Elephant Tarot: Screw You, Circus!
The Nine of Wands was my next tarot card to create, and I’m pretty sure I cringed a touch when I came to this card… not because I didn’t like the meaning of the card or anything like that, but because it meant that this was another painting that I had to incorporate a large number of symbols into. (Like the Nine of Cups or the Eight of Pentacles) That’s tiring business! I bet I’ll be super happy when I come to an Ace of anything card.. one wand? One cup? Sure; no problem!
There is so much to go over when it comes to the Nine of Wands..overcoming challenges and hardships and persevering. When I thought of an animal that would really fit with this card, an elephant came to mind first. But then I naturally researched more and spent a good amount of time looking at a huge variety of animals.. and then – of course, I had to go back to the very first animal on my list, because really, I should know this by now: you should learn to trust your first instincts!
I kept the palette warm to go with the firey card of the Wands tarots. (for example, the feather on the cap is more like a flame than a feathery showpiece) I think the hardest part was to really capture the hardships of the card into my painting. A circus elephant was my choice because I’m sure we’ve all read or heard about circus animals being mistreated and abused and this kind of treatment should never be acceptable. The elephant in the painting is exhausted after a lifetime of struggling to survive in an unnatural environment and is ready to finally fight back. Its shackles have been broken and it makes its way to freedom. I decided to incorporate the nine wands as circus flags with the elephant creating a bit of destruction among the flags.. clearing a path to freedom and victory.
And WHEW. I think I squeezed out as much as I could about creating this card. I have 2 more tarot cards sketched out and ready to paint. No worries; the next is definitely going to be a lot more light hearted and inviting than this one (: .. though I definitely can’t say that for the one after that.. eeeeep.