with others in ways that defy the blood thirsty, temper-ridden, fearful traditions? That counteract the violence? How do you nudge, cultivate and foster others around you and/or become a renewed gentle male archetype such as the men in this card? Allowing the many versions of“manhood” possible. To do that will be to truly change the world!