I Eat Fried Thoth Grasshoppers and Locusts Under a Tree

Daily Draw February 29th, 2012

This is my initial look at the Mary-El Tarot.

The book is a mixture of occult gobbledygook and Kabbalah, with bits of mythology, confusing comparisons, and other esoteric bafflegab and associations. I found grammatical errors, flaws in logic, and missing details. When Marie talks about the impetus for a card and why she chose the symbolism or colours, it’s good. The rest is irritatingly obscure and precious to a specific belief system. Meh.

Update: I finally traded this deck because the book was so full of junk thinking and a babbling mish-mash of poorly researched esoterica that I couldn’t stand to use the deck.

I did however have a fantastic time with the cards after the deck came in the mail. The artwork is terrific; Marie White is a gifted artist.

My favourite card is the Locust thingy on the 2 of Swords. The artwork reminds me so much of a piece of Art Nouveau clip art I have.

This was what got me started on the visual journey through this deck. That view of a tree has become archetypal since Georgia O’Keeffe made it famous. It just lit my heart up to see this.

The hooded figure in the Diary of a Broken Soul Tarot is reminiscent of this Mary-El one, and it’s even flanked by trees. I love that the tree from the Mythical Goddess Tarot is ropey like the Mary-El trees. This type of figure is often seen on The Hermit but here he is the Magus, a turnabout I like, the darkling, hooded interior beckoning.

I find Marie’s art style a bit like Hermann Haindl’s. This is a nice example for comparison. Marie’s work also reminds me of Susan Seddon Boulet’s work.

I saw this rider and immediately thought of the rider on the Prague.

I actually find the style in these two decks similar in their rawness and sexuality, even though the Kaos is black and white. This is not Pan but Atum in the Mary-El deck. Similar lust though.

What can I say, the visual reference is undeniable. My husband asked me why there are so many breasts and penises in the Mary-El. I have no idea, apart from Atum. Perhaps like photographers, some artists who paint like to do nudes?

Love the card, but found the book explanation missing clarity. Somewhat cloudy, to say the least.

Different birds, similar composition. I think the colours Marie used are interesting. She talks often in the book about colour and how important it is to meaning.

I see echoes of this particular Osho Zen card in several decks. Marie’s artwork is gorgeous here, there is such a richness of detail.

So, that’s it, my initial ramble through the Mary-El Tarot.


2 thoughts on “I Eat Fried Thoth Grasshoppers and Locusts Under a Tree

  1. And what a ramble!!

    I love these comparison studies you do. I scroll down reading them so slowly as I never want them to finish.

    And wow, what a beautiful deck. That Emperor card is something, isn’t he? And The Magician; I kind of like the hooded version, highlighting that traditional trickster element or misuse of power.

    This really is a lovely deck, from what I can see (even if The Hierophant might take some warming to). It’s a shame about the book. I guess there isn’t an option to buy without that? I have enough volumes of gobbledygook and bafflegab (what a great word) on my bookshelf without adding more.


  2. No, you can’t buy the deck separately unfortunately.

    I think sometimes artists are afraid to stand alone with their own insight and life experience. The feel they need esoteric jargon and cant to prop up their own excellence.

    Which they don’t of course. Periodically throughout the book Marie lets herself peek out from the Credo of Everyone Else, and it’s like magic.

    The art is stunning.

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